1969 Volvo P1800

Illustration for article titled 1969 Volvo P1800

Welcome to Down On The Street, where we admire old vehicles found parked on the streets of the Island That Rust Forgot: Alameda, California. I'm back in California to take care of some business, so let's return to Alameda!

Illustration for article titled 1969 Volvo P1800

I found this very nice P1800 parked within yards of the '64 Ford Falcon Futura and the Mercedes-Benz 350SL, on the block I called home during my childhood. Fortunately, nobody on the block remembers all those gnarly burnouts I did in front of their houses in my GTO as a teenager.

Illustration for article titled 1969 Volvo P1800

My DOTS Reference Library now lives in Denver, so I'm forced to guess the year on this classic Volvo. It's got side marker lights, which means it's an American-market car sold in 1968 or later, and I believe the lack of 1800E badging indicates a pre-1970 model. I'm going to call it a 1969 and hope some Volvo zealot expert will correct me if necessary.

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My dad had one of these when I was young. They wouldn't let me in the garage because they thought I would damage something on the car. But since I was a latch-key-kid, whenever I would get home before anyone else, I would sneak into the garage and ogle the thing.

I wasn't into cars when I was young. Was that Volvo the first seed that would blossom into a car addiction? Or was it just a case of forbidden fruit?

Either way, my dad sold the car mid-restoration. He's a doctor and ran out of time to spend on it. He's a Volvo man, I'm a SAAB guy, maybe that's why we never get along. It's interesting to note that he bought the only sports car Volvo ever made (the P1800) and right now, I own the only sports car SAAB ever made (Sonett series).