As many old cars as there are on the streets of Alameda, the imports can be hard to find. It was nice to spot this solid P1800 right in my neighborhood.

Volvo has a (well-deserved) rep for building cars that are on the unexciting side. Solid and stolid, they are. But hey, here's a Volvo with fins!

Never mind that the fins came 10 years after the rest of the world had become tired of them. It probably caused the designers actual physical pain to create something so... frivolous.

You want manly? Check out what the Volvo logo used to look like! Back in the day, Volvo was more explicit about their use of the symbol for Mars (and man) in their logo. You'd think they'd have gone with some sort of heavily armored Viking, to suggest Scandihoovian solidity and stoicism.

Anyway, I've always liked these cars, so it's good to see a clean original one still surviving on the street.

The fuel filler door (which is what I assume we're looking at here) is a sporty detail, though the location is sure to result in gas spills on the paint.

The P1800 wasn't very fast, with just 118 Swedish ponies under the hood. But still, it could hold its own against the likes of MGBs and such. Speaking of MGBs, the P1800 came with the same godawful SU carbs as the B engine, which always seemed strange. You have the world to choose from when shopping for your new design's carbs and yet you get the funky SU with its goofy oil-damped piston and chronic sunk floats? What this engine really needs is a turbocharged Megasquirt setup, anyway.

But no matter. This car has some slick- if nerdy- design, and that's enough.

Svenska Volvo P1800 Klubben []

Down On The Street: 1966 Volvo Amazon; Ad Watch: Volvo P1800 Stars in Lollypop Spot [internal]