Early bird: ’53 Volvo PV444
Most of us know about the virtues of the vintage Volvo 544 but this one goes back farther than most of us here in the US are familiar with. I did say most of us because I, a former owner of a ’53 PV444, know more than most. I found mine in the desert outside of Palm Springs, California.
It was sitting behind a ramshackle house, surrounded by old refrigerators and wood pallets. The tires were flat so the belly was resting on sand for many years. The owner sold it to me for not a lot of money and I gave him explicit instructions. I would send a truck to pick it up and have it transported to the local Volvo dealer to see if they could get it running and prepare it for shipping to New Jersey. A week later I got a call from the service manager. He said I have good news and bad news. The good news is your Volvo is here. The bad news is, he drove it. I guess just another testimonial to Volvo’s legendary quality and durability. What I did learn, parts for early PV444s are hard to come by even with my connections at the Volvo Car Corporation. So when I spotted this one, the fact that it had all of the rare old parts made it special. The seller was correct is abandoning the plans to turn it into a hot rod or rally car. This one has an updated B20 Volvo engine and that makes it a better driver than a stock PV. These PVs pre-dated most of Volvo’s successes in motor sports. If you want a lovely old Volvo with fragile cloth interior and beautiful interior details, this is an interesting car to consider. I wouldn’t prepare it for the Carrera Panamamericana however. Click here for the eBay auction. BTW, I eventually sold “Oscar” to the largest Volvo dealer in the US. Oscar spent many years living on the showroom floor. The former dealer principal, a frequent reader and market-timing genius, has a good eye for an old Volvo.