1973 Volvo 1800 ES


  • Year of manufacture 
  • Car type 
  • Lot number 
  • Condition 
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 


  • One of just 8,077 examples produced
  • Features styling by Jan Wilsgaard and Pietro Frua
  • Presented in its factory-correct Gold Metallic over black leatherette with brown carpets
  • Fuel injected 2.0-liter inline-four cylinder engine: four-speed manual transmission with overdrive
  • Benefits from a previous restoration; acquired by the consignor in 2015
  • Complete engine rebuild executed in 2012

Building off the resounding success of their wonderfully-styled 1800 sports coupe, in 1971 Volvo introduced the 1800ES sports wagon. The ES was built using the same mechanical underpinnings as the contemporaneous 1800 line, although now featured a shapely shooting brake body with a frameless, all-glass rear hatch. Power came from a fuel injected, 2.0-liter inline-four cylinder engine paired to either a four-speed manual transmission with overdrive or an optional three-speed automatic.

This new design was attractive and perfectly congruous with the preexisting sport coupe thanks to designer Pietro Frua’s continued involvement (and additional tailoring by Volvo styling chief Jan Wilsgaard). Furthermore, the model’s roomier storage capacity improved functionality, broadening the everyday appeal of the sporty 1800 line.

Unfortunately, increasingly stringent safety regulations spelled early doom for the model, and just 8,077 examples were produced during the 1972 and 1973 model years. As such, the car’s graceful design, reliable powerplant, and low production volume have made it arguably the most sough-after classic Volvo specimen.

This charming and final-year 1800 ES is presented having been treated to an earlier restoration during previous ownership, and now wears its factory-correct colors of Gold Metallic over black leatherette with brown carpets. Produced in March 1973 for the United States market, sales literature on file indicate that by September of 1988 it had found its way to a resident of Springfield, Oregon, then indicating approximately 48,000 miles.

Service invoices accompanying the car illustrate that the 2.0-liter engine was completely rebuilt in 2012, and in 2015 this Volvo was subsequently acquired by the consignor. This sport wagon features a push-button radio, clock, dual side mirrors, rear mudguards, and factory nine-hole alloy wheels. The twin-exit exhaust is reported to be a period-style replacement of recent manufacture, likely fitted during the car’s previous restoration.

This wonderful example of Volvo’s distinctive sports wagon is now accompanied by a tool roll, manuals, sales literature, two keys, spare components, and service invoices dating back to 1987.To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/hf21.