Old Volvos don’t die, they just get tougher. We demonstrated this last year by driving a 1990 240GL to Sweden and back in the name of louvres. Nearly 3,000 miles covered, not a single beat missed. And then you have cars like this 1964 PV544, which isn’t used for going to classic car shows set in idyllic country parks. No, it’s fired into rally stages to go full chat. Usually sideways. Yup, if there is one thing old Volvos love to do, it’s go rallying. You could say they’re built for it. After all, Volvo is a Swedesh brand and as such, the testing its cars undergo is somewhat more hardcore than that of a car from somewhere further south. Volvos are built tough.
The PV544 arrived in 1958, and was an evolution of the PV444. It had a one-piece windscreen rather than a split unit, it could seat five instead of four and there were some visual tweaks like different rear lights. Oh, and it gained an extra gear and as such boasted four over the PV444’s three. The big evolution though, was the B18 engine, which is what the car listed here has fitted. A sturdy and impressively reliable inline four-cylinder unit with five main bearings. In the case of the car here, the engine is a B18D as it has twin SU carburettors, though it may have started life as a single carb B18A. Further modifications include a lightened flywheel, an uprated cam and a fully balanced crankshaft. But why would an old Volvo have all these modifications?
Well, look at the pictures and it all becomes clear. This PV544 is no normal old Volvo, this is a full-bore classic rally car. Roll cage and all. The front suspension can take the knocks of rallying thanks to having been upgraded to double shock absorbers. The brakes have been upped to discs from drums, along with servo assistance and there is an in-car brake bias valve for maximum adjustment. Proper. There’s a limited-slip differential out back, a ‘safari’ fuel tank has been fitted along with a 75l supplementary tank, both of which feed a Facet fuel pump. And of course, there is a full roll cage as mentioned, period race seats and four-point harnesses.
We absolutely love this old Volvo PV544. There is something so wonderful about an old car that is being used to compete. This car has competed in various events, including the 2019 Classic Winter Trial and the Tulip Rally. It’s fighting fit and raring to go. We reckon a car like this would be perfectly suited to some sort of long distance event, the kind of event where the durability of the Volvo could shine through. Though, even on short stage events, we’re confident this brilliant old Swede will provide plenty of enjoyment. And all for just £19,750.