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1956 Volvo P1900 Sport Cabriolet
|Also called||Volvo P1900|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Sports car (S)|
|Layout||Front-engine, rear-wheel drive|
|Engine||1,414 cc (1.4 L) B14 I4|
Assar Gabrielsson, Volvo's president and founder, got the idea for the car when he saw a Chevrolet Corvette in the United States and wanted to make something similar. He asked Bill Tritt of Glasspar, an American boatbuilder in Santa Ana, California, to design and tool a fibreglass/reinforced polyester body, which was later produced in Sweden. Glasspar was a pioneer in building fiberglass auto bodies from 1951 to 1957.
Erik Quistgaard was appointed as development team leader. The car was built on a tubular-steel chassis and used the Volvo PV444's 1,414 cubic centimetre engine producing 70 hp (52 kW)[clarification needed]. The engines (B14A and B16B) were fitted with twin SU carburetors, driving through a three-speed manual gearbox. Many other parts were taken also from the Volvo PV444.
Demand was low, and the build quality was not up to Volvo standards. Gunnar Engellau, who replaced Gabrielsson as president in 1956, took one for a drive on a holiday weekend and was dissatisfied enough that on returning to his office the following week cancelled the remaining production. "I thought it would fall apart!" is the legendary quote.
The total "Volvo Sport" production was sixty-eight cars, plus four or five prototypes. Forty-four were built in 1956, mostly for the Swedish market, and most still survive.[clarification needed] The bulk of 1957's production went to the U.S. and elsewhere, and fewer of these are still in existence.
Volvo's next sports car, the P1800, was much more successful with 47,492 units sold.
However the development of the P-1900 led to the tuning of the B-16 engne, which was later put into the PV 444 series, making this car powerful enough to enter the American market.
- Hunt, David R. (n.d.). "The Volvosport P1900". volvoadventures.com. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
- Czap, Nick (February 18, 2010). "Unrequited Longing for the 67th Volvo". The New York Times. Accessed February 24, 2010.
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|Volvo Cars, road car timeline, 1920s–1950s — next »|
|Sedan||PV 4||PV650 Series||PV444||PV544|
|Luxury car||PV 36||PV 60|
|Taxicab||TR670 Series||PV800 Series|