“Above all the Volvo PV544 is a practical car. Volvo’s most attractive appeal lies in its solidity and its quality in every single respect.”
- Launched in the summer of 1958 as a successor to the immensely popular PV444, the Volvo PV544 was a five-seater (hence the ‘5’ in the name) family saloon powered by the same ‘B’ series of 4-cylinder engines that would propel nearly every Volvo from 1944 – 1981.
- It featured an all new single-piece curved windscreen, larger tail lights, a distinctive ‘ribbon-type’ speedometer, and an upgraded 4-speed manual gearbox.
- The PV544 was initially powered by Volvo’s famously reliable 1.6L (B16) 4-cylinder power unit, producing somewhere between 65bhp-85bhp (depending on the chosen carburetor set-up).
- However, 1962 saw the introduction of the new B18 (1.8L) unit, bumping the PV544’s power output to 75bhp-115bhp – again, depending on carburetor configuration.
- Interestingly, the world’s highest mileage car – a 1966 Volvo P1800S – which managed to cover over 3,000,000 miles (yes, 3 million!) on it’s original engine, was powered by the B18.
- All things considered, the PV544, and the PV444 from which it spawned, were quality, well engineered, and practical family saloons, and so it comes as no surprise to learn that Volvo managed to sell almost half a million of them between 1947-1965.
- Despite its modest appearance, simple design and conservative family appeal, the PV544 (and PV444) turned out to be a formidable force on the world race & rally stage:
- 1957 – 1st, Rally of Sweden, T.Jansson, PV444
- 1957 – 1st, Midnight Sun Rally, T.Jansson, PV444
- 1957 – 1st and 2nd, Viking Rally, Sweden, Grondal / Bernsten, PV544
- 1957 – First 5 places in Little Le Mans at Lime Rock, Connecticut, Art Riley / Bill Rutan, PV444
- 1958 – 1st, Rally of Sweden, G.Andersson, PV444
- 1958 – 1st in Class, Daily Express Silverstone, Jo Bonnier, PV544
- 1958 – 1st, Little Le Mans at Lime Rock, Connecticut, Art Riley / Bill Rutan, PV444
- 1958 – 1st, Midnight Sun Rally, G.Andersson, PV444
- 1958 – 3rd, Acropolis Rally, G.Andersson, PV444
- 1958 – 2nd, 1000 Lakes Finland, Nils Carlsson / Gunnar Carlsson PV444
- 1958 – 3rd, 1000 Lakes Finland, Hans Ingier / Bjorn Gundersen PV444
- 1958 – 1st, European Rally Championship, G.Andersson, PV444
- 1959 – 1st and 2nd, 1000 Lakes Finland, G.Calbo / V.Nurminaa, PV544
- 1959 – 1st, Rally of Norway, Hans Ingier, PV444
- 1959 – 1st, European Ladies Rally Championship, Ewy Rosqvist, PV544
- 1960 – 1st, Rally of Sweden, G.Andersson / Lohmander, PV544
- 1960 – 1st, Argentine Road Race, G.Andersson, PV544
- 1960 – 1st, German Rally, G.Andersson, PV544
- 1960 – 1st, Rally of Norway, Hans Ingier, PV444
- 1961 – 2nd, Acropolis Rally, G.Andersson / Lohmander, PV544
- 1961 – 1st, Little Le Mans at Lime Rock, Connecticut, Art Riley / Bill Rutan, PV444
- 1963 – 2nd, 1000 Lakes Finland, T.Trana / G.Andersson, PV544
- 1963 – 1st, RAC Rally, T.Trana / S.Lindstrom, PV544
- 1963 – 2nd in Class, Nurburging, Eng. Herrrmuth / D.Wilhelm PV544
- 1964 – 1st, RAC Rally, T.Trana / G.Thamaenius, PV544
- 1964 – 2nd, 1000 Lakes Finland, T.Trana / G.Thamaenius, PV544
- 1964 – 1st, Acropolis Rally, T.Trana / G.Thamaenius, PV544
- 1964 – 1st, Rally of Sweden, T.Trana / G.Thamaenius, PV544
- 1964 – 1st, European Rally Championship, T.Trana, PV544
- 1965 – 1st, Rally of Sweden, T.Trana / G.Thamaenius, PV544
- 1965 – 1st, East African Safari Rally, J.Singh / J.Singh, PV544
- Originally delivered to its first owner in Sweden in 1961.
- Imported into the UK in 1990, and used sparingly over the next 25 years by three successive owners.
- Beginning in 2014, a 4-year restoration was carried out by the car’s previous owner, in which the bodywork, electrics and mechanicals were all either restored, overhauled or replaced.
- Originally finished in ‘Midnight Blue 31’, the owner decided during the restoration to refinish the car in the period correct ‘Slate Blue 67’ that it wears today.
- Moreover, the car’s original B16 (1.6L) engine has been replaced with a more powerful and more usable B20 (2.0L) unit.
- Producing in the region of 90 bhp through a single Stromberg carburetor (easier to tune/maintain than a dual SU setup), this PV544 is more than capable of keeping up with modern traffic.
- In fact, we drove the car approx. 60 miles from London to Bicester upon collection, and not only did it run flawlessly, it was more than comfortable sitting at 70mph on the motorway!
- The car comes with an assortment of spares including the original KPH ‘ribbon-style’ speedometer, two KYB shock absorbers, spare radiator fan and more.
- Offered here in standard road going trim, this PV544 would make the perfect weekend trundler, or for the rally enthusiasts out there, the ideal foundation for a competitive and reliable historic rally car.
- With recent successes and strong finishes at the RAC’s Rally of the Tests and the infamous Le Jog rally, the PV544 continues to prove itself as a formidable machine both on and off the track.
Want total peace of mind? We’ve partnered with WarrantyWise – the UK’s leading used car warranty specialist – to provide complete cover for this 1961 Volvo PV544*:
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*Single Claim Limit £5,000 | Unlimited Claims | Max Labour Rate £100ph | T&Cs