1956 Volvo P1900
Sometimes it needs a change at the top to end ineffective projects. Assar Gabrielsson, Volvo's CEO until 1957, had good reasons to create the project of a highlight for his company. GRP was regarded as a future
material, in the USA to admire at the legendary Corvette from 1953. But if he would had access to the difficulties there, his successor, Gunnar Engellau, would never have had to put his foot down.
America was already prepared for two cars per family. Volvo calculated with the P 1900 a small share for the second car. However, neither it nor the first Corvettes have profited from it, but, e.g. the Ford Mustang from
1964 on. The main reason for the flop was an unfortunate co-operation with the Californian company Glasspar, more a specialist for boats, and the prolonging of the resulting problems. The car has never even
achieved Volvo's quality standard.
First the Swedes find the design is too American, then one has to construct a complete chassis, because the PV 444, from whom the parts are taken over, has a self-supporting body. The hardtop, initially a
disaster, is later replaced by a soft top. After all, the car now has crank windows. The bonnet is not fitted into place to the end, but remains overlapping because of a lack of precision or too much movement during the
At the same time, the low weight and the engine, which was lively for its displacement, would have been a guarantee for success if the purchase price had not scratched the price of the Mercedes 190 SL by far less
than DM 1,000. Then, in Sweden, the initial enthusiasm had vanished. After 67 copies, half of which for the United States and for Europe, there is an end. Well done, who now owns one.05/17