1956-1957 Volvo P1900 Sport: Volvo Tries To Build A Corvette, And Fails

volvo p1900-02

When Volvo President Assar Gabrielsson saw a Chevrolet Corvette in the US, he wanted one too; meaning one built by Volvo. Glasspar, an established builder of fiberglass boats of Santa Ana, CA. was commissioned to build the prototype. Glasspar’s Bill Tritt did the design, and there’s a reprint of a very in-depth article about that at forgottenfiberglass.com. The fiberglass body sat on a tubular frame, and the running gear was all pretty much straight off the PV444, which meant the B14 and B16 engines in twin SU-carb tune and its three-speed transmission. And how did it all come together?

volvo p1900_sport_prototype_3

Not so well. There were build quality issues. Its price was high, and sale s were almost non-existent. A total of 68 production cars were built in 1956 and 1957, the majority of the ’57s were sent to America. A number of these cars still survive today. It may have been a false start for Volvo in building a sports car, but that’s one that was soon solved with the much more successful P1800 (CC here).