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My first Classic Car, Volvo P1800 (1800S) 1965

After a month+ searching, I finally got my dream car, and my first Volvo.

Dream cars, I have many. I am sure many men has the same dream too! My first sports car was the Peugeot RCZ, a 2 doors coupe. It was a real head turner when it first launched. I still keep the car as my daily ride.

I also dreamed about a Porsche, the 911. The modern 991 series. However, I knew I can’t afford it, not just the price of the car but also the upkeeping. A customer in ShaShinKi told me he bought a 2012 version and have to pay over RM60k to replace a chip in the gear box, and that’s an used unit from another car. New would have cost him over RM100k. He sold the car soon after.

Knowing that I won’t be able to afford the Porsche, I turn my eyes toward the cute affordable car, the Volkswagen Beetle. Nah, not the classic one, but the latest modern unit. I even went to see the car in showroom a few times. It is actually quite a spacious, even bigger than my RCZ although both are 2+2 coupe design. RM130k in Malaysia, not cheap. Anyhow, just remain as dream as there is a gear box problem with this car using 7 speed dry clutch system. My friend sold his several years later after experiencing the problem.

As age caught up, I took a look at the Mercedes S class. My father has many S class before, and he always wanted the S400h, but worried about the hybrid system. Battery alone if replacement is needed will cost over RM100k. New car is nearly RM600k, but 2nd hand can be bought at RM200k+ now depending on year and mileage. Cheaper an a new E class, but S class is much nicer than E class. Exterior is nothing stunning, typical Mercedes oldies look, but the interior is what WOW me. Love the smiley face steering wheel especially, and the light interior design. Anyhow, didn’t have a chance to get this car as I already have a Mercedes S300 in my house, inherited from my father in law after he passed away. Shouldn’t have two S class in a house. So, no go.

Did I mentioned Nissan GTR too? Yeah, the Godzilla from Japan! 3798cc engine. Annual roadtax only is already RM5,721.00, insurance will be more if not much more (I have no NCB). So, definitely a NO NO for me. As a comparison, my Peugeot RCZ is only RM90+ roadtax annually. Below is the 2014 model.

After dreaming for so many modern cars…I started getting immune to them. Annual depreciation really upset me. My RM220k RCZ is worth RM60k now. Getting another RM200k car and have the value becomes 1/3rd or less after 10 years is not a nice feeling. So, no go.

People always say car depreciate at the exact moment it hits the road. True, except for CLASSIC or VINTAGE CAR. I think the car’s value curve is like a V shape. It drops initially, till maybe 20 years…and when it is old enough and scarce enough, price will start appreciate. Of course, it has to be something RARE and not so commonly available. That normally starts with something that is EXPENSIVE in the beginning.

I have written a story of my encounter with a classic Volvo in my taman (Malays word for house estate). What a nice car when I first saw it, and got attracted by the VOLVO logo.

The first sighting of the car was its REAR in a coffee shop. Wow! (You can click the above link to read more of my encounter story)

I tried to get in touch with the above owner but not avail.

Never mind, I will get one myself then.

So, the search begins. Googling the internet for many days and nights, and I found an owner of a nice P1800 in Johor. Initial plan was not to buy but to just visit and checkout the car in person.

Fast forward…I am not a proud owner of this very good looking Volvo P1800! I never expected to get one so soon, or in such nice condition. Some purist will prefer to have the car in its original stock condition, but I am not that (yet), and I prefer a modern + classic mix. Of course, not too much of a modern add on, eg. changing the car engine or exterior design. Adding air cond is fine, changing the steering wheel I am in a mix here. The new sporty wheel from the current owner is nice, but I am not sure if I would prefer the original wheel more. Since I don’t have the original wheel to try out, so it is fine then.

As for the rims, most prefer the classic Volvo steel rims with the Volvo cap, but the current one from the owner is a sports alloy rims which matches the sporty steering wheel well!

Definitely not going to return to steel rims for sure. This rims from WORK Japan is worth much more!

The owner is keeping the original 1966 plate number (BQ10), so I went online and bid for a new number for it. I paid RM1011 for this SYP1800. Yeah, quite a high price for this running number, but I like the SaYa P1800 meaning (Saya = I am, in Malays language, P1800 is the model of the car).

I have done quite a number of repair and upgrade work on the car since owning it 6 months ago. Redo the upholstery, solved the engine oil leak problem, changed the engine valve cover, solved the steering box ratling issue (changed the bearings), fuel gauge, oil gauge…etc.

Overall, I am really happy with my Volvo P1800. It is a stunning looking car, robust engine, simple design, and parts are relatively easy to obtain.

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