The Wrenchmen: Larry's 1964 Volvo 1800S


Have you ever had a project that’s stuck, stalled, or over your head? Sometimes it just takes an extra set of eyes and an extra set of hands. Enter “The Wrenchmen”—Matt and Davin—who travel the country getting classic cars back on the road.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2017/11/08/wrenchmen-volvo


What a great project and wonderful car! I love that car and own an 1800es. I also have a PV544 that is going to need a restoration some time soon. This video was very well put together! Great job!


Larry, If you’re reading this, can you please tell me where you got the front suspension. I have an 1800E 1970 with steering issues due to an accident a year ago and would like to upgrade the front suspension. Thanks and what a great car you have.


I fully agree. We all get stuck sometimes. All it takes is a fresh set of eyes to keep things moving forward. NEVER be afraid to ask for help. You might just make a new friend!


Great job as usual. Getting stuck on these projects is really frustrating. I have been trying to get my windshield wipers and heater working on my 1971 Corvette for 2 years… hopefully will figure it out someday!


Great video! I noticed when you were breaking in the engine you showed a phone with some virtual gages on the screen. I’m interested in something like that my '57 T-Bird. Could you let me know what setup you’re using? I assume you need some sensors as well as an App on the phone.

Thank you!


Great resurrection of a classic. Perfect oil exists as break in with 1600 ZDDP. Classic Car Motor OIl. Check classiccarmotoroil.com


The wrench men used a phone app that let them see the vehicles gauges…
Can you please provide more info on this product.



@olliesshop @hmurphyiii The gauges on a phone app were a feature of the distributor, which they got from http://123ignitionusa.com/


Very interested in the rack & pinion shown in the video; did it simply replace the stock cross link and what was involved to connect the rack to the stock steering shaft ? I have '69 P1800S with slightly wider tires and it’s a bear to steer at low speeds. Thank in advance and good job getting this car back on the road ! Daren


If I remember correctly, the entire front end of that one was upgraded to use mostly Mustang II components. That’s why it took so much customization for the brakes and steering to get hooked up.


Hey matt, thx for your fast reply. I struggled to identify any stock front
end components on that car but was hopeful that the rack would turn out to
be a stand-alone, bolt-in upgrade. Alas, hope is not a process, so I’ll add
it to the “someday” list. < sigh>



Matt - I have a 1961/62 frame no. 1615 P1800. I noticed that the 1964 seemed to have carburetors and my car seems to have fuel-injection. Did they change when they were build in Sweden as opposed to England? Do you know of anyone who can complete the restoration of my 61/62 car? It’s half done.


Hi Richard,
From what I have read, the 1800 series did not have fuel injection until the '70s. Perhaps someone upgraded the engine in your P1800?

Experts in Volvo restoration are few and far between. We have Park Place Bodywerks in Dallas, TX listed as Volvo experts. Otherwise, I would suggest finding a European classic expert.


How would the Wrenchmen like to take a trip to CA and help my son restore his '69 Mustang SportsRoof high school car? It’s sitting in my garage and, with two small boys and a demanding life, he isn’t able afford the time and money to bring it back to drivable condition.


My Dad had a fairly early P1800 and it had SUs. I agree with Matt that the fuel injection had to have come at a later date.

There is a shop in Reading, PA, that could handle your Volvo. While not a Volvo specialist as such, the shop is doing a PV544 right now. It is called “Proper Noise” and is run by Ed Sweeney. https://www.propernoise.com/

Good luck with the P1800. I love those cars and always will.




            Thanks for that info I will follow up.  Reading, PA is much

better for me as I am in Boston.


Richard Kirby



My guess is that Automotive Restorations in Stratford, CT, could help you as well. Kent Bain runs the place. They did a lot of work for me about 30 years ago and Kent and I have stayed in touch.

The work will be excellent, but I suspect it will be more costly than at Proper Noise. However, it is a whole lot closer. You are about seven hours from Reading.

I went on the internet and found http://www.alanauto.com/, which is a Volvo Restoration shop in Portland, Maine. I don’t know anything about them, but you may want to investigate.

Although I know nothing about Alan Auto, I have first-hand experience with the other two shops and can recommend either.

Ed Sweeney recently bought Proper Noise, which was Carriage Craft for about 40 years. He’s a young guy whom I’ve known since he was in college and working part time at a British Car Shop. About 12 years later he’s an accomplished restorer with great research skills. He loves British Sports cars, and we both consider early 1800s to be British Sports Cars that were properly designed and carefully executed. Compare an 1800 or 122S to a contemporary MG or Triumph and there are many similarities.

Kent Bain and I go back years and I trust him completely. If there is a problem he listens and resolves it properly. His shop has grown from a mid-size business to a very large one with an excellent reputation. That is important for having many different disciplines on hand. They send out very little, where Ed has to out source paint and interior, though he does have a captive master machinist: his Dad

Let me know if I may be of further help. I’ll also let you know if I think of another shop in new England.

Good luck with your car. I think they are fantastic. I would love to have one, but I have cut myself back to one old car: the 1962 MGA Coupe I’ve had for more than 40 years. As much as I’d like a Jensen-built P1800, nothing will ever displace my coupe.

Jonathan stein; jstein(at)hagerty.com


The P1800 came with dual carbs until the 1970 model year when they went to Bosch D-Jet Fuel Injection. They continued to use the D-Jet until production ended in 1973. Hope this helps ~ Daren


I found one supplier for a Mustang II front suspension with rack and pinion steering. https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Mustang-II-IFS-Standard-Tubular-Control-Arms-Stock-Springs-and-Spindles,2089.html