Just two scant years ago, Volvo killed off it’s C30 hatchback. It wasn’t a huge seller, but this car offered unique styling and competent performance in a tidy, near luxury package. It was also a flattering throwback to this car we see here, the P1800ES. The P1800ES didn’t have a long production span, but it made an impact on an otherwise staid lineup at the time, save for the P1800 coupe that it was based on. This example for sale in New York has the desirable 4-speed manual gearbox and benefitted from a bare metal respray. On Minilite style wheels, this is one attractive shooting brake.
There’s a running joke here at GCFSB regarding Volvos and SAABs. Without exception, every time we post one someone comments either here or on our Facebook page that those two manufacturers aren’t German. It doesn’t really matter that we explain nearly every time that though we know this, we still enjoy to look at a super Swede from time to time since – let’s face it – a majority of people on Facebook don’t actually read the articles that are posted, but rather just react to the headlines. Now, we could actually get into a discussion about how the Swedes are actually a Germanic based tribe if you go back far enough, or how many of their engineering principles fall in line with those of their Southern neighbors. We could mention that many of the newer Volvos and SAABs actually utilized German derived chassis from either Ford Europe or GM’s Opel division. But that would be pointless since those arguments don’t apply to today’s example, the P1800ES. You see, Volvo is mostly regarded as builders of very slow moving, very safe and very conservative boxes – but go back a few generations, and Volvo threw a few curve balls as the plate. None were more curvy than the P1800, a pseudo-sports car with stunning looks available in coupe version or the more rare 2-door wagon:
In case you missed it, Volvo released a stunning concept at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. The Concept Estate is a modern take on what seems like an extinct breed these days: the shooting brake. The estate car is experiencing a little bit of a resurgence amongst enthusiast communities across the US, mainly due to fast five-doors like the Cadillac CTS-V Wagon and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Estate. However, the two-door estate vehicle, or shooting brake, is still a bit too obscure for the mainstream American motoring public. The MINI Clubman is about as close as we’ve seen lately to a two-door estate vehicle, and even that one had a third door on the side.
The Volvo P1800ES was a curiosity, built towards the end of the P1800 run for 1972 and 1973 only, with a little over 8,000 produced. The trademark glass rear hatch would go on to be copied in later Volvo hatchbacks such as the 480ES and C30. This example for sale in New York is a well sorted example in a sharp red orange color that looks idyllic against the autumn backdrop in these photos.
One of my favorite Volkswagens from the 1980s is one that you rarely see on the roads anymore. The Fox Wagon. This was an oddity in the US lineup for only a couple of years, a compact, two-door shooting brake of an estate car that was courtesy of Volkswagen of Brazil, where it was sold as the Gol. These were a bit of a reprisal of the idea of the “people’s car” for VW, a basic, no frills model offering German engineering at a discount. While the wagon was discontinued after the 1990 model year, the model range would get a refresh, carrying on with the two and four door sedan models through 1993. This 1988 Wagon for sale in Florida is a chance to sample an almost forgotten model in recent Volkswagen memory.
The Volkswagen Fox GL Wagon we featured last month is back up for sale at no reserve. For those who like their Volkswagens with a bit of South American flavor, these Fox Wagons are affordable and rather rare modern classics.
The below post originally appeared on our site June 30, 2014:
Yes, it’s not German, but from time to time, we here at GCFSB like to feature the errant unique or fast Swede. And since it’s Wagon Week, what better way to celebrate the stylish shooting brake that is the Volvo P1800ES? Designed in-house by Volvo and available for two model years only, this 1973 example represents the final year this automotive oddity was offered. The car’s most unique feature, the rear glass hatch, is a design feature that was seen years later on the 480 and C30 hatchbacks. This particular P1800ES for sale in Oregon is a two owner car, having been sourced from an estate sale from a long-time owner.
Engine: 2.0 liter inline-4
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 128,056 mi
Price: Reserve auction
This is my Volvo 1800 ES, current mileage is 128,058, and that is pretty accurate because when the speedometer went south last year I had it rebuilt without any drive time while getting repaired. I am the 2nd owner and had her for almost 2 years, mileage when I bought her was 125,662. I had been looking for an ES 4-speed with overdrive for about 3 months before coming through with this one. It was tough out there, had seen many but almost everyone had rust or rot issues and if you know these cars then you know rust can be a BIG issue. This one is rust free, no rust on the doors, no blistering at the seams, no rust or rot on the frame, floor pans, or spare tire well. It has had a repaint some time back by the original owner, paint is very nice but has some chips. I did go around the car with a magnet (as did the broker I bought it from) and found no Bondo.
Recently, Rob wrote up a pristine and well priced Z3 M Coupe and hinted that this will be a future collectable. I have to agree; they’re rare cars to see, they had a neat design, great driving characteristics and the limited production numbers guaranteed exclusivity. Like Rob, I remember well my first drive in one of these Z Coupes; it was a Imola Red Z3 M Coupe and the BMW rep said to me “I just ate my lunch, so don’t go crazy, okay?” It was a fun rocket ship in a clever package that looked like it wanted to beat you up. Great, so go grab one and wait for it to appreciate, right? Well, not so fast; while the M versions of both the Z3 and Z4 were quite desirable, there is a slightly less traveled road to take if you care to speculate. Welcome, then, to the quite rare non-M versions of both the Z coupes; today we’re looking at a Z4 3.0si Coupe and a Z3 2.8 Coupe. Let’s start with the Z4:
Model: Z4 3.0si Coupe
Engine: 3.0 liter inline-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 33,000 mi
Price: $26,900 Buy It Now
The 2008 BMW Z4 roadster comes in three models (3.0i, 3.0si, and M), and coupes come in two trims (3.0si and M). Each trim brings different engines underhood. The 3.0i is powered by a 215-horsepower, 3.0L in-line six-cylinder engine, while the 3.0si gets a more powerful, 255-horsepower version of the 3.0L; both have Valvetronic variable valve lift. The top-of-the-range M includes a 330-horsepower, 3.2L six. All three models come with a six-speed manual gearbox, but a six-speed Steptronic automatic transmission with steering-wheel shift paddles is optional on the 3.0i and 3.0si.Roadsters have a fully automatic power folding soft top, with dual-layer material, an aluminum and magnesium frame for light weight, and a heated rear window.The Z4’s proportions, with a long hood and a rearward seating position, allow for an excellent weight distribution and good dynamics for high-performance driving.
While the Beetle was lighting up the sales charts in the 1960s, Volkswagen had a whole other range of products that got a bit overshadowed by that post-war wonder. One of my favorites is the Type 3 Squareback. Two door estate vehicles have seemed to peter out in recent years, one of the few holdouts still hanging around being the MINI Clubman. But even that car has a third door on one side to assist with rear seat access.
Volkswagen developed the Type 3 to give buyers of the marque a larger choice before they decided to skip the brand for another manufacturer. These cars still carried VW’s famous rear engine layout and came in three body styles, a two-door sedan known as the Notchback, the 2-door Fastback and 2-door Squareback that we see here. Only the Fastback and Squareback were sold in the US, but many Notchbacks have made their way here in previous years. This Squareback for sale in Washington has 74,000 miles and was repainted in its original color seven years ago.
Model: Type 3 Squareback
Engine: 1.6 liter flat-4
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 74,010 mi
Price: Reserve auction
This is an excellent example. This is a 2-owner car. 74,000 actual miles. Purchased new @ Riverside Motors, Longview, WA. Engine gone through by Auth. VW Mechanic(Dealer). this car was painted in 2006. It is the original color and is NOT clear-coated nor cut & buffed. It looks as original paint did! No rust anywhere. Never wrecked. Bumpers are original/never been re-plated, if re-plated the car would be a #10. Original fuel injection–runs as new. New headliner, OE style seat covers, carpet, etc. Chrome wheels & 165×15 Michelin XZX tires. The runs, drives, & looks new.
Similar to when the auto industry got its start in the US, there used to be a plethora of manufacturers in Germany that have ceased to exist or were absorbed by larger companies. Case in point, Borgward. This company, based in the northern city of Bremen, produced vehicles under four different names: Borgward, Hansa, Goliath and Lloyd. The Goliath arm of the business was known for their small front-drive vehicles in the 1950s and 1960s, with the 1100 featuring a water-cooled horizontally opposed four cylinder engine that produced 40 bhp. A Luxus version was available that provided a bit more power by way of a second carburetor, with an output of 55bhp.
While the boxer engine alone might have seemed advanced for the time, the 1100 even offered a Saxomat clutchless transmission as an option. The Hansa 1100 was available as a two door sedan, coupe or kombi, like the 1960 model we see here for sale in Washington state. This is a marque rarely seen on these shores and it is a vehicle sure to please those who are fans of postwar German artifacts.
Model: Hansa 1100 Kombi
Engine: 1.1 liter flat-4
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Absurdly rare German station wagon with a water cooled flat four front wheel drive. Incredibly original and correct. A product of the Borgward empire. One of very, very few surviving in the world. Wonderful colour (pistachio) and kitch feel. Be the only one on your block, or indeed, your state, to own one. Actual mileage unknown.
This is the kind of classic car that is hard to put a value on, because so few come up for sale, especially in the US.…