1965 Volvo 1800S

Previous Work

Processing the rear seat support. Do it while it's apart because there won't likely be another opportunity.

Steve fitting the new interior panels.


All rubber parts were replaced on this car. Rubber deteriorates and becomes unable to fulfill its function. Here you see the light seals, bumper bracket grommets and door latch seals. As these seals loose their function, water leaks into places which the seals were designed to keep out and damages other components. Periodically seals need replacement to preserve other systems. Even if restoration isn't undertaken.

Grille seal, trunk gasket, rear 1/4 stone guards, "D" window gasket. These rubber parts keep water out of the body and prevent stone damage to the paint. Both functions are important to the car's longevity.

Fuel gauge, rear axel bearing and seal, brake hoses, battery terminal, windshield wiper gaskets.

The function of some of these parts is self-explanatory but some are far less obvious. Brake lines for example atrophy from softening of the rubber on the inside of the hose by chemical action of the brake fluid. When this happens movement of brake fluid thru the brake hose is impeded sometimes in either or both directions. Braking may become hard and the brakes can get stuck on. Either situation is bad. For this and other reasons, all rubber brake hoses should be replace periodically.  Windshield wiper gaskets when they get old and deformed, offer a direct conduit for water to enter the passenger compartments. Water leaking into the passenger floors will exacerbate the rusting process.

Parking/directional lenses and housings, Volvo insignia. Restoration can be defined many ways. I define it as bringing something back to its original (as built) look and function. Along the way it takes a huge effort from all involved: the customer, the technicians, the subcontractors (machine shop, plating shop, glass shop, upholstery shop, paint shop and parts suppliers) to achieve that goal. With every repair there are usually multiple choices possible. I try to make appropriate decisions based on quality and cost effectiveness. Bright parts like these tail light housings could be replated but it is more cost effective to replace them with new. The lenses could be polished to make them look new, but the time it takes vs. replacing with new does not justify the expense. If new were not so available, or if the new parts were not a suitable replacement, then reconditioning the originals would be the best alternative. 

This sill plate (actually a door seal retainer/scuff plate) is a perfect reproduction in steel or the anodized aluminum original. Unfortunately the choice of material for the repro is poor and the originals are seldom in reconditionable condition so I opted to have the repros nickel plated. A better choice than paint - and an approximation of he finish of the original.

Seat runners - almost always bad in some respects - not available new. So the new stock of usable used units is decreasing with every job. Door handles - almost always worn out where they impinge on the door guts. There is a repair kit which takes the patience of job and the skill of Houdini to execute properly. Used is a better option when available.  Emergency brake control rod - the customer actually used the ebrake. The car must have lived in San Francisco. The road was almost completely worn out and was replaced with a used part. Floor seals - finally available new - yeah! Sunvisor clip - I tried reconditioning this one and then I found new.  The temp sensor was replaced with new.

Almost ready for the road......

Rear seat area reconditioned luggage straps. Reproduction rugs and side panels and reconditioned original seats blend together to give a very nice original look.

All hoses and tubes were replaced with new. Forty year old parts even if they may still be serviceable will not likely last much longer

Seal (interior 1/4) panels. Again, thanks to VP Autoparts all the vinyl interior panels for this car are being reproduced in can't-tell-them-from-original quality. In doing a restoration it is foolhardy to retain any soft parts. Vinyl ages fast and even if it is okay today, it won't be for long. Window fuzzies - a must on any restoration. Their function is more then looks. The accelerator pedal mounts to the floor pull through the rubber and then the gas pedal "goes for a ride." I've had this happen on this model while driving - not fun.


This speedo with cracked lens was replace with a good working and looking used unit from our inventory. They're notorious for leaking.

You'd think such as seemingly innocuous item as a seat belt would be a big item in the grand scheme of restoration.  But in this case the devil is surely in the details This shows seat belts in there as-found condition. The buckles and attaching and adjusting hardware are rusted and usually marginally functional. The belting is always dirty and usually stiff and scratchy. Since in many States seat belt use is now mandatory having comfortable and functional seat belts is not only useful, it is the law. In some cases early design seat belts were hard to adjust and the belting material was far from the supple comfortable material it is today.


The first step in restoring seat belts is to disassemble the system and recondition the many pieces of  hardware.  The buckle assembly seen in the previous picture cannot be disassembled and were replaced with excellent used.


These luggage straps were as most are found, hiding under the rear seat. The leather was dry and badly cracked. Not much longer and they would be broken. As with seats in all customers' cars we clean them at every visit and recondition the leather with the very best product on the market, Griots Leather Care.


This shows the remarkable transformation of these straps.


One of the weaknesses of the classics was poor windshield wipers; we've come up with a solution to the problem. These amco fully adjustable wiper arms allow the blades to park and operate parallel to the trim so the whole windshield is wiped. These ingenious arms also have a length adjustment.






Perfect reproduction parts in the right hands allow for a perfect finished job.

These seat belts are completely reconditioned.



Last Updated 5/18/2011