1965 Volvo 544

It's ready to drive...

Recently available reproduction hub caps compliment the restored and powder coated wheels. Balance weights are placed on the backs of the wheels for aesthetics

Even in the rain, the beauty of a 'driver'-not too nice to be driven


Click for first page of work

12/13/07: Doors after sandblasting and painting

Window trim, sandblasted and painted

Door opening, back to serviceable

Driver side rear rocker panel end-hole repaired and painted to match

12/17/07: The car had previously been inhabited by rodents, who caused a lot of damage! These prevented the rocker panels from draining and flooded the floors...which caused them to rust out

12/27/07: Windshield opening-badly rusted and leaking...before repair

Detail of Windshield opening after sandblasting-bad rust and perforation

Rear window opening, after sand blasting

12/31/07: Spraying out the windshield seat

Final paint-front and rear window areas repaired


1/10/08: Fitting the new headliner

1/29/08: Passenger side rear window: removing rust, in primer

Ashtrays and rear view mirror sandblasted and painted

2/05/08 Redone flip-out window areas. They were badly rusted and poorly refinished from previous work

Rear flip out window window ledges after sandblasting and blending to match-simply can't tell that work has been done here. This area was previously very rusty. (Passenger side)

Same, driver side

3/4/08: Almost a driver again

Finally, putting the finishing touches on the doors-all done now!


3/18/08: Nearly all of this 544's door hardware was spent

The hat shelf with new speaker enclosures. The first step in reassembling the interior. This process is sequential, like pick up sticks

The seat belts after laundering-fabric had 40 years of ground-in dirt but came out like new.

Seat belt mounting and buckle pretty rough-but very difficult and costly to have re-plated



Flip out windows are now rust free and they function nicely

Although this car was a partial restoration, some aspects of it, like the interior, will be like new

Finally, all the details come together


Restored door-new door upholstery panel, new matching locks, used/replaced handles, new "fuzzies" and much labor to make this door a thing of function and beauty.

Lots of effort went into making this seat belt functional and attractive again.




Closing in...

The trunk area: the last bastion of rust

The trunk area should be sandblasted and painted to preserve it. This is such a rust prone area

All under the hood rubber hoses are being replaced for reliability

New muffler-its quiet now

Reconditioned fuel tank and improved exhaust hangers

New meets old: this is a "functional restoration, or a "driver". What needs to be done is being done. Rust on the suspension parts, even though they may not look great they will never have a functional impact on drivability.

Restored sub frame end was rusted away before the repair work was done

All clutch linkage was refurbished-new linkage and bushings as needed

New floors as seen from under-built just like the original floors-welded in place, painted, seam sealed and undercoated.



3/19/08: Rusted out  battery box removed


The remains of that rusted out battery box


Finished battery box

Sill plates before reconditioning

Old rear suspension bushings, hoses, thermostat, and clamps

Firewall mat installation

3/24/08: Igor getting ready to install new V-O-L-V-O

Priming the rust holes before reinstalling the grille: the grille had to be removed in order to replace the horn...

Passenger side head light retainer buckets-marginal but serviceable

Same...passenger side

Old steel head light trim rings-almost rusted through

New style stainless head light trim rings being processed

Old steering wheel surround

Replacement steering wheel surround (still available!!)

New style head light trim

3/25/08: Interior parts installation in process

Installing the floor mats in this car is a surprisingly tedious process. The fit needs to be perfect. New firewall sound deadener, shift boot and hump-mat.

Restored sill plates

Rear seat and kick board

Heater distribution box, new distribution hoze

3/26/08: New V-O-L-V-O

All back together...

Junk parts. the directional switch was found to be broken, the horn would not work...nor the horn ring

Broken directional switch

New functional hood latch

Hood latch assembly in process

3/31/08: Broke busted leavers cant be trusted. Its from years of rear end bashing.

This car-almost ready for the road-is simply charming

Reworking the fender trim-all of it was badly dented. Re-arching and polishing used chrome

Driver side front fender trim done

Those little black gobs of strip caulk help keep dirt from coming back through the fender holes and discoloring the paint

Charming from any angle

Passenger side done

4/07/08: Rock deflector for rear fender, as found on car

Rock deflector removed from Passenger side rear fender

5/15/08: As found trunk with old loose sound deadener

For all the hard life this trunk area has seen there is minimal rust through

Trunk seal channel-the sponge rubber seal absorbs and holds moisture and rusts this area badly over time-rust must be blasted out-previous work just covered it up and exasperated the rusting problem.

The trunk area with all of the sound deadener removed

Hit hard and fitted poorly and rusted-the trunk area is getting a re-do to stabilize the well established rust

All the areas of the car are completely masked off except the areas to be blasted-important to prevent sand from getting elsewhere in the vehicle-very difficult to remove once there...

Good preparation is key...

Last of the rust-blasting the interior of the trunk

No more rust-a fresh start in this most rust prone area of the car

5/20/08: Trunk floor rust section cut out

New trunk floor fabricated and being fitted


New trunk floor pan welded in place

Original hole in trunk to the left of photo repaired by welding

Body work on rear valance in process


Trunk floor primed and seam sealed

5/27/08: Rear valence and trunk interior repair work done-primed and ready for paint

Trunk lid refitted to body work


Rear valence and trunk lid ready for final painting

Inside trunk: renewed

Rear valence-good again

Rear bumper attachment area-no more rust

Reassembling trunk parts

Fitting bumper and trunk gasket

6/03/08: New clutch installed

Transmission cross-member stud is missing-this was not discovered until the transmission was pulled-rather than removing the car interior to get to the stud, we were able to drill a new hole in the adjoining material.

Clutch job finished-with new transmission cross-member bolts

Bad u-joint

Although this driveshaft has been reconditioned, the u-joints were non-greasable-and had stiffened up. We replace the bad ones with serviceable joints so they can be kept working well indefinitely

Old "spring" type clutch-hasn't been used in Volvo for 30 years-replaced with a much more user friendly diaphragm type clutch.

Grease fitting nipple had broken off-as they always do-the correct system is to have plugs which get fittings installed-the fitting greased-and the grease fitting removed and replaced with the plug. A complicated process, but if performed, the need for u-joint replacement is precluded

6/24/08: This wonderfully simple wiper mechanism is primitive by modern standards. As long as the rubber seal doesn't leak and allow moisture inside the car, the riggin can work indefinitely. But bringing a worn out linkage back to proper function is a lot of work...

Reconditioned wiper pivots, and ready to be put back into service



Updated 7/16/08