Monday, October 22, 2007

Volvo: History Repeats Itself. Beautifully

1973 Volvo P1800ES (top) and 2008 Volvo C30
In the never ending battle between form and function, automobile designers too often create three-quarters of a beautiful car but blow it in the end. Literally.

That is why my esthetic eye has always appeciated station wagon and hatchback treatments of sedans and coupes.
To that eye, there have been few more beautiful treatments of car rear ends than the Volvo P1800ES of the early 1970s. A mere handful were made and production was ended when the Swedish automaker needed more assembly line capacity for its forthcoming 200 series.
I was fortunate enough to spend some time behind the wheel of a bright red 1973 P1800ES, which despite some engineering tweaks merely looked like a sporty ride but really wasn't.
Now comes the new Volvo C30, a handsome miss that is sporty and shares with the P1800ES a daring all-glass hatch.

It will cost about $26,000, about the same price as a perfectly restored ES.


jj mollo said...

So maybe you liked the Gremlin?

Shaun Mullen said...

No comparison: Squat vs. sleek. Bleech!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for bringing up the parallel.

C30 is indeed both very solid and stylish car, handling slippery roads beautifully - but sporty it isn't. It 'thinks' for too long before obeying the press on the gas pedal.