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Not the Volvo-Chevy Swap You were Expecting

Tim Odell January 7, 2014 For Sale 25 Comments

As recently as 10 years ago I would’ve assumed a passing was of US origin. They lines just look so classically American, while the scale gives their home continent away. That, along with their tie-ups with Ford over the years leaves me OK with Detroit power plant swaps. In this case, we see the from an S10 swapped in, backed by a 700R4 automatic. Ok, not the most thrilling combo, but still a certain upgrade over the the car originally came with.

This capture captures the essence of what we want to feature: something different, kinda crappy, but potentially awesome and cheap. This will never be a prize-winning show car, nor will it be the fastest anything ever, but the seller’s taken what was likely a crusher-bound classic and upgraded it with a number of meaningful tweaks that get the job done and nothing more: fiberglass rust repair, four-wheel discs, 2-speed electric wipers, etc. On the other hand, it’s a rolling mile-long to-do list, with a few mandatory items at the top (e.g. leaking brake fluid, front end wobble, hideous rear wheels). Might as well as a swap to the list while we’re at it.

1958 Volvo PV 444 interior

It’s sitting at $2500 as I type this, which might be a steal or a total rip-off depending on a million details to be revealed in an in-person inspection. I nominate our other Bay Area Hoon to go take a look, what say you Jim?

  • Sjalabais

    How quick might this be? Could be a nice car with some work. This summer I was indecisive when I had the chance to pick up an overhauled PV544 with a B230FX engine. It was much prettier than this one and still dirt cheap. I regret not owning it today.

  • calzonegolem

    Those rear wheels are a crime against humanity.

  • dukeisduke

    Were those headers made in high school welding class? What's stunning to me (and had me confused at first) in the lede photo is how much the door and rear quarter look like those on a Beetle. I'd never noticed that. Also, the seller couldn't be bothered to blow the leaves off of it?

    • GTXcellent

      Nah, the leaves let us potential buyers know that he's serious about selling this fine machine.

      All kidding aside, I dig this. I like his motor swap, and there's nothing wrong with a little 'glass repair job if it's done right – much stronger than Bondo. I hate plain steel wheels, but I think they'd actually look good on this (or at least better than the abomination that's on the back right now).

    • calzonegolem

      There's a guy in town that has a couple of these in his yard. Someone always want to "Punch buggie" me over them.

      I keep explaining to them that they are Volvos but I don't think that it is relevant to them any longer.

  • dukeisduke

    Looking at all that insulating wrap on the exhaust, I'd say the owner should hire one of those TV personal injury lawyers and pursue a mesothelioma claim.

  • "…the essence of what we want to feature: something different, kinda crappy, but potentially awesome and cheap."

    The Redusernab. Long may it wave.

    • Zaxbys

      Anyone else think this needs to be the tagline of Lemons too?

      Anyone else think Lemons is trying to take over the 'verse?

      • Nope. We have new-car news on Fridays.

    • BlackIce_GTS

      That's better than the one I had;
      "a community of people who have become bored with cars that work properly."

  • What really won this car over in my heart were the assorted white-pen labeled relays in the engine bay. No effort to hide them or make them pretty, with enough thought put in to just label them what they are.

    The rear axle is from an S-10, which is a 5 on 4.5" pattern, hence the crappy 90s Mustang wheels. I'm guessing the front is a different pattern.

    • Those aren't Mustang wheels, they just look like the 15" tri-spokes found on mid-'90s models.

      IIRC, the S10 (and most other GM RWD cars) are 5 x 4.75", vs. the 5 x 4.5" used by the Mustang and other RWD Fords.

      • Dang, you're right.Then someone actually intentionally picked out those wheels. Terrible.

        • Your theory regarding different lug patterns front vs. rear is probably correct, though.

  • Not sure whether to be disappointed or relieved that the MO plates are a red herring.

    • Perhaps they just indicate that he's in a "Show-Me State of Mind."
      (with apologies to Billy Joel)

  • ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq

    Oh man that's awesome! It's got the tiny rear window and lights, split glass, fuses up front, even it looks like with the swap there is room for the feet still. But why is Jeep Jeff selling it and why did he keep it secret for so long?

    • jeepjeff

      I laughed. But it isn't mine. The giveaway is the GM power train. If I had done this, I'd have started with a Dakota instead of an S10. (I am on team MOPAR/AMC, with a soft spot for Ford and a chip on my shoulder over GM. I respect folks who buy stuff from the General, and their drive trains are the best part of their cars. For various personal reasons, I won't buy GM cars and I won't use GM parts.)

      EDIT: OTOH, these old Volvos are going on the list of possible chassis/shell combinations for a future project car.

  • 0ToTuttiFrutti

    Does anyone else see a bitchin' rat rod in this heap?

    • Carter

      Does everything have to be a Rat Rod?

    • I'm deducting three points from your score. One for using the term "rat rod," another for using the word "bitchin'", a third for using the latter to describe the former.

      • 0ToTuttiFrutti

        Wow. Smacked down by the Comment Cops. Deduct all the points you want. Ratrod ratrod ratrod ratrod bitchin bitchin bitchin bitchin.

        • FuzzyPlushroom

          Fifteen bucks, little man, put that shit, in my hand.

          [ W-xKUU5sWS4 ]

          (Just as NSFW as you'd expect, if you aren't familiar.)

  • Come on, the brake fluid leak from an unknown location isn't a problem until it's a problem, know what I mean? Just drive it until the leak gets worse, then it will be easier to find! Plus, you'll likely get a chance to practice your e-brake turns!

  • R Henry

    Engine swaps are always fun to think about….but take a look at that top radiator hose. I think I smell some overheating…..



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