I must say that the idea of a two-door station wagon has always been appealing, but it’s rare enough that companies can pull it off with success. I imagine that the closest things we have to those now are sports SUVs and of course, small two-door hatchbacks. Way back when however, there was another contender: the 1971 Volvo 1800ES. Designed by Frua in Italy, with the help of a Swedish designer, the 1800ES has all the right lines in the right places, and despite the fact that it’s over 40 years old, it still looks modern and current. Even its protruding steel and chrome bumpers mesh well within the line of the car, something that was notoriously difficult to accomplish.
Fast and elegant, the Volvo 1800ES Sportswagon was powered by a 2-liter, straight-four engine producing 130 horsepower. The 1800ES could boast a 112 miles per hour top speed, and a 0-60 acceleration time of 9.9 seconds, which was quite spectacular for the time, especially for such a limited number of horsepower! The engine was also noted for its fuel frugality, something quite notable in the time of the Oil crisis.
The Volvo 1800ES carried its bulk beautifully, even better than the coupe, and did so without sacrificing the driving enjoyment which was a hallmark of the model. It remained in production until 1973.