Matthews 1971 Volvo P1800E Coupe

Matthews 1971 Volvo P1800E Coupe


The Matthews family acquired this swoopy Swedish coupe in 1973 from the original owner. Mr. Matthews, a school teacher, drove the car daily for a number of years. The car went endured a life of high school parking lots, teen-aged driver training and all of the rigors of family car experiences. The car was retired from active service around 1991. For the first ten years of its retirement it lounged under an oak tree in Fallbrook, California. After a succession of family custodians, Matt took pity on it and brought it indoors for another 5 years of indoor storage. Deciding that the car deserved a new lease on life, and realizing that the restoration of this classic might be best accomplished in the hands of trained professionals, Matt sought out the services of Hot Rods & Custom Stuff. He and Randy decided that a full, from the ground up, restoration was the right thing to do.  There was no time-line set for the restoration and it would be fit in between projects with tighter schedules.


The restoration included; stripping the paint from the entire unibodied car, including the underside; full refurbishment of the suspension, brakes and steering systems; a complete rewiring of the entire electrical system; the rebuilding of the 130 hp fuel-injected engine and 4-speed manual transmission; bodywork to repair all of the dings, dents and corrosion endured in its past life; and finally, a vibrant red coat of paint to accentuate the sensuous curves of this Swedish beauty.


The car’s engine was brought to life after 20 years of hibernation on September 9th, 2011 at Hot Rods & Custom Stuff and it purrs like a kitten. The refurbishment of the pioneering Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection system was a challenge due to limited documentation being available, but was ably handled by the Hot Rods & Custom Stuff technicians. The video included here shows how easily this engine starts and how smoothly it runs.




The final tasks will be the completion of the interior installation, and the adding of the brightwork. This project illustrates the versatility of the talented folks at Hot Rods and Custom Stuff and the top-tier quality of the work that they produce.


If you have a project that may have been languishing for too long (or a recently acquired gem in the rough) you want to see done, and done right, give Hot Rods & Custom Stuff a call.