Volvo PV 444 DS (1952)

AL-23-88 (owned from 22-05-2002 until 30-06-2005)

The next car I tried was a Volvo PV444, fairly convinced that it had the potential to become the ideal classic car for me. I found a very sound car that had just been imported from Sweden where it had been standing still for 23 years! It only had two former owners. The original engine had worn piston rings but that didn't matter as the engine was to be replaced with a B20 anyway. A PV444 has nice nostalgic looks and it should not be too difficult to install a later B20 engine for sufficient power, preferably including an AW70/71 fourspeed automatic gearbox. But would there be enough space for an automatic? I started work on a series of modifications and ended up after a couple of years with a B20F engine, twin SU HIF carbs, 120 disc brakes with booster, enlarged radiator with electric fan, custom made exhaust (1 1/2"), new brake lines (Kunifer), PV544 rear axle, PV544 electric wiper motor with PV444L linkages, 165-15 tires on original wheels (1" widened), 12V conversion, Citroen Visa seats reupholstered with original (reproduction) PV444 trim. Also an AW71 was bought from the breaker's yard, but before starting to work on that or cutting the floor of the PV, I mounted a M40 fourspeed gearbox first. Mainly to find out if the car's ride was to my liking with all those modifications. To my surprise it wasn't! Even though I had mounted a thicker anti roll bar at the front, the car appeared to be very sensitive for crosswinds, which could only be partly solved by an overhaul of the steering box (for which even e new special sized bearing had to be made). The overall ride was definitely not to my liking, which was a great disappointment. The unevitable result was that also this car had to be sold and of course with a substantial financial loss once again... The new owner had the car for six years when it became for sale agaiin and this video was made by a trader: