1962 544 Volvo

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The basic design work for this generation of Volvos was started in 1943. World War II interrupted, so actual production of the model 444 didn't start until 1947. Few were exported to the United States until the late 50's when production of the 544 model began (one-piece windshield and larger rear window). Starting with the 1962 models the 544 was upgraded to the B-18 engine and the interior trim appointments were improved. The last of the 544s were produced in 1965. In total 440,000 of the 444 and 544 cars were produced from 1947 to 1965.

This car was purchased used by the current owner from a Denver Volvo dealer in 1964 for $1,500. It sold new in 1962 for about $2,300. It was used as an everyday car until 1994 when it retired from active service. It has in excess of 250,000 miles.

Significant repairs:

Water pump, 1965 and again in 2002 (drat!)
Brakes, relined, three times
Shocks, 1971
Clutch, 1974
Transmission, 1975 (replaced with a used unit)
Engine overhaul, 1979
Generator, 1981
Front End rebuilt, 1983
Total ground-up total restoration, 1996/1997. This included an engine rebuilt, new synchros and layshaft for the transmission, shocks & paint.

The engine was completely overhauled in 1979 and 1996, although it was running fine on both occasions using only a quart of oil every 500-700 miles. Most of the interior is original except for front seats which have been redone. While the padded dash was replaced in the late 60s, the headliner, floor mats, trunk mat, and all the door and side panels are original. The car was repainted in 1967 and then again in 1977. Because of an accident, the front was re-painted in 1980. The major total restoration performed during 1996/1997 included three new fenders (available from Volvo Parts on a next-day basis!) and some cowl panels which had succumbed to rust.

Gas mileage is 19 mpg in town and 26-27 on the highway.