Cutest Car Yet? 1962 Volvo 544

Without looking, this could be the oldest car featured yet on this blog. Older cars in the $3Kish price range are normally projects, undrivable, or both, and aren’t usually as usable on today’s roads. But getting into the early 60s, with the advent of disc brakes, more modern suspensions, and unibody construction becoming more and more common. Most cars by this point, even with more modest 4-cylinder engines found in cars like Volvos, are powerful enough to keep up with modern traffic.

Starting in 1962, Volvo started putting its B18 1.8 liter, 5 main bearing engine in the 544. Cars were additionally upgraded to a modern 12-volt electrical system. Larger taillights also add to the safety of 1960s cars. US-market cars mostly got twin carburetor engines with 90hp, and performance upgrades are readily available, even today, to push these engines up to 200hp and beyond. Listed in Springfield, MO, this “CUTE” 1962 544 is priced at $3500.

1962 Volvo 544 left

The dark red paint and early-style hubcaps and wheels make this car look quite handsome. The paint and chrome seem to have a decent shine, and the mudflaps give it some rally style that will make you want to throw on some knobby tires, bright lights on a lightbar in front of the grill, topped off with a spotlight and sponsor stickers.

1962 Volvo 544 front

This car won’t get looks for being a weird furrin’ car in the smaller towns across America, since it looks a lot like a post-war domestic. The badge on the grill seems to say B18, but like with many European cars with long production lives, it was likely upgraded to a later B20 out of a 122.

1962 Volvo 544 rear

It’s remarkably clean for the price – make sure to give it a thorough going-over before laying out the readies. Beyond the Volvo badge, what do the other badges say? 544 and B18? Looks like this would be a great touring car – big trunk, decent power from a sturdy engine, and those comfortable Volvo seats. The seller says he would not be afraid to drive it anywhere, and suggests it would even make a very good everyday car.

1962 Volvo 544 interior

Seats, headliner, and door panels have all been redone and look respectable. However, it does look as if a new carpet kit is in order. That said, it seems parts are not hard to source for these older Volvos with their loyal following. However, with new tires, brakes, fuel pump, and front & rear window gaskets, you can probably get some miles under the wheels before you need to avail yourself of those supplies!


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8 Responses to “Cutest Car Yet? 1962 Volvo 544”

  1. Leslie Wong Says:

    I don’t see many of these on the road anymore, but I saw a beat-up, black plate 544 last week in Berkeley, California, just cruising along. It reminded me of a 544 (that had a broken rear suspension) that I had a chance to buy in the early 70’s for $375.

  2. Essex Says:

    I am looking for a good Volvo B544 B18 to ship to Australia. Can you tell me the best way to find one in the USA? I will no doubt need some of the more common spares such as those you mention in your blog. How are these found in the USA?

    • Chris Keen Says:

      I’m not much of an authority on these, just commenting on cars in which I’m interested. That said, for finding cars my top sources are craigslist and ebay, and you might try looking for a US-based forum as well. I think the Volvo community is biggest on the West and Northeast coasts, so that’s where I’d look first.

    • Jon Lipman Says:

      Hey Essex..I have one for sale here in Santa Barbara Ca.

      • Brigette Buynak Says:

        Hi there- I’m looking for a used Audi or Volvo at a reasonable price. Do you know of any cars? My Mom. Glorianna, suggested that I contact you. She took her Volvo to you for years. Please give me a call at 687-6319.
        Thanks! Brigette

      • Chris Keen Says:

        Hi – I’m many things, but I’ve never been a Volvo mechanic…. sorry I can’t help.

  3. KawaiiKimJongIl Says:

    Damn right it is! I own a 544 myself and I’m trying to put it back to shape! It hasn’t been driven for 25 years

  4. steve Says:

    ive got a 1962 b18 544 that I want to restore haven’t had any problems finding parts yet

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