Irv Gordon's parts replacement for his 1966 Volvo P1800

DN Staff

July 25, 2007

3 Min Read
Irv Gordon's parts replacement for his 1966 Volvo P1800

As promised, here is how Irv Gordon has maintained his 1966 Volve P1800 with more 2.6 million miles. You’ll be surprised at how many parts are original. Let’s see Consumer Reports match the testing in this reliability endurance contest. That the engine was only rebuilt once at 680,000 miles blows me away!

Hi John,

Just to remind you what an 1800 looks like I have attached a picture of it for you. This is the same model Volvo that Roger Moore drove in the "Saint" series on TV back in the 60-70’s. As a matter or fact, his (Roger Moore’s) personal 1800 now belongs to fellow in Virginia and has had it restored completely.

My car is quite original considering the mileage. Volvo Parts Dept. has made a log of what has been replaced and at what mileage. Almost everything on the car seems to last an infinitely long time which is why I use only OEM replacement parts. To give you an idea:

The engine has been rebuilt once at 680,000 miles..completely. The head has not been off since and that was in 1978. I had the work done by the same dealer that sold me the car in 1966 and they still service it today. I had it done as preventive maintenance as I never heard of an engine that could last that long.

Transmission has had the 3rd gear syncro replaced as well as the front and rear oil seals.

 Brake rotors have been replaced once and the rear drums are still original.

Clutch and throw out bearing gets replaced approx. every 450,000 miles as needed.

Carburetors get rebuilt and throttle shafts get rebushed every 900,000 miles

One new starter motor

Two fuel pumps (first pump was changed at 1, 251,000 miles)

Three water pumps

Shocks, bushings, tie rods, etc. are replaced as needed…also at very high mileage…usually over 400,000 miles

Front seats have been recovered twice ( I have no garage and the sun has a tendency to dry out the leather after a while). The rest of the interior is all original

Speedometer gets serviced by Smiths Instruments ( Nisonger Corp.) approximately every 100,000 miles…cleaned, lubricated and calibrated)

All gauges are original including the AM-FM radio

Sheet metal is original except for the rocker panels(rust), jacking struts (rust) and the rear panel due to an accident. The chrome has been redone about 20 years ago and the nose grille surround was replaced due to an accident in 1987.

Original radiator was damaged in the same accident in 1987…and I am on my second radiator.

Heater core and control switch have been replaced once.

Tires are replaced about every 100,000 miles and usually I need brake pads at about the same mileage. ( I use Bridgestone Tires)

Oil gets changed every 3500 miles and the rest of the service is done according to the owners manual.

Brake Master Cylinder and Clutch Master and Slave units have been replace twice each.
Brake vacuum Booster has been replaced once.

That is about all I can think of right now. If you have any further questions…feel free to drop a line. Always willing to help out. Many of the parts are still original….doors, fenders, hood, trunk…all locks, switches, wiring, distributor, overdrive, drive shaft, axles, wheels, wiper mechanism, window washer pump and bottle, horn, seat belts, and steering box. Sorry, that is all I can think of at this time.

Hope this helps clear up your questions.

Best wishes,


Sign up for the Design News Daily newsletter.

You May Also Like