1965 Volvo 544

 

This PV544 was sold by William Berg Volvo in Easton, PA, on July 7, 1965, to a man from Emmaus, PA.  Less than a year later it was sold again for $1875.00 to a woman from Drexel Hill, PA who enjoyed the car until 1995.  When Bill and Nancy (Stillman) Bingman learned about the car in July 2009, they promptly bought it and took it home.  Despite the age, it still had only 64,325 original miles along with a consistent maintenance record. In fact, it included receipts for parts over the years that bear Bill Bingman's signature as the Parts Manager of Stillman Volvo.
 
Of the 440,000 Volvo PVs built over 18 years, 160,000 were exported and 280,000 stayed in Sweden where they can still be frequently seen on Swedish roads today.  The PV 444 and the PV 544 were never available in a right-hand drive or with four doors or with a clock.  New for this 544 F Model in 1965 were silver-colored wheels with oval cooling inlets and new hubcaps with a black field in the middle around a 'V'.  Interestingly, the PV 544 was a highly successful competition car in both rallying and racing, with several championship titles to its name.  With all its rally successes behind it, the sporty characteristics were heavily emphasized in the American market.  To quote the US catalogue of 1960: "Only a Volvo combines the qualities of a racing thoroughbred with those of a safe, economical and comfortable family car".  On October 20, 1965, the last 544 model was built and saved by Volvo and is in the Volvo museum in Gothenburg, Sweden. It was the only Black Sport PV 544 model ever built.

Young's Auto Body in West Chester did a tremendous job with the body restoration which turned out to be quite extensive.  The car was repainted in its original ruby red color, while Bill used his parts procurement skills to locate a remarkable number of new moldings, weather-strips and interior parts to complete the project.  In early August 2011 the car was trucked back to Stillman Volvo in order for the mechanical work to be finished.   The engine and transmission had been pulled 18 months earlier and were in desperate need of reconditioning as well.  After a great deal of painstaking cleanup and recon work, it was now up to the old Volvo technicians (Woody, Ed and Rob) to try to remember how to put the drive-train back together.  Fortunately, everything did come together without too much difficulty and the car was back on the road just days before the 'Big Day'.  Bill's son-in-law and grandson completed the finishing touches just in time for Bill & Nancy to drive the car to their combined 75th birthday & 55th anniversary party on August 29, 2011.