Volvo means 'I'm Rolling' in Latin, and the arrowed Circle is merely the ancient chemical symbol for iron, a circle with an arrow pointing diagonally upwards to the right. On the 14th of April, a large door opened at a factory on the island of Hisingen, Gothenburg.  Out rolled the first ever production Volvo- an open tourer with a four-cylinder engine, its model name is ÖV4.
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The new tourer is priced at 4,800 kronor, and the later PV4 saloon version will cost 1,000 kronor more.  The aim is to build 500 of each model, but Swedish customers prove harder to win round than expected.  Only 297 are sold in the first year.  The brand's founders, managing director Assar Gabrielsson and technical director Gustaf Larson, are to remain at the helm of the company until the mid 1950s.

In 1943 the company built a number of prototypes of its "peacetime cars".  The larger PV60 was intended as the replacement for the PV53-PV56 models.  The smaller PV444 will prove much more significant to the company.  Following many trials of different engine types, the decision is taken to use a four cylinder, overhead valve engine with a displacement of 1.4 litres for the PV444.

The PV444 and PV60 went on show in September 1944 at a major exhibition of Volvo products in Stockholm.  The ten-day event attracts almost 150,000 people.  Orders are taken for the PV444 at the same price as for the very first Volvo in 1927: 4,800 kronor.  In the course of two weeks, 2,300 people place orders for a PV444, although it will take until 1947 for deliveries to begin.  In terms of engineering, the PV60 is a direct descendant of the pre-war Volvos, a solid, conventional model.


With sales increasing fast, the 100,000th PV444 was made in January 1956.  In spring this model is exhibited at the motor show in New York, and by summer a hundred or so American dealers have signed up to sell it.  But the big new product of the year was the Volvo Amazon or P120 series.  The name Amazon cannot be used beyond Scandinavia, however, because it has already been registered on the continent by the motorcycle manufacturer Kreidler.  In most export markets, names such as Volvo 121 or Volvo 122S (for one Sport version) were the norm for this series.

The Volvo Amazon went into production in 1957 with anchorages for two point seat belts in the front seats as standard.  Production of the Volvo Sport is stopped, and 1957 was the last year when the PV444 was made. 


Early in 1960, the two-seater P1800 sports coupe was announced at the motor show in Brussels and went into production in 1961.  This car achieved fame as the chosen car of the Simon Templar in the TV programmes 'The Saint'.


Source: Wikipedia Volvo Article

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