Volvo - 544
In 1958 the PV444 was winding down its production run and the PV544 was just beginning. Looking very much like what it replaced, the subtle differences between the two consisted primarily of the introduction of a curved one-piece windshield to replace the two panes of flat glass. The rear glass was slightly enlarged and the dashboard was endowed with a "modern" ribbon type speedometer.
Volvo PV544 1961
Tiefenbronn by Pforzheim
Volvo 544 1960
Volvo PV 544
Volvo 544 1956
Volvo PV 544
Forsten b. Munich
The 3-speed manual transmission used from the beginning was also supplanted by a 4-speed manual transmission. The next important change occurred in 1962. The proven B16 engine family was retired and a new engine, initially developed for the P1800 sports car introduced the year before, was now fitted in the car. This 1.8 litre engine sported a five main-bearing crankshaft which further perpetuated the now firmly established reputation for durability enjoyed by Volvo. Single and twin carburettor versions (B18A and B18D respectively) were offered. The U.S. market saw very few B18A cars since the United States' public demanded performance and compared to the V8 engines common these "performance" versions still delivered excellent economy.
Another significant change that parallels the advent of the B18 engine was the switch from 6-volt electrics to 12-volt electrics. It should be mentioned that this car was also made as an estate or wagon version, that was known initially as a P445 and later as a P210. Regardless of designation, the wagons were commonly referred to as "Duetts". The 544 enjoyed a few more years in production, including a minor trim change for its final year: 1965.
Exactly 440,000 units were built during the 18-year run. The car, which had endeared itself to a majority of its owners, prompted Volvo to run self-deprecating advertisements (in late 1965 and early 1966) imploring these people to not be so angry with the company. The company wanted to remind customers that there were also other fine models with the Volvo name on them such as the Volvo 122, offered in 2, 4, and estate models as well as the Volvo P1800 (by then called Volvo 1800S) sports coupé.