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Jim Barrett's 1964 PV544 project

I purchased the car for $500  and found it under a big oak tree in Pryor Oklahoma, USA. I first stripped the car of all chrome, windows, rubber mouldings, fenders, instrument panel, hood and rear trunk lid. I started by doing required body work, which included replacing the rear seat floor pans with hand made ones of heavier material, and applying rust stop to all other exposed metal. 

When the body work was finished, it went to the paint shop (with all the metal parts that had been removed) and received a coat of grey primer. That was sanded, and a coat epoxy primer was applied and sanded. Another coat of epoxy primer with a light coat of black on top. The black was all block sanded off back down to the yellow epoxy which was then sanded with 400 grit paper. A coat of grey sealer was then applied and sanded with 400 grit paper. The base coat of colour was applied (inside and out side of the car and all the parts) The fenders were then hung loosely on the body and the clear coat was applied to doors, hood, trunk lid, dash, tail light housings, and sanded with 600 grit paper.

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After that, and the necessary intervals for drying, two more coats of clear was applied and sanded with 1200 grit paper. Then back to the shop.  I hand made new door panels for the doors and rear side panels, rebuilt the front and rear seats and had them covered in red and black.

I refinished the instrument panel, manufactured a new glove box , tinted all the windows (except the windshield), installed all new weather stripping on doors and windows,  installed new kick panels, carpets,  and headliner. I also went thru the drive train (which was in pretty fair condition), installed new tires on original wheels (which were sand blasted and refinished). The motor has unknown mileage, but for the present it is running very good. This has been a very enjoyable 18 month project and the car gets a LOT of attention.

Update 15 Oct 2004

New photos - I have basically completed the restoration on the 544. The most noticeable change is the chrome grill surround and the front bumper. The car is doing well at the car shows-25 trophies since I started showing it last year. 

I even ran it through a classic car auction in Tulsa Oklahoma this past March and put a reserve of $15,000 (because I didn't really want to sell it) and the bid went to $14,100. I thought I was going to lose it.

The engine has very high mileage, but does not smoke or use oil, and it has not been overhauled. It has a 2 barrel Weber Carb, which I may someday change to the original SU's and I am considering putting Disc brakes on the front at some point.

Update 8 Jan 2007

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I have installed front disc brakes, new all electronic instrument panel, dual SU carbs, custom breather elements, powder coated battery cover (gel cell battery), valve cover, intake manifold, fan, fan pulley and ceramic coated exhaust manifold. also installed S/S exhaust system, and original hub caps. Also installed 1 wire alternator. More to come.

Update 8 June 2007

I sold it at the Leake Classic Car Auction in Tulsa, Oklahoma.The car sold for $20,000 which to me proves the value (on the market) of these old Volvos when restored. I hated to see it go, but have already started restoration on another just like it. Same year, but will be different color.

Jim Barrett
Grove, Oklahoma, USA 1999 - 2015