Thanks for your advice on buying an 1800. I recently purchased a 1965 model. Still waiting on the title so I have only been able to "stealth" drive it. What are your thoughts about adding air conditioning to the car? I remember a company called Vintage Air that provides units for hot rods, or do you think one could salvage and adapt a later model 1800's a/c to the B18 engine?
Air conditioning was a dealer-added option on early P1800s, including the '65, in exactly the same way as the present-day Honda Civic. You test drive a car without a/c, and if you want it, they install it at the dealership. A fair number of early 1800s were sold with air conditioning, especially here in Texas. I believe it is not difficult to come up with serviceable used parts from a salvage yard. Volvo 122s of the same vintage used the same kind of air conditioners. Hoses can be fabricated and installed by any good a/c shop or hydraulic hose supplier.
If you decide to purchase from a salvage yard, make sure you get all three of the brackets to hold the compressor to the engine and both brackets to hold the evaporator to the underside of the dash. Use a new receiver-dryer. And be prepared to do a fair amount of creative engineering. This is more than a casual weekend's work. Possible sources for parts are Don Thibault in Massachusetts, 508-888-9715, or the Revolvstore in Arizona, 800-28VOLVO. The Revolvstore does not carry P1800 parts, but as I said, parts from a 122 will work.
I suppose Vintage Air or another company could come up with a brand new system for your car. If you can afford it, and you're not too picky about authenticity, I say go for it. -Glenn.
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