Schneewittchensarg: 1973 Volvo 1800ES Shooting Brake: Sold?

by | Jun 2021 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Wagon Wednesday

June 30, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

June 6, 2021 update – After nearly one month of having their car listed for sale at $9,500, the private seller of this rare Volvo just lowered their asking price down to $8,750.

Schneewittchensarg is the German compound word that translates to “Snow White’s Coffin.” This was what the German automotive press referred to Volvo’s 1800ES two-door wagon when it debuted in the early 1970s.  Long considered an ugly duckling, these rare Shooting Brakes have become desired Swans among classic Volvo enthusiasts. Consequently, prices have been on the rise for the past few years.  The latest example we just spotted is a driveable project car originally listed in May 2021 on Craigslist in Kent, Washington has the less desirable automatic transmission with a revised asking price of $8,750, down from the original ask of $9,500. The Collector Car Market Review indicates the current asking price falls between this guide’s #4 “Fair” estimate of $8,200 and its #3 “Good” appraisal of $15,800.  Similarly, the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #4 “Fair” (Daily Driver) estimate of $8,475 and its #3 “Good” appraisal of $15,600 after factoring in a twenty-five percent discount for the automatic transmission.

Volvo originally developed the P1800 as a 2+2, front-engine, rear-drive touring car that lasted from its debut in 1961 through 1971.  Then in 1972, Volvo transformed the next generation into a stunning two-door wagon (known in Great Britain as a shooting brake), the 1800ES, that featured a frameless, all-glass tailgate.  Unfortunately, with stricter American safety and emissions standards looming for 1974, Volvo could not justify the considerable amount necessary to redesign the small-volume 1800 ES. Consequently, Volvo built only 8,077 examples of the ES during its short two-year production run.  At the time, the general public and motoring press alike mocked the 1800 ES design.  In Sweden, the 1800ES was nicknamed Fiskbilen, or “Fish Van” while Germans called the car Schneewittchensarg or “Snow White’s Coffin” because of the all-glass rear hatch. However, over time the styling came of age.

If you don’t mind reading the English subtitles (the narration is in Italian), the YouTube Channel Roadmantics has this nice driving experience video of a Volvo 1800ES being driven.

With prices now pushing $40K for #2 Excellent condition examples, there is a lot of potential upside in sorting this ’73 1800ES that would include replacing the rusty passenger side floor as well as repainting what appears to be a very straight exterior, save for the repairable rust around the glass hatch.

Here’s the seller’s one-sentence description:

“It is time for me to sell my 1973 1800ES. I had hoped to one day fully restore her, but don’t have the time now, nor the space to continue storing.
The engine starts and runs, and the car is drivable, though not registered and the brakes are a bit weak. There are some rust issues (of course), including a floor panel that needs replacing, but the frame feels solid (no door sagging). Automatic transmission and fuel injection. I also have a variety of parts I haven’t installed yet (including new door seals).”

Do you have a Volvo 1800ES story to share?  If so, comment below and let us know!

  1. Ernest Valtri

    I have a buddy who had a gold P1800ES… when you closed the doors it sounded like closing the hatch on a tank. Neat car.

  2. Anonymous

    I always liked this model. A little fixing and a guy would have a sweet ride or a cool restro-mod.


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