The Volvo PV is a series of two door, four passenger car models — the PV444 and the PV544 — made by Volvo from 1947 to 1965. During World War II's early stages, Volvo decided that a new smaller car delivering good fuel economy would assure the company's future. A raw materials shortage during the war drove home the point that an automobile should be smaller, and also complicated Volvo's ability to mass-produce the product. In 1944, when the car was finally introduced to a car-hungry public, response was very positive and orders poured in from the Swedish population. It was another three years though, in 1947, before the production was made available.
The PV444 was Volvo's first uni-body car. It was also the first Volvo in almost 20 years to come with a 4-cylinder engine. The first PV444s were powered by a 40 hp 1.4 L inline-4 engine designated the B4B, with three main bearings, overhead valves, and a single downdraft carburettor. Late in 1955, an uprated version called the B14A was given twin side-draught 1½ in SU carburettors.
By the 1957 model year, engine displacement was increased to 1.6 L and both single downdraft- B16A and twin side-draught-carburetted B16B versions were offered. Fuel economy was quite above average[who?] and performance particularly with the twin carburettor configuration was brisk. The combination of performance and durability won over many two-seat sports car drivers, allowing them a pleasurable drive in the entire family's company if desired.
In 1958, the PV544 was phased in. Subtle differences with the PV444 included the introduction of a curved one-piece windshield to replace the two panes of flat glass, a larger backlight, and a ribbon-type speedometer. The 444's 3-speed manual transmission was also supplanted by a 4-speed unit in the 544.
The next significant change occurred in 1962, when the B16 was replaced by Volvo's new B18 engine, initially developed for the P1800 sports car introduced the previous year. This 1.8 L engi...