Volvo PV544 Sport

The Tun Racing adventure


Race on the ferrypier on Esbjerg harbor 2003


The project of making a Volvo PV544 racecar have been an ongoing project now for around 10 years. Started at a family reunion sometime in the 90’s where the talk circulated that a historic race had been opened in Denmark, where several classes would be largely populated by both TC and GT cars. My dad had back in the 80’s been driving a PV544 in the Danish “group A” touring around Danish raceways. The car had at that time performed extraordinarily good, won a few races here and there. So the talk came around my big brother Ulrik had an idea that he would like to drive a new Volvo.


The search started. There is no trouble in finding a Volvo 544, but racing in a standard 544 would be no wild racing match for compeditors. A more hardworking machine was needed. The Sport edition of the 544 was fitted with standard with 2 SU carburetors which made it a bit more competitive.

So where do you find a Volvo PV544 Sport? That is actually a very good answer, we have quite a lot of PV544 which the owner thought to be a Sport, but absolutely wasn’t. And we found a few which were in a bad condition. But at last in 1999 we found one in relative good condition in Sweden. A PV544 Sport from 1964



The reconstruction was done in the summer of 2000. Large parts of the general plating had to be replaced due to corrosion of various degree of severity.



My father Åge Nielsen which stood for the majority of the rebuilding process, had made preparations for the car to be a full fledged racing car, and in that reminding that there is much extra weight in a standard car. So a big analysis was made to find places and components in this car that was over dimensioned, and then cutting them a little down for optimal performance. This meant scraping all interior decoration, and taking a lot of the extra brackets of the hood and trunk lid.



Serious thought was laid down to figure out what group we should race in. For the fun of it and for optimizing reasons the decision felt upon the Group F in the National Historic classic car cup. There are better selections of tires and engines in this group than Group E which we also could participate in this car.

The most interesting part of the restoration of this PV544 and also the most challenging, have been the engine.

The standard engine is a B18 1800 ccm engine with around 90 brake horse power. Fitted with 2 SU Carburators and a single pipe exhaust.

The apparent upgrade possibilities would be to bore the engine to the maximum allowed bore of 2000 ccm, and changing the SU carburators with a couple of Weber 45. The exhaust pipe was also upgraded to a 2 pipe system.

But from the standard 75 DIN Horsepower this would only add around 20 – 25 DIN HP, not good for racing possibilities. So other additional measures had to be added to the engine as well.