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Future Cars Blog: The Volvo Philip

Saturday, February 15, 2020 - Megan Russell

Quite possibly the most popular and first of the Volvo Concept Cars was the Volvo Philip

Now whether you've heard this name because it is quite literally a persons name which is rather uncommon, or because it was the first Volvo Concept Car, chances are you know exactly what we are talking about. 

The sleek 1952 Volvo Philip roughly resembles what became the Volvo PV of the time. The Volvo Philip was smaller and sportier than the Volvo Amazon that would follow after the early Volvo PV as well. 

The Volvo Philip1952. Determined to initiate exports to the USA, Volvo chief Assar Gabrielsson’s idea was that Volvo should sell an American-inspired model. The Philip was a bigger car with embryonic fins and was powered by a V8 engine. Although an attractive creation, it was ultimately the PV, and later the Amazon (known as the P120 in the USA), which was a success in the transatlantic market.

- Volvo Cars

It was designed for the American market, and was fitted with a prototype V8 engine called the B8B. The Volvo B8B V8 produced roughly 120 hp (89 kW) at 4000 rpm. The same V8 entered Volvo production in 1956, and was used for the Volvo Snabbe truck as well as for boats. It was known for being strong and reliable, but also for a high fuel consumption. Production of the engine ended in 1973.The period correct wheels where also fitted with white wall tires to give it that classic American Car touch of the time. The tailfins were also a tough of American muscle of the time. Overall, the American automotive styling of the time was a huge factor in the styling of this Volvo Concept. 

The designer was Jan Wilsgaard who also, with no surprise, designed the Volvo Amazon. These two models are so similar in styling that you could consider the Amazon as a obvious predecessor to the Philip. 

The Philip was decidedly cancelled by the Volvo board and never got to see production. Only one Philip was ever made. It is now preserved at the Volvo Museum in Gothenburg where you can go and see it and the rest of the heritage line up of Volvo Cars. 

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