HomeThe MarketVolvo showcases past and present at Techno Classica

Volvo showcases past and present at Techno Classica


Volvo revisits the Art Deco era with its display this week at Techno Classica, the world’s largest classic car showcase taking place in Essen, Germany. Featured will be a 1935 Volvo PV36 once owned by co-founder Gustaf Larson. 

“The PV36 is an example of Streamline Moderne, one of the most prominent design trends in the US in the early thirties,” the company said in its news release. “Buildings, trains, boats and even home appliances such as toasters and steam irons were designed in this late Art Deco style, described as ‘Art Deco on the move’ due to the aerodynamic features.

“Engineer and designer Ivar Örnberg brought the style to Volvo when he returned to Sweden in 1933, having worked in the American automotive industry for a few years. At Volvo, he was tasked with designing the PV36, and it was clear that the years at companies such as Hupmobile were fresh in his mind.

PV 36

“With the new Volvo model, Örnberg introduced the Streamline Moderne influences to Sweden. The exotic-looking car was soon nicknamed the ‘Carioca,’ most probably after a popular Latin American dance at the time. According to plans, Volvo produced only 500 cars of this model between 1935 and 1938.”

The PV36 on Volvo’s show stand was one of the first produced. It was driven by Larson for three years, and Volvo reports the car has been practically untouched since except for being repainted early on.

Other historic Volvos on the stand will be:

PV 36 front view

• 1929 PV4 – Volvo’s first sedan.

• 1966 Amazon – a design icon.

• 1969 164 – a 6-cylinder prestige car from the ‘60s.

• 1981 240 Turbo – Volvo’s first turbocharged passenger car.

• 1995 850 T-5R – the performance sedan from the ‘90s.

Volvo also will use the show to present to a European audience the S60 sedan, the company’s first car built in the United States.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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