The following is a short history of the Volvo wagon:
- The roots of the Volvo Wagon actually began back in the year 1944 when the compact P444 was released. Then, in 1949 the P444 was followed by the P445, but it used a separate chassis.
- Naturally, the P445 was a hit because of its durability and reliability and the customers did not want to replace it for the new ones, which was what the automaker expected.
- Since by 1952 there was 1,500 unsold 445 units, Volvo decided to they could green light produce these units into a Volvo van. Tasked with the design of this van was Engineer Erik Skoog.
- The first Volvo wagon called the Duett because people said it was “two cars in one” was released. This was about 15 months after Volvo gave the assignment to Skoog.
The wagon was personally delivered to the Volvo president at the time Assar Gabrielsson on July 4, 1953, because it was his wish that all the old 445s be developed accordingly. The Duett really was two cars in one as it could be used as a family station wagon and a commercial van. In the automotive world, the Duett became a staple and kept its iconic design up to 1969. At that point, engineers were forced to change the wagon due to safety regulations.
The production of the vehicle totaled about 100,000, but what is more important is that the Duett was instrumental in establishing Volvo as one of the best automakers. Even though Duett’s have not been made for nearly 40 years, you can still see hints of the wagon design in different Volvo models today. For example, the V60 model, due to make its debut in the US in 2014 is a sports wagon. The US market already has available the XC60 and the XC70, but these are technically a part of the crossover vehicles. Still, even with these two, you can still see the station wagon design roots.
So, while you are busy remembering all the beach trips, fireworks and backyard parties, try also to remember the automotive milestone, that is also worth celebrating. Remember the day, over 60 years ago when the then small Swedish automaker, after making an international statement, released the Duett Wagon. The establishment of that wagon game Volvo automotive power; it also game people worldwide a model with which they could associate the Volvo brand. Yes, the milestone hit 60 years ago with the Volvo wagons is worth celebrating.