Meet the ÖV 4, the first car to carry the Volvo name and the first and thus far only Volvo to be equipped with an umlaut as standard equipment. The name is derived from “Öppen Vagn 4 cylindrar” which means what you might expect (and if you don’t, “vagn” is “vehicle” or thereabouts). The four cylindrar form part of a 1.9 litre sidevalve engine producing 28 bhp, which wasn’t terribly ambitious even in 1927.
Just ten were made and only one survives, in Volvo’s museum in Gothenburg. It wasn’t a success because it became belatedly obvious that the Öppen part of the name wasn’t necessarily compatible with the Swedish climate for much of the year. It was therefore replaced with the closed PV4 of which nearly a thousand were made
The ÖV 4 was intended to be launched on the 13th of April 1927 but this date proved as unlucky as the superstitious think when the test driver discovered that rather than having the expected three forward and reverse gears he had instead the opposite. Having assembled the differential correctly this time it was launched on the 14th April, now Volvo’s official birthday.
Note that the traditional grille design was a thing right from the start and that the car is lhd, despite being made forty years before Sweden went to the dark side and started driving on the right.