The first regular production Volvo, the “Öppen Vagn 4 cylindrar” (OV4), nicknamed “Jakob,” left the assembly line in Goteborg, Sweden


Thursday 14th April 1927

The first regular production Volvo, the “Öppen Vagn 4 cylindrar” (OV4), nicknamed “Jakob,” left the assembly line in Goteborg, Sweden. Volvo (“I roll” in Latin) was the result of collaboration between Assar Gabrielsson and Gustaf Larson. When the first series produced ÖV4 was about to drive out of the factory and engineer Eric Carlberg put it into first gear, the car went backwards, where the car was actually in reverse gear. The explanation was that the differential gear in the rear axle had been fitted incorrectly. This mistake delayed the introduction by one day and the official introduction day for the ÖV4 was then adjusted to 14 April 1927, the day AB Volvo officially says the automobile company Volvo was “born”. The OV4’s 1,944cc side-valve engine made 28hp, while the transmission was a three-speed and the brakes were mechanical and acted on the rear wheels. Of the ten prototype cars Volvo built, nine were open touring cars, and one was a closed sedan, the PV4 (Person Vagn, or passenger car, 4-cylinders). All used the “iron” or “Mars” symbol on their radiator shell to signify the famous Swedish iron and steel that this Swedish car was made from; the diagonal slash that bisected the radiator to fix the symbol in place was simply the easiest way to hold it there, but it became the automaker’s signature marking.


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