Two Volvo PV544As demonstrating that their wheel suspension can handle bumpy roads.
1:00 AM | November 14 2016

A Volvo Moment: A testing day at Stora Holm

It is a grey day in 1959 at the test track Stora Holm in Gothenburg. Two Volvo PV544As are demonstrating that their wheel suspension can handle bumpy roads.

When the PV444 became the PV544, the model underwent a range of improvements. The PV544 had, among other things, a new, larger whole windscreen, a larger rear windscreen, a new dashboard and a more spacious back seat. However, August 1959 marked the advent of the new feature that with the benefit of hindsight we know was not only the most important improvement to the PV544 but also the single most important safety solution in the history of the automobile.

This was when Volvo began fitting three-point safety belts in the Amazon and PV544 in the Nordic markets - it was the first company in the world to do so.

The Stora Holm test track therefore has an important place in car history - it was here that the V-type seat belt was first tested. Another safety innovation to be tested at Stora Holm was the airbag.

For three decades, Volvo conducted the majority of its car testing at Stora Holm, but by 1974 it had grown out of the facility and moved to a larger testing site at Hällered, far away from the city. Testing operations still remain there.

But on this day in 1959, two Volvo PV544s with temporary pre-sale registration plates are bouncing along one of the rough stretches of test track.

A moment in Volvo's history.