Even if you’re not a huge Swedish car fan (not many of us are) this particular Volvo model may still look familiar. How? Well Volvo’s P1800 fame came from being Roger Moore’s sleek ride in the 1960′s TV series “The Saint”. In fact, Moore was so into driving the car on set that he bought a P1800 for his own personal use.
The P1800 was first seen at the 1960 Brussels Motor Show, where it won over the crowds with it’s uniquely-shaped coupe lines. Surprisingly, the P1800 wasn’t the first choice for the part in “The Saint”. The producers first asked Jaguar for the E-Type, but the British brand refused, arguing that the car didn’t need more publicity. Volvo jumped at the opportunity and offered up a P1800 and the rest is history.
Production of the P1800 began in 1961 and almost 46,000 units of the model were made in various versions until production ended in 1973.
Probably the second most famous P1800 driver was American Irv Gordon, who drove his Swedish coupe for 45 years, reaching more than 2.8 million miles (4.5 million km) without changing the engine, the transmission or the axles. A statement for the durability and the quality of an outstanding vehicle.
To celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the P1800, Volvo will participate at the TechnoClassica show in Essen (March 30 – April 3) with six special models: the X1 (the first prototype), a 1961 first series model assembled in the UK, a 1963 P1800S Rally, a 1966 1800S Volvoville (US-built convertible), a 1971 1800E and a 1971 1800ES.