Memory Lane Rarities

Volvo P1800S

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This car entered production in 1961and was manufactured until 1973. It’s a genuinely rare machine with only around 60,000 produced. This rarity makes it popular with collectors. In 1966 the four cylinder engine was uprated to 115 bhp giving the P1800S a top speed of 109 mph. This touring car by Volvo made its fame as the car driven by actor Roger Moore in the TV series The Saint which ran between 1962 and 1969.
Being a Volvo high mileage is a given with 200,000 miles accepted as the norm with good servicing. Yet, in 1966 a P1800 broke the world record for the highest vehicle mileage with an amazing 3 million miles driven. The original engine was a 1.8 litre four cylinder, twin carb unit. While the later 1800E possessed a 2 litre four cylinder pumping out 120 bhp.
The body styling came in two versions with the 1800E a twqo door coupe and three door estate or shooting brake. Additionally, Volvo has a reputation for safety with their cars using well engineered body work specifically designed for impact resistance that also made it built to last. Also, clearly this good looking car appealed to the movie industry.
The first models of the P1800 included a brake configuration of discs at the front and drums at the rear. Although by 1970 it received discs all round.
The interior was tastefully styled with a dash providing plenty of information about what was happening under the bonnet, similar to a BMW of the day which was a good comparison. Seats were comfortable and stylish although interior space was at a premium, fortunately it had a large sized boot with plenty of storage for that weekend away for a couple.
Happily, the P1800 would lend itself to tuning as in the installation of a larger engine giving more horsepower. But no matter what power emerged from beneath the bonnet in looks alone you were always going to arrive in style.
Volvo has never been truly associated with sports cars as a company , but the P1800 I believe showed what was possible from them. I personally wish it would be remade with plenty of hints back to the original. So many vehjicles in the sixties were made glamorous by the TV and movies, but the P1800 looked as good as any while aklso being more reliable, a true classic.

​Volvo P1800 S
Cost New£1,022 (1961)
Engine4cyl 1780cc 115 bhp 8v
PerformanceMax 109mph 0-60 in 13.2 secs
Fuel Consumption25 mpg
How Many Remain in the UK
Licensed=134 / SORN= 58
Top Asking Prices
1967 P1800S £52,047 LHD 406 milesTrade/Netherlands

1971 1800 E £41,239 LHD Trade/Netherlands
1973 1800 ES £42,975 LHD Trade/Netherlands

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