1960-1963, 6000 produced.
Coupe,2 doors,2 seats
The Volvo P1800 is a classic sports car from Volvo. The project was started in 1957 because Volvo wanted a sports car, despite the fact that their previous attempt, the P1900 had been a disaster, with only 68 cars sold. The man behind the project was an engineering consultant to Volvo, Helmer Petterson, who in the 1940s was responsible for the Volvo PV444. The design work was done by Helmer's son Pelle Petterson, who worked at Pietro Frua at that time. The Italian Carrozzeria Pietro Frua design firm (then a recently acquired subsidiary of Ghia) built the first three prototypes, designated: P958-X1, P958-X2 and P958-X3. Volvo launched its first (and last true sports car) P1800 coupe in 1960. The new model had elegant styling and offered reasonable performance along with the usual Volvo safety features. Bodies for the P1800 were built in the UK by Jensen who normally specialised in glass fibre sports cars.
As well as the P1800 coupe model Volvo also offered an attractive and practical "Sports-estate" model, the 1800ES, which followed the same principles first seen on the Reliant Scimitar. Powered initially by a 1.8 litre engine and later by a 2.0 litre unit, the 1800 range included a more powerful 1800S (1963-69) and later (1969-72) a 1800E coupe. Production lasted until 1972 when it was sadly deleted by Volvo.
A white Volvo P1800 (with licence plate ST1) driven by Simon Templar, played by Roger Moore, was featured in the TV series The Saint beginning in 1962 and played a prominent role throughout the entire run of the show. There were two exciting new cars introduced at the Paris Auto Show in 1962, and Jaguar was first offered the opportunity to provide an E-Type car for the series but declined as they had too much demand already and didn't see the need for additional press (a similar situation arose with Mars Candies' M&Ms and Reese's Pieces in the movie "E.T."). Volvo was then asked for a P1800, and they jumped at the chance leading to a nice increase of sales of the P1800 and the creation of a 1960s' icon. Later, in the 1970s when The Return of the Saint was created, Jaguar made up for their mistake and offered the new XJ-S for the series. One of the Volvo 1800s used in the Saint TV series in 1967 has been faithfully restored and is now owned by Bill Krzastek. It does indeed look like a giant-size Corgi Saint Volvo, and it has appeared in a number of auto shows. Practical Classics July 2010 - Featuring Buyers Volvo 1800 (1961-1973). Click Here to view in our shop.
|1778cc||S4 OHV||Volvo S4 OHV||84mm x 80mm|
|Top Speed||0-60||SQM||MPG||Engine Pwr||Comment|
|105 mph||13.4 s||0 s||0 mpg||100 bhp 4400|
|Wheelbase||Front Track||Rear Track||Length||Width||Weight (CWT)||Turning Circle|
|8' 1"||4' 4"||4' 4"||14' 4"||5' 6"||0 (21)||0' 0"|