Revealed at the 1960 Brussels Motor Show, the unmistakably-shaped Swedish coupe was not the first choice for the part in “The Saint”. The producers first asked Jaguar for the E-Type, but the British refused, arguing that the car didn’t need more publicity. Volvo said yes and so the P1800 became known worldwide.
Production started 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 after “The Saint” is 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.