Automotive style icon: The Volvo 1800 S
In 1967, an actor and a car formed a close bond – decades before they became respective legends.
It was the year the late Sir Roger Moore, then playing Simon Templar in TV series The Saint, purchased his handsome co-star: an 1800 S in Pearl White.
The Volvo 1800 S – with the S representing Sweden after production of the P1800 switched from Britain to the car maker’s home country – adopted the ‘ST 1’ plates for filming.
Moore, who would cement his world-wide fame playing secret agent James Bond between 1973 and 1985, then switched to London registration plates NUV 648E when driving the 1800 S in private.
He signed the registration papers in February 1967, the same month the car debuted in The Saint episode ‘A Double in Diamonds,’ filmed in February 1967.
It was then lead character Simon Templar’s transport until the series ended in 1969, establishing itself as the most famous on-screen Volvo.
Moore’s car was built at the Volvo Torslanda plant in Sweden, in November 1966. The 1800 S in Pearl White is equipped with Mini-Lite wheels with the rare original ‘truncated’ spoke design, Hella fog lamps and a Volvo wooden steering wheel.
Inside, the car still has details from the filming of The Saint, such as a thermometer on the dashboard and a separate interior fan, used to cool the actors during studio filming.
Moore later sold the car to actor Martin Benson, who played Mr Solo in the James Bond film Goldfinger (1964). Several owners followed and in the early-2000s the car was carefully restored to near-original condition. Volvo Cars purchased the car a few years ago to add to its Heritage collection.
Volvo Cars president and CEO Håkan Samuelsson is also a proud owner of an immaculate 1967 1800, with his classic painted in the unusual Light Green colour and arguably one of the finest 1800s in Europe.
“The Saint with Roger Moore was my favourite TV show in the sixties, and since then I always wanted a P1800,” says Samuelsson. “It is the most legendary Volvo model of all time and a great example of Scandinavian design.”