1961 - 1972
Early in 1959, Volvo presented a new sports car, two years after the previous attempt with the Volvo Sport, with a body made of fiberglass-reinforced polyester.
The new car became known as the P1800, with later designations being P1800S/1800S and 1800E. This new sports car had Italian styling and production began in 1961.
As Volvo did not have the capacity to build the car itself, production during the first years was contracted to England. A company called Pressed Steel made the bodies, while final assembly took place at Jensen. Assembly of the P1800 S was then transferred to Göteborg and Lundbyverken 1963. Body production too was transferred to Sweden and Olofströmsverken. This was in connection with the 1800 E in 1969. The Volvo P1800 was based on the floor pan of the Volvo 121/122S, but it had a shorter wheel base. The car also had an entirely new 1.8-liter, 4-cylinder engine, which initially developed 100 bhp, later 108, 115 and 120 bhp.
Over the years, the car was developed primarily by the introduction of new engine alternatives. In the autumn of 1968, a 2.0-liter engine with an output of 118 bhp was introduced. It was followed in 1969 by a version with fuel injection and an even higher output.
Technical SpecificationsModel: P1800 / 1800
Variants: P1800 S, 1800 S, 1800 E
Produced: 1961 - 1972
Body: Coupé 2 seater
Engine: 4-cylinder, in-line, overhead valves, 1,778 cc, 84.14 x 80 mm, 100 bhp at 5,500 rpm, increased in 1968 to 108 bhp at 5,800 rpm. A 2.0-liter, 1,986 cc ( 88.9 x 80 mm), carburetor version appeared in 1968, followed by a fuel-injection version in 1969, 120 bhp.
Transmission: 4-speed manual or 4-speed manual with overdrive or a 3-speed automatic, all with a floor-mounted gear lever.
Brakes: Hydraulic, discs at front and drums at rear, later models had discs for all wheels.
Dimensions: Overall length 440 cm, wheelbase 245 cm.
Misc: This Volvo model became very famous as a result of its role in the films about "The Saint" in which the hero Simon Templar (Roger Moore) drove the car.