September 29, 2015 @ 12:28 PM

Legends and Legacies: Movie Icon edition - Volvo P1800

Probably the last car we would expect to be part of the Volvo marque is this P1800.

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This is Volvo’s idea of a “sports car”, the P1800 almost did not make it into production when the company became too picky with their production company. But due to huge response over a leaked press release, Volvo had redoubled their efforts to put this beautiful specimen into production.
So production started in 1961 at a factory owned by Jensen Motors to assemble 10,000 cars with body plant manufacturer Pressed Steel creating the unibody shells. The engine is the B18 with dual SU carburettors that produces numbers that weren’t the most impressive for a car in the sport segment. Volvo had developed the engine based on the B36 V-eight engine used in their trucks.

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The gearbox matched to the B18 was a four-speed M40 manual gearbox, but that was later swapped to a four-speed M41 gearbox with an electrically actuated overdrive. This match allowed the P1800 to sprint to a top speed of 193kph. But Volvo ended their contract Jensen due to quality control, so production was moved back to Volvo’s Lundby Plant in Gothenburg.
Volvo’s decision to move to Gothenburg had them producing the 1800S version. This version has an improved engine that produces an additional 8bhp more. But Volvo gave the engine a major upgrade in 1966 to a four-cylinder engine that hits a top speed of 175kph. It wasn’t until 1969 before Volvo replaced that B18 engine with a 2-litre B20B version that gives 118bhp.

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Production ran all the way up to 1973, spawning a few prototypes different variants like the 1800E and 1800ES which is the final variant P1800 variant. There were talks about creating a P1800 convertible variant but sadly that did not make it to the production line. 
But let’s admit it, the moment you had seen that picture you would have immediately thought of the hit TV series, the Saint, where a white 1962 Volvo P1800 took centre stage as Simon Templer’s ride. Rumour has it that even Roger Moore, who played Simon Templer, was so smitten with the P1800 that he even bought one for himself. Ok so maybe it’s not a rumour but a known fact since Moore openly admitted in an interview that the P1800 was his all-time favourite car and that he even owns one!

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If you’re a fan of the P1800 or a fan of the TV series be sure to head over to XLR8’s Movie Icon Tent to snap a picture of the P1800 that starred in the series! 
Jerrica Leong 

(Video source: giftsbythegreen youtube)

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