Volvo P1800 grey version. Made in 1971
The Volvo P1800 (pronounced eighteen-hundred) is a 2+2, front-engine, rear-drive sports car manufactured and marketed by Volvo Cars between 1961 and 1973. Originally a coupé (1961–1972), it was also offered in a shooting-brake configuration toward the end of its production (1972–1973).
Styling was by Pelle Petterson under the tutelage of Pietro Frua when Frua’s studio was a subsidiary of the Italian carrozzeria Ghia, and the mechanicals were derived from Volvo’s Amazon/122 series.
Marketed as a touring car rather than a sports car, the P1800 became widely known when driven by British actor Roger Moore in the television series The Saint, which aired from 1962 to 1969.
In 1998, an 1800S owned by Irv Gordon (1940–2018) was certified as the highest mileage private vehicle driven by the original owner in non-commercial service—having exceeded 3.25 million miles (over 5.23 million km) as of his death in 2018.
The engine was the B18 (B for the Swedish word for gasoline: Bensin; 18 for 1800 cc displacement) with dual SU carburettors, producing 100 hp (75 kW). This variant (named B18B) had a higher compression ratio than the slightly less powerful twin-carb B18D used in the contemporary Amazon 122S, as well as a different camshaft. Some have suggested that the B18 was developed from the B36 V8 engine used in Volvo trucks, but differences between the engines cause others to dispute that origin. The B18 furnished the P1800 with a strong engine boasting five main crankshaft bearings.