In 1961 the Swedish car company Volvo introduced the p1800, a sportswagon. Perhaps, one of the most iconic Volvo’s ever made. The car was originally built by Jensen in England but the build-quality was not up to Swedish standards. In 1963, the production was therefore brought to Sweden, where the car received the S and lost the P in its name. In the 70-s, the 1800 line was upgraded with a fuel injection system and an 1800 estate version was designed.
The 1800 is a well celebrated car. Appearing in the British television series “The Saint”, where the gentleman-detective Simon Templar, also known as the Saint, drove an ‘off white’ example. Roger Moore played the Saint and would later appear in the movie series James Bond, mainly due to his role as Simon Templar. A reminder of the Swedish build quality can be found in another famous 1800, owned by Irv Gordon. He and his 1800 hold the world record for the most miles ever covered in a single car. Irv has, by now, driven well over 3 million miles and is still driving the car daily.
The fine example we photographed was built in 1967 and originally delivered to California. Due to its life in the hot parts of the U.S.A., the car lacked any rust. The paint suffered from the amount of sunlight so it needed a respray. The owner drives his car fairly often and it is definitely not considered as something which belongs in a museum. The overall appearance of the car suggests otherwise: it’s stunningly beautiful. The owner likes to work on the car himself; sometimes mending it with just a tie-wrap and some ingenuity. The day we arrived for the shoot, he was just fixing the car as it ran too rich. It required a tie-wrap on the fuel line, a full open throttle and just letting the car run until it stalled. He restarted the car and it ran like a treat again, hopefully for many more years.