Devine intervention or design inspiration? We, or rather Volvo will never know the answer to that conundrum. What can be said, with a fair degree of certainty, is the now-legendary Volvo P1800 needs little introduction thanks to certain Simon Templar and the Saint.
Sir Roger Moore
Volvo Cars showcased the illustrious 1967 Volvo 1800 S once owned by Sir Roger Moore and featured in television’s The Saint at the Volvo Cars Heritage stand at Techno-Classica Essen, Germany; the first time the Swedish classic has ever been showcased at a classic car show in Europe.
The Saint – P1800
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 is the documented first registered owner of this famous 1800 S. The London registration plates, NUV 648E were issued on 20 January 1967 with the legendary Saint signing the registration papers two weeks later, following the car ever since until recently traced to a ‘sorned’ Mercedes A class.
Moore’s car parked alongside another Volvo 1800, an immaculate 1967 model belonging to Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Cars. Samuelsson’s classic is painted in the unusual Light Green colour and is 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.
“It is the most legendary Volvo model of all time and a great example of Scandinavian design.”
In The Saint, the car sported the famous ‘ST 1’ plates and made its debut in the episode ‘A Double in Diamonds’, filmed in February 1967. It was then lead character Simon Templar’s transport until the series ended in 1969.
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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.
Per-Åke Fröberg, head of Volvo Cars Heritage said:
“Volvo Cars proudly purchased this car a few years ago and we are very excited to be able to show it at Techno-Classica. It is a unique car with a remarkable history.”
The Saint was the alias of Simon Templar, a character created by author Leslie Charteris in the 1920s. The Saint series of books spawned a series of films and later the popular ITC television show.
The show aired 118 episodes from October 1962 until February 1969 and enjoyed great success in the UK and the USA. The series was later syndicated in more than 80 countries. The Saint, always portrayed by Roger Moore, drove a white Volvo P1800 coupe.
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