AJ’s Car of the Day: 1965 Volvo 1800S

AJ’s Car of the Day: 1965 Volvo 1800S

Car: Volvo 1800S

Year: 1965

What makes it special: Volvo’s P1800 was a 2+2, front-engine, rear-drive sports car manufactured and marketed between 1961-1973. Originally a coupe from 1961–1971, it was altered into a shooting-brake for the duration of its production. Styling was by Pelle Petterson under the tutelage of Pietro Frua when Frua’s studio was a subsidiary of the prestigious Italian Carrozzeria-Ghia, and mechanicals derived from Volvo’s dependable Amazon/122 series.

What made it famous: Marketed as a stylish touring car rather than a sports car, the P1800 became widely known when driven by future James Bond actor Roger Moore in the hit television series “The Saint” which aired from 1962-1969. In 1963 production was moved to Volvo’s Lundby Plant in Gothenburg and the car’s name was changed to 1800S, with S standing for Sweden. The engine was the B18, with B for the Swedish word for gasoline: Bensin, 18 for 1800 cc displacement with dual SU carburetors, producing 100 hp. 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. In 1966 the four-cylinder engine was updated to 115 bhp. Top speed was 109 mph. In 1969 the B18 engine was replaced with the 2-litre B20B variant of the B20 giving 118 bhp, though it kept the designation 1800S.

Why I would want one: I have love the sporty styling with the almost pony car look of the long nose/short truck style of the 1800 series.

Fun fact: In 1998, an 1800S was certified as the highest mileage private vehicle driven by the original owner in non-commercial service, having exceeded three million miles as of 2013.