Introduced in 1960 and popularised by The Saint television series, starring Roger Moore, Volvo's pretty P1800 sports coupé, although no hairy-chested tyre-shredder, was nonetheless something of a radical departure for the sober-sided Swedish concern. Lacking a sports car in its range, Volvo had started the project back in 1957, the man chiefly responsible being an engineering consultant, Helmer Petterson, who had designed Volvo's PV444. Carrozzeria Frua built the first three prototypes and it was intended that Karmann would undertake production, though this idea was vetoed by Volkswagen, Karmann's biggest customer.
Based on the 121 saloon, the P1800 was built initially by Jensen Motors in West Bromwich and employed Volvo's rugged, four-cylinder, overhead-valve engine in 1,778cc form. Breathing through twin carburettors, this unit produced 100bhp, an output sufficient to propel the solidly built coupé to a top speed of around 105mph. The running gear was conventional, with independent front suspension and live rear axle, and all versions came with servo-assisted front disc brakes. Production of the P1800 was transferred to Sweden in 1963.
An example of the slightly more powerful P1800S model, this example was purchased in 1972 having had two previous owners. The last MoT certificate expired in 1976, and the car also comes with old-style logbooks. Offered for restoration and sold strictly as viewed, this vehicle is in very poor condition and may only be useable as a source of spare parts.