This portfolio covers the P1800 Sports Coupe, 1800S, 1800E, and 1800ES Sports Wagon, with 56 articles taken from leading automotive magazines. Articles include road and comparison tests, new model introductions, driving impressions, restoration information, and technical specifications.
The story of the first and longest-lived Volvo coupe is told through a wide variety of internationally published articles including road and comparison tests, new model introductions plus driving impressions and a comprehensive ?road research report?. Also included is restoration information, buying guides, plus technical specifications and performance data for the P1800, S, E and ES models.
Until the Volvo C70 of recent times, the Volvo P1800 was the only coupé produced in the post-war era in any volume by a Swedish company. Amazing really. That it was produced at all is something for which we enthusiasts can be thankful because it had a long and complex gestation that included the Swedes, Italians and Brits. The P1800 actually created some emotion where Volvo cars were concerned because it had some style even if by the time it was released in 1961 fins were somewhat passé. But it did retain those traditional Volvo virtues of ruggedness beyond the call of duty, reliability and low running costs. For the first 2 years of production the P1800 was built by Jensen at their West Bromwich factory but in 1963 the total construction of the car was taken over by Volvo themselves. Remarkably little changed with the P1800 apart from minor accessory changes until the 2-litre B20 engine was introduced in 1968 in carburettor form and a year later with the ubiquitous Bosch electronic fuel injection system. Power rose 30 bhp and performance became quite spritely?it would run from 0-60 mph in 9.1 seconds and do 124 mph! By far the biggest change took place with the introduction of the 1971 model range when the 1800ES became available. In many ways it followed the success of the Reliant Scimitar by offering a longer cabin area with a glass rear hatch for access. The ES in 2-litre fuel injected form was a desirable coupe even if by then only true Volvoistes were interested. The end came quietly in June 1973 when the last one rolled off the Gothenberg assembly line. While never at the cutting edge of coupes?no Volvo was a technology leader at that time?the P1800 gained everlasting fame as ?The Saint? car as driven by star Roger Moore in the television series. What better epitaph for a rugged-but-stylish Swede?