legal condition: registered in Poland, “yellow” plates
Already in 1957 the prototype of the new vehicle was ready. The person responsible for execution of this project was Helmer Petterson (earlier credited with the PV444 model), whereas its modern and timeless body was designed by his son, Pelle Petterson, who worked for the design studio of Pietro Frua at the time (Italian heritage of P1800’s design was often talked about over the years). A deal with a British company called Jensen was sealed. The body was supposed to be manufactured in a workshop based in Scotland, from there it would be transported to the English city of West Bromwich, where final assembly would take place. The car was officially presented to the public for the first time at the Brussels Motor Show in January 1960. First examples of the Volvo P1800 rolled off the production line a couple of months later. At the beginning, the car was powered by an inline four-cylinder engine codenamed B18. It displaced 1778 cc and developed round 100 BHP of peak power, which was channelled to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual gearbox (equipped with overdrive). Series one cars are distinguished by a large “V” shape on the air intake and a twin exhaust mounted centrally. Series two, known as the 1800S, went on sale in 1963. Letter “S” stands for Sweden, because that’s where the production was moved – to Volvo’s own plant in Gothenburg. The engine’s power output was initially increased to 115 BHP. Eventually the 1.8-litre unit was dropped and replaced by a 2-litre one, generating 118 BHP. In 1968, the interior was refreshed by adding i.a. a three-spoke steering wheel and dashboard with wooden inlays. In 1970 a 1800E version was launched, boasting a Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection. It developed 130 BHP while keeping the fuel consumption on the same level as before. From then on, the car was also fitted with brake discs on all four wheels. Last series (built from 1972), dubbed 1800ES, was only available as a two-door shooting brake estate. Power dropped a little to 125 BHP, while customers could also specify their cars with a three-speed automatic gearbox. Production of the P1800 was ceased in 1973. Overall 47 492 examples were made, of which just 8077 were the ES models. The car became popular when it was featured as the car driven by the main character played by Roger Moore in the television series “The Saint”. Although the P1800 was never a typical sports car, it was highly appreciated as a comfortable Gran Turismo car. This car also owns the Guinness world record for highest certified mileage of any car. An American called Irv Gordon has done more than three million miles in his P1800s since 1966.
The Volvo P1800E offered by Ardor Auctions was made in 1970. After the car was shipped to Poland from Texas, it was partially renovated. Currently, the car’s condition and looks are very good. After a full mechanical inspection, all the components such as the engine, gearbox and brakes work flawlessly. Partial body repairs were performed, with side sills and floors, which are the typical weak spots of the P1800, replaced. The yellow paint looks good and makes the car stand out on the road. Of note are the good investment aspects of purchasing a P1800. The P1800 has lately significantly increased in value and, owing to the high prices of the S model on the European markets, the E model offered in the July auction has become very popular among collectors. This is an opportunity to purchase an interesting, and certainly beautiful-looking, classic car that, owing to its looks and technical condition, will please its owner for many years to come.