The P1800 isn't Volvo's first sports car.
That was the P1900. It didn't do very well. At all.
Laughing in the face of failure, Volvo decided to have another crack at a sporty motor.
The P1800 was initially intended to be built by Karmann...
...however, Karmann's main client, Volkswagen, didn't like the idea of it making cars for a competitor. The deal had to be scrapped.
When Volvo was at its wit's end, Jensen (the British car firm) stepped in. An order for 10,000 cars was made.
However, Jensen only produced 6,000-odd. The quality wasn't up to snuff.
Volvo took production in house and made a faster, more efficient version. It was called the P1800S (S meaning "made in Sweden").
The P1800E followed it, then the P1800ES replaced that. The ES was a shooting brake/estate...thing.
The P1800 found its fame with Roger Moore at the helm in "The Saint."
"The Saint's" producers wanted Moore's character, Simon Templar, to drive a Jaguar E-Type. Jaguar refused to give them a car.
As a result, the P1800 became Templar's steed, sealing its fate as "the car from 'The Saint'" for good.
Still, it's less conspicuous than an Aston, right?
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