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Step back in time with the Volvo P1800 (pictures)

The Volvo P1800 is one of the great cars of the '60s.

drew-stearne-headshot1
Drew Stearne
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The P1800 isn't Volvo's first sports car.
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That was the P1900. It didn't do very well. At all.
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Laughing in the face of failure, Volvo decided to have another crack at a sporty motor.
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The P1800 was initially intended to be built by Karmann...
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...however, Karmann's main client, Volkswagen, didn't like the idea of it making cars for a competitor. The deal had to be scrapped.
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When Volvo was at its wit's end, Jensen (the British car firm) stepped in. An order for 10,000 cars was made.
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However, Jensen only produced 6,000-odd. The quality wasn't up to snuff.
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Volvo took production in house and made a faster, more efficient version. It was called the P1800S (S meaning "made in Sweden").
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The P1800E followed it, then the P1800ES replaced that. The ES was a shooting brake/estate...thing.
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The P1800 found its fame with Roger Moore at the helm in "The Saint."
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"The Saint's" producers wanted Moore's character, Simon Templar, to drive a Jaguar E-Type. Jaguar refused to give them a car.
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As a result, the P1800 became Templar's steed, sealing its fate as "the car from 'The Saint'" for good.
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Still, it's less conspicuous than an Aston, right?

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