Swedish Survivor: 1970 Volvo P1800S

The Volvo P1800 was a 2+2, touring car that was built by Volvo Cars between 1961-73. It was made famous on television as driven by Roger Moore in the spy-type show The Saint from 1962-69. As was common at the time, it used a front-engine, rear-drive platform. The P1800S was an evolution of the same car with a little more punch under the hood. This 1970 P1800S is said to still be wearing its original paint and has low miles, but it will need body and mechanical work. Located in Cohoes, New York, its available through a garage/dealer here on Facebook Marketplace for $10,000.

Styling of the P1800 series was developed by the Italian studios of Ghia while the mechanical portions were an extension of the Amazon/122 Series already in production by Volvo. As Volvo automobiles are known for their longevity, it may come as no surprise to learn that in 1998 a P1800s was certified as the highest mileage private vehicle driven by the original owner in non-commercial service. The odometer reading: 3.25 million miles as of that owner’s death in 2018.

The seller of this automobile describes it as a barn find, but as we know that doesn’t always mean that it was found in a barn. While it looks nice from a distance, we’re told it has body work that is needed, although we’re not sure what that is. The original red/burgundy paint has a nice shine to it for a car that may have been setting up. The claimed mileage is 10,000, but as is often the case with FB ads, this is likely a placeholder number. Nor does this car have an automatic transmission, another placeholder.

In 1966, the name of the car was changed from P1800 to P1800S with the additional letter standing for Sweden. The seller’s car should have Volvo’s 2-liter B20B inline-4 engine which was rated at 118 hp with a top speed of 109 mph. This car reportedly runs and drives – if you use starter fluid because the fuel pump is inoperative. The only other malfunction the seller mentions is that the car needs a battery and cables (why wouldn’t they just go ahead and handle this $100 repair?).

The interior has held up well with the only obvious problem being some worn material on the driver’s side door panel. Anything else could be chalked up to being 50 years old. Volvo’s are especially noted for the quality of the materials used in the passenger compartment and this is a great example. According to Hagerty, a P1800S has an average resale value of $20,000 and primo examples can run considerably higher. This car might be the answer for someone whose had an itch to drive around like Simon Templar.

Fast Finds


  1. Wolfgang Gullich

    ummm, the P1800 was designed in-house at Volvo by Pelle Petterson after he studied under the famous Pietro Frua, Ghia had absolutely nothing to do with it… I’m not even sure where the alleged Ghia connection would come from esp since the first few thousand were built in the UK under contract at Jensen from 61-62.

    Like 18
    • Dave Iuliano

      Styling was by Pelle Petterson under the tutelage of Pietro Frua when Frua’s studio was a subsidiary of the Italian carrozzeria Ghia

      Like 6
  2. DRV

    I think many here will find problems with the description, the biggest being this is not a 1970E but probably a 1967S. A personal inspection for rust is a must.

    Like 14
  3. Luki

    P stands for Prototype. This is an 1800S not a P1800S.

    Like 1
    • CJinSD

      Is that what the P stood for? All I know for sure is that the only ones with the P1800 designation were the ones bodied by Jensen. From the time production moved to Sweden, they were badged with 1800S.

      Like 1
    • Robert Möller

      Sorry Luki…..P stands for Passenger car. ( Personvagn ) Trust me, Iknow.

  4. Mikefromthehammer

    1. I have always loved the look of this car ever since seeing it driven by Roger Moore on TV. I always thought it was the ultimate in cool.

    2. I remember the guy who had the 1800 with 3.25 million miles on the odometer. I think he was featured in a MotorWeek episode years ago. If I had been him, I would have wanted to be buried in it when I passed. (That way he could add the mileage to heaven to the odometer, lol).

    3 This car is on a hoist, yet there are no pictures of the underside. That strikes me as being very suspicious.

    Like 6
  5. Mike Ingram

    Had a ’70 many years ago. Mechanically bulletproof but prone to rust around the headlights. Great driver, though.

    Like 1
  6. Howard A Member

    That mans name was the late Irv Gordon, and no offense to Russ, but when mentioning a feat like that, it’s important not to forget the person associated with that. As someone who has covered over 3 million miles in a truck, I can relate to what that amounts to. I think Volvo gave Irv a new car, but he died shortly after. I remember older Volvos were the 1st I saw that had 6 digit odometers, unheard of in the US. Tip of the hat, Irv, RIP.

    Like 10
    • Oldog4tz Member

      Always a class act, Howard reminds us that the people can’t be separated from the cars.

      Like 7
  7. Robert Wallengren

    The first P1800 was manufactured/assembled by Jensen in the UK, but quality was low and the entire operation was moved to Sweden and the Swedish P1800 was named P1800S. The P don’t stand for “Prototype” but the Swedish word “Personvagn” an old Swedish word for car. 1970 fuel injection was introduced with the B20E engine so this car is pre 1970 model since it has dual carburetors.

    The Volvo P1800 is a 2+2, front-engine, rear-drive sports car manufactured and marketed by Volvo Cars between 1961 and 1973. Originally a coupe (1961–1972), it was altered into a shooting-brake for the remainder of its production (1972–1973).[4][5][6] Styling was by Pelle Petterson under the tutelage of Pietro Frua when Frua’s studio was a subsidiary of the Italian carrozzeria Ghia,[7] and the mechanicals were derived from Volvo’s Amazon/122 series.

    Like 8
  8. Gord


    Like 1
    • Gord

      got hold of the guys, seems the engine bay was spray painted black, hence the weird overspray… anyway.,…. sold, darn

      Like 1
  9. Mnguy

    My best older friend at the time traded/sold his 1959 Corvette for one of these Volvo’s. I ever forgave him. Did get my own ’59 Vette two years later.

    Like 1
  10. leo o. goldman

    I had a ’67. When I jacked it up to change the rear tire, the jack went through the body. Also, you had to drain the gas tank for accumulated water after heavy rainstorms. The filler was horizontal with poor drainage.

    Like 2
  11. Dave croydon

    I bought a new 122 in 68 (basically same car , different body). Great car kept it and loved it for 11 years. Only shame …. the 1800 was never built as a convertable, would have been a nice looking car.

    • Rick

      There was an aftermarket convertible package. I believe the company was based in New Jersey. Sharp addition to a sharp car.

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