• Image Credit: Volvo Cars
  • Image Credit: Volvo Cars
  • Image Credit: Volvo Cars
  • Image Credit: Volvo Cars
  • Image Credit: Volvo Cars
  • Image Credit: Volvo Cars
  • Image Credit: Volvo Cars
  • Image Credit: Volvo Cars
Even though Aston Martins and especially the DB5 are inseparably linked with James Bond lore, the late Roger Moore never drove an Aston Martin in a 007 film. Moore's disco-era Bond was instead seen in a flashy, wedge-shaped Lotus Esprit, and only in "The Persuaders" or "Cannonball Run" did he choose an Aston. But before any of those cars, before Moore's Bond career, there's one specific long-nosed coupe of Italianate design that's probably the perfect Roger Moore car. The Volvo 1800 S, from "The Saint."

The first coupes of this kind were even built in Britain, which probably would have suited Moore better than it did Volvo. The 1961-1962 P1800 was built by Jensen with the body shells made in Scotland by Pressed Steel, but Volvo didn't see the British build quality reach its standards. After 6,000 cars had been made, Volvo moved the production home, and the car received a name change to 1800 S, with S for "Sweden." These cars have a 115-horsepower, 1800-cc B18 four-cylinder engine, so performance is brisk rather than sporty.

The car chosen for Moore to drive in the television series "The Saint," as mystery solver Simon Templar, was a 1966-built 1800 S in white. Originally, the producers asked for a Jaguar E-type, but that didn't work out, though Jaguar had a chance to redeem itself by providing an XJ-S for the series' short-lived reboot. But Moore's Templar always drove a white Volvo coupe with Minilites and Hella fog lamps, and numerous petrol-headed fans of the series have re-created the look with their cars. Moore even drove the actual car himself in private, with the "ST 1" registration plates replaced by London plates when the car wasn't used for filming.

Later on after the series wrapped in 1969, Moore sold the car to another actor, Martin Benson, who played the gangster Solo in "Goldfinger" — another Bond link. Having seen several owners, the Volvo gathered more patina and a good amount of rust, before being thoroughly restored into show condition in the early 2000s. It was also seen in an episode of "Jay Leno's Garage." Volvo Cars bought it some years ago, and the 1800 S gets to be shown at Techno Classica in Essen, Germany, this month. It's the first time the car will be displayed at a classic car show in Europe. In some respects it's just as important a car as the "Goldfinger" DB5 — just Volvo's take on the theme.

Related Video:


Share This Photo X