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1970 Volvo P1800 Coupe

Sold Price


  • Mileage~105,858
  • TransmissionManual
  • Engine2.0L
  • LocationClitheroe


1970 Volvo P1800 Coupe

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Paul Wright
Automotive Photographer & Writer

A classic 2+2 coupe rear wheel drive sports touring car was given extra publicity when being driven by Roger Moore in the TV series The Saint.

Launched in 1961, the Volvo P1800 was Volvo’s answer to a 2+2 front engine, rear wheel drive sports tourer. The body styling was done by Swedish designer Pelle Petterson, with the first prototype ready in 1957, known as the X1. This was driven to the headquarters of Karmann in West Germany, who would take on the tooling and building of the P1800. This was cut short when Volkswagen stepped in with the threat of cancelling their contracts with Karmann if they took on the project, as they saw the P1800 as competition.

This left Volvo with the project looking as if it would never get started. It was Helmaer Petterson, a freelance engineer, who took on the role to see who could take on the project in Britain, the home of some of the greatest sports cars in the world. A visit to Jensen, who made the body panels for the Austin-Healey sports cars, saw a deal struck, and Jensen would now produce the pressed steel body panels at their Linwood plant in Scotland, then transport them to their factory in West Bromwich, where they would paint and carry out the final assembly of the cars.

With a contract for 10,000 units, it didn’t take long before Volvo realised that the quality control from the Brits was sub-par, and in 1963, after just 6,000 cars were produced, Volvo ended the contract with Jensen and moved production to their Gothenburg factory in Sweden, where the car became known as the 1800 S. The S denotes they were made in Sweden.

The 1800 S was also given an 8 bhp power increase, until 1969 when the B18 engine was replaced with the B20B engine producing 118 bhp. Then, in 1970, which is the model we have here today, came the addition of fuel injection and a revised camshaft, pushing the P1800 to 130bhp.

This stunning P1800 has been with Derek for 9 years, and having covered a few miles in the early years, the Volvo has been getting used less and less of late, which is the reason for the sale.

This auction listing was written from information supplied by Paul after meeting Derek the owner, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.

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Secure Auctions

We verify all our sellers and buyers to keep our community safe whilst also providing the highest levels of website security.

Full Transparency

8 out of 10 people that buy cars via our service don’t feel the need to visit due to the transparency and thoroughness of our listings.

Vehicle Delivery

We're there every step of your buying journey and will even arrange pick-up and delivery of your new vehicle.

Meet the owner

I always loved the shape of the P1800 and couldn’t resist the temptation when this one came up for sale.

Derek has owned his 1970 Volvo P1800 Coupe since 2012 - he has enjoyed his ownership with the classic Volvo, attending classic rallies when possible and turning heads wherever it goes.

With 9 years ownership in the bag, the Volvo doesn’t get the use it deserves, and so Derek has decided to part with his Swedish classic and also an E-Type (see other auction) that's not been getting use too.

Derek will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have in the comments below.

Vehicle Owner

Ask the Owner



Finished in bright white, with a respray in 2016 - the classic Volvo looks to be good for a few more years.

Wheels and Tyres

The wheels on the P1800 are aluminium which were refurbished in 2016.

Being picky, there is some minimal surface oxidation to the bare aluminum which does look like it would polish off quite easily.

The tyres are in excellent condition and look to have plenty of tread remaining.


Walking around the Volvo, the panel gaps for the doors are as you would expect. We did notice that the boot doesn't sit as flush as it should. You may be able to adjust this, but it would need confirming by a body shop. The bonnet aligns up as it should and opens and closes nicely.

Derek really looks after his cars, and he had new wheel arches and inner and outer sills fitted in 2016.

Please see the gallery for more detailed images.


The Volvo was given a new coat of paint in 2016, after some bodywork was carried out as mentioned above. The paintwork is in really nice condition. There are some blisters that have popped up here and there, but these have not gotten any worse for quite a while.

There is just a small patch of corrosion by the passenger side headlight which has broken through the paint.

Please see the image gallery for more detailed shots.

Glass and Trim

The windows for the Volvo are in good condition for the age of the vehicle. The windscreen does have a scratch on the drivers side which would follow the wiper path. The windscreen seals have started to perish a little but these are readily available should you wish to replace them.

The chrome work around the car is nice and original and as such it does have some pitting to the door and boot handles. The bumpers are in the same condition with just some light tarnishing.

Down the side of the car is the swage trim - this does have a couple of dinks that have been acquired over the years.


Retrimmed front seats and new carpets have given the P1800 interior a new lease of life - such a classy car.

Seats and Carpets

Firstly, just to say what a lovely place to sit, and unlike many others on the market you'll be sitting on the correct side of the car when you drive this one away.

The front seats in the Volvo have been retrimmed in red to match the original trim. The door cards look to be the originals with a nice embossed Volvo logo to finish them off. The rear seat is also the original, with another embossed logo to the center. This seat does look a paler colour than the new front ones, but is in good condition.

The carpets in the passenger area have been replaced and so are in excellent condition too.


The dashboard is free from any cracks to the top. The wood finish facia is in good condition, again with no cracking to the finish. The instruments are all nice and clean and all reported to be working correctly, the odometer is displaying a reading of ~105,858 miles.

There is a Radiomobile radio fitted. This looks very period but does in fact have an aux jack to enable you to connect your phone.

Please see the interior gallery for more detailed shots.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

The steering wheel is the original, and has some slight age related scuffs to the rim.

The gear knob has a split down the side and the disc from the top is missing. It would be an easy fix to replace it.


2.0 litre with Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection - gives the sporty car an impressive 130bhp.

Engine and Gearbox

The engine in the P1800 is the later B20E, which has fuel injection fitted. This greatly improves performance of the car without sacrificing fuel economy. With the first turn of the key, the Volvo fires up just as it should, and the tick over is nice and smooth, with no untoward noises to be heard.

The gearbox is a 4 speed manual. Derek reports the change to be easy and the car pulls well through the gears with no noises coming from the transmission.

Suspension and Brakes

Derek has kept on top of any maintenance that the Volvo needed and the suspension is all reported to be in good order, with no leaks from the dampers that we could see.

Safety first! The Volvo is one of the first cars to receive disc brakes to the front and rear. These are said to be working as they should and bring you to a stop nice and straight.

The Drive

The 2+2 coupe is a wonderful looking car which will turn heads wherever it goes - some people may even think The Saint is in town.

Derek has certainly enjoyed his ownership of the P1800. He says the car handles well and is a joy to drive, he just wishes he could have used it more.

Electrics and Other

All the switchgear is in good condition with some age related wear, and everything is reported to be working as it should.

Please see the interior gallery for more detailed images.

History and Paperwork

Just 3 previous owners since 1970 - must show the Volvo P1800 coupe has been a pleasure to live with.

In conclusion, this is a really nice and sorted P1800 S that's been owned by a classic enthusiast for a long time. Prices for these cars are surprisingly affordable compared to other similar classics. So it may make a good longer term investment too. Especially being a right-hand-drive car with very few owners. The market for most left-hand-drive cars is weak right now - pushing the price of good original UK cars upwards. So grab these cars while you can, as we think we'll all be looking back in a few years thinking... how cheap!

There is some history with the car from when Derek has owned it, but prior to that it is a little thin on the ground.

There are some old MOT certificates and looking back at the MOT history the last MOT expired on the 5th May 2018.

We’ve done all our usual seller checks including photo ID, V5 and the vehicle is HPI clear.

Service History
Date Type Mileage
20.04.2017 MOT 105,601
06.05.2016 MOT 105,498
21.04.2015 MOT 104,996
20.10.2011 MOT Unreadable
Key Details
  • ModelP1800
  • TransmissionManual
  • Reg. Date09.09.1970
  • CC1986
  • Mileage~105,858
  • HistoryPart
  • ColourWhite
  • Interior ColourRed
  • MOTNo - Expired 2018
  • MOT ExemptYes
  • Road Tax ExemptYes
  • HPi ClearYes
  • Former Keepers3
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • OwnedYes
  • Key FeatureOriginal UK Car

Vehicle Sold

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Ask Owner
Show Bids Only
£15,000 bid by Mfokinth 31.08.2021 @ 19:45:50
£14,500 bid by hadden 31.08.2021 @ 19:45:34
£14,000 bid by Mfokinth 31.08.2021 @ 19:45:01
£13,000 bid by hadden 31.08.2021 @ 19:44:32
£12,000 bid by Mfokinth 31.08.2021 @ 19:44:06
£11,000 bid by hadden 31.08.2021 @ 19:43:08
£10,000 bid by Mfokinth 31.08.2021 @ 19:42:16
£9,500 bid by hadden 31.08.2021 @ 19:40:38
£8,500 bid by Mfokinth 31.08.2021 @ 19:33:06
Martin Fokinther
Martin Fokinther

Could I come and view the car tomorrow (Tuesday)?

Natalia - Trade Classics
Natalia - Trade Classics

Hi Martin – drop us an email to and we’ll liaise with Derek to organise.

£8,001 bid by valandave 30.08.2021 @ 20:45:08
£7,200 bid by HappyJo 30.08.2021 @ 19:24:57

If you were keeping the car, what jobs would be on your ‘do next’ list?
Is there a reason for the misaligned boot lid shut?
Thank you.

£6,999 bid by valandave 29.08.2021 @ 19:35:23
£6,000 bid by Mfokinth 29.08.2021 @ 18:43:03
£5,000 bid by Harveylee 28.08.2021 @ 15:18:59
£4,200 bid by ecc123 27.08.2021 @ 21:10:20
£3,400 bid by ecc123 26.08.2021 @ 21:05:55


The car looks lovely but as mentioned in the description the boot alignment is off. Can you provide any additional info pls?

Also, in addition to the rust coming thru on the front lower light, what else needs attention to be able to show the car off in a classic show?


£1,800 bid by UJJ12OF 26.08.2021 @ 19:55:38

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