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Selling on Saturday Evening

1972 Volvo P1800E Coupe

  • Recent rotisserie restoration
  • Last year of the iconic P1800 Coupe
  • Bosch D-Jetronic electronic fuel injection
  • M41 four-speed manual gearbox with electric overdrive
  • Equipped with four-wheel disc brakes

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Debuting in 1960 and popularized by The Saint television series, starring Roger Moore, Volvo's dashing P1800 sports coupe, although not a high-speed Grand Touring car, was nonetheless something of a radical departure for the conservative Swedish manufacturer. Based on the rugged 121 sedan, the P1800 was built initially by Jensen Motors in West Bromwich. Breathing through twin carburetors, the 1.8-litre engine produced 100 HP, which was powerful enough to propel the solidly built coupe to a top speed of around 105 mph. The running gear was conventional, with independent front suspension and live rear axle, and all versions came with servo-assisted front disc brakes. Production of the P1800 was transferred to Sweden in 1963. Subsequently, revisions were made to the design to enhance performance, comfort, and convenience.

In 1970, Volvo introduced Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection on the 1800, replacing the "S" suffix with an "E" for Einspritzung, the German word for fuel-injected. The 125-horsepower injected B20 engine enabled a top speed of 112 mph; the brakes were improved also, with discs replacing the rear drums. On the inside, Volvo addressed reviewers' longstanding complaints about the silver and turquoise instrument panel, updating them with Smiths’ black-on-white gauges set in imitation wood. For 1972, a new seat pattern, plus a folding rear seat backrest for added usability was incorporated into the interior. A new wheel pattern was also introduced in 1972. The injected cars are also identifiable by the black plastic vents on their rear fenders, with the driver's side also incorporating the fuel filler door. The alloy grille was painted black in 1970, then replaced by a concave, plastic grille in 1972. Production of the P1800E Coupe was limited to 1,865 units for the 1972 and final model year. The P1800ES wagon would end after 1973.

This handsome P1800E was manufactured in November of 1971. Exceptionally clean, rust-free, and finished beautifully in its original code 105 Gold Metallic, it benefits from a recent rotisserie restoration. The quality of the paint and body are exceptional to say the least, highlighting its seductive Italian-inspired styling. The chrome and brightwork gleam in harmony with the deep, mirror gloss of the paint. The original 15-inch steel wheels have been refinished as well and feature the correct Volvo ”V” logo center caps with correct lug nuts and are wrapped with new Michelin 185/70 VR 15 tires.

Showing just 56,515 miles on the odometer, the attractive and sporty interior is correct and highly original in areas such the as the headliner and embossed door panels; however, the comfortable bucket seats have been correctly restored as well as the carpet. The dash features a clean original dash pad with woodgrain trim that houses a full complement of stylish Smiths gauges that include oil pressure, oil, and temperature gauges as well as a tachometer to monitor the peppy engine under the hood. The dash also houses a factory clock and factory Volvo AM/FM radio, plus a passenger-side grab bar. Under the hood is tidy and a new exhaust system allows the perky four-cylinder engine to rev freely. Featuring a desirable M41 four-speed manual gearbox with electric overdrive and spritely fuel-injected 125-horsepower engine, this classic Volvo is as at home on twisty backroads as it is on the open road.

Volvos of the era are increasingly gathering the attention of collectors but are rarely seen restored to such a high standard as this car, presenting a rare opportunity to acquire an exceptional example of the last and most refined iteration of the iconic P1800 Coupe.

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