Introduced in 1960 and popularised by The Saint television series, Volvo's pretty P1800 sports coupé, although no hairy-chested tyre-shredder, was nonetheless something of a radical departure for the sober-sided Swedish concern. Based on the 121 saloon, the P1800 was built by Jensen Motors until production transferred to Sweden in 1963, and employed Volvo's rugged, four-cylinder, overhead-valve engine in 1,778cc form. Breathing through twin carburettors, this unit produced 100bhp, an output sufficient to propel the solidly built coupé to a top speed of around 105mph. The running gear was conventional, with independent front suspension and live rear axle, and all versions came with servo-assisted front disc brakes.
The introduction of the successor P1800S in 1963 brought with it a capacity increase to 1,985cc, power going up to 108bhp as a result. Fuel injection was standardised in 1969, maximum power increasing to 130bhp, with four-wheel disc brakes arriving at the same time. By the end of the 1960s, the model was beginning to look dated but the introduction of the Reliant GTE-influenced P1800ES sports estate extended its lease of life into the early 1970s.
A desirable manual/overdrive equipped model, this P1800S was supplied new by Volvo agent Olaf Olsen of Huddersfield, whose name is on the dashboard plaque, front number plate and original tax disc holder. The Volvo has remained in the Huddersfield area all its life. In the early 1990s, a full body restoration and re-spray was carried out and the car was then left covered in dry storage until 2008. Since then it has been mechanically re-commissioned for road use and refurbished with new leather upholstery, new carpets and new stainless steel trim including bumpers, front grille, etc. 'MCX 531F' is described by the private vendor as in generally very good condition, its engine in good running order and the overdrive working. The car is offered with current road fund licence, MoT to May 2013 and Swansea V5 registration document.