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The Saints Volvo 1800

Few shows were as popular in Britain in the 1960s as “The Saint”. The show starred Roger Moore as Simon Templar, a spy with a penchant for gorgeous cars. The show’s writers and producers had a feeling that they had a hit in the making on their hands, as few people can turn down a handsome spy driving a beautiful car.

At the shows inception, everyone knew that they would have gave anything to find the perfect car because the car was going to be just as much of a star in the show as Roger Moore who went on to star in a series of James Bond flicks. They needed a sports model car that looked great. Due to the nature of the show, the car had to be capable of taking a pounding. They found the perfect car in the now infamous Volvo 1800.

The Volvo 1800’s manufacturer, the Volvo Car Corporation, couldn’t turn down the free publicity that a possible-hit show could provide. When the show’s producers requested a Volvo P1800 for the show’s use in 1962, the company happily complied and supplied them with a white one within that very same week. The car was registered as 71 DXC. It was a partnership that presented a win-win situation for both parties.

Two years later, in 1964, Volvo had moved the P1800’s production line from England to Sweden so when the show requested another car, they sent a newer model, the Volvo 1800S. In order to get good shots from inside the car, the interior had to be hacked up a little. However, it didn’t affect people’s image of the car.

The show needed yet another model in 1967. Unfortunately, the car got wrecked in a crash very soon after its delivery. Instead of requesting another, the production company refitted the 1964 model so it looked as modern as the 1967 model. Volvo supplied two more cars after that; Roger Moore used one for his personal use and the other was used for more filming. All in all, Volvo supplied The Saint with 5 different PS1800 models.

When the show went off the air, the partnership with Volvo also dissolved – at least until the 1997 movie remake of the show, The Saint, hit theaters. Val Kilmer played Simon Templar this time around, and instead of driving a white Volvo 1800, he drove a cherry red Volvo C70 , which had made its debut only the year before. Released by Paramount Pictures, it didn’t do so well in the United States, grossing over USD 61 million but it met more success internationally, raking in over USD 108 million.

While the cars always took a beating, often getting dented, shot, wrecked or otherwise severely damaged, just like Simon Templar, the Volvo 1800 always came back up swinging, earning it a place as one of the most recognized cars in history. Owing to a generous car donation, one of the cars used in the show is available for viewing at the “Cars of the Stars” museum in Keswick, England.

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