HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1965 Volvo P1800S

Pick of the Day: 1965 Volvo P1800S

Like Roger Moore in "The Saint"


The Volvo P1800S is the one car I would buy again. I bought mine about 12 years ago from an ad I found on Craigslist and my friend John Nikas took a look at it, as it was only miles from his house in California, and after receiving his report I bought it. I had John take the car to a local Volvo specialist, since at the time I lived in Illinois, and the shop repaired everything mechanically that needed it.

We then took the car on an epic road trip from Los Angeles to Monterey, California and then on to Barrington, Illinois, where I was living at the time. The car performed perfectly. I then picked up where I started and did a complete restoration of the car. The next year I drove it out to Monterey for car week and was given an offer that I could not refuse and sold it. I still regret selling this car.

1965 Volvo P1800S
1965 Volvo P1800S

The 1800S is a car that bats way above it pay range. It has performance at about the same level of an MGB GT, but offers a better interior, superior build quality, and amazing styling reminiscent of much higher end Italian cars of the period.

One of the reasons I have not replaced it is because in the last few years the Volvo 1800S has increased in value. I had a total of around $35k wrapped up in mine and cars as good as my former Volvo were selling for as much as $60k.

The Pick of the Day could be one of the best deals I have seen on one of the 1800S in years. It is a 1965 Volvo 1800S in black paint with a red interior. (Click the link to view the listing)

Since I know these cars, I looked very hard at the pictures in the ad. From what I can discern, while this is in no way a show car, it does look to be a very well sorted driver level car.

The St. Charles, Illinois dealer selling this Volvo describes it as a car that will not disappoint. They are up front in stating that it is not perfect, but also describe it as a great driver level car.

Details I’ve noticed in the many listing pictures are a correct interior, an engine compartment that looks to have all the correct pieces, including the dual SU carbs and not a single Weber conversion. Also, the body seams look to be largely intact and the entire car looks presentable.

Before pulling the trigger on this car I would want to see the condition of the floors and the chassis outriggers, but if these are good then this is indeed a nice driver. I had to replace the outrigger and rockers on my car, and these are both critical components, though replacing the outriggers is not that difficult or expensive. The rockers are another story as they were expensive and difficult to replace.

The asking price for this car is a fair $29,900, which is a good price for one in good, but not great condition.

So, you may be asking why I even posted this as my pick? The reason is that my old one was white, and I only want a white 1800S. Yes, it is because Roger Moore drove a white one on The Saint, and we buy what we love.

To view the listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Andy Reid
Andy Reid
Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.


  1. Mine was red – Ferrari red. She started to show signs of rust coming from beneath her skin so I had her body restored by a guy who usually does the highest-end sports cars. He was a friend and between major projects for rich guys. He suggested that rich color instead of the red she came with. She became my mechanical mistress for about four years. I was in a bad marriage, had a road job that kept me out and about 3 or 4 days a week. I drove her instead of a company car whenever I could. It was just like having a beautiful, congenial, supportive women on my arm as I danced with her down the curviest back roads I could find along my routes. She wasn’t fast but she was graceful and agile. Finally, I had to give her up when another fellow fell in love with her as I had at a time when I needed the money and she was beginning to need structural care on her fragile undercarriage. He offered me twice what she was worth, so I let her go. I still rue that day.

  2. You gave such a great description of how you felt about that car and the way it pacified you on the curviest back roads! All of us car nuts have been there. I had a black with a black interior 1966 Impala SS396. I felt the same way about it and hate myself for letting it go.

  3. I had 4 of these vehicles: running Siver Blue w/ wired chrome spoke wheels the 1966 P1800S, 1965 P1800S for parts, a burgandy 1966 P1800S a restore project, last last a red 1971 P1800E B20 fuel injection automatic in running condition.


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