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Classics for sale: When Volvo did sexy

Volvo is always connected to the ‘s’ word: safe. But one time it made a car that helped break safes, chase spies and attract beautiful women

You remember the Volvo 1800 series right? The iconic late 1960s design of a 2+2 sports car with a long nose and sweeping lines that travel the length of the body? The Jaguar E-type? No. The Volvo 1800. They even did a shooting brake version. Ah, well luckily for you there’s a 1971 1800E coupe in our classifieds.

Yes, the much forgotten but truly brilliant Volvo 1800E. There was a time when Volvo did sports cars, which started and ended with the 1800. This example is being offered at auction without reserve at RM Sotheby’s Hershey event on October 11-12. Some may be distracted by the smells of Hershey’s Chocolate World, but most will be trying to get their hands on this car, which is estimated to sell for a value between $25,000 to $30,000.

It’s powered by a 1986cc Volvo B20 inline four-cylinder fuel-injected engine, and unlike the Italians, this combines good looks with exceptional reliability. There’s a four-speed manual transmission, fuel injection, and disc brakes on all four wheels. Further enhancing the car’s reputation, it is British built and was made to a small scale. It begs the question why James Bond wasn’t driving a Volvo at the time (although Bond actor Roger Moore did utilise one in The Saint).

The 1800E came nearly a decade into the development of the 1800, which had started off with the P1800 and then the more powerful 1800S. It was the 1800E that provided the basis for the 1800ES shooting brake.

Clearly auditioning for a role in a Bond movie, this 1800E coupe is finished in a sleek silver. with the previous owner having had the car repainted and the engine rebuilt last decade. It now runs on BF Goodrich G-Force Sport tyres, the type rally drivers use. The wheels are the same ones that came out of the factory.

A maroon leather interior with a traditional wood dash and Smiths instrumentation is guaranteed to set a good impression when picking up your good looking Swedish friends, whether your name is Roger Moore or not. The car’s collector status is undeniable, and don’t be tricked into thinking this is the usual boring safety conscious car from Sweden, this is a car fit for a spy.

PHOTO GALLERY

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