Here's What Happened To Roger Moore's Volvo P1800 From The Saint

Before Sir Roger Moore portrayed Agent 007 in the eighth James Bond movie "Live and Let Die" in 1973, he was renowned for his role as Simon Templar in "The Saint," a famous British TV series on ITV from 1962 to 1969 (via The Movie Database). Templar is a similar Bond-like character created by the author Leslie Charteris in the 1920s. Typical of most top-secret agents, Templar had a cool vintage car to accompany his charm and wits. He drove a Volvo P1800 in the show, undoubtedly one of the most iconic TV cars next to George Barris' original Batmobile and General Lee from "The Dukes of Hazzard."

Before Volvo cars became known for unparalleled safety and boxy station wagons, the company had sporting aspirations in the mid-'50s. The Volvo 1800/P1800 is the Swedish automaker's second attempt at a two-door sports car after introducing the Sport P1900 in 1956. The Volvo 1800 is a 2+2 sports car with a front-mounted engine, a rear-wheel drivetrain, and a luscious coupe body penned by yacht designer Pelle Petterson (under the guidance of Pietro Frua, then under the subsidiary of Carrozeria Ghia SpA.), making it perfect for primetime viewing (via Hemmings).

Simon Templar was supposed to drive a Jag

Despite the Volvo P1800's considerable merits, Simon Templar was initially not destined to drive a Volvo. According to Practical Classics, Sir Roger Moore had his heart set on a Jaguar XK150 for the show, but Jaguar refused to supply vehicles for the TV series, saying it "didn't need the publicity." The show's production manager showed Moore an auto magazine featuring the Volvo P1800, and the rest is history. Moore was reportedly so enamored with the P1800's Italian body style that he is quoted as having said, "Looks better than the Jag," upon seeing the photos.

The production crew for "The Saint" had three Volvo P1800s for the show. Practical Classics adds that the first is a U.K.-built 1962 model later found on a North Wales farm in 1991. The second car is a Swedish-built 1964 P1800 S that blew up behind a hedge in the TV show. The third car is an updated 1967 1800 S that was once personally owned by Sir Roger Moore and played his co-star in "The Saint."

Living the museum lifestyle

Moore later sold his Volvo P1800 S to fellow actor Martin Benson (who played the role of Mr. Solo in the James Bond classic Goldfinger in 1964). The vehicle exchanged hands a few more times in the early 2000s until the owner donated it to the Volvo Museum after Moore's death in 2017 (via The Telegraph).

According to Volvo's 2018 press release, Sir Roger Moore's Volvo P1800 S from "The Saint" was displayed at the Techno-Classica in Essen, Germany, marking the first time it appeared at a classic car show in Europe. Moore's 1966 Pearl White P1800 S features the original Mini-Lite wheels (with a rare truncated spoke design), Hella fog lamps, and a genuine Volvo wood steering wheel. The car also has a unique thermometer on the dashboard and an interior fan to provide a cooling breeze to the actors during filming.

Sir Roger Moore remains the documented first owner of the car. In "The Saint," the vehicle wore its famous "ST 1" license plates, but Moore signed the registration papers in January 1967, two weeks after London issued the vehicle's original "NUV 648E" placards.