was in my early 20s in Portland, Maine. I saw a Volvo P1800
parked on the street and I thought it was the most beautiful
car I'd ever seen. I searched one out and I've had one ever
since. Some days shifting gears through the stop and go traffic,
I wonder why we're still together. But, we are, and as one
of my exes said to me, "Love is a verb!" So, I take
care of her and she takes care of me. The one in Maine rusted
out and I gave it to a friend for parts. The Volvo shop there
offered me $75 for it, and I refused to sell her off so cheap.
Last I heard it was in a field in Bowdoinham, Maine. When
I moved to Los Angeles I bought one in perfect condition,
cash, with my first album advance money. I still have it.
It was totally rust free. It's gotten smashed up a few times
and I put way too much money into a restoration about 10 years
ago. It needs another round of work at this point.
Some brief history. These were first sold in 1961 and they
stopped in 1973. They made a beautiful station wagon version
for the last two years ( I was tempted to get one but you
can't leave your guitars in the trunk visible to the world
for temptation.) The body was designed with Ghia in Italy,
hence the rounded curves and fins that resemble a Karman-Ghia.
They asked the German company Karman to manufacture the body
but Volkswagon threatened to pull their business away from
Karman, so the bodies were, at least at first, manufactured
in Scotland. The cars were assembled in England by Jensen
with British electrical systems, Swedish engines , and various
parts from all over Europe. At one point, there was a British
TV show called "The Saint" featuring Roger Moore
as Simon Templar. This was prior to his fame as agent 007
James Bond. They asked Jaguar for a free XK-E model for him
to drive on the show but Jaguar wouldn't give them one. Volvo,
however, did offer THEIR sport's car and the rest is history.
Now many refer to the P1800 as "The Saint". The
original 1964 car used in the show is in a museum in Keswick,
The car never had a lot of sport's car pep, even though they
upped the horsepower several times. Still, it has a classic
beauty and a day doesn't go by that I don't get comments on
it. It seems to be a worldwide love affair as I recently saw
an absolutely perfect red one parked on Vrolikstraat in Amsterdam.
There's a guy on Cape Cod who has a backyard full of them
for parts, in case you get the same "jones" that
I have. His name is Don Thibault at p1800.com.