Back on the road, the 1962 Volvo driven by Roger Moore in The Saint which was found rotting away on a farm 22 years ago

Picture of By Craig Ranson
By Craig Ranson

Managing Director – Bridge Classic Cars

It was found rotting away 22 years ago with the engine on the back seat. Today it looks as good as when The Saint last stepped out of it.

The iconic original Volvo P1800 coupe driven by Roger Moore as Simon Templar in the 1960s TV series has been fully restored by car enthusiast Kevin Price.

Mr Price found the car on a farm in North Wales in 1991 and persuaded the owner to sell it to him in 1997. He spent ten years collecting parts and another six on the restoration.

The Saint 1962 Volvo

The Saint 1962 Volvo

In The Saint, which featured Moore as a suave modern-day Robin Hood-style adventurer and was screened by ITV between 1962 and 1969, the car bore the number plate ST1.

Although four more P1800s, one of which was used  by Sir Roger personally, were later  supplied by Volvo, Mr Price’s vehicle – registered as 71 DXC – is the original.

It was displayed at the Footman James Manchester Classic Car Show.

Mr Price, 57, who founded the Volvo Enthusiasts Club, drove it there from his home in Bewdley, Worcestershire.

He said: ‘I fell in love with the shape of the car and it became a quest to find one.

‘After I’d set up the club I was approached by a guy from North Wales who said he had the original car from the The Saint.

‘I went to have a look and it was just sat next to the barn covered in brambles and nettles with the engine on the back seat.

‘But when he finally agreed to sell and I got it home it was in surprisingly good shape considering it had been there so long.

‘As much of the original car was retained as possible and it drives beautifully. You wouldn’t think it was a 1962 car.’

The Saint 1962 Volvo

Show organiser Andy Rouse said: ‘The Saint car is a project we’ve been aware of over the years and it’ll be great to see the final results of Kevin’s incredible hard work and dedication.’

The car needed extensive rust removal to its panels, wheels and front axle and it’s body shell had to be rebuilt.

Further work to the gear box, rear axle and engine, which included a conversion for unleaded fuel, was also undertaken to make it roadworthy.

Once asked to name his favourite movie cars, Sir Roger said: ‘I have a great affection for the Volvo P1800, as, of course, I owned one as well as used one in the series. It’s a beautiful car and I still drive a Volvo to this day.’

But Sir Roger and The Saint producers had initially wanted to feature a Jaguar E-type.

But Jag were inundated with offers and declined to take part so the P1800, which was first-built at the Jensen Motors factory in the West Midlands before production was switched to Sweden, was used instead.

Sir Roger’s performances as Templar pre-dated his role as James Bond as he was reportedly asked to play 007 at least twice during the series but had to turn the role down both times due to his television commitments.

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