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Blast from the past: Volvo’s tribute to the P1800 Coupe at the Techno Classica 2018

The Essen Techno Classica is opening its gates to the public In a few weeks (see their website), so it is time to recall some of the favourite moments of past shows. I call it the king of classic cars shows, as it is equally strong in every aspect, from factory stages to private collectors, and the size of the show is just as impressive.

1250 exhibitors from over 30 countries are showcasing their very best, and the exhibition can hardly be covered on foot in a single day: 21 halls and outdoor spaces on 120,000 square meters offer plenty of sights.

Techno Classica’s strongest asset is the prominent participation of car manufacturers, at levels we see at major international car shows. Essentially, Techno Classica resembles now a lot to the Frankfurt Motor Show with classic cars.

For quite a few years, Volvo Cars’ factory museum participated with full enthusiasm, building an elegant stage filled with the best of the Factory Museum.

I am not saying that the Swedes could outcompete the show of the German trio, but it is still the best occasion to see classic Volvos in a quality presentation. The timing of Essen also provides an excellent opportunity to present a new model that was recently revealed, usually in Geneva.

In 2016, it was the first occasion for me to see the V90 in real life, and the pre-production model was surrounded by its predecessors from all epochs.

Last year Volvo focused on a single model, the Volvo P1800 was showcased with some famous or one-off pieces, while the featured model from the current line-up was far from being a novelty.

The XC40 premiered in 2017, but the big news of that time was the Car of the Year award it received a month earlier.

The centre stage was occupied by the 1967 Volvo 1800 S once owned by Sir Roger Moore and featured in the television series ‘The Saint’. The car was showcased for the first time at a classic car show in Europe.

Inside, the car still has details from the filming of ‘The Saint,’ such as a thermometer on the dashboard and a separate interior fan, used to cool the actors during studio filming.

Moore is the documented first registered owner of this Volvo Coupé, 1800 S and the registration papers signed by Moore were showcased in a glass cage next to the car.

He later sold the car to actor Martin Benson, who played Mr. Solo in the James Bond film ‘Goldfinger’ (1964). Several owners followed, and in the early-2000s the car was carefully restored to near-original condition.

Moore’s car was parked alongside another Volvo 1800, a Light Green 1967 model belonging to Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars.

Volvo Cars also showed a one-off 1968 1800 ES prototype built by Italian coachbuilder Pietro Frua and an unrestored 1973 1800 ES in Orange, never driven on the road.

There was an extremely rare 1966 1800 Volvoville convertible parked on the first floor, of which only 30 were built, and an early 1961 P1800 barn-find.

Looking at the Poster of the 2019 Techno Classica, it seems confirmed that Volvo will join this year’s event too. Personally, I am looking forward to their stage this year, if anybody has info about what they are planning to show, feel free to share in a comment.

A non-partisan yet active car-maniac.