1970 Volvo 1800E: East Coaster Today

Right next to the Normaway Inn’s famous Music Barn, in the beautiful Margaree Valley in the heart of Cape Breton, sits a metallic silver 1970 Volvo 1800E.

The iconic shape of the Volvo P1800, designed by Pelle Petterson, under the guidance of Pietro Frua of Italian carriage design company, Ghia, makes it look like it’s moving when standing still.


1970 Volvo 1800E at the Normaway Inn’s Music Barn (Photo: Garry Sowerby)


The 2+2, front-engine, rear-drive sports car, based on the Amazon/122 series, achieved pop star status when British actor, Roger Moore, drove a P1800 in the 1960’s television series The Saint.


Roger Moore starred in The Saint, which aired from 1962 until 1969. He drove a Volvo P1800 throughout the series.


The Volvo 1800E, where the E stands for Einspritzung, the German word for fuel injection, was introduced in 1970. That year was also the first for four-wheel disc brakes.

The 1970 Volvo 1800E produced 130 horsepower and acceleration from 0–100 km/h (0–62.1 mph) took 9.5 seconds.


1970 Volvo 1800E will get some TLC next spring (Photo: Garry Sowerby)


Dave MacDonald owns the car (and the Inn and the Barn). He bought it in Port Dover, Ontario about four years ago and drove it home. It ran quite nicely. “Well, there was a small oil leak, so that was kind of stinky, but other than that…”

He bought it from the second owner who had found the 50-year-old Volvo in a barn.


1970 Volvo 1800E (Photo: Garry Sowerby)


Dave’s had Volvo cars since he was 16, his first, a red 1964 model. The memory brings a wistful look to his eyes.

He puts the 1970 Volvo 1800E away for the winter.  In the spring, Dave tells us he wants to bring the sleek survivor to a mechanic for some TLC. A chance to drive the Volvo once it’s running like a top again gives us an excuse to go back to the Normaway Inn!


1970 Volvo 1800E (Photo: Garry Sowerby)

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