The Cars of The Saint
Simon Templar, alias The Saint, has driven a number of vehicles over the years. He is most associated with Volvo and Jaguar, as
those two makes saw him driving their automobiles on many television episodes over the past many years.
However, the Saint first appeared in the 1928 book by Leslie Charteris, Meet The Tiger! and has been driving ever since.
When Leslie Charteris started writing the Saint books, he imagined The Saint driving a mighty beast of a car, thundering
down the road sweeping anything in his way aside with just the raw powerful force of its presence.
Thus, he put his literary creation, Simon Templar behind the wheel of the fictional Hirondel.
The Hirondel was one of a few fictional automobiles that Charteris placed the Saint in over the years, with others
being the Furillac and Desurio. The Hirondel, however, was the first and most prominent. It gathered the most emotional
attention, and was a heart-stopping red and cream sedan of more than two tons!
It's huge engine of eight enormas cylinders, coupled with Simon Templar's roaring driving style,
meant the flamboyant Hirondel, the mythical and magnificent monster, could be heard for miles around by it's
load throaty exhausts. Certainly not the fuel efficient and quiet motor that would allow The Saint to sneak up on
anyone or sustain a chase for more than a few hours.
The classic image of
Roger Moore driving his Volvo sports car in the 1960's TV show, The Saint, endures even today.
The Volvo Car Corporation supplied the "The Saint" television producers a total of five P1800 models for
use on their show. Volvo happily supplied the first one in 1962, registered as 71 DXC, within a week of its being requested.
In 1964, Volvo moved production of the P1800 line from England to Sweden, and sent one of the new 1800S models,
registration 77 GYL, to the set of "The Saint".
The first car was then chopped up for better interior shot access.
In the late 1970's Robert S. Baker starting gathering a production team for The Son of The Saint in which a young and up-and-coming star would play Simon Templar's son.
The idea would be to have Roger Moore introduce the series, and then occasionally have a small reoccurring role from time to time as was needed.
There were a couple of issues with the idea, including the fact that Roger Moore was now tied up doing James Bond films most of the time.
So the series transformed in The Return of The Saint with Ian Ogilvy playing the lead role of Leslie Charteris' Simon Templar.
This time, when the producers approached Jaguar they were immediately given the latest Jaguar XJS sports car to have in the new TV series.
Jaguar had by this time learned their lesson, and did not want a repeat of the Volvo 1800 taking what should have been a Jaguar E-Type's role as The Saint's car.
The Saint's motorcycle had a license plate of "ST 2" which complements the Jaguar XJ-S' "ST 1".
Ian Ogilvy, who played Simon Templar in The Return of The Saint, was responsible for this addition to The Saint's collection of vehicles.
Ogilvy owned his first motorcycle at the age of sixteen, and has been a avid enthusiast ever since.
Ogilvy was quoted in 1978 as saying, "It was my idea that Simon Templar should have a motorcycle as well as a car.
After all, there are times when it can be more useful for him than a car.
And with with all the appeals for people to cut down on petrol consumption, it's now completely acceptable."
Well, Ogilvy was quite pleased when Executive Producer Robert S. Baker agreed and delivered the newest and fastest 1,000cc BMW motorbike available.
In the 1987 television pilot, The Saint in Manhattan, Simon Templar was played by Andrew Clarke. The television producers
were trying to capitalize on the success of Magnum P.I. with Tom Selleck, so they had The Saint drive a exotic Italian super car,
and wear a mustache, to match the Ferrari and Selleck. They chose the most ostentatious super car of the day,
a black Lamborghini Countach 5000QV -- Quattrovalvole!
In 1989 the Saint was once again welcomed back to television driving a Jensen Interceptor
in six 2-hour movies featuring Simon Dutton as Simon Templar, alias the Saint.
The Saint's new car, as driven Dutton, was a 1976 Jensen Interceptor Series 3 Saloon in Briazs Blue.
The car was supplied directly by Jensen and upgraded with a new radiator grille, wheels, and accessories to make it
look like the latest Series 4 Saloon. After filming had completed, Jensen sold
the "Saint's Jensen Interceptor" to Dr. Chetiyawardana, a cancer specialist in the Midlands. The car, now registered as OND 954P,
came with an engraved plaque on the
dashboard describing its Sainted providence, along with a nice album full for photos of Simon Dutton with the car in various locations and other
letters between Jensen and the film company about the car.
Dr. Cheti' is a member of The Saint Club and does use the car in rallies and exhibitions from time to time.
A second Jensen on loan from a private collector was on-set for backup use, and was never involved in any filming.
When the 1997 Paramount motion picture, The Saint, starring Val Kilmer was in pre-production, they contacted Volvo to
see if they had any interest in reviving the long-term relationship between The Saint and Volvo. The timing was just right, as
Volvo had just recently debuted their first true two-door sports coupe in many years. The Volvo C70 coupe
first appeared on October 1, 1996 at the International Automobile Show in France.
The arrangements were made, and thus Val Kilmer drove a cherry red Volvo C70 in the 1997 movie.