Rallye Coach Works - Volvo

This month it’s all about Volvos. My Dad is a Volvo nut and so am I. Dad’s owned mostly 140’s , 240’s and 740 series Volvos. Dad’s probably had over 75 of them, his most valuable ones were 262 C Bertone’s. He had two of those. Some of my brother’s and sister’s first cars were 140 Volvos. I think what attracted my Dad to them was he could first of all buy used ones cheap because he is, and second of all is their durability. For me it was brain washing. I personally have three P1800’s one is a Vintage race car. I also have a 1958 444, my wife drives a S70, our oldest daughter drives a 850T wagon and our middle daughter drives a 240. That’s a lot of Volvos. Besides my Dad’s brain washing I also worked for Volvo for 14 years and like the fact that they are safe.

The most interesting part of my passion for Volvo’s is my 1964 Volvo P1800S racer. It took over 5 years of blood and sweat to put together in my two car garage at the house, lots of evenings and weekends. I raced it with Rocky Mountain Vintage racing from 1999-2004. I think the biggest motivator for building a Volvo was the fact that no one at the time was racing one with RMVR. I was originally going to build a Mini Cooper but the club had plenty of them. I came across an original owner wrecked P1800S, then I remembered when I was Ice racing a Karman Ghia VW in NY state back in the early 80’s there was a guy that worked for the Volvo factory that was racing a 145 Volvo wagon and was cleaning everyone’s clock. I knew you could make them go fast, so that was it. I was all about being different. I remember going to the races telling racer friends during the building period I was prepping a Volvo for Vintage racing most of them looked at me like I had two heads, that was ok with me.

Two of my most memorable adventures with the racer are the trips I took to Sebring, Florida to race the same weekend as the famous 12 Hours of Sebring in 2000. The second race weekend was in 2001 I took the whole family and we towed to race at another famous track, Watkins Glen. I had been there over 20 years prior to see two back to back Formula 1 races in 1979 and 1980. I had also been to Sebring the same two years to see the 12 Hour race. So you can only imagine how exciting it was for me to actually get to drive on both of those tracks. It was a long time coming. I still own the car today and some day plan on getting back on the track.

Thanks until next month keep the shinny side up, Tony

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