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The Passing Lane Newsletter - November 2011
Page 1: Volvo Sports America West Coast National Meet, Customer/Employee Feature, Wanted: Your Volvo Story
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Sale pricing valid from Friday, November 04, 2011 through Friday, January 06, 2012
Volvo Sports America West Coast National Meet
The Volvo Sports America West Coast National Meet this October 14-16th in Malibu was a record breaking success!
Friday saw over a hundred Volvo enthusiasts gather at the Hotel Angeleno to mingle at the reception hosted by Mike Dudek of iRoll Motors. Visitors from British Columbia, Georgia, Texas and all over the western United States made the journey in their vintage Volvos, from 122s to Duetts to 1800 coupes and ESs. By evening the parking lot behind the iconic hotel was full of Swedish steel, visible to anyone driving by on the 405 freeway.
Owners socialized and enjoyed hosted appetizers poolside before turning in for a rest or prepping their cars for the morning’s big show. As the sun rose on Saturday, Volvos were already streaming in to the parking lot of Gladstone’s Malibu. Premiere Presenting Sponsor Volvo Cars North America brought their entire 2012 model lineup, and attendees took turns test driving the new power-boosted S60 R-Design along the Pacific Coast Highway.
Tech sessions were well attended featuring the likes of Tim Otters and his custom 400+ hp 242, Bruce Ackerman and his winning 1800 race car, Mike Dudek on vintage Volvo steering boxes, and Lii Montgomery on SU carburetor tuning. Lii’s son Scott gave “hands on” SU tuning demos with several 1800s outside, as the sun burned brightly over the meet and the Pacific Ocean. Raffle prizes donated by two dozen Volvo supporters including Volvo Cars North America, IPD USA, iRoll Motors, Swedish Speed, Heatblok, Dan Fredman PR, and Volvo Club of British Columbia, were distributed to lucky winners throughout the day. But the real draw was the car show! Over 125 Volvos in total with over 75 1800s including 22 ESs, 9 Jensen-built coupes, and 2 P1900s made this a VSA West Coast National Meet for the record books.
Thirty judges worked in teams to judge over 80 Volvos entered in the concours. Prizes were distributed by Art Banks and Karl Grimm, Concours Co-Captains, at the celebratory banquet dinner held Saturday evening inside the Gladstones Malibu Sunset Room. Best in Show winners included Mike Parmley and his ’64 544 for Stock Early Production, Tom and Barbara Dougherty and their ’99 C70 for Stock Late Production, while Ken Parkhurst took Best In Show Modified and the “Golden Cam Shaft” award with his incredible custom ’73 ES. The “Road Warrior” trophy went to Richard Kelley’s ’62 P1800 (with peeling paint and all), while Chris Buscher took highest mileage for over 700K on his 210 Duett. Guests dined while listening to VCNA Sales & Marketing Manager Greg Hembrough talk about his lifelong love affair with Volvos- a sentiment understood by everyone in the room. Thanks were given to all the event’s sponsors, volunteers and organizers, with special thanks to Art Banks and Bill Webb for organizing the Concours, Ernie Shack of Arizona VSA for originally envisioning the event, and SoCal VSA Chapter Coordinator Dylan Osborn for his leadership in making it possible. To end the evening on a sweet note, Kent Swahn of Swahn Motors brought out an impressive cake that showcased a red Volvo P1800 in three dimensions.
Sunday saw three dozen Volvos caravan from the Hotel Angeleno up to Thousand Oaks, via a stunning canyon drive from the 101 to PCH on Encinal Canyon Road with ocean views. The drive was orchestrated by SoCal VSA member Doug Gagliardi, and everyone agreed it was a beautiful and enjoyable cruise. The destination was Mike Malamut’s Vintage Auto Museum, a hidden jewel for lovers of antique cars and relics of bygone eras- from the giant Bob’s Big Boy statue to the tiny BMW Isetta 300s. Lunch and a group photo capped off the weekend before engines fired up again and the crowd headed for home, with great memories to keep them company along the way.
For more information on this meet and the Southern California chapter of Volvo Sports America click here.
Text by Lelah Baker-Rabe, Photos by Tom Lamb.
Customer/New ipd Employee Featureby Brandon Weaver - ipd Customer Service Representative
We recently welcomed a new addition to our staff – long time customer and fellow Volvo lover Brandon Weaver. Brandon has a long history with Volvos and has owned an enviable collection of them over the years as well. He also happens to be a pretty darn nice guy! Check out Brandon’s history with Volvo in his own words below.
I have a clear memory of sitting in my late father’s office as he waxed poetic about his most-beloved of cars, his old Safari Yellow Volvo 1800E. He leaned back in his chair, hands clasped behind his head, and attempted to describe to his 14 year-old son a car with timeless European sports car styling and the iron-ball toughness of his favorite Swedish car manufacturer. This was well before the internet, and he regrettably had no pictures to share, so I was left with no visual imagery apart from what my father had imparted to me: sleek lines reminiscent of a ‘50’s or 60’s era Jaguar or Ferrari, but with a distinctive front end, and horribly outdated steering and suspension. It wasn’t about performance, my father told me, but rather the joy of this vehicle came from its aesthetic value, the “clickity” sound of that old 4 cylinder Volvo motor, and a beautifully simple interior that he swore he could still smell. He told me of some friends of his at the time, Gary Small and Richard Gordon, who were “starting to fiddle around with Volvos” and of a small shop they had… “IPD, I think they called it… I wonder if they’re still in business?” he pondered aloud.
By this time my father was no longer driving Volvos, and was living in Kansas, far away from his childhood home of Portland, Oregon and he was frankly beginning to lose the interest of his 14 year-old son. But he continued, and told me of how much he regretted ever getting rid of that old “mustard yellow” Volvo, of how no other car he had owned since had given him so much satisfaction. At this point, I just didn’t get it. My dad had just purchased a brand new Dodge Stealth, it was midnight blue and it was fast, and it didn’t resonate with me at all how a 1971 Volvo with “mustard yellow” paint and poor performance could possibly compete with that shiny new rocket in the garage. But my dad and I shared a passion for cars, and I guess that’s why his boring story about a crumby old Volvo stuck with me through the years.
It was 1999, and I was a student at the University of Oregon. The internet now existed and I got to thinking about that old Volvo my dad always talked about. I brought up an image of the Volvo P1800 and immediately recognized it. It was just how he described it. Only better. I had to own one. I found one weeks later in the Oregonian newspaper classified ads (remember, back when people still sold cars in the newspaper?), only this one wasn’t like my dad’s old car. This one was a wagon. I actually liked this “ES” better than the coupe… and it wasn’t mustard yellow…and I could afford it. The seller sent me (via snail mail) a photograph of the car, and I was sold. It was dark green, with chrome all over and I loved it more than any car I had ever seen, including that Dodge Stealth.
The seller, Paul, was from Spokane, Washington and was kind enough to meet me in Portland to deliver the car. He suggested we meet on NE 28th and Broadway, in front of what used to be a Volvo parts supplier… “IPD, I think they called it… I wonder if they’re still in business?” he pondered aloud. Paul explained he had owned the car for years, but hadn’t used IPD’s services for quite some time, and surmised that as they were no longer there on Broadway, they must have gone out business.
I took the long way back to Eugene. As in, I drove to the coast, down the 101 to Florence, and over to Eugene. I got a compliment from a guy my father’s age at a rest stop on the coast. “I never should have gotten rid of my 1800”, he told me... “It’s the best car I ever owned.” That wasn’t the last compliment I received driving that car, nor was it the last time I took the long way home. That old Volvo, my first Volvo, wasn’t fast, it handled like a tractor, but it wasn’t about performance. It was about the aesthetics, that “clickity” sound of that old Volvo 4 cylinder motor, and a beautifully simple interior, that I swear to you I can still smell.
I again followed in my father’s footsteps and after college I sold that ’73 1800ES so that I could buy my next Volvo, an ’83 244 Turbo. This car was fun. This car was black, and had alloy wheels, and was beautifully maintained. This car also came with a catalog. The catalog was from a parts supplier called “IPD”. I was relieved to discover that this outfit was still in business, not only for the never-ending wish list their catalog provided me, but because my dad knew these guys. Gary Small was no longer with the business but Richard Gordon was. It made me feel like the company was family, although I knew not a soul who worked there, including Mr. Gordon. That, of course, would change in time.
As I began to research Volvo performance modification and systematically purchase everything in that tattered IPD catalog, I was reacquainted with an old friend of mine, Cameron Daline. Cameron and I went to high school (Go Generals) and college (Go Ducks) together, and was yet another factor in the family relationship I felt with IPD. With Cameron’s help I emptied my bank account on that 244 turbo until I had a car that was something special. Maybe not as special as Cameron’s 16-valve turbo red block, but special in that it was really the first Volvo I modified, and truly piqued my interest in the tuning world.
Before too long, my 244 was riding on 17” Eiker E1 wheels, with Bilstein HD shocks and struts, TME sport springs, IPD anti-sway bars, and every bolt-on go-fast part I could buy from Cameron. This included, but was not limited to, an intercooler, a performance camshaft and adjustable cam gear, better wastegate actuator, and a re-built turbocharger. Mr. Gordon’s son, Rob, owner of Portland’s Vol-Tech performance shop helped me to install the goodies that Cameron sold me, and further validated the family connection I felt with IPD. That 244 was truly a driver’s car, a far cry from my old tractor, even if it didn’t have the sexy looks of that 1800ES... (oh, stop you’re griping all you brick lovers!)
Unfortunately, I went ahead and crashed that 244, which was simultaneously the saddest day of my car-enthusiast life, as well as the beginning of a beautiful new chapter. I had to, err, I mean, I got to buy a new project!
That project turned out to be a 1995 850 T5R, in cream yellow. You see, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree (recall my dad’s mustard yellow 1800). I bought this car sight unseen from a seller in Los Angeles, flew down and drove it back up to Portland. The smile on my face broadened as I learned what boost was really all about. My 244 was a quick car, but even bone-stock this 850 T5R put my modified 240 turbo to shame. I was drawn to this car because of its uniqueness, and while I had plans to modify the car before I purchased it, I was so impressed with its stock performance that I decided that the value of its stock status out-weighed my desire to modify it. I did in the end opt to modify the suspension of my 850, but I stopped there. A set of IPD sport springs, anti-sway bars, and some 18” matte black Pegasus replicas were all the modifications I ever did to my T5R, and I was just fine with that. It was still the fastest car I’d ever owned, and I loved it for its rarity.
I would still own that 850 T5R if a new love didn’t come my way.
In February of 2010, I got the news that my first son, Jack, was on the way in 8 months and everything changed. By May I had decided that it wasn’t practical for a father-to-be to have a cream yellow 850 T5R sedan, and went searching for my dream Volvo wagon. I found it. That day. One hundred and thirteen Saffron Metallic Pearl V70R’s were imported into the North American market in 1998, and the day that I went searching, I found one for sale. This one was on Swedespeed.com and was being offered by a very reputable seller. It had under 100,000 miles on the clock and was unmolested. I sent a deposit, purchased a plane ticket from Portland to Philadelphia, and one month later was leaving Jim Levitt’s driveway in my new V70R.
I bonded with my new car during a 6 week trip across the country, stopping in Kansas on the way home to visit my father, and so he could see my newest Volvo. It would be the last Volvo of mine that my father would ever see, and I am happy to report that of all the Volvos I owned this was his favorite. My father is responsible for my love affair with Volvo, and although he didn’t make it to meet my son, it is of some consolation that he at least got to meet my Saffron V70R.
With my father as inspiration, I have done a great deal to my V70R. Here is the current list of modifications:18T Turbo charger, “R” exhaust manifold, 3” turbo-back exhaust with MagnaFlow dual exhaust, IPD/MTE Stage III tune, IPD transmission cooler, silicone plug wires, silicone IC hoses, MSD ignition coil, K&N Air filter, Snabb J-pipe, N/A throttle body and 960 throttle plate, and 3-gauge A-pillar pod with boost, oil pressure and AFR gauges, jewel style headlights, TME sport springs, headlight wiper delete and XC grille, IPD anti-sway bars.
I am currently amassing parts for an M66 manual transmission swap and have recently acquired a set of 18” Heico Volution V wheels which will need to be re-finished. On the wish list are a Porsche big brake kit, coil-over suspension, an upgraded intercooler and RIP kit.
Some of the wish list will have to wait, as I recently purchased a black on black 1998 S70 T5 with a factory 5 speed manual transmission, which serves as my daily driver and will inevitably receive some upgrades along the way.
My father planted the seed of Volvo enthusiasm years ago, but it has taken a life of its own. I feel fortunate to now be a part of that small Volvo parts supplier that used to be on NE 28th and Broadway. It’s called IPD, and it most certainly is still in business.
Wanted: Your Volvo StoryWe’ve increased our customer features lately and we’ve had great responses from our readers because of it. We’d like to continue to provide the Volvo community with interesting reader content so we are pleading, yes, even begging for articles. If you have a souped up 850 wagon that you want the world to know about or even if you’re in the middle of your S70 series project and want to show off your progress, let us know and we’d love to feature you and your ride. If you own a S60 series and have a great trick or tech tip you’ve discovered, send it on over and we’ll share it with our readers.
If one of the items on your bucket list is to be published in one of ipd’s famous newsletters, here’s your chance. Don’t deny it, you know it’s there; if it’s not, add it now and send in your story so you can check it off your list. Even if you think it’s not print worthy, that’s okay, let us be the judge of that because we still want to hear your story. Tell us about how you caught the Volvo bug, the remedies you’ve tried to get rid of it and what finally put you over the edge to finally just give up and let the bug take it’s hold.
Some pictures of you and your Volvo would be great to include along with how your experience with ipd went. It would be great to also include any ipd upgrades you’ve added and how our customer service staff treated you.
We look forward to hearing your story and the opportunity to share it with other sick Volvo lovers who have caught the same bug.
Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sale pricing valid from Friday, November 04, 2011 through Friday, January 06, 2012
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