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July 2008 Newsletter for Vintage Models

Page 3: customer feature - Brian Phillips

Orders placed through our website will automatically receive any discount pricing associated with this promotion.
If you call to place your order, please be sure to mention media code "MA" to ensure that the correct sales pricing is applied to your phone order.

Sale pricing valid from Wednesday, July 02, 2008 through Friday, August 29, 2008

From “Little old Lady” to “Vintage Sport Sedan”

By: Brian Phillips - ipd customer

I grew up in a Volvo family. I remember when I was a young kid back in the 1960s, my mother was driving our Volvo station wagon, and she was in a bad car accident. The only door that could open was the tailgate, but she came out relatively unhurt. After that my parents were Volvo fans due to the safety and solidness of the cars. Throughout the 70s’ and 80’s my dad drove a 73 Volvo 145 wagon, and my mom drove a 78 Volvo 245 wagon. I just assumed that one day; I would own a Volvo too.

In 1983 when I was a freshman in college, an old friend of the family decided to give me her 1967 four door 122S. I was in shock, and my parents were jealous. They were thinking of buying it for themselves. Our friend bought the car brand new in 1967 when she was 70 years old, owned it for 15 years, put only 21,000 miles on it and kept it garaged. People did not believe me when I told them the mileage, they always assumed that the odometer must have rolled over, and it was really 121,000 miles.

I fell in love with this car. She was my daily driver throughout my seven years of college. Yes, I did say seven years. I drove her all over the west coast, up to Washington and down to Los Angeles. In the summer time I would drive around the San Francisco Bay Area with my windsurfer on top. The lines of a 122 are classic and elegant, and in my opinion the122 is the best looking Volvo ever made. I thought a classic looking car deserves a classy name, and so I named her Princess.

After college I joined the army and I drove Princess out to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. When I was stationed in Korea, I left her at my parent’s home in California, where she stayed for the rest of my seven years in the active army. Well, she was totaled three times, once by my mother, once by my father, and once by my brother. But each time I had her repaired, and I would check in on her when I went home on leave.

After leaving the active army I settled down in New Hampshire with my family and became a school teacher. I had my own home now, and my parents sold theirs, so they shipped Princess out to me. Seeing old Volvos in California is fairly common, but not here in New Hampshire. Needless to say she gets a lot of attention when I drive her around. I found a good mechanic who only worked on European cars, mostly Volvos.

My 122 was in very good shape for an old car, but I always fantasized about really fixing her up nice. My wife and I are both educators, so spending money on a vintage car, which was not a daily driver, was not a priority. In 2001 when the seats started giving out, I found this company online out in Oregon called IPD and I ordered the seat webbing to fix them. After that I started getting the IPD catalogues, and boy did I start fantasizing! When my wife would catch me looking through them with a gleam in my eye, she would coolly say, “do we need that?” The correct answer was, “no dear,” but inside my head I was saying, “oh yes, and I really really want it.”

This next part of the story I call turning lemons into lemonade. The lemon part was being deployed to Iraq with my Army National Guard unit from 2004 to 2005. The lemonade part was saving $11,000 from my increased pay during that year (army officers make more than public school teachers, especially when you add in hostile fire pay and family separation pay) to finally fix up my 122.

When I got back home, I pulled out my IPD catalogue and got to work. I definitely went way beyond the “what was needed” category and into the “what was wanted” area. I started with the suspension. I ordered IPD’s sport lowering springs, anti-sway bars, Bilstein Heavy Duty shocks, and polyurethane suspension bushings. WOW! To quote my mechanic, “she drives like she’s on rails now!” The interior came next. I had the local upholstery shop redo the seats in green vinyl that was such a close match to the original, that you could hardly tell the difference. I was able to get a perforated vinyl headliner and original rubber floor covering from Swedish Classics.

The paint was in relatively good condition, but I wanted it repainted anyway. I have always kept it the original Volvo green, which is very uncommon these days. Finding an auto body shop in our town to do the job was a problem. None of them wanted to work on a “project car.” I found a restoration shop in a nearby town that restored rich peoples’ cars, and I told them to go easy on me. I also had them replace the front floor pans which had rusted out due to a leaking front windshield seal. Now she looked nice, handled well, but what to do about performance?

My 122S had the B18D engine with a BW35 three speed automatic transmission. Not a sporty set up to say the least. Remember, she was given to me by a little old lady. I found a place in central New York that could turn a Volvo into a race car if you wanted. They even made superchargers for old Volvos. I was even debating if I should put in a Toyota 5 speed transmission. Well one eventful day my mechanic called me. He knew a guy just down the road in Massachusetts selling a 67 122 for parts. He said the engine may be what I was looking for.

My oldest son and I drove to his house out in the country. Parked up in the woods on his property was a rust bucket of an abandoned vehicle. There were plants growing through the floor and the engine block was covered in rust. He was a hobby mechanic and he said the engine interior was good. He asked for $500, I got it for $300 and had it hauled to my mechanic’s. My mechanic called a few days later with good news; it was just exterior engine rust. He started the engine and it ran smooth and strong with good pressure in each cylinder! What I got was a B20E high compression engine from a 72 Volvo, plus a M41J transmission with overdrive, what a score!

The donor car cost $300, but the work to get my old engine and trans out, bead blast and refurbish the B20E, and convert the car from automatic to manual ended up costing over $5,000. When it was done, the engine looked brand new with bright shinny Volvo red engine paint. When he popped the hood and showed me the finished project, I hugged him. My mechanic used numerous sundry parts from IPD to include the gaskets, seals, and IPD’s aluminum alloy valve cover. The original B20E was fuel injected, but the prior owner had SU6 carburetors put back on with K&N air filters. The torque she produces is pretty impressive. I got a B20 grille emblem and Overdrive trunk emblem from Swedish Classics so that people who knew anything about old Volvos would know what I was driving.

By now I had blown my budget, but there was no going back, finishing the car was part of my personal post-deployment therapy. I ordered the Simons Sport Exhaust system from IPD which sounds nice and adds a few more horse power. The finishing touch was finding the right wheels to put on her. I always liked the Laguna rims in IPD’s catalogue but was annoyed that they were no longer available. As fate would have it IPD’s next newsletter offered the new SuperLite wheels! That was the finishing touch which made Princess look like the car she performs like. Right below the 122S emblem on the driver’s side I proudly placed IPD’s logo emblem. To thank my mechanic I gave him the limited-edition poster of the Volvo S60R Speed Challenge Racecar in a poster frame. He beamed at me with gratitude. I think he was able to do a project that was personally rewarding for him too. He keeps the poster proudly displayed in his maintenance bay at his shop. Total cost, over $17,000, feeling of gratification, priceless.

Tie Rods and Ball Joints

Ball joints and tie rods are key components in your suspension and steering system. These are parts that need to be replaced before they fail. Tie rods ensure that the act of steering results in the front wheels turning the direction you want to go (this is really important stuff). Ball joints hold the front wheels on the car (also really important). Failure of either component can have disastrous results - if yours are more than 10 years or over 50,000 miles, inspect them soon and arrange for replacement if they show any signs of wear.

122, 1800 - 1962-73 - Tie rod left driver side

122, 1800 - 1962-73 - Tie rod right

122, 1800 - 1962-73 - Center rod end (set)

122, 1800 - 1962-73 - Lower ball joint

122, 1800 - 1962-73 - Locknut for 8A1024 (4req)

122, 1800 - 1966-73 - Upper ball joint

122, 1800 - up to-65 - Upper ball joint

140, 164 - 1970-75 - Center rod ends (set)

140, 164 - 1970-75 - Tie rod left driver side

140, 164 - 1970-75 - Tie rod right

140, 164 - 1970-75 - Upper ball joint

140, 164 - 1967-75 - Lower ball joint

Sale pricing valid from Wednesday, July 02, 2008 through Friday, August 29, 2008

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