The Volvo Parts, Accessories &
Performance Specialists Since 1963

A Closer Look At The Historic IPD / Vol-Tech 142 Racecar


Back in the early 60’s a small group of Volvo enthusiasts living in Portland, Oregon led by IPD founder Richard Gordon, decided to specialize in performance parts for Volvo cars.  Two enthusiasts (Richard Gordon and Gary Small) saw enormous potential with upgrading the Volvo platform. Gary and Richard started Import Parts & Service (IPS) in 1963. Gary was drag racing and building a 544 Volvo.  In 1965 IPS morphed into Import Parts Distributing (IPD) and Gary started Import Service Center.

In 1967 Richard Gordon converted a 122S sedan from a streetcar to a B-sedan racecar. In 1969 Richard began racing SCCA. During that time Richard was testing and developing products used at autocross races and SCCA events. Richard also sold those same parts to other Volvo enthusiasts looking to upgrade their personal daily drivers.

Eventually Gary switched from drag racing to road racing with Richard. Both experienced enormous success with their parts and cars on the track. At that time, no factory support or even independent Volvo racing effort existed in north America. IPD had to start from nothing designing and building competition equipment. The knowledge gained during that process was earned the hard way, on the track! This resulted in the development of a complete line of parts and accessories for improved street performance and all-out racing products for Volvo cars. Racing served as the ultimate performance and endurance test for the parts manufactured and distributed.

In 1974 Richard and Gary dissolved their partnership. Gary kept ISC and bought a Saab dealership. Richard ran with IPD and kept Volvo on the racetrack. The IPD parts catalog continued to grow throughout the years as Richard and his staff kept adding new and improved performance parts and accessories specifically for Volvo cars.

Richard raced multiple Volvo models. The 1971 142 racecar is the most iconic for IPD and its fans. The 142 sedan was the first Volvo to win a professional race in America. Richard’s son Rob Gordon now owns and maintains the historic 142 race car. He has competed in SCCA and Vintage Racing events. The 142 still has many modified parts, the same ones used back in the 70’s and 80’s.   Rob Gordon owns an independent Volvo repair facility located in Portland Oregon. He is known for building the most powerful B20 engines. The 142 racecar pushes 225hp at 13:1 compression. Great suspension parts with a high revving B20 making a bunch of power is a recipe for success, well that and a great driver!  

Check out this video we put together of Rob Gordon driving his dad’s racecar in different VP2 Vintage Racing events.