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Volvo Adventures is an independent New Zealand based resource for the older Volvo models

(Ex) Wykeham Volvo 122S Ruddspeed replica

1965 Volvo 122S Saloon,
FIA Appendix 'K' Papers, RAC MSA rally logbook
Registration Number: CNA 161C
Chassis Number: 112618
Engine Number: 231708

Introduced in March 1958, the 122S was a more sporting variant of Volvo's highly successful 120- series 'Amazon' range. Built around a high grade Swedish steel fabricated monocoque fitted with independent coil and wishbone front suspension and a panhard rod located rear axle, the 122S was powered by a twin SU carburettor fed B18D four-cylinder engine. Quickly acquiring a reputation for toughness, longevity and reliability, the 122S in two-door guise proved a formidable competitor on both rally stages and racetracks alike. In 1963, Volvo 122S cars won the European Rally Championship, came second in the European Touring Car Championship and took first in class at the 6-hour and 12-hour Nurburgring endurance races (an Amazon would also go on to win the 1965 RAC European Touring Car Championship).

As if to continue this heritage, CNA 161C was reincarnated by fifth owner Wally Wright as a historic rally car. Treated to an engine rebuild, lowered suspension, overhauled brakes, new exhaust, refurbished ENV differential and 3,126.43 rewire, it undertook events such as the Monte Carlo Challenge and the Lands End to John O'Groats Le Jog run (which it briefly lead) during the 1996 / 1997 seasons.

Inactive for 1998, the Volvo began the next phase of its competitive career the following year in the hands of new owner Joel Wykeham. A long time sports and saloon car competitor, Wykeham saw CNA 161C as an ideal candidate for historic racing on the basis that it was (a) unusual enough to intrigue event organisers, (b) tough enough to withstand over enthusiastic driving, (c) comparatively family-friendly and (d) blessed with a boot big enough to swallow a meaningful quantity of tools / spares. Thus, he set about transforming the Amazon into a replica of the unique Ruddspeed tuned Sussex Racing Team car that had been campaigned in various European Touring Car Championship events during the 1964-1966 seasons.

Thoroughly reworked CNA 161C emerged for the 2000 season boasting an impressive specification.  Equipped with IPD (Portland, Oregon) front and rear anti-roll bars, Neil Satur race springs, Swedish import race-tuned Bilstein shock absorbers, the suspension also benefited from reinforced front wishbones, subframe and trailing arms. Upgraded with an OJ Rallye (USA) dual circuit master cylinder conversion and Summit bias adjuster, the braking system also received new rear drums with Mintex linings and fresh pads for the front discs.

Assembled by Andrew Thorogood from parts supplied by Unitek (Sweden), its 1822cc engine incorporated Mahle pistons (+ 0.040"), a 296 phase-4 camshaft with lightweight followers, Bofor rods and baffled sump. Other goodies included steel timing gears, B23 oil seal conversion, lightened flywheel, fabricated race spec pulley, B20 type pump and oil cooler and competition manifold. The presence of 'J'-type overdrive gave the late type M410 gearbox seven forward ratios. While, the Pole Classics prepared rear axle housed a Quaife LSD, uprated halfshafts and custom seals.  The two-door bodyshell was lightened and strengthened with a full FIA Safety Devices roll cage and fitted with a race seat, harnesses and Mountney wheel etc.

A regular entrant in the Top Hat endurance historic saloon series, it also made two appearances in the FIA European Historic Touring Car Championship (winning its TC14 class at Donington in July 2000). Invited to compete for the St Mary's Trophy at both the 2000 and 2001 Goodwood Revival Meetings, its sixteenth place in 2000 behind the Mercedes-Benz 300SE of Stewart Imber was improved on in 2001 when it came eighth behind a Mini Cooper S but ahead of a Jaguar MKVII trio.

Not run in anger for the last few years, it has recently been gone through by SRG Motorsport. In addition to recalibrating the suspension, re-jetting the carburettors and resetting the timing (the latter two tasks being done with the aid of a rolling road), CNA 161C has been lightened to its homologated weight and fitted with a much freer breathing exhaust system. Informally shaken down by the likes of Barrie 'Whizzo' Williams and Martin Thomas, it is said to be some "twenty per cent better" in all respects. Thought to have performance roughly comparable to a mid-budget Lotus Cortina, the Amazon may not be a potential race winner but it does represent a very inexpensive introduction to a whole host of historic racing/rallying and possibly another Goodwood entry (invitation permitting) in 2005. Offered for sale with V5 registration document, RAC MSA rally logbook, FIA papers, history file and rally spares package (sump guard, spotlights, interior lights and different springs etc). Please note that information as to the mechanical specification of this car has been taken from its history file and as such it has not been verified.  

This 122S was offered at Auction at in June 2004
Estimate: 9,000 - 11,000 1999 - 2021