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Project  Volvo 142GT
by
Club member Hans-Peter Rombouts

 

Many of you will know that for the last few years I have been preparing my blue PV as a motorsport car. The idea was to build a road car that could be used for racing and road rallies, when I saw the Canadian 142 in the Targa NZ rally, I changed my mind, how much more practical for motorsport one of these would be, also I have a 1969  model  in reasonable condition sitting in the yard! (Photos below)

   142frontleftside.jpg (52752 bytes)  142leftrear.jpg (54865 bytes)  142door.jpg (41224 bytes)

Much easier to obtain parts after the inevitable crash, only a few years newer with regard to classic classes, much more usable in standard trim, lots more room for a roll cage and easier to drive due to better vision.  

So when the registration and warrant run out on my other 544 in March I shall be transferring bits to the blue shell and building a really nice road car and Iím now collecting parts to build a standard 1969 142 GT race car.

142gt_FRONT.jpg (38060 bytes)
142 GT

So how hot could a  standard 1960ís 142 be? Well straight from the factory a 2 litre twin SU with 118hp is the hottest however while Volvo stopped its direct involvement with motorsport in 1966 the factoriesí interest in providing tuning parts improved and the arrival of the 140 series in 1966 with production in full swing by 1968 coincided with the introduction of performance kits supplied by Volvo Tuning Services.

Thus it was possible to go to your friendly local Volvo dealer and order a 142GT, not a production model exactly but a basic model enhanced by one of several kits installed by the dealer.  

The kit included, special instruments alloy wheels, a stripe and a front spoiler and engine modifications. The GT kit with a twin choke down draft Solex carburettor and head modifications gave 128hp. Tuning kit B20Special 1 consisting of twin dual side draught Solex carburettors, modified head, extractor exhaust, special camshaft and valve lifters gave 140-145 hp. 

142gt_motor.jpg (45477 bytes)
142 Original Motor

trimkit.jpg (71910 bytes)
Tuning Kits

For racing customers Tuning Kits B20 Special 2 and 3 were available giving up to 180 hp when the engine was bored out to 2.2 litres. In 1969 with a fairly light 142 180hp straight from the dealer would have been a revelation and to round it all off the car sported 142GT badges.  So if you have any interesting 140 bits lying around give me a call.


One way to create a truly Oceanic 142 would be to use the Repco Head, this was developed in the 1960ís for the B18 and used in Amazons and 140ís in racing and mainly rallying including international rallies like the London to Sydney Marathon of 1968. They were also used for speedway midget cars
The head is an alloy Heron design, i.e. the head surface is flat and the piston has a bowl in it to create a combustion chamber, in the sixties it increased power to about 150/160hp but reliability was a problem, camshafts did not last long and apparently oil was hard to keep in.

b20repcohead.jpg (27808 bytes)
The Repco Head

In 1969 there was a story that Volvo Australia planned to produce a high performance 142 with the Repco engine, a LSD and mag wheels, they even had badges ready but Volvo Sweden stopped this plan, probably wise for protecting a reputation of reliability but a pity non the less. Had Volvo bolted its available performance parts on to its 60ís and 70ís cars and called them special models the company  would not now be struggling to create a more sporting image, and we would have some more interesting old cars to play with!

I believe there is an Amazon regularly racing with this head in Australia now, sadly the castings for this head were destroyed in a fire 25 years ago and they are hard to find.

Photos 142GT courtesy David Burnham, New Hampshire, email: volvo@tds.net 

Link to an interesting 142S Project Page by Michael Tracey, Australia

Link to George Minassian's 142S Factory 1970 Rally Car

                                                                                           

Hans-Peter Rombouts, New Zealand

Email: elmwood@clear.net.nz

st-142GT-72-dashboard.jpg (32118 bytes)
142GT Dashboard

 

 

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