Winter Swedish Meet

The Tripple X burger restaurant in Issaquah Washington hosts some kind of car event just about every weekend. The local Volvo club has a meet every February, rain or shine. This time it was a little more rain than shine but Volvo folks (and Volvos) are a hardy so Swedish cars filled the parking lot. As usual Volvo have the largest representation but a few Saabs participated as well.

Volvo Saab Meet, Volvo Duett

This restored Volvo Duett is beautiful. The favorite among tradesmen in Sweden when new and most of them were pretty beat up just after a few years. Even the local fish mongler enjoyed the utility of this car so it earned the nickname “Fish car” in Sweden.

Volvo Saab Meet, Volvo PV

Since we assume you can read, we also assume that you can tell that this is a 1957 Volvo 444 next to a 1953 Volvo 444. Both in excellent condition and driven often.

Volvo Saab Meet, Volvo 122S wagon

Lowered and with some wider rims this 1968 Volvo 122S wagon is sporting some attitude. Last year for the 122 in the US market.

Volvo 1800S

What would a Swedish meet be without the Volvo 1800S?


While infuriating all the English auto manufacturers Sir Roger Moore opted for this Swedish sport car in the TV series “The Saint”  instead of one supported by the infamous Lucas electric system. He probably wanted to have lights working when chasing the bad guys.


Saab Sonett

All wrapped up! This Saab Sonett had been completely wrapped in vinyl media. The owner told me that it was a lot of work but now he has a very unique Saab, not to mention chip resistant.

Saab Sonett Rear panel

Saab V4 red front

This Saab V4 rolled in and drew a big crowd quickly. This car had been treated to a very nice restoration.

Saab V4 red

Saab V4 engine

Half a V8. The V4 from European Ford did offer the Saab decent power and was rather reliable.

Please find below just an boring ordinary Volvo DL

Volvo 242DL with V8

Well, I must say it is very nice but it is still just a boring plain Volvo DL…right??

Volvo 242DL with V8 Corvette engine


With an LS fuel injected Corvette engine and a 5 speed this car is anything BUT boring. The installation looks like the factory did it and that is the golden rule in engine swapping. The builder did everything right, right down to the shifter coming out of the stock location. The owner claims everything is holding up well. Sleeper City! Nice work.

Saab 900

This Saab 900 brings back fond memories for your Humble Editor as my first job in America was to work on these.


Alan Berry’s Racing Red Volvo 544

Alan Berry is a very active member of the San Diego Volvo Sports Group. He not only enjoys vintage Volvos, he races them.

 He bought the car from a vintage race car mechanic in Fort Worth, Texas in 2006. It was set up quite aggressively and Alan change several items to make the car more “vintage friendly”.

The car is pretty much gutted, but it is all steel. It weighs 2080 lbs with a full tank minus driver. It has fairly stock suspension but Carrera shocks and Eibach springs helps the road holding. 205/50 15” Kumho race tires on 7” wide Torque Thrust wheels keeps the car upright in the corners but also looks great on this vintage body.

Windshield is stock glass and all the other panes are made of Lexan.

Engine is stock bottom end but it a lot of work has been done with the  head. The motor has 11.5 to 1 compression ratio so Alan use 110 octane leaded race fuel.
Dual Weber side draft 45’s mixes the racing fuel with oxygen and Stahl header gets rid of the spent gasses.

Usually Alan runs without a muffler at most tracks although some have noise restrictions (Like Laguna Seca) so then he installs a Magnaflow muffler for those tracks.

Alan tells us it is a “mid pack” car in a typical field of 35-40 pretty fast 2 liter cars. Alan seems to find himself in battle with a group of racers running at his pace like MGB’s, Porsche 911 and 914, Alfas,  Lotus, Cortinas Elans and Super 7’s.

His favorite race of the year is Coronado Speed Festival held at the North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego.

Alan, thanks for sharing your story with other car and race enthusiasts.
Keep the shiny red side up! Ed.


Photogenic Volvo 123GT

Had a chance to clean up the Volvo Amazon 123GT. It cleaned up well.


The interior cleaned up good as well. Need to replace those door panels down the road.

The engine compartment looks presentable after some cleaning. That air cleaner needs to go in favor of the correct elements.

The nose and the front fenders must have been replaced with NOS stuff as they are super solid. The flat lensed e-code Hella lights cranks out good light but look a bit too modern. I would have to replace them with something more rounded…Maybe a set of H4 Cibie for example.

Yup, pretty photogenic…the Volvo 96 dark blue looks almost black.

In good company. Sitting next to a Swedish built 123GT…life is good.

Volvo Amazon 123GT followed me home…HONEST !

Rare 96 dark blue color makes this a desirable 1967 123GT. This is a Canadian Volvo so it shipped new with limited slip rear and 4 way flashers. It did not however come with the Hella lights but I will add them anyway. Because they looks so damn cool. Besides, they were an available accessory when the car was new. Also, I will add the fender mirrors…because they looks so damn cool…get it?

Like this:

Swedish Coolness ! Sex on wheels…Am I making myself clear?

 “So Inga…would you like to go for a spin in my 96 blue Volvo 123GT?”

“How was it? Did you enjoy the sound of those SU karburettors?? By the way, do you know I have a chrome exhaust extension? The seats folds down, you know…”

The 96 blue cars came with this beautiful deep red interior.

Everything works on the car including the overdrive. It has a B-20 engine that seems to have a lot of power. The rims are widened stockers and the suspension seem slightly lower and firmer than stock. I also spotted a rear sway bar on the car. Front sway bar is original.

It is an older restoration and the the car has some issues that I will address before I bring it out but all in all a very straight car.

Vintage Ads

“Welcome to wheel city…327, 396, 427 We got your number!”

Chevrolet dealership ad in the late sixties

Look at all those small and big blocks !! Wouldn’t you want to walk down that row and pick out a 427 machine with four speed and just take it for a…ahem…”test drive” ?

Your Humble Editor loves digging through 50’s and 60’s LIFE magazine and finding car ads.

Totally sexist of course. “For men with push” Peddling front wheel drive to the American public.  I guess women had no business driving cars back then, huh?

Cars shouldn’t just be for show room traffic” or “Drive it like you hate it”

These were some of Volvo’s messages in the sixties. The sturdy cars from Sweden held up well as they were built for a country with less that half of the roads paved at the time.


Body by Fisher ad

A demonstration of how much a GM trunk can carry. I am not sure where the fish is going to go. If it is going in the trunk it will be a smelly affair.


Volvo Spring Meet

Puget Sound Chapters of the Volvo Sports America and Volvo Club of America had their annual joint club spring swap meet and car show show at the beautiful Juanita Beach Park. The weather was just perfect.

Your Humble Editor’s 122S wagon being overshadowed by Gary Ramstad’s 1967 Volvo 122S coupe.

 Let’s take a closer look at this beauty:


No matter where you look, the detailing is excellent.





Very nice 1962 Volvo PV 544. Just imported from California.


1965 Volvo PV 544


1964 1800S. This one is using the 140 front and rear suspension and that means 4 wheel discs.

Let’s end this with one of these square boxes. Now a classic in it’s own right. The very popular 245 wagon. This is a GL model and that included among other amenities leather and power windows. The came originally with the turbine wheels but we think these turbo wheels looks great.

Great day, great cars..


San Diego Volvo Club Spring Drive

As your humble Editor is suffering from a serious case of excessive moisture here in the North West it is not without some jealousy I admire these shots from the San Diego Volvo Club’s Spring Drive. It has been raining almost daily in Washington State for ninety days and it’s getting old. Well, enough with the weather report and let’s check out some nice vintage Volvos.

Josh Cantor from the club shared some great photos from the event and I am happy to share them with you.

First order of business: Add some high octane fuel for the high compression Swedish engines.

Someone is aspiring to be an airplane pilot me thinks.


Super nice Volvo 142. You don’t see enough of these anymore.


Volvo 122 with fender skirts. Not my cup of tea but creative.


These sculptures are scattered throughout Borrego.  Apparently a home developer has been putting them up to attract attention to the valley there.


The dragon is the most spectacular of them. Makes for great back drop.


A lonely 940 wagon in the desert. Think about it: These cars are going on twenty years of age already. Amazing.

Photo: Josh Cantor

1967 Volvo 122S Amazon Wagon Combi Estate

Finally got around to spend some time on the Volvo wagon. This time we upgraded to these very rare 123GT reclining seat mechanism. These are actually made by Recaro for Volvo. Now I can…well…recline. Besides, the added chrome makes the car go faster.

Factory tachometer and a hard to find center console is next.

“Buckets and console” plus factory tach. Sounds like an American muscle car, huh?

Volvo Amazon 122S Wagon rear bumperette

I am pleased to find out that these are being reproduced again as they are wagon only and always seems to be beat up or as in my case: missing.


However, I could not bring myself to install them as one corner of the bumper was pretty ugly and I don’t want to spend money on re-chroming.


After some digging around in my friend’s attic I finally found this. This is not 100 % perfect but it will work great.

There! Finally a complete rear bumper and all shiny. Looks great.

See how the work started here