1979 Volvo 242GT - Reader Ride

By: David Caligari

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volvo 242gt rear volvo 242gt rear
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volvo 242gt engine bay volvo 242gt engine bay

This Swede is swifter than it looks thanks to a Japanese heart


David Caligari's 1979 Volvo 242GT

I bought this car for $500, with the intention of swapping the engine. I sat on it for a while, and finally formulated a rough plan as to what I wanted to do with it.

I decided to drop in a Lexus V8, it would have been easier to install a Ford or Holden V8, but being a Volvo person means being a bit different, so I thought I’d continue the stereotype.

It wasn’t an easy job at all. There is no guide or kits to help you with a build of this kind, so I had to go through a lot of trial and error to get the car where it is. You have to make everything, the mounts, the exhaust and all the bits in between. It uses a Megasquirt ECU, and it runs well. The whole thing is good for about 160kW at the wheels, but big power was never what this car was about.

Volvo -242gt

The body got caught in a hail storm a few years ago, so I took it off the road and pretending to be a panel beater, I repaired it myself. If I never have to do that again, it’ll be too soon.

On the outside the car looks fairly stock, with the original paint scheme. I like this idea of keeping it original on the outside, but different underneath. Most people don’t pick it, even when I start the motor, which I think is really cool.

Valuation guide: This one fits the bill 'Unique' which also describes its value




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