WHATíS a Volvo doing in Street Machine? Well thereís more than meets the eye when it comes to Peter Gatwardís beige, maths teacher-spec Volvo 240 wagon.
We spotted this thing putting car lengths on Lambos at Powercruise, so we just had to find out what was going on under the bonnet.
Itís a Toyota 1UZ-FE 4.0-litre V8 out of an old Crown. It then has a custom low-mount turbo set-up with a Garrett GT4088 running around 14psi. On E85 it makes approximately 450rwhp; it has made 500rwhp on 16psi before but I think this is where itís most reliable. Itís just a bone-stock standard engine, theyíre just really robust and they seem to handle boost pretty well.
Most people are just confused. Itís not an engine that is easily recognisable as a V8 like an LS1 or Chev, and the turbo set-up is all hidden under the car. A lot of people end up thinking itís a factory Volvo motor Ė even the intercooler isnít visible. Itís quiet too, so it doesnít really get any attention at all.
I didnít actually build it, my mate Aaron Nicol at Barry Tuning was the original owner. Heís good mates with Al from AM Auto Ė also known as Turbo Yoda to anyone who watches Mighty Car Mods Ė and one night over a few beers they came up with this crazy plan to put the 1UZ into the Volvo and turbocharge it. Aaron drove it for a couple of years until he blew the head gaskets, then he parked it in the shed for two years until I bought it off him.
I replaced the head gaskets, retuned it and tidied it up and Iíve been driving it ever since!
Iíve also got an XB hardtop and I was sick of getting all the attention and people expecting the big engine Ė I wanted something that no one would look at but would still be fast, so I got the Volvo.
The gearbox is basically a standard 1UZ three-speed auto with overdrive, just with a shift kit. The rear end is still just the standard Volvo 240 set-up, factory diff and axles; even the suspension and brakes are untouched.
Iíve raced it a few times; the best Iíve got out of it was an 11.70@116mph just on 225 semislick rear tyres with the Volvo rims. It could probably go quicker but then I risk snapping axles, and I donít really want to upgrade the diff and let it become a money pit. Once you do one thing it never ends! For me itís just a quick sleeper that I drive to work a couple of days a week and take to the shop to get dog food.
Without my missus Kelli and daughter Isabelle this wouldnít be possible, and I also have to credit Woodrigos, Horsepower Engineering, HQ Automotive and GLT Auto. s