Via la Vöx Volvo: The Man who makes Volvo’s fast

Copyright Byrn Musselwhite

A modified car isn’t an unusual thing. A modified Volvo? That depends on where you live.

Here in the UK, many people think of a Volvo as car to associate with an old man.. Or a murderer. But in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, this isn’t the case. There, there’s a huge culture for modifying “bricks.” They’re the car of choice for many petrol heads across these regions and finding one that’s had heart and soul poured into it is definitely not a hard thing. However there seems to be two in particular that stand out from the rest, and they’re both built by a man called Mattias Vöcks.

Chances are you’ve never heard of him. And that’s okay as few people outside of Sweden short of a anorak with an obsession with old Volvos will have. He’s an engineer for Koenigsegg. This is not only significant in the sense he knows his way around a fast car, but also because he has access to disregarded Koenigsegg parts that aren’t available anywhere else in the world. And these are the assets he’s used to come up with the crazy bricks. Firstly, I’ll talk about his 242. A car his brother now owns.

It uses Volvo’s 2.8 litre 24V inline-6 from the 960 with a PT67 RS turbo, which in this application pushes out 740hp. What makes this notable is most of the time when someone does an engine swap to get big horsepower, they’ll go down the route of a 2JZ, LS, or BMW V10. But the fact he’s chosen to go with a Volvo engine is something any enthusiast can appreciate.

 

Copyright Byrn Musselwhite

 

However this car is not all Volvo. The six speed manual transmission is from a BMW and is designed to fit one of their V8s. So some modifications had to be made to the bell housing in order to fit. And the rear axle is a Chrysler 8.75 inch, working with a Wavetrac differential.

But from the exterior you’d have no idea that any of this was the case. It nearly looks like any other well preserved 242.. But not quite. Those who are familiar with the 242 will notice the “Turbo Evolution” wing, the inconspicuous aftermarket grill, and maybe even the fact that the rear wheel arches are made from front ones which are mounted higher than the original design’s arches were. This was to get rid of what Mattias called the “Volvo squat.” Which is just when the rear of the car appears to be sitting noticeably higher than the front. Something visible in many lowered 242 models.

Unbelievably, as crazy as a rear wheel drive 740hp 240 series Volvo sounds, it’s not the most mental car he’s built. So far, that honour would go to the two door 122 Amazon estate. Of which the 242 was just a development car for.

Now owned by Guy Martin – the famous motorcycle rider – this was Mattias’s main project and is just about (if not the absolute) fastest thing legal on UK roads. Guy himself says it’s faster than anything else he’s ever driven or ridden. And that’s coming from someone who’s ridden the Isles of Mann TT, and is currently attempting a land speed record with Triumph for the highest speed reached on a motorcycle. Given this, praise like that would be a big deal for any race car even, never mind a road legal Volvo estate.

It uses the same engine as the 242, but this time it produces just 788bhp and 723 lb ft of torque (as of latest information. Older sources may state 600bhp which it was previously). Mattias also resisted the temptation to add a paddle shift gear box and went with a proper six speed manual (which I imagine would be the same BMW one as the 242). Suspension may be lowered by 50mm but it’s also adjustable – which it probably should since it’s currently being driven on the tragedy that is UK roads.

 

Copyright Byrn Musselwhite

 

One of the most unique things about this car is that the rear floor is made of glass so you can see the differential from the interior. Oh, and did I say the breaks were from a Koenigsegg CC8S? They’re massive – there’s very little tolerance between the disks and the wheels. See that’s the thing about this car that amazes me most. It’s the sheer talent of engineering that’s gone into it. You can’t even tell it was ever not a two door and the beautiful grey it’s been painted contrasts nicely with bright red interior. It reminds me a lot of a Pagani interior. Beautifully designed metals everywhere. The dash is taken from a P1800 – another Volvo model that’s about the same era as the Amazon and has more of those lovely looking metals. It’s all

 

been done in such a tasteful fashion. Nothing is overused in it and it’s effortlessly stylish.. Not just for a stripped out road legal track car but just for a car full stop. Very few interiors look appealing to me in the way this one does. There’s no sign of the usual tacky looking race wheel usually seen and ugly black bucket seats. Mattias has totally thought outside the box with the interior, just like he has done with the rest of the car.

 

Additionally, you tend to find that most of the time when someone has a modified car with that kind of power, it’ll be about the most temperamental thing since Scottish weather. The gear box won’t select certain gears or the engine will refuse to start and be plagued with mechanical issues. No such problems with this car however. It’s as reliable as a Volvo estate should be. So it’s nice to know the car has been built with more than just speed and looks in mind – something very few high powered custom builds can boast.

Happily, Mattias is also looking to the future with another project. It’s a P1800. The same car Roger Moor drove in the Saint, and is also the model of car which holds the world record for the highest mileage, at well over three million miles. It’s definitely worth keeping an eye out for it – I have no doubt whatsoever that it’ll be as crazy as the last builds.

By James Harrison

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