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-   -   242GT 1979 Group C Race Car (https://forums.tbforums.com/showthread.php?t=279129)

peterwgpa 05-13-2013 08:50 AM

242GT 1979 Group C Race Car
December 2017 - Apologies as some photos were lost when Photobucket turned rip off merchants and high jacked all the picture links. I have tried the best I again to find all old pictures and link via IMGUR - a very time consuming process. Thankfully this is now complete as I can make it

I have been lurking here for a number of years now ever since we stopped to look at a 1979 Volvo 242GT ex race car on the way home from an interstate race meet. As it turns out my friend bought the car and he and I are now 50/50 partners and are well progressed in the rebuild of the car for historic racing here in Australia.

A bit of history on the car

1979 242GT homologated as a group C race car for the 1979 Bathurst 1000. It was driven by Spencer Martin and David McKay and finished 20th that year. It was bagged somewhat by some of the front runners as it was basically a standard Australian Spec Volvo 242GT with B23E engine and M46 gearbox. It ran on standard Uniroyal steelcat road tyres as opposed to the slicks the rest of the field were running. After the race Uniroyal ran full page advertisements in weeks following race in major newspapers and magazines pronouncing the cat that licked a thousand slicks. It was fitted with a 120litre dry brake fuel system, rollcage, Koni shocks, 15 * 7 Bathurst Globe Wheels, Modified side exit exhaust and a number of safety improvements.

Here is a montage of photos from race day


Here is a race day photo giving some perspective of the height the Bathurst track climbs to. You can also see the damage caused by a shunt from a fellow competitor which nearly ended the race for the Volvo


Here is another showing the car was actually road registered and actually drove to the track each day for practice and racing and drove home to Sydney the day after the race with straight through exhaust with race Livery. It is a good shot as it shows the 120 Litre race tank with the pickup clearly shown.


Another Race Day Photo - If you look closely near rear wheel you can see exhaust exit in front of it


Some more race weekend photos



There were numerous articles written on the car after the race. It was returned to the Volvo dealer in North Sydney where it was put on display for a number of months. After this time the alloy tank, roll cage and other race items were removed and scrapped and the car returned to a road car and sold on as a low km road car. You must rember at the time a road car was worth more in the market than a race car (not the case now). The same thing happened to many race cars from this era.

peterwgpa 05-13-2013 09:13 AM

Car was purchased by KE in 1988 at auction for a family run around. The race history was not known at the time. Over his 20 year ownership he noticed many things on the car that pointed to some history with patches in rear floor from removal of dry brake fuel system, extra brackets from fuel pumps and it still had the LSD and bonnet pins. KE suspected he had the 1979 Bathurst car and he wrote to CAMS the controlling motor racing entity in Australia for a copy of the Group C registration application. This took some getting (over 12 months and many favors called in as it had to be retrieved from archive) but when it finally arrived it confirmed both matching VIN and Engine numbers. In the same time period a person inspected the car to confirm it was the real thing and he handed over the original entrants pack from 1979 that belonged to the car to reunite it. A very grand gesture.

Here is a photo of it after a full bare metal respray in the early 90's


Here is a photo of the entrants pack plus some magazine articles etc etc


Following its many loyal years service as a family car KE ended up fitting a roll cage, turbo engine and went road rallying with the car for a number of years. He then found a love of Subarus and their significant HP for tarmac rallys and put the Volvo up for sale and this is where my friend came in and bought the car.

In the meantime I sold My Group A race car and went into partnership with K to rebuild the car to Group C Specifications and to obtain a CAMS Certificate of Description (COD) and historic race log book to enable us to qualify for Group C racing. This is open only to genuine race cars with Australian Touring Car race history. The Volvo qualifies by way of its Bathurst 1000 start and finish.

The car was in pretty good condition body wise but it had the engine and gearbox removed and a nice smell of mice due to sitting for a number of years unused.

Here it is a purchased. You can see the race harness and the original bonnet pins. It also still had the original Perspex covers over the spotlights from race day.



pwschuh 05-13-2013 09:25 AM

Very nice. What's going on under the hood once it's back to Group C spec?

peterwgpa 05-13-2013 09:26 AM

Somewhere over the years it ended up with 1980 mirrors and front spoiler.

Upon purchase we also received another 1980 242GT with a rough body but running and a decent interior as a donor car for any of the pieces we needed.

Here is the rough body 242GT. It runs and drives and interior is not too bad


We also then started to pay attention to 242 GT Volvos and bought another rolling parts car minus engine for a couple of hundred dollars as in racing spares are always appreciated and if you do damage something you always have to pay through the nose if they are needed in a hurry. We thought that we had enough spares.

The second parts car. Body very sound but engine seized and later model automatic fitted


As luck would have it K's Landcruiser had transmission trouble and in his search to find a mechanic to save him some serious $ he lucked upon a local mechanic. When he fronted to the mechanic he found another customers front end damaged 1980 242GT parked in the yard. This mechanic just happened to be a Volvo expert having worked for a Volvo dealership for 20 years before going out on his own. K on enquiring about the car found out that the mechanic had fully rebuilt the engine and gearbox and the customer had spent substantial $ rebuilding the car only to smash it 5000kms after completion. It was dragged to mechanics with the owner devastated and it had been sitting there waiting for the owner to make up his mind what he wanted to do. It had a mint interior as well. K got the owners details and we made a silly offer and ended up owning a fourth 242GT. It was bought with the express intention to swap over the engine, gearbox and interior.

Here it is with engine already removed and the interior still in tact awaiting return of race car after paint at which time we will transfer over piece by piece.


peterwgpa 05-13-2013 09:36 AM

As it is being rebuilt to Group C Spec and the engines need to be inspected and sealed to qualify we are limited to the rules of the day. In short initially we are running standard B23E with straight through exhaust until we bed the car in. After this we will explore more the engine build rules. You cant alter the bore or stroke, cant turbo it and the Kjet has to stay.

We knew that the original 15*7 Bathurst Globe wheels were going to be hard to source. As luck would have it performance Wheels in Australia made us up a set to order for approximately $160 Each. We bought 6 while we could get them and we also have a set of 15*7 Momo stars on the water from the USA to use to mount our wet tyres. The Bathurst Globes will be used to mount the slicks.

Here is the wheel with a semi slick mounted ready for fitment.


Here is the car before starting rebuild with wheels mounted for a trial fit.


peterwgpa 05-13-2013 09:40 AM

With the Globe wheels we ended up having to use a 8mm spacer to clear the brakes both front and rear. We expect the Momo wheels to fit without spacers.

We have sourced 1979 mirrors and Front spoiler ready for fitment.

That is it for the moment. I will get some photos together over the next couple of days and update.

robiewing 05-13-2013 09:41 AM

Great history. You are a lucky dude!

Turtleism 05-14-2013 08:30 AM

Awesome man, a real series of lucky finds which is leading to restoring a very interesting 242GT, can't wait to see some more detailed pictures and more info.

Btw loving the wheels, got that real bathurst feel to them haha.

peterwgpa 05-14-2013 09:03 AM

We commenced the rebuild by removing the engine and gearbox from the donor car. They got a pressure clean ready for fitment into the race car



We also commenced prepping the engine bay of the race car ready for the new engine. If you look closely you can see the butchered wiring harness and fuel system. Also note that the car has been fitted with non power steering for road rally work. It will be staying this way as well as the removal of airconditioning


As the car is going to be raced we are not aiming for a fully detailed undercarriage or engine bay. The look we are going for is factory good condition with the right patina and easy to keep clean. No bare metal respray. From the photo above we lightly sanded the areas near the brake booster that were brown and surface rust from a turbo explosion. After sanding we painted in body color via a spray can.

We stripped out the engine bay wiring harness, damaged fuel and brake lines and the brake and clutch hydraulics

peterwgpa 05-14-2013 09:14 AM

After the strip out we transferred engine bay wiring harness and fuel system from donor car. We also bought a heap of parts from Skandix and IPD to go in the car.

Prior to fitting the engine and gearbox in the car we fitted a new brake booster and master and a new clutch master cylinder along with new reservoirs.

We also arranged for a bit of bling and had the rocker cover and the exhaust manifold ceramic coated.


We also fitted a new radiator, hoses, water pump, new alternator mounts etc etc before dropping in the engine an gearbox and bolting up

Here is the engine bay after we fitted the engine and gearbox and performed the general tidy up


We cleaned up the factory air intake and fitted a K&N filter and a fully sealed battery to avoid spills. You will also note the deletion of the air conditioning and power steering


At this stage the car is still not running as fuel system needs to be cleaned out and replaced with the dry brake system and we have also sourced new injectors, K Jet mounts, The large rubber and fuel injector seals etc etc all of which have yet to be fitted.

peterwgpa 05-14-2013 09:30 AM

Whilst all this was going on we had removed the R sport cluster and had shipped it off to Roger P who is an absolute master at what he does.

Here are the before and after photos of the cluster

The rear before


The rear After - Including power board and regulator


The all important front Before

And after


They have to be one of the best looking clusters of any make and roger makes them look a work of art.

We also spent some time trawling Volvo parts sites and picked up this mint Momo wheel from the Ian at Hi Performance Auto in USA which will be bolted on after paint and interior is finished.


peterwgpa 05-14-2013 09:42 AM

After we had fitted up engine we shipped car over to my place for removal of interior, fitment of tail shaft, fitment of Braided brake hoses and a heap of other simple work including rust proofing panels, removal of heater, changeover of wiper mechanism. The list was quite extensive.

Here it is on the trailer to my place


Here it is in varying stages of destruction




All of this work took a couple of weekends of solid effort

peterwgpa 05-14-2013 09:53 AM

We then packed it all up again for transfer to our mechanic so it was back to the trailer again

Here it is before being put on trailer

[IMG]<a href="https://imgur.com/uB8w6su"><img src="https://i.imgur.com/uB8w6suh.jpg" title="source: imgur.com" /></a>[/IMG]

Sorry for the fuzzy picture

[IMG]<a href="https://imgur.com/zBVvDpx"><img src="https://i.imgur.com/zBVvDpxh.jpg" title="source: imgur.com" /></a>[/IMG]

Our mechanics list of work is extensive.

Rebuild brake calipers
Fit new rotors
Renew suspension components
Renew wheel bearings
Fit Dry Brake fuel system
Fit new fuel injectors, seals etc
Get engine going
Fit the new shifter bushes
Fit ARP longer wheel studs
Fit new Koni adjustable Shocks

Basically make it track ready for us to do paint, interior and sticker up for shake down

We checked on progress a couple of weeks ago and photos below show the efforts of this work. We are aiming to complete the car by September this year but it always takes longer than you think

[IMG]<a href="https://imgur.com/S8t7AMf"><img src="https://i.imgur.com/S8t7AMfh.jpg" title="source: imgur.com" /></a>[/IMG]

[IMG]<a href="https://imgur.com/YpvDYMZ"><img src="https://i.imgur.com/YpvDYMZh.jpg" title="source: imgur.com" /></a>[/IMG]

[IMG]<a href="https://imgur.com/sN4yLtP"><img src="https://i.imgur.com/sN4yLtPh.jpg" title="source: imgur.com" /></a>[/IMG]

[IMG]<a href="https://imgur.com/SuD3LL7"><img src="https://i.imgur.com/SuD3LL7h.jpg" title="source: imgur.com" /></a>[/IMG]

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peterwgpa 05-14-2013 09:59 AM

That is the progress until May 2013. I will post updates as they come to hand.

As an aside we have identified all stickers on the car bar 1 and are having them manufactured for fitment following paint.

If anyone can help identify the sticker below it would be greatly appreciated. It looks like a bull with letters QA at base of it and we also thought of a Pedders Suspension sticker but have not had any luck. If anyone has an idea we would love to hear from you

[IMG]<a href="https://imgur.com/JQc4aXR"><img src="https://i.imgur.com/JQc4aXRh.jpg" title="source: imgur.com" /></a>[/IMG]

That's all for now folks

Naturchips 05-14-2013 10:01 AM

The engine cover looked awesome after the ceramic layer :)
Looking forward to the next update.

Mueller 05-14-2013 10:33 AM

Nice build and great pictures...love the documentation!

DNAsEqUeNcE 05-14-2013 10:37 AM

Box in all the suspension components and run an evo 8v head :) super cool !

John2x240 05-14-2013 10:49 AM

Peter. The cage is kind of minimal; no door bars, bends in the front hoop, not much in the way of gusseting, etc.. :-( I hope you're going to up-grade the cage as even vintage racing cars get balled up occasionally.

peterwgpa 05-15-2013 05:39 AM

Here is a link to some footage from the last lap of the Race with Aussie Legend and one of my heros Peter Brock coming in first. The Volvo is seen at the 0.56 mark


John we will take your suggestions on board


Here is another link. Volvo seen at 3:49 mark. The car was controversial before the race and during the race as it was running on road tyres which is estimated to have cost it over 10 seconds a lap. It was also termed the mobile chicane by one of the top drivers. That said it finished the race in 20th position due to not missing a beat all day on 3 out of the 4 original tyres. A great testament to the Volvo product and following the race there were some converts. I tell you one thing for a privateer car it is well remembered by the Public. We like it because its different and totally unique in group C .

As a side note here is link to footage from Group A car we sold and at the 3:53 mark you see the many Group C/Group A cars we will be racing against. They represent over 20 years of Australian Racing history and there are many classes within to cater for engine size


As an aside it like a lot of other Group A cars from the mid 80's was fitted with the Getrag Dogleg 265 5 speed that was fitted to the group A Volvos. This car raced 1985 -1989 including the Victorious Volvos that won the 1986 ATCC



RP80242GT+T 05-15-2013 06:13 AM

Peter, car looks awesome!! Thanks for the kind words. Roger

Spac 05-15-2013 06:49 AM

Holy Sheet! You found SVM242!!!
Is this the car that was advertised for ~$6k a few years ago, somewhere Sydney-ish? If I'd known it was SVM, I'd have bought it in a heartbeat - the story was too vague and it just sounded like an overpriced GT... In fact, it was a dirt-cheap GpC car...

I trust you've been in contact with Dick Prince who runs the GpA 242GT?

peterwgpa 05-15-2013 07:15 AM

Yes it is the car and it was not well advertised with no mention of the paperwork. Once we saw the paperwork the decision was pretty much made and it makes getting the all important CAMS COD and historic Logbook that much smoother. Yes we know and have met and raced against Richard. He runs the Genuine Group A 240T which is a great car with good history, A very unique Volvo and very quick even against the V8's.

peterwgpa 05-15-2013 07:23 AM

For those that don't know about Richards group A here are some photos



Turtleism 05-15-2013 08:37 AM

Look's awsome mate, loving all the documents you managed to grab (especially the magazines and adverts).

Oh and nice trailer :-D

carnut1100 05-20-2013 07:16 AM

That is awesome beyond awesome...........

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