Road America Fall Vintage Fest 2016 - Pt. 1. Very Volvo.

The Fall Vintage Festival is the last vintage racing event of the season at Road America. What with one thing and another, this turned out to be the only vintage event we made it to this year, which is a bit of a bummer.

However,  all was well, once we found out that the "marque of the event" (or, "special theme") this year was Volvo. Wooooo! That means there were lots and lots of P1800s on display and also in race trim.

You could be forgiven for saying something like "Volvo. Big effing deal.", knowing that the company was dedicated to making hideous bricks, inexplicably beloved by privileged turtleneck-wearing wankers for something like twenty years. However, 'twas not always thus. Here... have a look at this carefully prepared graph showing the state of Volvo's styling language from 1961 to 1993...

Please select your reaction from one of the following:

"But," you may argue, "Those boxy old Volvos were super reliable, right? *whimper* Riiiiight??"

Here you go:

So. Deep, cleansing breath.

There were lots of very pretty Volvos at the Fall Vintage Fest. Other pretty things, too, as well as wonderful, ear-punishing noises. Today's post will mostly feature those pretty, pretty Volvos, since they were the first thing to see as you walked onto the grounds.

The P1800 was also made in a wagon configuration, called the P1800 ES. Even that looks really nice. Note the all-glass tailgate.

Old cars, when driven hard, often have a bit of "oil overflow", so, most will have some kind of improvised canister in the engine compartment to accept the dribble of oil that finds its way out of the filler cap. This car's overflow can was a badass Valentine's day teddy bear popcorn tin. When not dealing with a massive mechanical crisis situation in sub-optimal conditions, car people seem to have a decent sense of humor.

This Volvo PV544 was modified for racing in 1959, and hasn't been changed since. The owner / driver was very clear about this. As seen in the following photo, even the masking tape over the headlight lenses is vintage.

Custom fiberglass bucket seat, made for the driver in '59, still fits.

Not a Volvo. Actually, I forgot to check what it is, and I'm not good enough to tell by looking at the picture. Readers, please step up to the mic. UPDATE! Jim D correctly identified this as a 1967-ish  Volvo 122S! Well done, Jim! Very NOT well done to that stupid intern that bumped my elbow when originally writing this post, causing me to accidentally type "Not a Volvo".

A BRE Datsun 240 Z, of the kind that, until his recent sell-off of all his Datsuns to make way for the purchase of a Paul Newman Porsche 935, Adam Carolla liked to collect. (To be clear, this was not Carolla's car, and he was not at this event.)

A Chevy Cheetah, previously seen in our vintage race reports. The Cheetah
was built to compete with the Shelby Cobra. Super loud.


Jim D. said...

It's not a Volvo 122S, is it?
Nice photos, btw.

PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

Hey! Yeah! Updating post immediately - or, rather, shouting at an intern to update the post immediately.


Steve Miller said...

Give me 1800s, or give me death! OK I'll settle for an ES. I owned one, but the 1800 looks better today.

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