Home » This Volvo 240 Is Becoming A Tube-Framed, All-Wheel-Drive, Mid-Engined, Drag Racing Weapon

This Volvo 240 Is Becoming A Tube-Framed, All-Wheel-Drive, Mid-Engined, Drag Racing Weapon

Tube Frame Volvo 240 Ts
ADVERTISEMENT

The Volvo 240 is a member of that rarefied list of cars that just seem to last forever. Some cherish them as humble workaday cars, racking up hundreds of thousands of miles on stock examples. Others build the mighty “Redblock” engine for boost, generating big power numbers and plenty of tire smoke. Peter Bjorck falls into neither camp. He’s pulling his car to pieces to rebuild it as a tube-framed drag racer.

Of course, if you’re going to all that trouble, you might as well dispense with the stock gear. Volvo did well with the design of the 240, giving it a stout four-cylinder engine and supporting drivetrain that could handle plenty of punishment. But Peter has something altogether more special in mind.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

In his first video on the build, he shows us the V10 he’s got sitting on a pallet, all ready to go. Naturally, he’s got the dual-clutch transaxle to go with it, and all the bits and pieces to send drive to all four wheels. Anyone will tell you the Volvo 240 chassis doesn’t really have provision for any of that stuff, but no matter. He’s tube framing the whole car to suit.

Speaking to The Autopian, Peter explains his inspiration for the build. “I was at the Import Vs. Domestic World Cup finals in Maryland in November, and it got me interested in building something serious for drag racing and [the] street,” he explains. “I started with the engine; I first thought of using a Volvo 740 body, but then [realized] an older 240 body is better for unlimited registration in Sweden.”

ADVERTISEMENT

He secured himself a charmingly humble 1976 Volvo 240 in tan as the basis for the build. Hilariously, it hadn’t been driven since 1993 when he picked it up, but it appeared to run perfectly fine as he drove it home. He jokes that it almost looks too nice for what he has planned for it.

Lamborghini V10
Hmm, a Lamborghini V10 in a 240? Yeah, that’ll do.

The V10 is out of a Lamborghini Huracan, so should be good for at least 600 horsepower. That is, except for the fact that Peter is already laying out a twin-turbo setup that will push that far higher. Similarly, the transaxle and front differential are Huracan parts which should mean the drivetrain is largely a known quantity. He also plans to use the rear subframe out of the Huracan to ease setting up the rear suspension. He notes the IRS isn’t ideal for drag racing, but it will let him get the car running sooner rather than later.

Snapinsta.app 424828759 373682972043292 4838485184310659929 N 1080
The Huracan rear subframe (red) offers an easy solution for mounting the engine and rear suspension, ready to go. However, Peter will have to find a way to properly mount the aluminum subframe to his steel tube framed chassis.

Setting it up for the performance levels he intends to reach, though, could be another story. Peter says he has “big concerns” about picking the right size tires for the ultimate drag performance that still work with the all-wheel-drive system. It’s important to get right, as it’s possible to damage an all-wheel-drive drivetrain if you fudge the tire size, particularly between the front and rear axles.

Despite the bonkers drivetrain and bespoke chassis, Peter reckons he can get it plated up by the authorities. “It will be road registered, because I will do some ‘Drag and Drive’ events,” he says. “I plan to race it in Streetweek Sweden in July this year… hopefully it will be finished and tested before that.” He wants to compete for top honors in the Street Outlaw class with this build.

ADVERTISEMENT

Peter makes short work of stripping down and cutting up the car. Everything had to come off, including the engine, electronics, and doors. He then set about cutting the door supports and roof off of the floor pan of the car, separating the two for the next stage of the build. The floor pan is to be trashed, since he’ll replace the strength it adds to the body with the tube frame instead. He never intended to build a full tube-framed car at the outset. However, he eventually realized that fast drag cars needed hardcore roll cages that required cutting out the floor for installation. Thus, he figured he might as well just go for a complete tube frame from the word go.

He’s also hunting for a name for the car. He’s already got a “Volvoghini” build going on a maroon car, so that’s out. He’s soliciting better ideas in the YouTube comments section. Best one I heard was “Agnetha” which is pretty fitting for a 70s Swede. I reckon we can do better, though, so sound off.

New Project! Freakish Streetrace Car! 3 27 Screenshot
Prior to the chop, the car had not been used for 30 years. And yet, it looked great and even ran and drove. Nothing more Volvo than that.
Snapinsta.app 424748800 3207670812862137 2280341290528787011 N 1080
After the chop, the original floorpan was deemed surplus to requirements. Instead, the passenger cabin and other panels will mount to the tube frame chassis instead.

At the present time, the chassis build is going on in earnest with high-grade Swedish steel. It’s the first time Peter has taken on a project like this, but it seems to be going well. He’s got a workshop kitted out with a good saw and tube notcher to make the frame easy to assemble. Construction is happening on a large rectangular rig which keeps everything straight and aligned during construction. With his eye on securing an SFI 25.2 tag for his build, he’s also having to send off some welding samples to get the proper approval for welding up his own home-built chassis.

He’s able to use a hoist to lower the hacked-up Volvo body shell over the rig to figure out the seating position and basic layout. He also points out that he chose the Volvo 240 as it has a wheelbase just 0.04 inches (1 mm) off of the Audi R8. It’s related to the Lamborghini Huracan, which should make it easy to find driveshafts that work. The wider track width of the supercars compared to the 240 may pose greater challenges, though.

ADVERTISEMENT

It’s a great deal of work to build a standards-compliant chassis for a fast drag car, though. That SFI 25.2 tag specifies everything from basic geometry to tube sizes and the grades of steel that can be used. Roll cage and tube frame designs have been tried and tested to oblivion in motorsports. The standards are based around what is known to work, to ensure that competitors are protected. Peter is showing us what it takes to interpret those standards and comply with them when building a bespoke, original race car.

Seeing the car come together in the early stages makes for compelling watching. We’ve all seen wild engine-swapped builds at shows like SEMA, but it’s something else to see how they grow frmo the ground up, right from the first cuts into the original body shell. Peter’s doing a great job of documenting his first tube-framed race build, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Image credits: Peter Bjorck, via Instagram & YouTube screenshot

 

 

ADVERTISEMENT
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
16 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
notoriousDUG
notoriousDUG
11 days ago

Peter’s projects are INSANE; I have been watching him since the start of the Volvoghini and I greatly enjoy that he is doing such over the top work in a very DIY manner; yes he spends some coin but he is also doing it very simply and without super fancy tools and with moderate skills. It is great to watch somebody like him learn.

It is worth mentioning that the red Volvo was Lambo swapped to upgrade from the 2JZ swap and he used to have one INSANE Supra back in the day.

Scott
Scott
13 days ago

Why oh why do I so badly want to have this, even if I’d mostly use it to pick up groceries at Trader Joe’s?

Mike F.
Mike F.
14 days ago

He’s got to get this out to California so that it can be in Fastest Car. That’d be right up their alley.

Dead Elvis, Inc.
Dead Elvis, Inc.
15 days ago

There’s so little actual 240 left, I’m not sure this still deserves to be called a Volvo.

Alan Christensen
Alan Christensen
15 days ago

Enough to be registered as a Volvo, perhaps?

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
15 days ago

Speaking as the owner of a 66 GL, there really doesn’t have to be much Volvo in a Volvo for it to be called a Volvo.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
15 days ago

I’ve never raced a 240 but I’ve been close:

https://live.staticflickr.com/4854/45159997324_2039c2e016_c.jpg

Alec Weinstein
Alec Weinstein
13 days ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

Safari yellow?

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
12 days ago
Reply to  Alec Weinstein

Mine’s the 1976 66 GL. I have to admit I don’t know what names were used for 66 colors.

Scott
Scott
13 days ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

OH MIKE, that one on the left there is so purrrdy! 🙂 You don’t happen to be in SoCal by any chance? I’d love to see it in action. 🙂

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
12 days ago
Reply to  Scott

I’m in Seattle. That photo is from The Ridge Motorsports Park near Shelton, WA.

Ron888
Ron888
12 days ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

Haha.Some manufacturer should make sunglass shaped lights like that.Totally do-able with LEDs

Last edited 12 days ago by Ron888
Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
15 days ago

Poor old Volvo
🙁

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
15 days ago

This guy. This guy makes me feel like a lackadaisical piker!
Yeah, it’s not his first rodeo—and time-lapse is magical, but still!

Technosaur
Technosaur
15 days ago

The Bull Moose. What a rockin’ build.

Andrew Wyman
Andrew Wyman
15 days ago

I have a childhood friend who is a Volvo mechanic and is always building sleepers. I’ll have to see if he has already seen this.

16
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x