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Rob Bakker's Story
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AFTER TEN YEARS OF OWNING A VOLVO 122S, I THOUGHT IT WAS TIME FOR A CHANGE. SOME OF YOU MAY HAVE SEEN MY 142 WHICH IS WHAT REALLY STARED ME THINKING ABOUT A MODIFIED VOLVO JUST A BIT DIFFERENT FROM NORMAL.

HAVING ALWAYS BEEN A FAN OF THE 242 GT, IT STRUCK ME THAT THIS WAS THE PERFECT CAR FOR MY PROJECT. AND SO THE STORY BEGINS.

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DON'T KNOW, VOLVO ONLY IMPORTED 580 242 GT'S INTO THE COUNTRY IN '79, 80 AND 81. ALL HAD THE B23E ENGINE WITH "H" CAM AND MOST WERE EQUIPPED WITH THE M46 MANUAL GEARBOX (4 SPEED WITH OVERDRIVE). THERE WERE SOME TRIM AND SPEC DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE VARIOUS MODELS. I'VE ALWAYS LIKED THE 79 MODEL THE BEST.

I HAD ALSO HEARD THAT THE 79'S HAD THE R-SPORT SUSPENSION BUT I CAN'T BE SURE IF THIS IS SO OR NOT AS I HAVE SEEN NO VOLVO LITERATURE TO THIS EFFECT.

A REAL HARD PART THEREFORE WAS TO FIND A GOOD 79'ER TO START WITH. THERE WERE OTHER PROBLEMS TOO LIKE THE FACT THAT STILL HAD MY 142 TO DISPOSE OF, AS WELL AS A CONSIDERABLE INVESTMENT STILL IN MY 122, NOT TO MENTION MY NEW LEGAL PRACTICE.

I ALSO HAD A 245 GL WHICH I HAD RESCUED AND WHICH ALSO NEEDED TO BE SOLD BEFORE THE PROJECT COULD BEGIN - NOT TO MENTION SOMEWHERE TO PUT THE NEW LOVE OBJECT. HOWEVER, IN TYPICAL IMMACULATELY ORCHESTRATED BAKKER FASHION, FIRST I SOLD THE 245, THEN THE 142, THEN THE 122 AND AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT, I FOUND A NEW ABODE WITH LOTS OF STORAGE SPACE FOR MY NEW PRIDE AND JOY.

THE ONLY PROBLEM STILL REMAINED FINDING A CAR TO START WITH.

EARLY ONE SATURDAY MORNING MY PRAYERS WERE ANSWERED WHEN A CAR YARD ADVERTISED A 242 GT AS AN UNWANTED TRADE. A QUCK PHONE CALL, A DESPERATE DASH IN THE MIGHTY 740 T AND A QUICK LUNGE WITH THE VISA CARD HAD THE 242 IN MY CARPORT BY LUNCH TIME THAT DAY.

CLOSER INSPECTION REVEALED THAT I HAD PURCHASED A 79 GT WITH 217,000 ON THE CLOCK. IT DROVE VERY WELL AND EVERYTHING WORKED. THE BODY WAS VERY STRAIGHT WITH ONLY A SMALL SPOT OF RUST ABOVE THE REAR BUMPER UNDER THE RUBBER STRIP. THE CAR ALSO HAD AN IMMACULATE SERVICE HISTORY AND LOTS OF NEW PARTS WERE VISIBLE AS WELL AS THAT IMPORTANT GENUINE VOLVO OIL FILTER.

THE FIRST STEP IS THE ENGINE, WHICH HAS YET TO BE COMPLETED, AND ABOUT WHICH YOU WILL HEAR MORE OF IN LATER EPISODES. SO FAR THE HEAD HAS BEEN GURU-ED (IE GARY COMERFORD HAS GIVEN IT A PORT AND POLISH - AND IT IS NOW RETURNING SOME IMPRESSIVE FLOW FIGURES), AND IT HAS HAD A SURFACE GRIND, NEW WELSH PLUGS AND THREE ANGLE VALVE SEATS ( BY THE WAY IF YOU GET THIS DONE, MAKE SURE THAT THEY TIP THE VALVES SO YOU CAN SET YOUR VALVE CLEARANCES UP AGAIN LATER). THE BOTTOM END HAS ALSO HAD NEW RINGS AND BIG END BEARINGS. A SPLASH OF CHROME WILL OFFER THE FINISHING TOUCHES.

FURTHER NEWS TO COME WILL COVER THE SUSPENSION, KILLER STEREO AND OTHER WORK NECESSARY FOR MY BABY. ALSO STAY TUNED FOR THE SAGA OF "THE WRECK" - AN IDENTICAL 242 GT WRECK WHICH I HAVE JUST ACQUIRED FOR BITS - THROUGH THE ORDER OF THE TOOGOOLAWAH LOCAL COURT!

FURTHER PLANS INCLUDE A SET OF EXTRACTORS AND SPORTS EXHAUST, 16" MAGS, SOME MINOR PAINT TOUCH UPS AND A COMPLETE DETAIL.

P.S. IF ANYONE HAS ANY INTERESTING INFO ON THE 242 GT, PLEASE E-MAIL ME AT rbakker@themis.com.au.