Fantasies in Fiberglass at the Petersen Museum

This exhibit has been extended to Wednesday October 20th.

Looking for somewhere to go in your Volvo this September? Through October 20th 2010 the Petersen Automotive Museum is hosting “Fantasies in Fiberglass,” a look back at some of the famous and quirky automobiles produced with fiberglass bodies. On display is one Volvo P1900, perhaps the rarest of all Volvo models with only 67 produced between 1956 and 1957. This one is owned by David Hunt- a true SoCal Volvo guy whom some of you may know. Here’s the exhibition info, don’t miss it!

Fantasies in Fiberglass through October 20th, 2010

A 1956 Volvo P1900 owned by Guy Vermant on display in Belgium.

If you’re interested in learning more about this rarely seen precursor to the P1800, here are two articles to peruse- one of them written by David Hunt.

Volvo Adventures – The Volvosport P1900 by David R. Hunt

New York Times – Unrequited Longing for the 67th Volvo by Nick Czap

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Upgrading your Vintage Volvo’s Handling with IPD Anti-Sway Bars

SoCal VSA member Tom Dougherty recalls his experience upgrading his 1973 1800ES with IPD’s famous anti-sway bar kit earlier this year. Volvo Sports America is not affiliated with any of the brands or businesses in this article.

IPD USA sells anti-sway bar kits for most year and model Volvos, 1800 kit pictured.

It was on New Year’s Day 2010 that my fellow Volvophile – Munyungo and I were driving over the Ortega Highway from Temecula to Dana Point in our 1800s for lunch. Munyungo mentioned that my ’73 1800ES was leaning in the curves and I did experience “sway”. Munyungo suggested looking into some anti-sway bars to improve the performance of the suspension. This became a worthwhile project for the New Year.

There’s a lot of physics going on in a suspension and in a curve. I found the following definitions as to overcoming roll, sway, and lean using “anti-sway bars”.

Anti-sway bar is defined in Answer.com as:  A metal bar connecting the left and right suspension systems at the front or rear of an automobile or a truck, used to stabilize the chassis against sway. Also called anti-roll bar, stabilizer bar, also called sway bar.

Diagram of the front suspension on the Volvo 1800ES. The anti-sway bar is highlighted in yellow and referred to as a "stabilizer."

Anti-sway bars provide two main functions. The first function is the reduction of body lean. The reduction of body lean is dependent on the total roll stiffness of the vehicle. Increasing the total roll stiffness of a vehicle does not change the steady state total load (weight) transfer from the inside wheels to the outside wheels, it only reduces body lean. The total lateral load transfer is determined by the CG height and track width.

The other function of anti-sway bars is to tune the handling balance of a car. Understeer or oversteer behavior can be tuned out by changing the proportion of the total roll stiffness that comes from the front and rear axles. Increasing the proportion of roll stiffness at the front will increase the proportion of the total load transfer that the front axle reacts and decrease the proportion that the rear axle reacts. This will cause the outer front wheel to run at a comparatively higher slip angle, and the outer rear wheel to run at a comparatively lower slip angle, which is an understeer effect. Increasing the proportion of roll stiffness at the rear axle will have the opposite effect and decrease understeer.

I found a complete front and rear anti-sway kit for my car at IPD and had it delivered to Bob Workman’s European Auto Service in Vista, CA. Bob’s staff has experience installing the IPD kit in multiple cars so I was pleased to proceed with a custom installation. The front was the easier of the two in that it was a removal of the original and less resilient anti-roll bar and installation of the new IPD kit.

1800ES front anti-sway bar before.

1800ES front anti-sway bar after.

The rear kit installation is more involved because of my model car. Two holes have to be drilled in the chassis at specific locations under the rear “jump” seats. The IPD rear sway bar kit came with lots of hardware and good instructions that were easy to follow.

1800ES rear kit with large flat plates.

Of significance in the installation is that the two metal plates are molded by the technician using bending techniques and a ball peen hammer for the final shaping. Now the rear kit components can come together and complete the installation.

Plates are molded to chassis.

1800ES rear anti-sway bar before.

During installation.

1800ES rear anti-sway bar after installation.

So now I am set with a new anti-sway system and of course I went over the Ortega Hwy the very next day for a run through its curves. Needless to say it was a much more secure feeling and overall enjoyable ride. Thanks to Bob Workman’s European Auto for the ongoing expertise and excellent service in installing the kit. I highly recommend this suspension adaptation especially when considering the great old Volvos that we enjoy driving.

IPD USA Anti-Sway Bars for Volvo P1800

Bob Workman’s European Auto

Article by Tom Dougherty

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Event Recap: Caravan to Carlsen

SoCal VSA members Roger Fritch and son Garren in their 1973 1800ES at the 2010 Carlsen Volvo Show in Palo Alto, CA. (Photo by Ted Brough)

This year’s show at the Carlsen Volvo dealer in Palo Alto, CA brought several SoCal VSA members up to participate, in a caravan of vintage Volvos honoring the late Roger von der Hellen. At his wife Cheryl’s request, Roger’s immaculately restored 122 sedan (known as the Queen) was driven up from SoCal by Ted Brough and escorted by Roger Fritch in his 1800ES and Mike Palmer in his 242GT. Cheryl joined our group at the show- where the Queen won Best of Show in the vintage class, and Cheryl received a special plaque from Carlsen Volvo honoring Roger’s many contributions to the Volvo community. SoCal VSA was proud to assist Cheryl in having the Queen appear one last time in Roger’s name. Although it has won many awards in the past (including at Carlsen in 2006 and 2009), this one was especially meaningful for all those in attendance who knew Roger von der Hellen- a true Volvo guy.

Charlie Burton, Owner and President of Carlsen Volvo, presents the award for Best of Show in the vintage pre-1975 class to Cheryl von der Hellen. (Photo by Ted Brough)

A plaque with the flier for this year's Carlsen Show (which includes a picture of the Queen, Roger's 122 sedan) was signed by coworkers and friends of Roger von der Hellen and presented to his wife Cheryl by Wyatt Gomez, Volvo Regional Service and Parts Representative. (Photo by Ted Brough)

This year's show at Carlsen Volvo drew beautiful Volvos of many eras from all over California. (Photo by Ted Brough)

For more pics and discussion from this year’s show check out:

Swedespeed Forums – Carlsen Volvo Aug 2010 Show

Our group of SoCal VSA members together in front of the Queen. At left is a plaque displaying the August 2007 article about Roger's 122 restoration in Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car. From left, Ted Brough, Cheryl von der Hellen, Roger Fritch, and Mike Palmer.

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