Event Recap: 2011 Davis Volvo Show

This year’s Davis Volvo show hosted by the Golden Gate and Sacramento chapters of Volvo Club of America was a ton of fun! Saturday May 14th featured a Volvo autocross then BBQ get together. Sunday was the big show in Davis central park, and despite the unpredictable weather dozens and dozens of Volvos from 544s to the latest C30s got together for a judged car show, well stocked raffle, parts swap, hanging out and meeting fellow enthusiasts.

Our SoCal Volvo Sports America contingent made the 375 mile drive up in caravan on Saturday morning. Stopping over in Bakersfield we said hi to Art Banks and Bill Webb (longtime active members of VSA who are putting together the concours at this October’s P1800 50th Celebration). Unfortunately Roger Fritch discovered a leak in one of the wheels on his 122 wagon which, despite attempts to fix, forced him to turn back for home on the spare tire. As we continued up the 99 to Kingsburg for a little Swedish village flavor, we picked up Tom Dougherty in his 940 Turbo wagon and our caravan pressed on to Sacramento.

Our SCVSA caravan at a rest stop on the 99. From left: Mike Palmer's 242GT, Chapter Coordinator Dylan Osborn's 1800S, Tom Dougherty's 240 Turbo wagon, Ted Brough's 1800S and Richard Montgomery's P1800.

First stop was the post-autocross BBQ at Sacramento chapter leader Mark Baldwin’s shop, where we mingled with the stars of the 240 performance scene (best time at the autocross was a 240 sedan! Click here to see video). After some dinner, a little car detailing in the motel lot, and worrying about the forecast for Sunday, we turned in only to hear an orange 1800ES blast into the lot- Roger Fritch had returned home, jumped in his ES, and made the drive all the way back up to Davis! But the award for most down-to-the-wire drive goes to Munyungo Jackson who blasted up to the show in his P1800 early Sunday morning. With SoCal VSA well represented, we parked our cars, stayed out of the rain (and hail!) and enjoyed the show:

Some of the many-colored 1800s present- coupes in foreground, ES wagons in background.

There were some stellar 122s at the show, at left is SoCal VSA member Tracy Conn's. Lee Cordner's blue '68 (shown by Keith Tenny) won the vintage modified class.

We were glad to see Mike Dudek of iRoll Motors arrive in his 480ES- these rarely seen Volvos were never officially imported to the states.

The 850 field was strong this year with Ben Gregory's T-5R (second from right) winning the stock P1 class and Mark Baldwin's blue R sedan (foreground) winning modified P1 AND Best of Show!

When was the last time you saw a P1900? When was the last time you saw a C303? When was the last time you saw either of them covered in hail? Just one of the many unique sights at the 2011 Davis Volvo Show.

This custom 850 pickup was another first!

Chris Delano of IPD USA exits the show in their current project car, a V70R with stage 3 tuning installed.

We enjoyed spreading the word about VSA's upcoming West Coast National Meet celebrating the 1800 50th anniversary and VSA's 35th! Go to the P1800 50th page to register. If you were at Davis this year, we look forward to seeing you in Malibu this October 14-16th! Remember, the meet is open to all Volvos- and there will be a lot of Volvos to see!

With raffle prizes awarded throughout the day and the show winners announced mid-afternoon (click here for a list), there was plenty to keep us occupied and make this weekend Volvo road trip well worthwhile. We even got 30 mpg in our 1800s on the way home! A big thank you goes out to CJ Yother Jr., Mark Baldwin, and all the other cheerful VCOA volunteers who made the day so much fun for all concerned. See you next year in Davis central park!

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4th Annual Swedish Car Fest – Saturday June 4th

The Southern California Chapter of Volvo Sports America and our sponsor RIGHT SOLUTION, INC (www.saabtech.net) are proud to announce the 4th Annual Swedish Car Fest in Redondo Beach! For the last three years, this event has been a hit every June. Each year, dozens of Volvo and SAAB enthusiasts have congregated for a unique, casual, fun Saturday filled with enjoyment of Scandinavian design and engineering. Moreover, this event falls on the same weekend as National Day of Sweden. Best of all, this event is totally FREE!

The Swedish Car Fest is for absolutely ANY Swedish vehicle, no matter what model, age, or condition. Got that old SAAB 900 you bummed off your uncle to use during art school, or that Volvo 760 wagon you use as your work “truck”? What about your super-rare, concours-restored Volvo P1900? Or that brand new SAAB 9-5 sedan? Bring ’em all!

We will be returning to Ruby’s Diner in Redondo Beach (see link below for directions). Ruby’s beautiful ocean-front location, perennial car club support, and tasty summer menu combine to make this an ideal location. Be sure to thank the Ruby’s staff whenever you see them during the event! SoCal VSA will have discount coupons available for when you decide to take a break from shop talk to grab your lunch inside or outside Ruby’s Diner.

As always, we will have a well-stocked raffle with plenty of Volvo, SAAB, and car care gear to win! Tickets will be available for purchase ($1 for 1, $5 for 6) right up until we announce the winners at 1PM. We will also be awarding trophies in 6 people’s-choice categories. All participants will receive ballots upon arrival at Ruby’s; please be sure to submit your completed ballot no later than 12 noon, so that it can be counted. Trophies will be awarded in the following categories:

  • Best “Old School” Volvo
  • Best “New School” Volvo
  • Best “Old School” SAAB
  • Best “New School” SAAB
  • Best Road Warrior
  • Highest Mileage (last year’s winner showed over 700k!)

Many hours of planning and preparation have been invested, and a big thanks to our generous sponsor Walter Wong at RIGHT SOLUTION, INC (www.saabtech.net) for making this event possible for the third year in a row. We look forward to seeing all of you on Saturday, June 4th!

For directions to Ruby’s (Google Maps), use the following link:

Ruby’s Diner, 245 N. Harbor Drive, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

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Event Recap: Scandinavian Festival 2011

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Event Recap: Canyon Drive to Vintage Racing 2011

Article by drive coordinator Robin Rich, photos by Ted Brough, Dylan Osborn

With memories of a soggy Cars and Coffee still fresh we met under cloudy skies in the Denny’s parking lot of downtown Sylmar.  Sheldon Roth was first to arrive in April’s SoCalVSA calendar car, a 242 Turbo.  Immaculate as always it’s a wonder how he keeps all that black sheet metal swirl free.  The rest of us dribbled in and began the mandatory bench racing and philosophizing: “Know your car and your limits, drive within them…there’s a fine line between adrenaline fueled joy and abandon and abject terror and regret…” In retrospect I think we were trying to convince ourselves as much as anyone else.

After a stately procession through the outskirts of Newhall and a smooth run through scenic Placerita Canyon the twisties began in earnest as we forded the creek at the beginning of Little Tujunga Canyon.  In my mirror I saw Sheldon’s car engulfed in water and thought oh no that pretty car but heard his turbo kick in and knew we were in for a great day.  Little T never fails to delight.  It was wet, it was sandy, it was tight, there were rock slides and sheer cliffs and dirt patches, it was great.  You never knew what would be around the next corner just and tried to take it a little smoother than the last one.  The sights and sounds of out of production (not old, out of production) Volvos and the token Porsche on song on a mountain road was glorious in the early morning overcast.

After catching our breath in Sunland for a moment we headed into the San Gabriels where not two years ago the Station Fire had left nothing but scorched earth and twisted metal in its wake.  The hills were now green and wildflowers were blooming, guardrails and utility poles and roads were being restored everywhere we went the power of nature to regenerate and the willingness of man to rebuild was awe inspiring.  The sweepers weren’t so bad either.  The big open corners suited the handling of our cars.  We carried lots of momentum, if not speed, and power onto the straights.  The views were spectacular as we left the overcast of the LA Basin behind and looked out over the Antelope Valley and the Mojave bathed in sunshine.

We caught some Sunday traffic in the Foothills of Palmdale and through Leona Valley and Elizabeth Lake but after the previous intensity driving at a sedate pace enjoying the panoramic views of horse and llama farms was a welcome distraction.  As we headed down into the Mojave we passed a sheepherder tending his flock hunkered down with his working dogs in the wind. The poppies were just starting to bloom and the hills were just starting to turn orange.

At the track we wasted no time finding Ken Rodenbush and his yellow 1800 racer and as an added treat a 122S racer from the 70s that had just been restored.

As we were talking to the mechanic for the 122 they announced open track time for street cars.  It was an opportunity too good to miss.  With Ted and Mike handling camera duties the rest of us headed out to see just what it felt like to power out of turn four down the hill clipping the apex of 5 and heading into the back straight.  The speeds were conservative but the sensation was not to be missed.  There’s just something about being on the track.

The cars ranged from old Formula Atlantic purpose built race cars to a Datsun 510 station wagon and everything in between.  The racing was generally close within classes though sometimes there was more than one class of car on the track making it a challenge to keep track of who was racing who.

In the important race we all came to watch Ken in his yellow 1800, who was running third in class when something went wrong in turn 5 and he swapped ends.  He rejoined the fray but his left front tire, possibly from the spin, corded and he had to retire on the next to last lap.  Unfortunately the 122 had broken its (FORD) transmission the previous day so we didn’t get to see it run.

As the racing was winding down a number of people decided to take the slab home to get ready for the work week.  A few of us took the canyons, running a little slower after a big day and in the midst of Sunday afternoon traffic.  Munz Road was a ribbon of sweepers through the poppies, Spunky Canyon was treacherous and covered in sand and slippery as could be, Bouquet was smooth and nicely banked though full of Sunday drivers.  The last run down Sierra Highway was a little too much like rush hour but we were tired.

No tickets, no blood, no bent sheet metal, just friends and cars and scenery and racing, a great day was had by all.

Thanks Robin for leading us through the canyons to see some Volvo racing!

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