A Volvo Weekend To Remember

The Volvo Sports America West Coast National Meet this October 14-16th in Malibu was a record breaking success!

Friday saw over a hundred Volvo enthusiasts gather at the Hotel Angeleno to mingle at the reception hosted by Mike Dudek of iRoll Motors. Visitors from British Columbia, Georgia, Texas and all over the western United States made the journey in their vintage Volvos, from 122s to Duetts to 1800 coupes and ESs. By evening the parking lot behind the iconic hotel was full of Swedish steel, visible to anyone driving by on the 405 freeway.

Owners socialized and enjoyed hosted appetizers poolside before turning in for a rest or prepping their cars for the morning’s big show. As the sun rose on Saturday, Volvos were already streaming in to the parking lot of Gladstone’s Malibu. Premiere Presenting Sponsor Volvo Cars North America brought their entire 2012 model lineup, and attendees took turns test driving the new power-boosted S60 R-Design along the Pacific Coast Highway.

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Tech sessions were well attended such as Tim Otters and his custom 400+ hp 242, Bruce Ackerman and his winning 1800 race car, Mike Dudek on vintage Volvo steering boxes, and Lii Montgomery on SU carburetor tuning. Lii’s son Scott gave “hands on” SU tuning demos with several 1800s outside, as the sun burned brightly over the meet and the Pacific Ocean. Raffle prizes donated by two dozen Volvo supporters including Volvo Cars North America, IPD USA, iRoll Motors, Swedish Speed, Heatblok, Dan Fredman PR, and Volvo Club of British Columbia, were distributed to lucky winners throughout the day. But the real draw was the car show! Over 125 Volvos in total with over 75 1800s including 22 ESs, 9 Jensen-built coupes, and 2 P1900s made this a VSA West Coast National Meet for the record books.

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Thirty judges worked in teams to judge over 80 Volvos entered in the concours. Prizes were distributed by Art Banks and Karl Grimm, Concours Co-Captains, at the celebratory banquet dinner held Saturday evening inside the Gladstones Malibu Sunset Room. Best in Show winners included Mike Parmley and his ’64 544 for Stock Early Production, Tom and Barbara Dougherty and their ’99 C70 for Stock Late Production, while Ken Parkhurst took Best In Show Modified and the “Golden Cam Shaft” award with his incredible custom ’73 ES. The “Road Warrior” trophy went to Richard Kelley’s ’62 P1800 (with peeling paint and all), while Chris Buscher took highest mileage for over 700K on his 210 Duett. Guests dined while listening to VCNA Sales & Marketing Manager Greg Hembrough talk about his lifelong love affair with Volvos- a sentiment understood by everyone in the room. Thanks were given to all the event’s sponsors, volunteers and organizers, with special thanks to Art Banks and Bill Webb for organizing the Concours, Ernie Shack of Arizona VSA for originally envisioning the event, and SoCal VSA Chapter Coordinator Dylan Osborn for his leadership in making it possible. To end the evening on a sweet note, Kent Swahn of Swahn Motors brought out an impressive cake that showcased a red Volvo P1800 in three dimensions.

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Sunday saw three dozen Volvos caravan from the Hotel Angeleno up to Thousand Oaks, via a stunning canyon drive from the 101 to PCH on Encinal Canyon Road with ocean views. The drive was orchestrated by SoCal VSA member Doug Gagliardi, and everyone agreed it was a beautiful and enjoyable cruise. The destination was Mike Malamut’s Vintage Auto Museum, a hidden jewel for lovers of antique cars and relics of bygone eras- from the giant Bob’s Big Boy statue to the tiny BMW Isetta 300s. Lunch and a group photo capped off the weekend before engines fired up again and the crowd headed for home, with great memories to keep them company along the way.

Text by Lelah Baker-Rabe, Photos by Tom Lamb.

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