THE FLYING BRICK

I have always loved cars for as long as I can remember. I remember one day when I was six years old and in Standard (Today’s equivalent of “year”) 1 at La Salle primary school, Petaling Jaya, it was during recess (break) time. I walked out of school to the shops nearby on Jalan Gasing and came across a newspaper vendor displaying little cars for sale. They could have been Dinky and Corgi brands. I saw an Austin Cambridge or Morris Oxford model that caught my eye.

I asked the shop guy to let me see the car. It had a little knob (reminded me of the little round pencil sharpener) on the roof of the car. By turning the knob left or right; it ingeniously turned the front wheels of the car in the direction the knob was turned. This car reminded me of my father’s real Austin Cambridge that he had at that time.

Fast forward today and my interest for cars has not diminished, even a little bit.

My friend, DD; has an interest in cars and motorcycles. It is more than just an interest, DD is an avid enthusiast in restoring vehicles of yesteryear. He has “brought back to life” several vehicles including a Volvo 123.

He recently brought an old Volvo, the 240GLE; to pristine, showroom condition – literally. It’s colour “angelic white”. Everything about the car is worthy of a premium executive vehicle.

DD wanted a Volvo 242 next. It is 2 doors (hence the number denominator: 24(2). After searching many parts of Malaysia; he managed to find one which was in reasonably good condition, without the need for major restoration. It was in one of Volvo’s traditional stock-standard colours: light blue.

This 242 was going to see a different remake. Instead of just restoring it to showroom condition; DD’s plan was to fashion it after Volvo’s BTCC model – “The Flying Brick”. – He bought a model kit of the Flying Brick… yes, you read right… a model kit car. His brother-in-law helped build the car, complete with full decals. The Volvo was fondly nicknamed “The Flying Brick” because of its squarish shape.

One of the first things he did with the car was to have it repainted white, as per the model display unit he has. Then, get this: he replicated the decals which are on the model car and custom made them to scale to fit the real thing. Pictures of the model are below, too:

The Volvo 242 in front. The Volvo 240 in the back.

The model kit of which the real car above is being based on. Photo by DD

More plans for this car include removing the rear seat and adding a roll cage. With an eye for detail, DD will bring this car up to specifications as close to the original racer as possible. Yet, this vehicle will still meet all requirements to be a street car. Keep a lookout for it.

Photo by DD

The original 242 driven by Strom and Codocco. Pinterest.

VOLVO 242 (1974-1984)

In August 1974, Volvo presented a new generation of cars called the 240 and 260 Series.

These new models had been developed from the 140 series and were very similar to their predecessors, and with influences from the VESC safety concept car. The changes included a new protruding front, large bumpers and a further-developed chassis, featuring McPherson front-wheel suspension. At the same time, a new 4-cylinder engine series with single overhead camshaft was introduced. The previous B20 4-cylinder was still offered in basic versions for some time.

Two-door cars were still very much in demand, particularly on the Nordic markets, and it was therefore only natural to include a 2-door in the programme. However, as the trend was moving towards 4-door cars, the 242 was taken out of production long before the 244 and 245.

Over the years, the Volvo 242 was produced with many different engines and gearboxes.

The most interesting versions were the 242GT of the late 1970s and the 240 Turbo of the 1980s marketed in North America. Both cars offered spectacular performance and answering in full to the classical proverb ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’. The same goes for the 242 racing car which won the European Touring Car Championship in 1985.

For model year 1983, the emblem at the rear of all 240 models was changed. No longer did it say 242, 244 or 245. The badge just said 240, as part of a new designation strategy. In reality, however, most people continued to refer to their cars as a 244 or 245. Nevertheless, this change did not mean any large-scale modification to the cars.

MODEL SPECIFICATIONS

Model: 242

Variants: 242 GT

Produced: 242,621

Body: 2-door saloon

Engine: 4-cylinder, in-line OHV, 4-cylinder, in-line SOHC, 4-cylinder, in-line SOHC with turbocharging.

Transmission: 4-speed manual or 4-speed with el. overdrive, with floor-mounted gear lever. 3-speed automatic.

Brakes: Hydraulic, disc brakes on all four wheels.

Dimensions: Overall length 490 cm, wheelbase 264 cm.

Misc: In 1985, the Volvo 242 won the European Touring Car Championship. (1)

Photo by DD

Photo by DD

The 242 seen here, was amongst the earliest Volvo models to be fitted with big bumpers. Pinterest

volvo-242-1
The Volvo 242 , in its earlies of beginnings. Pinterest

Teaser: Look what’s coming up soon

BMW and Mercedes Benz – Photo by DD

NOTES:

  1. Volvo Cars Global Newsroom

Volvo 242 v. ETCC Round 2 at Donnington | 1986

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