The Flying Brick
Volvo decided to use the 240 Turbo, a high-performance version of their successful 240 series road car, to enter the European Touring Car Championship (ETCC) in 1984. Affectionately nicknamed ‘the Flying Brick’ because of its rather incongruous appearance, the racing version of the 240 Turbo was immediately competitive against more overtly sporting competition from Jaguar, BMW and Rover.
It was based on a special ‘Evolution’ production model that had a bigger turbo, modified ECUs and a water injection system for the intake system giving the engine much greater tuning potential. The twenty or so Group A race cars that were subsequently derived from this model featured extensive further modifications to engine, gearbox, suspension and bodywork.
The initial race cars were built and prepared with full factory support by three private teams: Magnum Racing and TL Racing in Sweden and GTM Engineering in Belgium. In their first season in 1984, they ran with around 340hp and weighed in at 1,150 kg but these figures improved significantly as the cars were developed.
By the end of the season Volvo had won their first race outright in the ETCC and also won a round of the German DTM series. In 1985 Volvo dominated, winning the ETCC championship that year ahead of the V8 Rovers and in 1986 they almost repeated the feat.
This car was one of two built in 1984 by Magnum Racing of Stockholm. It was delivered mid-season to the Luna Sports Promotion team as a replacement for the car that the team had written off at an earlier round of the ETCC. The car’s main driver was Ulf Granberg and he was partnered by Eje Elgh, Robert Kvist and Frank Jelinski during the rest of the 1984 season.
The car had the notable distinction of gaining Volvo’s first win in the ETCC at the Zolder round in September. With Granberg and Kvist at the wheel of their Flying Brick they beat the BMW 635i of Quester and Stuck and the Jaguar XJ-S of Walkinshaw and Heyer to register the first win for a turbo-powered car.
After the 1984 season the car was bought by Artur Mendes, a client of Volvo Portugal. He campaigned the car in the Portuguese Touring Car Championship in 1985 and 1986 before retiring the car and using it for display and demonstrations.
The current owner bought the car from Mendes in 2013 and then commissioned expert historic race team Moto Historics Ltd to restore the car to its 1984 specification and appearance.
The car has raced in the Heritage Touring Cup championship for three seasons with great success, winning the series in 2017. It also appeared at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2015 and 2016, and the Goodwood Members Meeting in 2017.
For details on this 1984 Volvo 240 Turbo Group A Touring Car and other vehicles available from Sports Purpose, click on the link below. Images © Sports Purpose.