PHOTOGRAPHY & WORDS: Tom Horna
The creator of Silent D Motorshow did it again! Do you remember my story on Erlend and his custom Dodge Charger by the Ring Brothers? Well, it seems that the American muscle car wasn’t enough and Erlend yet again commissioned someone in the US to do work on another of his cars. This time it was a Volvo 262c Bertone… but only on the outside.
Erlend owns several cars both modern and classic. You can learn more about his passion for cars and the amazing Dodge Charger by clicking here. This time, however, I met him to talk about his Volvos – he owns a few of them. Two of them are the Italian built Volvo 262C Bertone. One of them which is in London and that one is a very, very special car.
Born in Norway Erlend is deeply rooted into the Scandinavian car culture hence his love for Volvos. His latest project the 262C Bertone went through a complete mechanical custom overhaul. It was bought in Sacramento in original condition (26k miles only) and built in California by East Bay Muscle Cars.
You would wonder why an American muscle car specialist is working on a Volvo? Let me tell you why… this Volvo 262 is fitted with a 6.2 V8 GM LT1 engine! In plain English, it’s the same engine as (for example) the new Corvette Grand Sport. This beast of an engine delivers 460 brake horsepower to the rear wheels of Erlends 262C Bertone!
That’s not where it ends. The car’s entire drive gear has been changed to accommodate and help handle the extreme power of LT1 engine including the front suspension and the IRS (Independent Rear Suspension) system by Art Morrison Enterprises. Brakes have been replaced with 4-piston Wilwood system. The icing on the cake are the beautiful Evod Industries one-off 17” wheels which replicate the original Volvo design in a bigger size. It took just under a year to build the car and ship it to London.
In Erlends’ words – I wanted a ‘sleeper’ car that looks as original as possible on the outside yet to surprise everyone who thinks it can’t go fast.
Enough of the technical talk. We took the car out for a drive in the British countryside. The car was a dream to drive and a real head turner. Extremely comfortable yet with a noticeable improvement in handling compared to the original 262C.
We stopped for lunch at my favourite gastropub near Aylesbury, The Akeman Inn. We ate, we took pictures and we created a lot of noise and dust by trying the handling of the car in the pub’s car park. Please don’t judge us, it had to be done. As you can imagine we drove off fast… Real fast.
On our way home, we decided to pop down to the glorious Blenheim Palace. We misbehaved there again by driving a tad faster than the speed limit as well as driving the car beyond the ‘no entry’ signs. It was all worth it just for that straight-line stretch in front of the palaces gates. That’s where we tested the car’s performance and took some beautiful drone shots.
All in all, it was a great day driving the beautiful Volvo 262C Bertone. I just can’t wait what Erlend will come up next with?