There’s no replacement for displacement. I’ve always laughed at that statement – not because there’s no truth in it, but because it’s usually used to undermine smaller capacity turbocharged engines. Well, what about if you take that big displacement, make it bigger, and then throw in a touch of forced induction to top it all off? Sounds crazy, right? But why the hell not…
I guess that’s what Joachim Muri was thinking when he sat down at his drawing board and brainstormed ideas to turn his Volvo 242DL into the ultimate tyre-shredder.
You will have to excuse me if I come across as being repetitive, but there was no way I was going to pass up the chance to feature another 242 Coupe from Gatebil. And I’m pretty sure that by the time you reach the last page of this feature, you’ll agree with me…
That’s how things go at Gatebil, though. You are bombarded with so many Frankenstein cars that you just want to share as many as you can. But to me, this one really represented what the event is all about.
Back before this project even materialised, Joachim had his mind set on building up a MK2 Golf. However, a spirited winter drive in his friend’s Volvo 244 changed everything. He quickly sourced himself the car you see here – a 1978 242DL – and proceeded to fit it with a 383 cubic inch Chevy V8. Not surprisingly, he had a lot of fun. Fun, however, didn’t come without niggling little problems and in the end he decided that the Volvo needed a more modern, and therefore reliable, V8 swap.
His friend suggested he scrap the V8 idea and go for something completely different – something that had never been attempted before. That, of course, is easier said than done…
But then again, Joachim had some ideas.
Fast forward an unquantifiable amount of time and dedication, and the end result of his hard work is something quite special.
Much like the other V10-powered 242 that we saw last week, I came across Joachim’s brick in the same way – walking past it in the gravel section of the paddock, and then a few seconds later realising what I had just seen and quickly heading back to it.Not Only Displacement
In dreaming up an engine package more interesting than your average V8-swap, Joachim has really pushed the boundaries of, well… sanity. Let me elaborate. After months of searching for a V10 engine in the US, he came across this Series 3 Dodge Viper 8.3L motor in Florida. Once it was shipped over to Norway he wasn’t just going to drop it into the 242’s cavernous engine bay – that would have been far too simple. He stripped it all the way to the bottom end where he bored out the cylinders and then filled them back up with Ross low-compression forged pistons and strong Ksport H-section connecting rods.
That bumped the stock 500hp/712Nm engine to 8.6 liters, and prepped it for a little bit more power. Because you didn’t think 500hp would do, did you?
To guarantee the 242 would be an absolute one-of-a-kind (we’re in Scandinavia remember!) while ensuring that it had the power to incinerate tyres at the slightest right-foot provocation, Joachim fabricated custom exhaust manifolds to hold up a pair of Turbonetics T4 P60 turbochargers and the 45mm external wastegates that control them.
It might have been a bit of a packaging nightmare, but everything needed to convert the engine from naturally aspirated to boost-fed were bolted in place and plumbed up. That includes the grille-mounted intercooler that has the job of keeping that intake air as cool as possible.
The result – at a mere 1.0bar (14.7psi) of boost pressure – is a rather staggering 1141hp. Even more unfathomable is the 1800Nm of torque the setup generates. But as impressive as these numbers are, Joachim prefers to keep things a little more reliable and has set the boost to 0.65bar (9.5psi). That said, it still manages to return some pretty impressive numbers: 911hp and 1400Nm to be precise. That’s enough torque to shift the earth off its axis, which might explain why days are so damn long up in Scandinavia during this time of the year. To help the driveline handle all of that twisting force, a reinforced T56 six-speed gearbox is fitted along with a Detroit Locker and Sellholm Tuning driveshafts.
One of the coolest additions is the side-exit exhaust. The oh-so-sweet sounds and huge flames that erupt from the downturned pipe go a long way to show that this 242 is far from the sensible machine it rolled off the production line as.
The brick design, however, is a little hard to improve on – there’s only so much you can do with a few angular lines. But Joachim took the tried and trusted route and boosted both front and rear fender girth for a proper widebody look.
That meant that slightly wider wheels and tyres could be utilised – specifically 18-inch Compomotive M06s, 9-inch wide at the front and 10-inch at the rear, with whatever rubber Joachim can get his hands on. He’s not fussy because they don’t last long.
To help slow this monster 242DL down, XYZ calipers are mated to two-piece 356mm rotors at the front, while the rear received AMG/Brembo callipers over 345mm rotors.Stiffer Is Better
Seeing that Joachim has a background in rallying, he went full WRC-style when it came to fabricating the rollcage. The 14-point cage ticks off the safety aspect while helping give a nice boost of rigidity to the 36-year-old chassis.
The interior layout is pretty minimalistic, geared towards no-frills functionally rather than looks. That’s why there is no dash to speak of – only a rollcage cross bar with an Auto Meter drag-style tachometer.
The remaining five Auto Meter gauges are grouped in a custom center console alongside additional switchgear.
No Scandinavian drift machine would be caught dead without a hydraulic handbrake – a must-have in initiating high-speed drifts and keeping the car in control through the trickier sections. Adjustability is something that Joachim didn’t skimp out on, adding adjustable sway bars both front and rear along with Sellholm coilovers.
I thought the skull shifter was a rather fitting addition considering the level of performance that can be unleashed through each of the transmission’s six forward gears.
You really need to have a good look at the interior of the car to realise just how much work went into turning this unsuspecting Deluxe (that’s what the ‘DL’ badge stands for) coupé from the ’70s into the 1000hp beast it is today. The entire floor section was cut out and replaced with a sheet of flat metal with additional stiffening sections, and all tied onto the rollcage. Air jacks were also thrown in for good measure, because if you’re going to do that amount of work to the floor they’re a logical addition.
This, however, is not. At least to all non-Norwegians out there probably… After scratching my head in confusion for a while and attempting to figure out what the flux-capacitor looking contraption in the center of the interior was, I had to ask Joachim and his wife for a little explanation. It turns out this is a superretometerfordeler – or a replica of one at least – something from the famous Norwegian sci-fi puppet movie Flåklypa Grand Prix. In the film this device is what allows the ‘Il tempo gigante’ car to become all sorts of awesome. Seeing as Joachim is a big fan, he thought he’d add it to his Volvo. The superretometerfordeler is functional too, and forms part of air jack set up. From this angle between the front seats you also get a good look at the aforementioned floor along with the custom rear wheel tubs.
Out in the trunk is where the fuel system is located – a set up that includes the three pumps needed to keep ten 700cc/min Siemens injectors primed for action. Yes, there’s a nitrous oxide bottle in the boot too, but as the solenoids in the previous photo suggest, it’s used for the air jack system – not the engine. I’m sure the idea has crossed Joachim’s mind though…
The Jericho, as Joachim likes to call it, stands right up there with the twin-supercharged V12 Cobra I shot last year at Mantorp as one of the wildest Gatebil builds I’ve ever seen.
But like most projects of this nature, this 242DL isn’t quite finished. Once those winter days roll around again Joachim has a lot of plans – things that will see some carbon fiber make it onto the body and a whole new fuel system. Where he plans to take this Viper-powered beast, nobody knows, but it can only get crazier from here…
Dino Dalle Carbonare