Eurasian-Touring…Daring to be Way Different!
Guys and gals. We love first-gen Camaros, road-ripping suspension systems and LS swaps. They look good, they work even better and peg the fun meter. They are the lifeblood of the Pro-Touring scene. However, it’s time for something new. Something way outside the box.
In 2013, George Poteet and Troy Trepanier dared to be different with the GPT Special – a radically modded ’69 Ford Torino/Talladega with Holman-Moody lineage. It was fresh and it blew up plenty of skirts when it swept Goodguys Street Machine of the Year honors in Columbus.
But what about foreign oddities? Let’s call it Eurasian-Touring. The canvas is fairly blank. Northern California’s David Carroll LS1-swapped ’75 Datsun 280z and upgraded the suspension with coilovers, Techno Toy camber kit, and big Wilwood brakes. It’s not only effective, it dominates AutoCross competition. There have been other Z cars too.
But we cry out for way outside the box. About eight years ago, Mattias Vöcks of Koenigsegg fame put out some computer renderings of a radical Pro-Touring Volvo P1800 – arguably the Swedish auto maker’s most daring design ever. He called it the Vox Volvo P1800 and it was pure genius.
Vöcks’ design featured a significant drop, proposed V8 power, big wheels and brakes, flush-mounted glass, fine Italian leather interior trim, a rear diffuser and a handsome new chin. It’s probably the most bitchin’ Pro-Touring car ever conceived outside U.S. soil.
The renderings and resulting buzz prompted a few Americans to tackle P1800 projects of their own. Posting on forums as “theonlyreal1”, a gearhead appeared to be making good progress on his but after an LS swap, suspension and body bods, the project went silent (at least we think so). Then, about a month ago, our friend and trusted agent Craig Morrison, posted something on Facebook about Idaho’s Treasure Valley Street Rods having a P1800 build underway. Body mods are mid-stream and Morrison’s indeed built a custom chassis for the project which rolls on LT-III ET wheels. The topper? It’s all-electric! Suck on that Elon Musk.
The Volvo/Pro-Touring vibe has other flavors as well. At the 2014 Goodguys Lone Star Nationals, Robert Jackson’s 1967 Volvo 122 Amazon, A.K.A., Volvo X breathed new life into the AutoCross pits. It was toooo bitchin’. With a 600 horsepower LS3, RideTech triple adjustable coilovers, Tremec TKO 5-speed, one-off BOZE wheels, it not only captured our hearts, he ran in the fall Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational.
These American suspended and powered Volvo projects have offered hope. But we crave more. What about a ’68 VW bug with aggressive suspension, Forgeline wheels, and a Subaru STI AWD drivetrain? What about a Datsun B210 or 510 with American guts? LS-swapped Mazda RX7’s have been done but we’d like to see one by a prominent builder like Roadster Shop, Rad Rides, Goolsby Customs, or Timeless Kustoms. We know of a Bay Area based gearhead (@cjthecarguy) planning to add boosted LS power and some aggressive suspension to his 1970 Mercedes 250C.
It’s time guys. We need fresh takes on old classics from around the globe. Different is desirable.