Project Headquarters — Part One


Posted on 9th January, by Greg Keysar in Features. Comments

It’s no secret that I’m a Volvo nerd.  I’m not ashamed of that fact and I revel in it.  When I fall asleep, I count Volvo’s driving around grocery store parking lots.  That’s right, deal with it.  So when I saw photos of Adam Nonis’s 1966 Volvo 220 Amazon Wagon, dubbed “Headquarters” by his son, show up on the Volvo forums, I fell head over heals in love with it.  I was already planning on flying out to Seattle to shoot some other cars, so I contacted Adam and offered to shoot his as well and it’s all history from there.  This is introduction to a work in progress, we’ll have more on it again in the spring when it’s completed.
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Adam had always wanted a 220 Amazon, so when he found one on Craigslist, he bought it sight unseen. After getting the car in his shop, and some hard core investigating, he found some hefty rust in the engine bay.  So the search was on for a donor car, that’s when he found the 1968 122 Amazon coupe.  He immediatley had visions of a three door wagon, so scooped the coupe up and began work.
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First on the list of things to swap was the front clip.  Adam drilled all the spot welds on the firewall of the wagon and the donor and swapped the coupes front clip onto the wagon. After that was completed, he removed the wagons doors and B pillars, then swapped the coupes doors on and cut the B pillars and rear quarter panels out of the donor.  After a great deal measuring and fitting, he welded everything up and voila, a 223 was born.  When it came time to paint the car, he decided on Volvo #90 dark blue as the color.  All the original brightwork was reinstalled, and fender mounted side mirrors added, and finally bronze color tint on the windows.
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To get things rolling again, Adam had to tackle the rear suspension.  He knew he wanted lots of rear camber and a limited slip differential, so he started looking at his options.   He decided on a  S13 Nissan rear subframe since it had the same bolt pattern as the front hubs, fixed limited slip differential, independant supsension, disc brakes, and an abundant supply of aftermarket parts. Oh, and it allowed him to have rear camber, something that is rarely ever seen on rear wheel drive Volvos.  So after sourcing one, he went to work fitting it in the car.
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Finishing off the suspension 18″x8″ 2012 Mustang GT wheels in front of 4 pistons Brembo calipers from an S60R with Mitsubishi Evo rotors and with 30mm spacers in the front.  Wheels will eventually be swapped out with American Racing Saltflats with color matched centers, an evolution to this build I can’t wait to see.
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Adam  plans on finishing off the interior with VW R32 charcoal leather seats in both the front and rear, a reshaped metal dash with aftermarket gauges, nardi wood steering wheel, and wood rear floors in the cargo area with a custom slide out loading deck.  This is after all going to be his daily driver/parts hauler.
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Getting things up to speed will be accomplished with a Volvo B230 block with an AQ171 Volvo Penta 16V head, NIW equal length tubular manifold with external gate, NIW custom intake manifold, MegaSquirt with full sequential fuel an spark control, and a T3/T4 A/R .63 turbo with a front mount intercooler.  But who cares about all that mess, look at that valve cover and those hard copper vacuum lines! DADDY LIKES! While looking for a solution for the plug wires, Adam decided to run them through copper tubing to aesthetically tie them into the hard vac lines, a very nice touch when paired with the wrinkle black powder coat on the intake manifold and plug cover.  Adam stated that he is going for a touch of steam punk inside the engine bay; mission accomplished.
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Growing up in a body shop, Adam gives credit to his father for all of his abilities and knowledge.  He’s been around cars his entire life. It’s in his blood.  He lives and breathes it on a daily basis, and it shows.  Normal people don’t build cars like this to beat on on a daily basis, or to haul parts around.  Cars like this are usually built by average people who store them away in their garages, too scared to take them out and drive them.  Only someone who’s whole existence revolves around the automotive culture would set out to do something like this.  Adam would say his family is all that matters to him.  But the things in life that take precedence over cars are still ultimately influenced by the drive.  It’s what draws one to live a certain way, the way of the automobile.  I can’t wait to see the end result, nor can I wait to get back west and hang out with some awesome people.  Thanks Adam for building such a special car!

Specific Modifications

Modifications:
Engine:
-B230 AQ171 Penta 16v turbo engine and R154 transmission
-Custom intake and header
-MegaSquirt full sequential fuel and spark control

Interior:
-Nardi steering wheel
-Reshaped dash w/aftermarket gauges
-VW R32 charcoal leather seats front and rear
-Wood rear floor w/slide out loading deck

Exterior:
-Converted from 4 doors to two with coupe doors, pillars and quarter panels
-Volvo #90 single stage paint
-Fuel filler relocated behind taillight

Suspension/Wheels:
-S13 Nissan rear subframe w/suspension
-Mitsubishi Evo front rotors w/S60R 4 piston Brembo calipers
-2012 Mustang GT 18″ wheels







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