Posted on February 15, 2016
Recently McCullough Ltd was contacted by Mark Petch to organise the shipping of a very special race car back home to NZ. After a lot of investigation and negotiation Mark managed to persuade Volvo restorer and Enthusiast Thor Rustad to sell the ex John Bowe's GpA, Australian Touring Car Championship Volvo 240T.
The car has an incredible history and is not only the last surviving 1986 RAS spec GpA Volvo car, but also the very last Volvo Factory "Works" GpA 240T car ever built. The car was assembled in Australia by the Australian Volvo Dealer Team, by key team mechanic Geoff Grech [who went on to become the Team manager at HRT] and a young fabricator, name unknown, who fabricated the first ever Chrome Moly roll-cage in a Volvo Works car in place of the Factory cars previously used Aluminium tube bolted together roll-cage.
The car was has raced at a variety of racetracks, from running 2nd at Bathurst, the many racetracks of Sweden and even found its way to Japan.
The Volvo 240T was eventually purchased by Knud E. Sørensen a young Danish driver, who had just started to race, however, against the later crop of cars such as the Ford Cosworth RS 500's it proved less than competitive. It was subsequently sold to another Danish aspiring racing driver who lived in Spain, and were it was to disappear for 14 years, without ever turning a wheel in anger again. In 2009 an advertisement appeared for the car and, Thor Rustad's a Norwegian 240T GpA Volvo enthusiast, purchased the car, sight unseen and proceeded to strip it down to bare metal and commence a 6 year long, 2,476 Hour, complete rebuild of the car to as new condition, 100% "period" correct to when the car was last raced by John Bowe and Alfi Costanzo at Bathurst in 1986.
McCullough Ltd worked with its agents in Oslo to arrange for a container to be dropped at Thor’s workshop where he packed the container. Once safely packed it was on the next vessel bound for New Zealand. The McCullough team then ensured that all paperwork and clearances were in place for a speedy unpack of the container. The vehicle and parts were immediately cleared by the MPI biosecurity inspectors which is a testament to how beautifully restored this car was.
Mr Petch was very keen to collect his car after this clearance so he could get it back to his own workshop for a once over before making the trip South with it to go to the Highlands Festive of Speed event in Cromwell later that week. http://www.highlands.co.nz/events/highlands-festival-of-speed-2016/
The team at McCullough ltd look forward to working with Mr Petch on his next vehicle import into New Zealand.