1980 Volvo 245 DL: East Coaster of the Day

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1980 Volvo 245 DL: East Coaster of the Day

When this 1980 Volvo 245 DL came off the assembly line in June, 1980, who knew it would become one of the most talked about and loved Volvo cars in history?

Within the first month on the road, the car was driven to Volvo’s North American Headquarters where its R-Sport department did a few modifications.

They started by removing the air conditioning and power steering units to reduce weight and give its 106-horsepower B21 single-carbureted four-cylinder engine a little more grunt to the rear wheels. Then they replaced the stock exhaust with a low restriction R-Sport exhaust.


The team at the R-sport department replaced the instrument panel with a rally dash analog gauge cluster and installed an air horn. They added a skid plate to protect the oil pan, transmission and overdrive unit. The springs were upgraded to ones used on Volvo cars being shipped to Africa. They also swapped out the stock shock absorbers for Bilstein gas units.

Robert Bosch foglights and massive 180 Rallye Knick floodlights were installed. Spacy little antennas on the roof connected to the most advanced mobile communications equipment in the world at the time from Motorola.

Back in Canada, the hood and flashes down the sides were painted Volvo Blue. The car was eventually trimmed with sponsor decals and two large Canadian flags covering the front doors.


Between September 6th and November 19th 1980, the car was driven around the world in 74 days 1 hour and 11 minutes, shaving more than a month off the existing record.

Since 1980, the 40-year-old car has remained the property of Odyssey International Limited, an adventure driving company based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, founded by Garry Sowerby and Ken Langley.

During those years, the 1980 Volvo, nicknamed Red Cloud, has been at shows and museums all over Europe and North America. At present, Red Cloud is on loan to the Maritime Motorsport Hall of Fame Museum in Petitcodiac, New Brunswick.

And, you never know, some day a global urge might hit and Red Cloud may ride again.

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