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For Sale: 10-second 1983 Volvo 242 with turbo Chev V8

There’s something really cool about high-performance old-school Volvos. It probably has something to do with the sleeper element of it all, the contrast. Here’s one of the finest we’ve seen; a 1983 Volvo 242 with a Chev LSX-style turbo V8 engine.

1983 Volvo 242 Chev V8 turbo

It’s a street-legal 10-second car. It drives on 10psi and generates 410kW at the wheels, which is around 450kW-plus at the engine. The owner suggests if you’re willing enough, winding up the boost will result in around 520kW at the wheels.

Cruising down to the drag strip in perfectly acceptable street-legal form, the car has run the quarter mile in 10.7 seconds at 206km/h (128mph). Ironically, the owner has been kicked off the strip after running due to the car not featuring a 10-second-certified roll cage. We don’t know about you but we’d feel pretty safe in one of these sturdy steel sheds, regardless of the speed.

All Volvos offer awesome handling straight from the factory, especially old models. Wait, that’s not quite right is it… And so it comes as no surprise this beast has been fitted with a fully adjustable coilover suspension kit to make sure the car turns when the driver does.

The best part of it all, in our opinion, are the 17-inch custom steel wheels. These give it that tough sleeper look. They’re wrapped in Mickey Thompson drag radials when the car’s taken to the track, measuring 255mm.

According to the description, air-conditioning is non-existent, but, “the heater works great”. It’s also “pretty quiet driving around until the wastegate opens”. Unfortunately for Californian dwellers, the car will not pass state smog tests “and never will” – that’s something the buyer will have to figure out.

We wish we lived in the US, because we’d buy it. It’s up for sale on craigslist for just US$12,500. See below for the full parts list, and further below for a couple of demo videos.

  • 2002 6.0-litre LQ4 V8 engine
  • LS9 camshaft
  • Patriot gold valve springs
  • Texas speed pushrods
  • TH400 transmission
  • PTC torque converter
  • Twin rear mounted transmission coolers
  • Ford 8.8-inch differential with 31-spline LSD
  • 3.5-inch driveshaft
  • Walbro 485 fuel pump
  • Megasquirt 2 engine management
  • 1000cc injectors
  • GT45 turbocharger
  • 50mm wastegate and BOV
  • Custom tig-welded stainless steel turbo kit
  • Griffin radiator

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.