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Volvo Adventures is an independent New Zealand based resource for the older Volvo models

Volvo 242GT

Australian member Lance Phillips with his 242GT


1979-2004: 25 years of the 242GT
242GT/262C Register of Australia & New Zealand

This year is the 25th Anniversary of the release of the 242GT in Australia. To celebrate this occasion 242GT and 262C owners are invited to participate in the Volvo National Rally to be held in Canberra during 23- 26th September 2004.

The aim is to assemble as many 242GT / 262C vehicles as possible for display on Saturday 25th September in Canberra.

The Volvo Club of NSW who are also celebrating their 35th Anniversary are hosting the National Rally. Full details including application form are attached or in this issue of Rolling.

The National Rallies are an excellent opportunity to enjoy the company of like-minded Volvo owners. Please give it some thought but not for too long before you make a decision on attendance as accommodation can go quickly.

If you have any questions on the event please ring me on 03 9707 2724 AH

Lance Phillips 
Berwick VIC 
03 97072724 

Craig Rasmussen
Edwardstown SA
AH 0428 529372

The silver limited edition Volvo 242GT was the first sports-orientated Volvo model since the 1800. They were built between 1978 - 1981. The Australian and NZ versions had a 105kW (140bhp) version of the B23E fuel injected engine with 10:1 compression ratio and an "H" camshaft, front spoiler, stiffened suspension and accent striping on the sides and boot lid. The window frames were matt black, a feature later applied to all 240s.

242gtbadge.jpg (19481 bytes)

In Australia, some of the 600 cars sold, were turned into automatic versions by a local garage although all 242 GTs had M46 (4-speed+OD) gearbox as standard. There are probably only 20 Volvo 242GTs in New Zealand, some imported from Aussie. They were never sold in the UK. 

Early 242GTs had B21E and B21F engines. Second for countries with exhaust gas limitations as USA. Both engines weren't specially tuned to achieve higher speed; just the same as any normal 242/244/245 with B21E/F. So European '79 242GT had top speed of 182 km/h (achieved in 4th speed) and acceleration 10,0 sec from 0-100 km/h.

B23E Specification: K- Jetronic (Bosch), 103kW / 140HP (H-cam), 190Nm at 3600 rpm, 96 X 80mm / 4-cyl. 2,32 litre. CR 10:1

GTs had rear differential ratio of 3.91:1. The same as previous (and later) B21A engines 242/244/245DL+GL later(77-), the B23E equipped GTs had rear diff. ratio 3,73 :1, like later 240 Turbo. Transmission was always M46 (4spd+OD); 3,71; 2,16; 1,37; 1; OD: 0,798; R: 3,68

Rear-view mirrors were also anodised black; ordinary early 240's had chromed mirrors, later there were small black plastic things ->'79 / '80 GTs. There were two types of air dam's, earlier that was wrapped around lower edge of bumper and not twisted back up on lower edge of the air dam. And second one (year 1980) that was twisted in frontal direction. Earlier had no auxiliary vent holes in the middle, later had standard three and a plastic covered one for towing hook (pass. side)

Lights set-up has two round 180mm Bosch lamps and two fog lamps in grille. The grille itself was not the same (GLE/GT) as GT's had different diagonal line left and right from Volvo badge in the middle. Brakes were the same as on ordinary models, all 4 disks. Front discs / rotors were ventilated.

Interior was black with red lining on seat covers, all had tach from factory. Most important changes happened to suspension. It's very interesting to see that all model years had different set-up. Front springs were a bit shorter and 30% stiffer as DL/GL/GLE. Rear springs were standard. GT had four gas pressurised shock absorbers. 1978 had 21mm front bar and 21mm rear bar, 1979 had 21mm front bar and 23 mm rear bar, 1980 had 21mm bars again. 1978/79 had 14" alloy wheels, 1980 had 15" 5-spoke Turbo wheels (Virgo).

Lance Phillips (Register keeper 242GT in Australia) about the 242GT Turbo:
I don't have a lot of facts on the numbers etc. I understand they were not made in right drive though. Volvo Australia built a prototype Turbo utilising the kit based on a 81 244GLE. They had plumbing problems with the exhaust around the turbo/ steering area and did not proceed plus by then the 760 Turbo was on line. My first 242GT was turboed by a subsequent owner and it was a real rocketship although a bit hard to drive smoothly around town but that could have been changed. That car was sold and the motor removed for a race car in Club sport in NSW. 

There is also a 242GT turbo for sale in South Australia. There would be problems with the plumbing converting a US car. In another few years the US cars can be imported into Australia and registered LHD in Victoria [over 25 yrs old] but one would have to check other states & NZ for regulations. - food for thought!! A RHD conversion is a bit simpler using a 760 motor and preferably the 83-85 with the distributor in the regular place. The later 740 T had the distributor at the end of head near the fire wall and could be a bit tight with the 2 series body.


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242GT Australian & New Zealand Register Application Form
(Word format)
242GT Australian page by Michael 1999 - 2021