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


Targa NZ  Volvo PV544
Club member Rob de Borst's 544, New Zealand

Rob and Igor de Borst PV544 in action during a special Waikato stage
in the 2002 Targa NZ. This is the only PV544 on the NZ roads - so very special


Robís love for the Volvo marque and particularly PV544 started at an age of 18 when his father got the use of PV 544 Sport while the family 122S was in the garage for servicing. The European successes of Volvo in rallying were well documented in those days and Volvo was at its peak of performance driving. He was immediately hooked for life and promised himself that one day he would own one and if at all possible rally or race it. It was not until 33 years later that that promise became a reality, when in 1998 he took part in his own PV544 in the Targa with his Volvo friend Leonard Bakkenes.

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In 1976 Rob emigrated to NZ and he discovered very soon that Volvos in NZ were scarce and  extremely expensive. It took 6 years before he spotted the first 122S, a sedan. Luckily his career took him to many parts of the north and south island and by sheer chance he spotted this very sorry looking PV at the side of the road somewhere in Christchurch. It was a 1960 model totally in bits, dismantled front suspension with missing upholstery and one and a half seats, due to loss in a garage fire. The body was in a bad shape, rusting floors, and a very dented roof would not have inspired the keenest of Volvo enthusiast. But it was for sale and when you have a dream and you know that this could be a one chance in a lifetime and you think that time is on your side, (this was back in 1986) you decide to follow your instincts, so the PV544 was bought and brought home to Fielding, parked in the garage and followed the family through the North Island as they moved from house to house until 1995 when he slowly started to devote time and resources to the restoration of PV544.

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The body was repaired and painted by Collett's Panel and Paint in Cambridge and in 1998 the car and all mechanical and electrical parts were completely rebuilt and upgraded for the Targa NZ that year. Rob and Leonard did finish the Targa 1998, although they had a mishap that required major surgery to the car during the rally.

In 2002 Rob took part in the Targa again, this time with his son Igor. They enjoyed the experience so much that Rob is co-driving again with his son Igor in Targa 2003, starting on 28 October in Auckland. The Rally finishes in Wellington.

Targa NZ 2002
Photos Day 2 - Waikato

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Some cars didn't make it through the corner:

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