Trust me when I tell you this: the guys over at Caresto don’t get nearly enough press. Builders of the original Volvo Hot Rod Jakob, campaigners of the street-legalized Rebellion R2k Gumball racer, and all-around genius automotive craftsmen, I will definitely start doing my part in the coming weeks to bring them as much attention as I can– and that starts with the car you see here. This, dear friends, is a classic Volvo P1800 that’s been re-engineered with a modern suspenion, an all-new interior, and a modern V8 heart.
That “V8 heart” is sourced from a first-generation Volvo XC90. Designated the B8444S, the engine was developed by Yamaha and (in production Volvos, at least) was mated to a six speed Aisin Seiki transmission and a Swedish Haldex AWD system– but it’s more than just a Volvo SUV engine. It also found duty in Ford’s SHO models and, mounted longitudinally, in the Noble M600 supercar.
So, like, it’s a good engine.
In the P1800 shown here, it’s safe to assume that the B8444S is making somewhat more than the 311 HP it made in the XC90– credit to that going to less-restrictive exhausts and, likely, “not as much” emissions controls being in place (that’s an assumption– but a fair one, I think). The engine is mated to a transmission sourced from a RWD Volvo 960 Turbo that sends power back to what the original site calls “a German rear axle”. Possibly something from ZF, maybe an in-house Mercedes unit, but I’m not sure the OE source matters as long as it’s up to the task.
Speaking of the original site, there is one. It’s pretty sparse, but it does include this line from Caresto’s founder, Leif Tufvesson. “Our goal was (to) build a true GT but keep the original look,” he explains. “Respect, heritage and class (were) the words that led the project.”
Check out the massive build gallery, below, where you can see the transformation of a pretty clean P1800 into a real, one-off masterpiece. Or, you know, see a rare classic get cut up for no good reason– depends how you look at it, I guess. I’d LOVE to see more classic Volvos get the restomod treatment– what about you? Let us know, in the comments.