Posted: Sep 18, 2014
2014 OUSCI Preview- Robert Jackson's 1967 Volvo Amazon
Volvo X is the name Robert Jackson bestowed upon his 1967 Volvo Amazon and for all the major changes it has already undergone (read more on it here), it will go through even more before it arrives at the 2014 SEMA Show and the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational in Las Vegas. Even though we're nearly two months out, Jackson is already feeling the time crunch.
Robert's Volvo always seemed to be within a hair's breadth of 3,000 pounds at Ultimate Street Car Association events, so he is working on developing a new line of aluminum front crossmembers and rear suspension components, that should take enough weight out of Robert's Volvo to keep it well under that magic cutoff of 3,000 pounds, even fully-decked out and comfortably-equipped as Robert's car sits today. For Volvo owners that focus strictly on performance, it should make them both lighter and more capable on the track.
From a power standpoint, Robert still expects to have about 600 horsepower on tap with his LS3, although he is changing out the cam to remove some of the low-end torque and give it a bit more in the higher rpm ranges. Even with highway-friendly 3.25 gears, Jackson still has no problems breaking the tires loose and he hopes the cam swap will give him more speed on the top end, without compromising the ability to accelerate off the line.
This change was brought on, based on Robert's experience in the Wilwood Disc Brakes Speed Stop Challenge at the USCA event in Michigan earlier this summer. Even though he had already qualified for the OUSCI by winning the GT2K class in Texas, it's tough to replicate the uniqueness of the Speed Stop anywhere outside of USCA events and Robert wanted another opportunity to acclimate himself and his Amazon to the unique challenges of the OUSCI.
Robert spent the first several runs in Michigan slipping the clutch to remove some of the torque on take off. Then, during the last half of the runs, he was just popping the clutch with all the torque on the ground, and the times were basically the same. "My thought is that I may be able to sacrifice a bit of bottom end torque for top end torque at this time," says Jackson "and I think we have found the cam to do so."
Since running in his first USCA event in Texas, where he met RideTech's Bret Voelkel, Robert has moved over to their triple-adjustable shock system. While he is still learning the setup procedures, he can already clearly tell they are an asset that Robert's own business, Swedish Ops, will be offering to their customers as a suspension upgrade option for their own suspension systems. Jackson has also been working on a new line of front and rear spline/bar-style sway bars, which he hopes to have sorted out in time for Las Vegas.
While Robert's Volvo may not necessarily be considered one of the "cars to beat" on the track, it holds it's own and looks fantastic in everything it does and definitely has a place among the very best in the Lingenfelter Performance Design Engineering Challenge. Robert also drove the car to the Texas USCA event, so we doubt it will have any issues on the Detroit Speed Road Rally.
"I will say this about the Ultimate Street Car Association events- they have really allowed me to get the best all-around testing and dial-in for Volvo X, along with offering me plenty of feedback that has lead to production changes in my upcoming suspension and kit products," says Jackson. "I don't know another way that I can get all the testing dynamics on a budget, along with being able to solicit the knowledge and insight of guys that have already gone through the process I am now learning. These events could not have come at a better time for my business plan." There's never been a better time to buy tickets to the 2014 OUSCI and you can order your's online today!