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Greg’s Uncle’s Volvo 544.

Ok so it’s a working title.

I’ve been riding around with I.O.L Dave’s vintage Nikkormat’s for a while now making tough decisions on what is and isn’t worthy of the Superia 200 film he gifted me. It’s been slow going but then as i finished shooting the superbike race at Killarney ( Brandon Haupt is the 2018 province superbike champ as of that race, case you aint heard) and headed back to the tower i passed this beauty just in front of the clubhouse as it was filling with post race revelers. Perfect. The light, the car, the setting, the sign,.. film worthy. Pulled up, snapped a shot and as i walked off an older gentleman approached and we started talking about old cars… and as it turned out, bikes. Now usually i fade a little when someone pulls out there phone to find the unfindable pics of that awesome thing they have to show me but fortunately these were worth it. An acquaintance of Jay Leno’s and also an avid bike and car collector he showed me a few of his bikes, or should i say collections, including 3 versions of the legendary Honda CB1000R, all pristine of course… and a lot besides.

So after a good bit of back and forth and the belated intro i realized i was speaking to none other than Greg Gildenhuys’ da and this was Greg’s uncle’s Volvo 544. Imagine the odds! Ok they’re not that huge, we are at a track, although it should be said that Greg wasn’t racing or even at this event. Who’s Greg Gildenhuys?.. well most will already know but he’s the ex South African national superbike champ… multiple times.

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The Volvo PV is a series of two-door, four-passenger car models — the PV444 and the PV544 — made by Volvo from 1947 to 1966. During World War II‘s early stages, Volvo decided that a new, smaller car that could deliver good fuel economy would assure the company’s future. A raw materials shortage during the war drove home the point that an automobile should be smaller, and also complicated Volvo’s ability to mass-produce the product. In 1944, when the car was finally introduced to a car-hungry public, response was very positive and orders poured in from the Swedish population. It was another three years though, until 1947, before series production began.

The PV quickly earned a reputation for being strong and rugged, although the design was considered outdated from early on.[1] The PV also competed successfully, in the American SCCA class but also internationally, with a second-hand PV544 memorably winning the Safari Rally in 1965.

 

 

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