GERRY LISTER - VOLVO 142 V8 SPORTS SEDAN - 1970-75 era
Webpage by Anthony Hyde, Australia

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Going all the way Gerry Lister's team fitted a powerhouse V8 McLaren M10B Formula 5000 engine to his 142 Volvo sedan

Gerry Lister - Special Memories
Interview with Anthony Hyde, May 2008

In the 1970’s, the sports sedans category was very popular with a massive crowd following. The 'Toby Lee Series' (sports sedans Premier Class) offered good prize & appearance money of $300 for name drivers. There was even a night racing meeting at Oran Park. We did all the chassis preparation & development ourselves. We had two mechanics - Ian and Tom Naughton, with Ian preparing the motor. Ian Gordon (who built the Yellow Submarine for Max Stewart), Tom Naughton, Russel Maddern and Kevin Edwards were my team that built the car in the workshop in Waterloo, and they had a lot of input into the design and construction. Alan Heasman (Heasman Steering) worked on the suspension towers and rear end, and when you really stomped on the pedal the rear-end stayed straight. Koni shocks were fitted, with Gerry mentioning he gas used Koni all his life in his many vehicles. They made moulds of the bonnet, boot, fenders etc and constructed fiberglass panels. The log book still exists.

Gerry Lister's Volvo 142 sports sedan project started when a fellow John Sinuks rolled his Volvo 142 4cyl 2-door sedan at Oran Park. Gerry bought it off him, gutted it, and ran initially in the 2 litre sports sedan class. Later on, seeking more performance, a 6 cyl 164 engine was fitted but it wasn't quick enough to match the new breed of performance cars like John Harvey HDT Repco V8 Torana (won 1973 Championship), Bryan Thomson V8 LC Torana, Bruce Cary Capri V8 (Grace Bros team), Peter Brock HDT V8 F5 LJ Torana, Jim McKeown Porsche Carrera 6, Barry Seton Torana.

Circuits raced at: Wawick Farm (#14), Amaroo Park (#142), Oran Park (#42)

Colour: Red/Green/White. Rims: 5 spoke Mawer mags, custom made in Australia by Dave Mawer. Tyres: 12" slicks on rear, 8" on front with Dunlop P7.

Scariest moment was whilst racing on the Oran Park 'short circuit'. Development had started on the 'long circuit' with Caterpillar D9 bulldozers doing their thing. At the same time I was racing the screaming 142 V8 sports sedan down the Oran Park main straight at about 140 mph (225 kph) when unbelievably the throttle cable stuck. Clutch in, engine screaming, hard on the brakes, off the circuit, into the dirt. It's incredible how fast the scenery changes when you're travelling at that sort of speed! Drama ahead, my eyes focused on a D9 bulldozer parked right where I was heading! With barely 20 metres to spare the racecar stopped. Luck was with me!


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Note the carburettors & manifold behind the steering wheel.

Costs in 1975 dollars: After 5 years Gerry had invested $46k. Sponsors: Dunlop Tyres, Valvoline Oil, British & Continental Cars. Gerry mentions that Valvoline Oil provided sponsorship for both his London to Sydney Marathons.

Powerhouse V8 McLaren M10B Formula 5000 engine

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I was able to purchase from Melbourne the spare engine from Frank Matich's McLaren M10B racecar - F5000 V8 for $1,600 without manifolds, carbs or exhausts. These days a similar motor would fetch A$80-100,000 !

The 4995 cc pushrod engine is based on a Chevrolet small block and this one came fitted with *Warren steel conrods (*Warren is a USA V8 engine expert). Lister fitted 4 dual Weber 58 IDA downdraft carburettors, being ideal for track work as they have big float bowls. It ran a dry sump system and the engine output was a stirring 520 hp. Volvo Penta (marine V8) valve covers were fitted to avoid attention from scrutineers. Solid engine mounts were fitted, and the picture shows a big alloy brace across the front of the engine using water-pump bolts.

Gearbox: Muncie 4 speed that felt unbreakable reving to 7,000 rpm through the gears, and sourced from a Chevy Corvette Stingray.

Differential: 9" with Volvo Dana LSD.

Brakes: Volvo 164 discs & calipers.

Owners: 1. John Sinuks, 2. Gerry Lister, 3. Phil Lucas (Wrigley sponsorship) 4. John Tesoriero whom campaigned the car extensively (owned it twice), 5. Mazda guy who bought it for the engine & gearbox, 6. Kevin Elliot (bought the rolling chassis and took it to Wollongong).

2018 - Gerry Lister continues to compete in motorsport events and runs "Volvo Downunder Spares" for classic Volvos in Pymble, Sydney.


Webpage by Anthony Hyde

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