Where Are They Now? – Huxley’s Volvo 245

Possibly one of the most infamous and eye-catching BDC cars from times bygone by was a certain grey Volvo wagon, owned and operated by Marc Huxley. This nuts estate came from humble beginnings to become a fan favourite on the BDC grid. Where did the car come from, and where is it today?

Volvo Wagons appear to have a trance-like effect on motorsport fans, they are captivated by the flying Swedish Bricks. This was evidenced with the debut of the 850R Estate in the 1994 British Touring Car championship, and despite only competing for one year before switching to the saloon, it is the car people remember most fondly from that era.

So what of the grey 245 known as the 8 Estate? Starting life back in 1990 as an innocuous Volvo 245 Estate, the base car was given to Marc to compete for the 2013 BDC season. Mark had recently finised the Ford 100E known as #Project59 (for none other than former BDC start line man, Malx), and retired his SR20-powered KE70 Corolla. 

Marc immediately dove headlong into the project. A donated 240,000 mile old M60B40 V8 was dropped in and an E39 540i was sourced and promptly dismembered for it’s five-speed manual transmission. Huxley then set about modifying the stock transmission tunnel to accommodate the girthy gearbox, before the panels were put on a crash diet to take as much weight out of the big heavy box as possible, including custom-moulding a fibreglass bonnet. After that, the car was treated to the requisite roll-cage (a specialty of the Huxley Motorsport garage), the front end was tubed and BMW E34 headlights were fitted to custom mounts with a custom Dodge Charger-inspired bar grille for a truly unique look. 

After the chopping and tubing was finished, Huxley began the mammoth job of transplanting Nissan S14 front coilovers and brakes onto the wagon, moving the rack forwards and chucking a whole host of Driftworks goodies onto it! Along with custom rear turrets, a 4-link kit, designed for a Ford Escort, was attached to the rear and TIGed into the roll-cage for as much rigidity as possible.

Inside, naturally, was fitted a race seat and harnesses, a custom hydraulic handbrake and a dished OMP race wheel, with the stock dash being slimmed down and gutted, now featuring just a flat panel in the stock surround containing all the gauges and switches for the car’s operation. Having widened the track with arch extensions, chosen wheels and painted it in a dark grey-over-teal motif, Huxley set about making his run at the championship in the Volvo!

A few minor styling tweaks were made (all custom of course) and after just one season of competition, Marc retired the car, MOTed it, and sold it on to build an RA28 Celica. It seems to be the case with Volvo estates in motorsport. They only stay a year, and then they disappear, but people still remember them extremely fondly. Indeed, if you were to ask championship fans from back then which BDC car of old they would love to see back, “The Huxley Volvo” will be a very frequent answer. 

So, where is it now? Well, after it was sold on, the car changed hands a few times before ultimately ending up in the hands of its current owner, Alessandro, who bought the car in an eBay auction in 2018. The car now resides comfortably in Italy and is still being drifted! It looks almost no different from it’s time in Huxley’s ownership, even sporting the very same dark-grey over teal colour scheme! It’s true what they say, legends never die!

 

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