September 29, 2023

Today, it’s uncommon to be really stunned at a customized automobile present. Due to social media, so many builds are chronicled as they arrive collectively, {that a} real-world sighting after completion is usually a little bit of a non-event. In fact, this doesn’t apply to all vehicles which are shared over Instagram previous to being completed, and it’s not all the time a foul factor both.

I wish to hold a detailed eye on happenings in Sweden’s modified automobile group by way of social media, so whereas attending the 2021 Oslo Motor Present, I used to be stunned – in a great way – to see two new superb builds I’d by no means heard about earlier than. A fast chat with Sture Balsberg, the proprietor of this Amazon Property, and Johan, his son who has a particular Volvo of his personal adopted, and plans have been made for a shoot.

Let’s begin with Sture’s construct, which leans extra to the restoration facet of a restomod.


Because the 2021 Oslo Motor Present was held in October, I needed to wait a great whereas earlier than I might make the drive right down to South Sweden and meet the Balsberg household once more. Quick ahead to this previous summer time, and I discovered myself in Kristianstad, roughly 550km from Stockholm.


Sture is aware of a factor or two with regards to customizing vehicles. It was his first automobile, a 1973 Volvo 140, that obtained him into the modifying scene, and he exhibited that automobile at the Vallåkra automobile present (which simply turned 40 this 12 months) approach again in 1984. The 140 had every part you’d anticipate in a modified automobile of the period in Sweden – matte black particulars, rear window shutters, Gabriel HiJackers air shocks and slot-style magazine wheels.

Within the years – many years – because the 140, many vehicles have handed by Sture’s fingers, every one receiving his customized contact. However in 2020, Sture lastly obtained his fingers on one thing he’d pined over for a really very long time – a 1965 Volvo Amazon Property.


The Amazon was an deserted mission that had been left to collect mud since 1998. Some work had been completed, nevertheless it was apparent to Sture that loads of it could have to be redone. Regardless of that, it was every part he wished in a base for his final Volvo construct.


Wanting on the automobile at the moment, it’s not one thing that screams ‘modified’ to me, however that’s a part of its magnificence. Sture has introduced the Amazon up-to-date in some areas, whereas restoring others to a better-than-new commonplace. ‘Elegant’ is a extra becoming description.

I’d hate to assume what number of hours have been invested into the bodywork alone, however the result’s gorgeous. The whole physique was taken again to reveal metallic, tin-filled, epoxy primed and painted inside, exterior and beneath. Each single chrome element was painstakingly refurbished, and all of the glass is new, as are the rubbers. The headlights acquired a full overhaul, whereas blue-tinted reflectors have been fitted for a extra trendy look.


One thing we’re seeing much more of nowadays is OEM wheels being transformed to 3-piece splits. It’s an effective way to maintain a manufacturing unit look, however with a extra modern look, and opens up scope to run trendy efficiency tyres and greater brakes.

On this case, the Amazon’s unique wheels have been stepped as much as 17-inch and stretched out to 7.5-inches broad within the entrance and 9.25-inches broad on the rear.


Volvo Amazon Estates have been by no means designed to be pushed flat-out, and Sture is okay with that. “In fact, it’s an outdated automobile with outdated building, so it’s important to drive accordingly and hold your distance from different drivers,” he says. “Once you drive this, you aren’t in such a rush, however you take pleasure in nature and sitting in a unbelievable automobile that everybody turns in the direction of and offers a thumbs up.”


So whereas efficiency wasn’t actually a priority, the consolation was. For those who’ve ever sat in an outdated Amazon, you’ll know simply how delicate their seats are, so Sture was eager to retain that reality.


The Amazon’s inside was in such a foul state although, that Sture needed to rework it from the floorpan up. All of the wiring was tucked away, sound deadening was introduced as much as a contemporary commonplace, and the ground was neatly wearing blue suede.

Pairing all of the customized re-trim work (in a colour that matches the automobile’s exterior) with a Luisi Italy Mugello Classico wood-rimmed steering wheel leads to a mixture that’s exhausting to beat.


Taking a more in-depth look reveals particulars some would possibly miss, just like the wood (and customised) Nardi shift knob, re-trimmed door playing cards and Pyrene fireplace extinguisher.


The clear model continues within the rear of the automobile. Usually, a spare wheel could be discovered within the recessed space beneath the trunk ground, however right here there’s an Air Elevate Efficiency 3P air suspension system with twin Viair 444C compressors. The customized enclosure encompasses a plexiglass window, so it’s on present however no cargo area is misplaced.


I’ve saved the factor that originally drew me in the direction of this automobile on the Oslo Motor Present until final – the engine bay. As beforehand acknowledged, efficiency was not on Sture’s thoughts when he rebuilt the Amazon, however the work he’s completed under-hood dropped my jaw to the ground.


I don’t assume a Volvo Sport B18 engine has ever seemed nearly as good as this one, which Sture says is outputting round 130hp.

Maintaining issues unique, lots of the elements have been sandblasted and powder-coated, whereas all of the nuts, bolts and fittings (amongst different issues) have been galvanized or painted.


My favourite particulars are the brake booster on the appropriate facet and the twin SU HS6 air filters on the left. The copper brake traces are a pleasant contact in the highly-detailed bay.

With 123Ignition digital ignition and a progressive electrical steering servo, the Volvo “drives like a dream,” as Sture likes to place it. It sounds nice too, due to a free-flowing Ferrita exhaust system.


The multi-award-winning Volvo looks like the right automobile, however Sture is just not fairly completed with the customized work but. He says a new sound system (not that the automobile wants it) will be put in someday sooner or later.


Talking of awards, at first of this publish I additionally talked about assembly Sture’s son Johan and his Volvo on the 2021 Oslo Motor Present. The 2 have actually impressed one another with their respective builds. “We’ve barely completely different views on options. I’m a bit ‘old fashioned’ and my son has a little bit of new-thinking about options. This mixture signifies that we arrive at actually good outcomes ultimately,” says Sture.


Johan’s Volvo Amazon Sedan has develop into a little bit of a benchmark construct within the Swedish modified automobile scene. Keep tuned for that function, coming quickly to Speedhunters.

Alen Haseta
Instagram: hazetaa