This 1978 Volvo Bertone 262C Is An All Steel Bodied Freak That We’d Rock (After Making Some Changes) – eBay Find!

This 1978 Volvo Bertone 262C Is An All Steel Bodied Freak That We’d Rock (After Making Some Changes) – eBay Find!

Do you ever wonder what happens to some of the crazy cars that are seen at the SEMA show? Lots of them go back to the people that built them, get sold, and live the lives of pretty normal hot rods. Some of them like this 1978 Volvo Bertone 262C spend time looking for a new home. For starters we’ll just say that there’s lots of win hiding in plain sight here because this is an all-steel body on this car. The flares and added pieces to beef up the appearance of the Volvo are not plastic, they are not bondo sculptures, and they represent LOTS of man-hours of metal working. The big problem we have with the car as it sits is the color and they could be fixed in a hurry. This Volvo painted jet black or some kind of deep charcoal color would be ominous and cool. The green made sense for a SEMA car that needs to make a big splash in front of a crowd being assaulted with colors and light from all sides in Las Vegas. Now that the show is over, it can be made to look totally evil.

There are some nits to pick, because that’s what we do. If you look at the first photo below the alignment of the headlight buckets is way off. The gap between the top of the bucket and the lip of the hood has got to be a half inch different from side to side. We didn’t pick up on it until we went through the photos a couple of times but that’s one of those things that leads us to be a little leery of the rest of the car. Was this thing built in two weeks before the show in a rush? Has it been used on the road since the event a couple of years ago? We’ve all seen the stories and videos of SEMA cars and trucks coming apart at the seams when being beaten on. Is the headlight situation an indication of that?

The wheels are great, the interior is cool in the fact that they kept it mostly Volvo and added some nice seats and stuff. The engine is an LS that has been hot rodded with a COMP cam, an Edelbrock nitrous kit, and a host of other parts. Here’s some of the eBay description of the car and from all these indications, it seems like it would be a riot!

This badass car was professionally built by KAO Customs out of Las Vegas, Nevada for the 2011 SEMA show. The Volvo possesses an all steel body, complete with handmade steel flares, ground effects and air dam. There is also a clear spoiler on the rear of the car. The car has been custom painted with House of Kolor “Gotta-Have-It-Green” paint with two center gunmetal racing stripes. If you’re looking for a car to grab attention anywhere and everywhere – look no farther, we have you covered at MotoeXotica!

Inside, the custom interior is subtle but unique. The Sparco Alcantra leather and suede bucket seats are in excellent condition, as are the back seats. The door panels, headliner and carpet are in comparable condition and look awesome. The dashboard is in great condition as well and shows no signs of cracking or fade. The gauges are the original Volvo gauges, which is pretty awesome! The power window switches are installed in the dash and are functional. There is a custom stereo installed in the dash, valued at over $10,000! It includes a Kenwood stereo with 665 watt Zapco amplifier, trunk mounted subwoofers and MB Quart and Morel interior speakers. You almost need this kind of stereo to listen to your music over the roar of the engine!

This vintage Volvo is powered by a very powerful, aluminum 376 cubic inch LS3 V8, complete with Comp Cams camshaft, valvetrain and an Edlebrock wet nitrous system. This is a SERIOUSLY fast car! Mated to the engine is a strong, 4-speed 4L80 automatic transmission with overdrive and upgraded internals. The transmission is shifted through a ratchet shifter on the floor. The transmission does have a Yank Billet stall convertor, and pretty hefty one at that; but we do not know the specific stall specs. Other powertrain modifications include a GMPP Controller with custom tune, an Aeromotive Fuel system, custom built ceramic coated headers, dual 3” into 4” exhaust, Borla XR1 Race muffler, heavy duty driveshaft with 1350 joints, billet yokes, positraction Ford 9” rear end with 3.50 gears, 4 pin LSD and spline axles, tubular A-arms, coilover suspension, power rack and pinion steering and 4-wheel Wilwood disc power brakes. As mentioned before, this is a VERY fast car. It is definitely not for the faint of heart!

The car sits upon a set of 3-piece custom Kinesis forged alloy wheels that look absolutely stunning on this hot custom! The front wheels are 18×8 wrapped in P245/40ZR18 and the rear wheels are 18×13 wrapped in MASSIVE P345/30R18 tires. The monstrous rear tires are necessary for the wider surface area which is better for transferring the power to the pavement.

Bidding is currently at about $8,000 which is below the reserve price, which we don’t know. We do know that in black this thing would be evil looking and by the sounds of the parts and pieces on the car it should handle like it is on rails and run like a scalded dog. What do you think? Freaky enough to be made cool or just too weird?


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9 thoughts on “This 1978 Volvo Bertone 262C Is An All Steel Bodied Freak That We’d Rock (After Making Some Changes) – eBay Find!

  1. mooseface

    Considering just how bananas and ridiculous some of those Volvo I6s and I5s are, the LS is kind of a letdown.
    I’ll bet that it lays patch like it’s nobody’s business, and that the Chebby was chosen for pure cost-effectiveness, but it still feels like a gigantic cop-out.
    Oh well.

    1. Gary Smrtic

      I’m with you, although I think a GM anything is a cop out. But that was one of the coolest rides of the decade, and the bodywork is period perfect. It’s just the colors that wierd me out a bit, beut even so, I’d drive it! BTW, there’s a Bertone Volvo in the Nashville Pull-a part, and it’s pretty clean…

      1. mooseface

        You’re absolutely right, it is a fantastic car, and probably better than 90% of “Sema cars” because it was made to work and not just to be a life-sized Hotwheels car.

  2. C1BAD66

    That extra gap above the driver’s side headlight is perplexing.

    ‘Bout ten minutes with a tape measure oughta determine the cause.

    My guess is the driver’s side fender is taller than the other due to the fact the hood/fender/door gaps all look good. If so, that’s a major faux pas on the body man.

    Foose or Dore or Barris could probably diagnose it in a few milliseconds.

      1. Tedly

        Maybe, but it stands out like a sore thumb. Believe it or not, the color doesn’t bother me, but as soon as I opened this page, that gap jumped out at me, and I haven’t been able to un-see it since. It even continues into the turn signal. Whatever reason it was done, it looks like shoddy craftsmanship.

  3. Tom Slater

    It’s ugly.
    Even in black, it’d be ugly.
    The chevy engine doesn’t bother me much. This being a Bertone, though, it seems like a Volvo T6 motor or even the NA 3.0 with some wild cams in it would be a better fit. For a sleeper 240, go chevy. This being a high buck build, yeah, LS swap seems like a lazy approach.
    I want a battleship gray 242 w/ cammed Vortec 4.8, 4L60E, IPD sway bars & Bilstein shocks. Add high-end brake pads & head out on Friday evenings for some good clean fun.

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