Monday, August 5, 2013

30k DT Exclusive DTO: 1963 Holman Moody Volvo 1800 Racer

The DTO (Daily Turismo Omologato) is a rare or interesting example of a DT-friendly classic or performance vehicle, but priced somewhere above the self imposed DT cap of $20k. We see these cars as weekend fun machines that you probably wouldn't want to drive to work every day, unlike a regular Daily Turismo. Today's DTO feature is none other than a genuine Holman Moody engineered 1963 Volvo 1800 road racer. The car has a long and documented history, has been a privateer track car since new, and was thoroughly reengineered and rebuilt by famed NASCAR racing team Holman Moody in the early 1980s. This is a Daily Turismo Exclusive listing - you won't find it anywhere else! It would be a great vintage racer and a solid investment given the history and unique setup. It is being offered by current owner Mitch Duncan, who has owned it since 1996 and is a retired Volvo Cars North America executive. It is available for $30,000 in the Moosehead Lake region of central Maine. Email us here if you are interested, and we will put you in touch with Mitch.

Previous owner / driver Bobby Ford looking rather dapper next to car No. 55.

This car not only sends off vibes of being the baddest 1800 on the block, it has the engineering, history and performance to back up the racing stripes and blacked-out lights. The genuine magnesium Minilites are a rare and cool treat; most aftermarket wheels are aluminum alloy but these true "mags" will both lighten up the unsprung mass significantly, and light up your night if you get them too hot. This is a fully caged, fiberglass skinned, dry-sumped, stripped out race car with a fuel cell, fire suppression system, and massive brakes. This is not Irv Gordon's 3 million mile cruiser - it's the black sheep of the family. If this car could talk it would quote Ricky Bobby in saying "I wanna go fast."

The Holman Moody 1800 is chassis #3835, and though it has been through many changes and iterations over the years it is currently painted in its original race livery and wears historic number 55. Seller Mitch has written up a nice summary of the car's history. He says:

The 1800 was originally purchased new by a Frank Dumproff on Long Island, N.Y. He raced the car in relativity stock form at Bridge Hampton. He was in the textile business and subsequently relocated to Lincolnton, N.C. He campaigned the car still in relatively stock form at various Southern road courses where he took 1st place at Road Atlanta.

He sold the 1800 to a local gas station owner, Bob Ramseur. Ramseur and his friend Bobby Ford raced the car for a short period with a 3rd place finish at Road Atlanta Regional in F Production. Bobby Ford acquired the car and began racing in 1972 with moderate success throughout the Southeast. Ford went into a 6 year hiatus to attend to his car business in Hickory, N.C. and raise a family.

In early ’80 he commissioned Holman-Moody to completely re-engineer and rebuild the car to its current specifications, including two complete engines developed by Holman-Moody, along with three unique cam profiles to optimize different track requirements. He campaigned the highly modified 1800 with many first place and top 5 finishes through 1982 and then retired.

Ted Lebsack of Colorado, acquired it in 1984, painted it red and renumbered it to #78. He raced several vintage racing events in the Midwest.

Mitch Duncan then bought it in April 1996 while living in Southern California and subsequently brought it back to New Jersey where he had Bob Alspach go through it and prepare it for returning to the track. He raced it extensively in 1998 and 1999 in the Volvo Historic Series but after moving to Northern Maine ran a couple races a year until 2005 when he decided to repaint it in its original livery. Mitch has the SCCA log books and can provide additional details on the history.

Mitch has maintained the car in running condition, and is currently in the process of freshening up the engine bay and reinstalling the fuel injected B20 2.0L engine which will make it up to snuff for vintage racing with all pertinent sanctioning bodies. He says it will be ready and legal for the following organizations (barring specific tire rules): Vintage Driving Club of America, Vintage Sports Car Drivers Association, Historic Sport Car Racing, Sportcar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA), Sports Car Club Of America (SCCA), and Vintage Auto Racing Association of Canada.

Below is the spec sheet in its entirety.

1963 Holman-Moody Volvo 1800
Chassis #3835

Two recently built B20-based engines (zero races):

2000cc Fuel Injected
Holman-Moody modified head and special camshaft
IPD variable mixture FI computer
Stahl Exhaust Header

2130cc Carburated
Volvo R-Sport Stage 4 head and “S” grind camshaft
Stahl exhaust header

Both engine blocks are prepared as follows by Duane Matejka:
Crankshaft ground and micro polished to .010 under
Wiseco forged pistons
Crower forged rods
Vandervell tri-metal rod and main bearings
R-Sport timing cover and rear main seals
R-Sport steel timing gears
Full dry sump oil system, Weaver 3 stage oil pump, cooler and remote filter;11 qt. capacity

Fuel System
ATL 12 gallon fuel cell in steel can
Bosch high pressure fuel pump and fuel filter, aircraft type braided lines and fittings

Drive Train
Volvo M40 close ratio needle bearing 4 speed gearbox
Tilton twin plate clutch and alloy flywheel
Holman-Moody rear axle, full floating hubs and axle shafts; Volvo carrier with 4.30, 4.56 ratios

Front - Reinforced control arms
Modified bump steer, heim jointed steering
Carrera competition shock absorbers
1 1/8” stabilizer bar, adjustable heim joint links

Rear – Holman-Moody 3 link adjustable tubular trailing arms and heim joints
Carrera competition shock absorbers
3/4” stabilizer bar and adjustable heim joint links

Dual master cylinders, remote reservoirs, adjustable brake bias
Wilwood 4 piston (front: 1.75, rear: 1.38) calipers
11” rotors and alloy hats

Wheels and Tires
Original 15” x 7” American Racing 5 flat spoke S200 wheels 
Goodyear GS-CS 225/50 ZR15 tires
Original 15”x6” Minilite 8 spoke magnesium wheels
Hoosier 205/50 x 15 tires

Lightweight fiberglass composite body panels consisting of front clip, fenders, hood, rear quarter panels, deck lid
Full SCCA 8 point roll cage with NASCAR type driver side bars
Simpson platinum 6 point camlock harness
Phoenix 10 lb. fire suppression system
Interior aluminum floor panels

Aluminum dash panel including:
Autometer monster tachometer
Westech quad exhaust gas temp gauge
Original Stewart-Warner water, oil temperature and oil pressure gauges
Holman-Moody switch module
Trans X 260 AMB transponder

Weight Distribution (with 170 lb. Driver)
          Left   Right   Total
Front  599   574  = 1173
Rear   575   537  = 1112

Grand Total = 2285 lbs.

Cross weight = 49.7%

We sincerely hope one of the Daily Turismo faithful is looking for a Volvo to go vintage racing with; this 1800 is another perfect example of the best money spent being the previous owner's as the car is already built and sorted out. Rather than spending years building your own from scratch, you could hop into this cool piece of history and start having fun right away.

If you are interested in pilfering your piggybank and purchasing the car, email and we will put you in touch with owner Mitch Duncan.

Click here for the album of all full-resolution photos.

Have another awesome vintage racer for sale? Tell us by emailing and we will feature it!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. ~ CFlo, i'm surprised, well no - i'm shocked this Volvo racer hasn't garnered A SINGLE COMMENT!! perhaps the most exclusive and incredible 1800 i have seen in many years. is everyone asleep?
      . what has it got going for it? i mean besides everything above, that i just read for the third time.
      . racing history since new, Holman-Moody build, full provenance, qualified as-is for many series, spares out the ass, fiberglass composite body panels, Minilite magnesium wheels plus originals & two sets of competition tires, superior brakes, custom chassis, 3-stage dry sump oiling, yada-yada blah-blah-blah! what did i miss? has the Rapture taken all of my fellow Volvo freaks? has every DT reader gone blind?
      . well Chris (and Mitch) i guess it's up to us to carry on. more Volvos for us. let's go racing.

    2. i was speechless, still am - as a garden-variety, daily-grind kind of motorist, i don't have a lot of context for something like this - seems like a fantasy car, something in a museum - hard to know what to say, or even where to start thinking about it - like the time i was on line at the bank in front of jennifer aniston

    3. ~ i'm missing all the good stuff !! (sulking, pitifully).

  2. I am Frank Dumproff's son, John. The memories that came flooding back when a friend sent me a link to this article are great. Lots of fond memories as a child watching Dad race at Watkins Glenn, Bridge Hampton and Lime Rock on weekends. I would like to get in touch with Mitch

    1. John, fantastic! I am astounded that you were able to find your Dad's car once again through Daily Turismo. I forwarded your email on to Mitch and wish you all the best. Please keep us posted.

  3. Hey scot........throw me 30 large!

    1. ~ Anonymous, buddy. i would if i could!!

  4. This is an incredible car for the money, good luck with sale and I hope the new owner is a fellow DT reader.

  5. Could this be the same car I saw run in the 60s at both Riverside and Sebring. I don't recall that paint job tho.

  6. I heard it was sold to a Canadian wannabe racer.

  7. Its came into work today in north bay ontario. Canada. New owner by the name of dan. Not sure last name. It is getting ready for another vintage race. Now has been numbered 155 on the side.

    1. If you see it come in for further prep/maintenance, let me know. I'd like to keep tabs on this car for the near future.

  8. Saw it race at RoadAmerica. Gorgeous car - and incredible providence. Love watching racing history


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