Going someway to altering the perception of Volvos as performance cars, the 242 GT two-door coupe was the forerunner to the 240 Turbo that won the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1986.
The 242 GT was introduced in 1978 to compete with the likes of BMW's sportier 3-series variants. It received a raft of updates, including a larger, 2.3-litre version of the B23E four-cylinder with fuel injection and a four-speed manual transmission with overdrive. It generated 104kW with 190Nm torque.
Power steering was also fitted, with air-conditioning also available, while the exterior gained a subtle front 'spoiler' to stabilise the car at speed. Four-wheel discs and a MacPherson strut front/live axle rear suspension combination featured firmer springing than the contemporary 244 sedan.
With only 600 brought into Australia over three years, the 242GT is a rare and interesting sight on our roads today, and makes for a reliable classic that stands out from the crowd.