3rd OR: Ian and Val Swan, 1974 Volvo 242 DL
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Swan’s Swansong

Long time Victorian rally driver, Ian Swan will be hanging up his long distance driving helmet after this year’s Classic Outback Trial.

Swan, a 73 year old from Frankston South in Victoria, will line up in his trusty 1975 Volvo 242 with his “new” co-driver – long-time mate Colin Gow of Wonga Park –  in an attempt to beat a previous third place in the 7 day, 2,300 kilometre Special Stage Rally.

“I have left my usual co-driver (his wife, Val) at home this year so the boys can get up to a bit of mischief!” the former businessman said with a wide grin.

Best remembered for his exploits driving a Datsun Stanza in Victorian Rally Championship events in the mid 1980’s, Ian has amassed an envious record of success over his 53 years of rallying, culminating in outright victory on the prestigious Australian Safari in 1993.

An unusual car for Australian rallying, the 25 year old Volvo has certainly lived up to its reputation as a strong and fast car.  He says it suits the crew’s age appropriately!

Ian’s Volvo is powered by a highly developed 2.6 litre engine built by engineering genius Les Collins, which includes a pair of exotic Italian Weber carburettors and a hand fabricated extractor exhaust system.

A Toyota 5 speed gearbox and a Jeep limited slip differential completes the power delivery train.

“The car has been in the Swan family for 20 years and its only been rolled over once”,  Ian quipped.  “And there are no hats on this Volvo’s parcel shelf, thank you very much!”

All jokes aside, Ian and Colin are a team not to be taken lightly and are sure to be at the pointy end of the field come the event’s finish.

 The 2020 Classic Outback Trial will start in the Central West NSW town of Parkes on Sunday, 1 November.

After two days of special stage rallying around Parkes, the event will move to Orange for two nights before heading further east to Bathurst for the final three days.

COT20 will finish on Saturday 7 November with the much-anticipated celebration and presentation dinner to be held at the famous Mt Panorama Motor Racing Circuit.