Dep-O Magazine

Classic Volvo DOHC 16-valve Conversion

Simon Charlesworth January 27, 2014 3 Comments on Classic Volvo DOHC 16-valve Conversion

Grainger & Worrall has partnered with one of the foremost Swedish engine designers to recreate a twin-cam, 16-valve engine for use with classic Volvos. The twin-cam unit, which was originally developed in 1971, has been produced using the latest engine design capabilities and casting techniques for use with Volvo models such as the P1800, 140, 142 and 145, as well as the PV544.

UK-based Grainger & Worrall, which has many world championship event victories to its name and is one of the unheralded success stories of high performance engineering, has been working alongside highly-respected designer Gunnar Axelsson to develop the engine for use in competition or road applications.

Classic Volvo DOHC 16-valve Conversion

The original twin-cam engine was designed and developed by Axelsson in the Seventies and was based upon Volvo’s earlier 1.8-litre push-rod motor, which featured in numerous Volvo models from the late Fifties up until 1973. The standard 1.8-litre engine was campaigned within motorsport extensively and Axelsson developed the Seventies twin-cam version to boost the performance of the stock 120bhp unit to an impressive 225bhp.

The Grainger & Worrall remanufactured twin-cam engine boasts these same striking performance figures, but benefits from the UK-based company’s casting methods that are used across the globe in professional motorsport to deliver world-class reliability and performance.

Grainger & Worrall director, James Grainger said, “We worked closely with Gunnar Axelsson to produce the new engine, utilising our specialised CAD systems and capability to deliver the highest quality casting solutions. Across the automotive and motorsport worlds, our services and solutions stand for technical excellence and a true sense of partnership with our clients. It’s invigorating for us to bring that ethos to historic vehicles.”

Gunnar Axelsson added, “We have been working on the project for some time and with the help of Grainger & Worrall, we have developed a reliable, powerful engine that will dramatically improve the performance of a wide range of classic 1800 Volvo models.”

Two specifications have been developed for the new engine; while the Stage One version produces 190bhp, a more powerful Stage Two Evolution takes power levels up to 225bhp – ideal for competition use.

Grainger & Worrall was founded in 1946 by pattern makers and brothers-in-law Vernon Grainger and Charles Worrall in Upper Gornal in the West Midlands. Still based within the West Midlands, the company has grown over the past 60 years to now employ some 400 members of staff across its two sites in Bridgnorth and Telford.

For further information regarding Grainger & Worrall and the services it offers please visit


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