Daily demonstrations at 11am, free with admission!

Volvo 142 “Big Orange”-1974

“Of all of the cars display, Big Orange would be my favorite. I drove it more than all the other cars except the 911, and had a tremendous amount of fun driving it.  The condensed version of Big Orange life is this – I bought it by mistake!  In 1987 the SCCA created a new racing class called Improved Touring.  Essentially, this class allowed participants to slightly modify old street cars for the purpose of road racing.  Bob Griffith developed a kit of parts to put on a stock 142 to make it a street car.  I found Big Orange
in Knoxville in non-running condition, and bought it for $500.00.  My plan was to turn it into
a race car.  After purchasing the car I discovered it was the wrong year, meaning it had mechanical fuel injection, which produced less power.  Around 1989 Bob Criss decided to sell his racing Volvo for $4,500.00, so I bought it.  
Big Orange sat in my front yard for the next two years accumulating moss.  In 1991 I decided to see if I could get it running, and after replacing the starter along with a few other repairs, it was on the road again.  I found it to be a great car in which to haul stuff around; 25 cases of soda could fit in the trunk with no problem.  It was such a lofty yet unassuming car, the police would not give it a second look.  I loaned it to Mr. Richerson who worked at my vending business for a couple of months, and he washed the moss off.  I switched the front seats from left to right as the springs in the driver seat were starting to come through.  I drove it
to Florida a couple of times, arriving at my dad’s gated community, only to have the guard sternly remind me that I couldn’t park the car outside.  (Big Orange sat in my dad’s garage while his $100,000.00 Mercedes V-12 sat in the driveway!)  I also drove it to Michigan more than once.  After a couple of years the engine blew up.  By then I had enjoyed using the car so much I rebuilt and souped up the motor.
 I still drive Big Orange a couple of times a year, and have lost none of my enthusiasm for it.” – Jeff Lane
Year purchased:  1989
Years Jeff owned this car:  13
Mileage when purchased:  164,471
Mileage now:  164,471 (odometer was broken when I bought the car)
Performance level:  Higher than one might think!
Fun factor:  Lots of fun
Creature comforts:  Quite comfortable
Difficulty to drive:  Easy to drive
Practicality:  Very utilitarian