Victor Jonsson’s V12 Diesel Powered 1960 Volvo PV544

Victor Jonsson's V12 Diesel Powered 1960 Volvo PV544

This beast is the brainchild of a one Victor Jonsson, a Swedish car builder. The car is a 1960 Volvo PV544 fitted with a 38.8-liter Transmash V12 diesel engine that was salvaged from a Brobandvagn 971, essentially a tank, but instead of a big gun, it carried a large folding ramp to make bridges. The engine was also used in the Russian T-55 tank which first entered the world stage in the 1950s, ultimately becoming Russia’s mainstay battle tank for nearly three decades.

Victor Jonsson's V12 Diesel Powered 1960 Volvo PV544

Victor Jonsson's V12 Diesel Powered 1960 Volvo PV544

Full Custom Frame

The car rides on a full-custom frame — nearly 20 feet long — with the passenger compartment and front clip separated by the massive mill.

Victor Jonsson's V12 Diesel Powered 1960 Volvo PV544

 Victor Jonsson's V12 Diesel Powered 1960 Volvo PV544

The engine makes 520 horsepower and a staggering 1,696 lb-ft of torque. To make all that torque useable, Jonsson created a custom planetary gearset that goes behind the engine reducing the torque 516 lb-ft and raising the RPM to 6,000 — which is pretty high for a diesel. A ZF manual transmission originally from a BMW 525 TDS sends power to a GM heavy-duty rear end.

Custom Planetary Gearset Video

At first glance it may appear to be just a quick-ish project with a big engine mounted to a bigger frame, but there’s actually a tremendous amount of engineering going on behind-the-scenes to make it all work.

The V-12 Diesel Running Video

You can see the full, 50-page build thread on Garaget.org (you’ll need Google Translate, unless you can read Swedish). It’s pretty wild to see what this engine-swapped Volvo has gone through to turn into the monster that it is now.

Victor Jonsson's V12 Diesel Powered 1960 Volvo PV544

Victor Jonsson's V12 Diesel Powered 1960 Volvo PV544

Victor Jonsson's V12 Diesel Powered 1960 Volvo PV544

Victor Jonsson's V12 Diesel Powered 1960 Volvo PV544

Victor Jonsson's V12 Diesel Powered 1960 Volvo PV544

It’s still a work-in-progress right now, but we can’t wait to see the final product.

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1 Comment

  1. Hey

    This is the first non-swedish site I’ve seen my build on, nice!

    The gearbox is manual, otherwise everything looks good 🙂

    Best regards

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