Car clubs are often seen as being the sole preserve of owners of old or classic cars. But when the Volvo Owners’ Club was formed in 1962 it was to cater for owners of those ‘new-fangled’ cars from Sweden, which had just started to arrive in the UK.
It was only in 1958 that Volvo cars were first officially imported into the UK. Until then, despite the fact that for a long time Sweden drove on the same side of the road as we in the UK currently do, Volvo made only left-hand drive cars. America was the world’s biggest car market, so Volvo only built cars suitable for use there. Obviously other countries that drove on the right were able to have them, but because we drove on the ‘wrong’ side of the road they were not best suited to the UK market.
Someone then decided in 1958 or just before, that the cars would sell well here in the UK and Volvo started to produce a right-hand drive model of the 120. Lex Brooklands, an established UK company, set up Volvo Concessionaires to import Volvo 120s (Amazons) into the UK.
Over the years the Club has grown as new model cars were introduced and now has models from a 1928 ÖV4 to the latest XC40. Although the VOC is an independent organisation, it still maintains close relations with Volvo Car UK.
The Club’s Bob Isaac told us: “Our calendar consists of three major events each year and several smaller local events. The main annual fixture is the National Rally and Best Kept Volvo event which is held in June/July, usually in a central part of the country. A Southern and Northern event also take place to accommodate members who prefer not to travel far.
“Some of the model Register Keepers sometimes arrange events for their model, but these are always open to any member all the same. All of our events are free to attend and open to non-members. We also have a stand each year at both of the annual big NEC events, the spring restoration show and the November Classic Motor Show.”
Members receive six A4 Volvo Driver full colour magazines each year. Most of the different models have a Register Keeper and there are some local groups that arrange regular meetings.
Bob Isaac adds: “Being a Volvo Owners’ Club member offers many benefits in the way of discounts for products. These include savings at Volvo dealers for parts and sometimes servicing, purchase of a new Volvo car from a dealer through the Volvo Affinity Scheme, tyres from Pirelli, Shell fuels, tracker devices, purchases at Halfords and various other motor-related dealers.
“We have an extensive website that was created in 1994 and a forum that was formed in 1999. Both attract a lot of visits from all over the world. The website holds all previous issues of the Club magazine and all the Technical Driver magazines that were issued for several years, but now incorporated into the main magazine.
The Club also has an official who is authorised by the DVLA to issue dating certificates to allow imported cars or cars no longer registered to be issued a Registration Document.”
Need to know: Volvo Owners’ Club
Membership fees: £35 UK/EU (on joining), £30 (renewing), + £14.50 overseas.
Regional groups: 11 including Scotland and Wales
Publications: Bi-monthly A5 colour magazine Volvo Driver
Club website: volvoclub.org.uk
Club forum: volvoforums.org.uk
YouTube: Volvo Owners’ Club