Gram Lights

About a year back, I had some friends stay with me for a few days. They showed up in a 1989 turbo LS Volvo wagon.

One of the guys is named Caleb.

Or you may know him as Gingium: A pretty well-established automotive YouTuber. I know what you’re thinking, “Oh God, not another influencer.” But at the end of the day, we’re all here for the same reason… e-fame duh. Just kidding. We’re here because at some earlier point in our lives, we got a chill behind the wheel of some car that changed the course of our lives. And we have to take about it, all the time, to anyone who’ll listen. So one day…

turbo LS Volvo

Gingium hit me up and said…

“Hey man I’m working on building this crazy turbo LS-swapped Volvo station wagon sleeper. I want to drive it from Chicago to Florida, and thought about stopping in with you for a few days if that’s cool.”

This was in December. Keep in mind the current state of the car is rusty, non-running, and completely stock. And a 1989 Volvo 240 wagon lol. Gingium didn’t even have possession of the donor LS engine at the time. So I didn’t think much of it and say, “Yeah man, I’m down. Just keep me posted.”

Fast-forward 3 months, and Gingium hits me up again…

“Hey man, the car’s running(ish). It just dyno’d at 650whp & we’re headed your way in 2 weeks.”

In just a season, Gingium took an ugly stock Volvo, and turned it into an ugly manual-transmission, turbocharged, CTS-V powered monster. He did it by himself, with his own 2 hands, knowledge, and fabrication skills… with no help other than his buddies lending a hand here & there. This man is still only 22-years-old building stuff like this, and I can hardly make my way around throwing together some decent tacos.

LS swapped volvo

Sure enough, 2 weeks go by…

And Gingium heads South in the Volvo Wagon with his buddies John (Boosted John), and Pasha. At this point, the car has maaaybe 30 miles on this Frankenstein set-up. And the boys have set off on a 2,000 mile journey across the country, with nothing but a sack of tools, a set of drag slicks, and their suitcases packed in the rear.

Oh, and a dream… let’s not forget about the dream.

Around 13 hours later they rolled up to my place, fatigued… but alive.

They had their fair share of hiccups along the way, but they handled it! The following weekend was one for the books. I don’t think there was an idle moment in the entire 3-days. From shooting flames big enough to singe off your eyebrows, to dusting rowdy Audis at your local Mexico, all the way to installing a meth kit underneath my carport.

Yeah – the car had issues and broke at almost every turn. No doubt about that. But none of it ever phased Caleb. There was never a question of what he was doing, why he was doing it, or if he was making the right decision. There was only passion, and a solution to every problem that might come his way. Unstoppable. There is a lot to be said about that.

LS swapped Volvo wagon

Too many of us live our life in fear.

Not necessarily a fear of death per say, but a fear of living. A fear of heachaches, setbacks, or uncertainty. Too often we come up with excuses as to why we can’t do things.

For example: I don’t need to book that trip to Hawaii, what if something comes up & I need the money? Should I really move away from home, what if it doesn’t work out? No way I can talk to that girl… what if she turns me down? I shouldn’t drive this freshly built car across the country, what if it breaks?

There are choices that we make every day that are based on fear & apprehension…

And we may not even ever realize it. It becomes 2nd nature. But, spending a weekend with Caleb, Pasha, & John re-opened my eyes… on life. On being present. Life’s short; we need to make sure we get out & live it.

Text & photos by Hunter Rollins

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