The people who make it all happen…
P and B Motorsports consists of four “regulars” and various ancillary helpers who are sometimes there, sometimes not.
The people who make it all happen…
P and B Motorsports consists of four “regulars” and various ancillary helpers who are sometimes there, sometimes not.
Jim Perry owns “Mobil 1”, drives it, spends money on it, and frets over its performance. He’s a retired academician with a doctoral degree in botany and plant pathology (University of Wisconsin-Madison) who served as the Campus Executive Officer and Dean at the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley, in Menasha, WI. He lives in rural Winnebago County, in the summer, Green Valley, AZ in the winter.
Daily Drivers: 2016 Toyota Prius, 2015 Toyota Tacoma, 2011 Dodge Ram, 2009 Volvo C70
“My interest in cars developed when I bought a 1960 Rambler as an 18 year old college student. With 70,000 miles on the clock it needed a motor rebuild. My vocational institute-attending friends said “no problem, we’ll help.” They did – they helped get the motor out onto my mother’s garage floor and then abandoned the project, leaving me to figure it out for myself, which I did. The car [usually] ran fine after new rings and bearings and a valve job and carried me to my senior year in college until I bought a brand new 1970 Ford Maverick, with three on the tree and a big straight six.
The Maverick disappeared with my first marriage, but I was a confirmed Ford guy and so I bought a gleaming fire-engine red ’69 Ford Torino wagon from a body shop guy. As a new romance developed the Torino promptly started to rust, but the new romance –HT we’ll call her– owned a ’69 Volvo 144! And of course it had some severe issues that needed attending to, so being the chivalrous guy I was, I tackled them. The first effort was to figure out how to stem the rear oil seal leak. I recall with some degree of fondness laying under the car on the gravel driveway with HT with the oil pan off. This weren’t no Rambler or Ford. Over Christmas said romance went home to Maryland to visit family while I pulled the motor, had some machining done and froze my damn fingers putting it back together so it would be ready upon HT’s return.
When she got back HT announced that the car was great and that she had rekindled her former relationship while back home. “Bye.” Say what?????????? I had spent my Christmas putting her damn car back into pristine (well, almost) condition and I was getting jilted???!!! Besides, I had sort of taken to that Volvo. HT really was a kind soul, and while she did not change her mind about which guy she wanted to be with she did find me ’67 Volvo Amazon. HT and I remain friends to this day, although we have not seen each other for nearly 40 years and she agreed to let this story and some photos be used in a 2010 Rolling article that chronicled my evolution from Rambler to Ford to Volvo.
Post-HT, I met Joy Bissonnette, a graduate student from Indiana in botany who was, attractive, adventuresome, and had a really nice ’69 Mustang Mach 1 with a 351 Cleveland under the hood. One thing led to another and Ms. Bissonnette became my spouse, and now is … well, read on. The Mach 1 carried us on some pretty nifty adventures, but succumbed to the cancer of the Midwest, and was replaced by a Toyota Celica that I had to drive home from the dealership because Joy had never driven a stick. That Celica was replaced by a series of Toyotas and Hondas (remember, this was in the ‘80’s, when Detroit was smug and producing junk). Today our daily driver is a Toyota Priuses (the third of our marriage), but we do have a stable full of Volvos, six to be exact, four of which run, including a beautifully restored ’73 ES that ihas placed first in three national competitions. Abought from Buettner and won’t sell back to him. nd a decent ’73 BMW 3.0CS that I We bought a C70 hartop convertible to carry us around in the summers of our ‘60s. Unfortunately, Joy made me sell my really nice Amazon in order to make space for a more practical car.”
Dave Buettner is the Crew Chief. Dave is retired from the Presidency of Fox Valley Technical College and has his doctoral degree in industrial education from THE Ohio State University. Dave built and raced dragsters with his oldest son, and still dabbles in racing from time to time. He and Jim wrench on the car between races. He’s a graduate of Skip Barber’s Racing School, living in rural Winnebago County, WI during the summer, and near Fort Meyers, Florida in the winter.
Daily Driver: 20i4 GMC Sierra, various BMWs
“First off, you need to know that I don’t own a Volvo, never owned a Volvo, don’t want to own a Volvo. I got sucked into this Volvo business a number of years ago when Jim needed some help with the motor rebuild on his Armadillo. I know the Volvo guys call them Amazons, but it looks like an armadillo to me.
I’m a BMW guy. The German engineering is outstanding. They build great cars. I like to drive ‘em and rebuild ‘em. I also recently redid a ’66 Corvette that had been burned to a crisp. Not that Perry helped much on that project! But I did get him to buy a BMW so the guy has potential.
So anyway, apparently I goaded Jim enough about the Armadillo that he bought a ’73 Volvo ES on eBay and I was dumb enough to get involved in that project as well. This led to this racing business by a somewhat circuitous route. I have to admit the ES turned out really nice, after occupying my shop for 6 months. I’ve painted a number of cars with two-stage paint in my shop and never had a problem. We selected a single stage urethane enamel for the ES, and turned everything in the garage green. Ended up putting in a poured epoxy floor and having the walls repainted. That’s the last time I paint one of his damn Volvos in my shop. (NB: Perry created a paint booth for Buettner in the summer of ’16.)
Well, the ES needed a new block so I found one for him in a rust bucket car in northern Illinois. We dragged the whole thing home just for the block. Once the ES was done Perry had a ‘70E body on his hands that he wanted to convert to a race car. Surprisingly, he came to his senses and realized he didn’t know didly about building a race car, but not surprisingly, he decided to buy a race car. And of course I got suckered into this project too. But at least he bought a really good car, something to be proud of.
Jim insists on calling me the Crew Chief. I try to disabuse him of this notion and tell him I am just a buddy who comes along to help out sometimes. But if you know Jim, that does not stop him. So I put up with him, more or less, and try to help out. We have a good time together (sometimes), and I regularly make an effort to bring him to his senses, most of the time without much success.
I finally got tired of Jim pretty much occupies my shop during the winter, serving as our “Houseboy” and dirtying-up my tools. The things we won’t go through for friends. As a consequence a couple of my cars reside at his place. Thankfully, he building his own real shop, so maybe I’ll be able to use mine a little more regularly. Actually it’s a pretty nice shop — I can come over there and weld and make a mess, paint in what used to be a corn crib, and graze in Joy’s garden, since his shop refrigerator only has beer in it.”
Joy Perry is the Race Coodinator. She does normal inter-run maintenance duties as well as taking care of the driver just before the race, such as securing the HANS device and making sure the restraint system is secure. Joy is an emerita senior lecturer at UW-Fox Valley, having taught botany, ecology, general biology, and environmental sciences. Her undergraduate degree is from Purdue University, with a graduate degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in Plant Pathology and Integrated Pest Management.
Daily Driver: 2016 Toyota Prius (or whatever Jim is not driving at the moment)
“I’m not going to tell you all the sordid details of my early life and previous romances, but I will reveal that I grew up on an Indiana farm with lots of machinery that my father would not let me play with. Yet when one grows up in Indiana there is an inborn interest in cars, so my parents helped get me get that Mach 1 Jim talked about. Our first big trip with it was with a canoe on top for a trip to the Boundary Waters of Minnesota. (When I told my parents we were going to do this, their response was “Do you trust your life with this guy?”) We survived the trip, despite the fact that the canoe slipped from Jim’s hand and put a dent in the top of my Mach 1. And the blown power steering pump that caused us to think “blown motor” when we looked behind us and saw a huge smoke screen. ‘(Redline? How fast were you going, anyway????’)
I have tolerated, more or less, Jim’s interest in Volvos, despite how that started. I was even game enough to fly out to California with him to pick up a rust-free 1967 Volvo 122S, and crazy enough to be part of a drive across the country with an 18-year-old car back to our then-home in western Maryland. (“Do you trust your life with this guy?”) The mountains were really a challenge because the exhaust manifold is close to the SU carburetors on a 122, and there is little heat protection. The combination of altitude and temperature caused many periods of vapor lock, although we did not know what that was at the time. (Jim’s car knowledge has improved with his age and his friendship with Dave Buettner.) In Pueblo, Colorado I watched with some dismay as Jim took the gas tank off in a parking lot to empty the crud out of it. But as you can tell, we survived.
That 122 we limped back from California was supposed to simply replace the other one whose front wheels were beginning to go opposite directions. A “daily driver.” But noooooo, Jim had to “fix it up,” which eventually meant taking it and me to Volvo meets and not driving it in the winter. So much for my idea.
I regularly remind both Buettner and Farrington that they are bad influences. Both of them in their own ways have contributed to our outbuildings filling up with way too many cars and my summers now being run by a racing or car show schedule. Of course Jim is not to be let off without blame either, but he’s just weak. The other two seem to want to make sure we end up on public assistance sooner or later.
That said, I do enjoy the racing, and have gotten comfortable enough that I no longer go into the fetal position when I have a chance to ride at speed on the track. I like the speed and the noise, but do see it as “Turning Money into Noise.” I also have a hollow in my stomach when Jim does not come around the track on time. Racing is something that has brought the two of us closer. I even did a High Performance Driver’s Education Day of my own with our ’73 BMW 3.0 CS and got comfortable enough to want to drive on a bigger, faster track, like Road America. And I did want a C70, but Jim had to get rid of at least oneother cars first, and I did not accep his offer of two that don’t run as fair trade. Despite what he tells you I am not to blame for his beloved Amazon getting sold.”
David Farrington is the team’s Race Engineer. He handles all the data acquisition and video for the car, as well as the typical between run duties such as fueling, motor and suspension work. He also takes many of the photos that are seen on the Events pages. David lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee works for Mueller designing and testing valves for those things dogs take a leak on.. He’s a real engineer, with his degree from the University of Connecticut. He’s also a dyed-in-the-wool Volvophile, and drives a ’73 ES that took best of class at the 50th Anniversary Volvo Sports America meet in 2011 at Watkins Glen.
Daily Driver: 2012 VW GTI Autobahn, 2016 GMC Canyon
“My first hand introduction to the world of Volvos was when my girlfriend at the time, Suzanne wanted to buy her first car, ideally similar to her parent’s ’69 144S in which she learned to drive. A friend of mine was selling his ’68 144S to concentrate on his 142. That B18 was also an introduction to ipd in 1979 – the B18 was already graced with a “big-Bore” kit, punching it out to 2 liters and B20 specifications. The car was also equipped with ipd sway bars and Konis. That ’68 was quickly purchased and the driving found to be fun. That girlfriend subsequently became my spouse and that ’68 (‘Bily for “Automobile”) was driven on our honeymoon. On the honeymoon the car exhibited a strange rattle – it took some time to find the pebbles loaded into the hubcaps. While delivering great 30+ mpg, the car did seem a bit low on power. Did you know a B20 can run just fine on 45-60 psi compression? Sue’s parental ’69 was available, having taken another hit with a sibling student driver, so the parts car was purchased and I set upon learning to rebuild the B20 engine. While trying to “bump” the freshly rebuilt engine with a remote starter push button and two plugs out to verify TDC a fine revelation was made. Did you know that a B20 will run on only two cylinders? Sue’s job took her to South Carolina and the 144, loaded to the gills (spare engine in the trunk as well) made the drive south. Even loaded so, the Blue Ridge parkway was a treat indeed.
While in South Carolina, despite having a company car, we decided to purchase another of our own. We found a ’74 145E for a good price and despite it having high mileage, we brought “Campy.” With a family on the way, I returned to my job in CT and both cars made the trip packed fully. The curse of salted roads finally caught up with the ’68 and it was replaced with a ’79 245. More than once I carried a refrigerator in the back of that wagon. Along the way a couple non-Volvos were tried and at one point, a 35k mile Mitsubishi was traded in for a 65k mile 244DL. That ’79 245 was lacking a bit compared to the ’68 – it simply didn’t have the power for the added mass. Enter ipd again, with a big-bore kit, the B21F was punched out to B23 specs. Research showed that the most powerful B23 was one sporting the “H” cam found in Canada; a Texas dealership was able to source one for me. This combination served me well autocrossing at many VCOA meets.
Along the way I purchased an 1800ES that had a lot of rust – eventually judged to be a fatal amount in the frame rails. I eventually purchased one that had a most interesting feature – a Golde hand-crank sunroof. The slush box that this car had was replaced with the manual and rear-end from the rust bucket ES, which also contributed a better interior. A job change and move to RI sent the rust-bucket on its way. The same year the ’79 245 met a tree in a freak April snow storm – never again will snow tires come off because of a state’s schedule. The semi-slick high performance tires didn’t like rain, never mind snow. As luck would have it, I found another ’79 245 in my new hometown. Time for quick engine change.
In RI another performance Volvo came along, an ’88 745 turbo with the rare stick shift. Yes, my two daughters learned to drive with stick shifts – and they had to be put in cars as well. There is nothing like the security of putting young drivers in safe 240s. Sue moved to a 850 turbo (and got grief from a child for driving an automatic!) as I continued to maintain a fleet of four Volvos.
When college payments were done Sue chided me for the time I spent trying to keep up with the rust in the 245. So at 331k miles it was retired. The time was spent getting the ES back on the road and it got a fresh paint job. It’s a fun car to drive due to the attention it gets. One such moment was being passed by a pack of motorcyclists, heads swiveling. At the stoplight they all turn back and add some thumbs up. At all Volvo events its “anomaly” sunroof gets attention – solving its provenance is one thing I’d like to do.
But all the Volvo’s that we’ve had (the count was long lost,) just haven’t had quite the fun to drive element as that ’68 so a recent “project” purchase was a ’72 142E. Stay tuned.
I met Perry on the internet. No, it was not Tinder, it was the Volvo 1800 Yahoo Group. He needed help when ihe was restoring his ’73ES (a lot of it) and I made the fatal error of coming to his rescue. When he bought a race car, it was obvious he could use all the help he could get so since 2010 I have been spending my vacation time and money to make regular trips to whereever the hell he’s racing. In one of his regular Volvo Spports America ‘On the Racing Line’ columns he said that while I can’t hear very well I don’t want to hear him anyway. I did not realize he was that smart.”
Doug Senk has become a more or less regular with the crew. He has a long history of wrenching on his own cars and various racing Volvos, long before P and B Motorsports came along. Raised in Miwaukee, he now resides on an idyllic lake in beautiful rural Iron River, WI, about halfway between Ashland, WI and Duluth, MN.
Daily Driver: 1990 Volvo 240
Five years ago my wonderful wife Patti and I moved to northern Wisconsin from the Milwaukee area. (Perry still can’t tell Muskego from Mukwonago, country hayseed that he is.) We just love the life in the woods, without the hustle and bustle of the city. Even though we’re farther from the track now, I make the trek to get my fix of race fuel fumes, listening to all the excuses the guys have for not doing better (always the car, natch), drinking a few beers after the motors are quiet, and generally enjoying the racing Volvo crowd.
Our adult son has followed in his father’s footsteps and is also hooked on Volvo motorcars. Mike is a great mechanic and Volvo crew member for all of our friends at the track, as well. Maybe, just maybe, someday he’ll be strapped into his own 1800 race car and take his old man for a ride.
Phil Koller has been hanging around the P & B Motorsports pits for the last few years, participating as one of the team’s photographers. Raised in Appleton, WI, he now spends most of his time riding his motorcycle, and doing a little skiing, fishing, and hunting in the Northwoods near Lakewood, WI, with his wife Lea. When the snow starts to melt, they can be found kicking sand in Sarasota, FL.
Daily driver: 2015 Honda Pilot, 2010 BMW F 650 GS, 2007 Piaggio Fly 150
My intro to sports cars and racing was when my parents took me to a race in Elkhart Lake in the early 1950’s to watch Jim Kimberly, Phil Hill and other notables race around the lake, when this was genuine public road racing. I must have been 10 or 11 at the time. My dad was always a car guy, and he used to take me to all the car dealers in the fall to “kick tires” when the new cars came out.
A cousin who lived in Neenah, near the Kimberly home on Wisconsin Ave. Jim Kimberly kept a few of his Ferrari race cars in a garage/boat house nearby, and we would ride our bikes over to look at the cars. Being young kids, we didn’t know squat about racing, but those shiny red cars with numbers on the side sure got our attention!
I worked part time pumping gas during the summer months and got a little grease on my hands. But, unlike Buddy Palumbo, I did not take to the mechanics. There were similarities though. My bosses were not big fans of “those foreign sporty cars” and when I drove in one day after my senior year in a used Austin Healey, I never heard the end of it. They hated that car!
During my freshman college year, some pals and I went to Ft. Lauderdale for spring break. We thought we would check out the girls on the beach, and maybe sneak up to Sebring for the 12 Hour. We all thought it was a great place to hang out so we got a non-paying “job” on a sailboat sailing over to Nassau, and ‘forgot’ to come back to school for finals, making for some very unhappy parents. That prompted a life decision to join the Army! Off to Korea, and the Healy was sold. I was transferred back to NE Pennsylvania where I was a part time ski instructor in the Pocono’s after Army hours. There I continued my fascination with cars and racing as there were a few close hill climbs like Giants Despair, and of course Watkins Glen was “just up the road”. In the ‘60s I returned to Wisconsin. Married, and a few kids later, I finished the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 1970 on the 10-year plan!
So, all these years later, there is no sports car, but I still love the sounds, smells, and activity of being around the cars. Being a hobby photographer, I have always loved taking pictures of race cars, boats etc., which led me to Jim in a round-a-bout way. We met Jim through my wife and friends who did some volunteer events at the university where Jim was the Dean. When he traded his business suit for Nomex I was invited to join the activities with P & B Motorsports. (I think he had his eye on the Piaggio …).
I’ve been privileged to meet some really great people that all love being around race cars. All on the Team and at the track are always warm, friendly, and willing to talk your ear off on just about any topic…but it always gets back to the cars! Due to continued health issues (not much skiing or sailing these days), I have trouble traveling with the team as do The Farrington’s, Doug Senk or the guy they call the Shop Teacher but I usually show up at Road America, take a few photos for the guys drink some beer and tell some lies. And no one has ever asked me where my sports car was. Yet.