From Sweden With Love
Built on the bank of the Susquehanna River and tucked in the hills of Central Pennsylvania, Williamsport is a town heavily influenced by industry. In the 19th Century, Williamsport bore the title “Lumber Capital of The World.” Today, natural gas, healthcare, manufacturing and education are the breadwinners of the economy. If you’ve heard of Williamsport, it’s probably due to The Little League World Series (South Williamsport).
Education is where this article stems from. Penn College of Technology (PCT), an affiliate of Penn State University, is exactly what its name states: a tech school. When I was looking at college options, PCT was one of the schools on my short list. I opted to go elsewhere, however Bucher did choose PCT. (For those of you who don’t subscribe on YouTube or follow the podcast, Andrew Bucher is a great friend of mine who makes appearances a few times a year). In October of 2016, Andrew invited me to an Autocross event that was hosted by a club he’s part of, Penn College Motorsports Association. For those of you unfamiliar with Autocross: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autocross
And so the story begins:
I was nervous as hell to attend this event because I was going mainly for the video content. I had just started the channel about three months prior, I wasn’t great at filming, and talking to a camera in front of a ton of college kids I didn’t know was far from appealing. I showed up, met a dozen or so of Bucher’s friends, and just kind of walked around the tarmac at Williamsport Regional Airport, the venue for the event. I hadn’t been to autocross before, and while I had a blast, I still don’t know if I’d want to participate due to being very ADD and not being the most coordinated (I couldn’t remember the course, I’ll kill ALLLLL of the cones). I rode in a bunch of different cars that day: a C7 Corvette Stingray, and E36 M3, a fully gutted and caged Subaru WRX, but the most memorable ride of the day came in the form of a light blue 1993 Ford Escort wagon.
Bucher rode in it first, came back and handed me his helmet and said “You need to ride with Abe.” I didn’t have a damn clue who “Abe” was but I put the helmet on and got in the blue wagon. I don’t just get in a car with anyone, but it being a closed course and the recommendation of Bucher, I didn’t ask questions. I don’t think the conversation between Abe and I extended much further than introducing ourselves. The ride itself lasted less than a minute, but the friendship that ensued will last years. Two years later, Abe and I talk on a daily basis. We motivate each other, share advice, and hold each other accountable.
More notably, Abe is the owner of the infamous 350 small block Volvo wagon from H2Oi, made viral by Car Throttle.
Abe purchased the 1987 Volvo 240DL in September of 2017, already swapped by the previous owner, a sixty-five year old Volvo enthusiast who had daily driven the car for three years. Two weeks after buying the 240DL, Abe decided to drive the car 6 hours to Ocean City, Maryland for H2Oi. The car is the epitome of a sleeper. Nobody knows what they’re getting themselves into when they agree to race. Abe daily drove the car for a while until the flex plate sheared. Unfortunately, the car sat for a few months until he had the chance to fix it. In the midst of fixing the car, he decided the ~600 horsepower 383 stroker engine collecting dust in the shop would be a nice upgrade. Two weeks later the car had a new heart, along with BC Racing coilovers and a set of original 1986 Enkei 92s in the ever-rare 5x108 bolt pattern. The car has been sitting as Abe has been out of town for work, but a transmission is being built and a Ford 8.8 rear end will team up to handle the 575 horsepower. Be on the lookout for this sleeper in 2019, I’d hate to see you get walked in your bank-owned car ;)
Car and video belong to Abe Hostetler: @hostetler_6h
Photos property of Isaac Reber: @iareberphoto
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