Export successes continued into the early seventies while the export share rose to as high as 84% in 1973. Large volumes of industrial engines were sold to makers of irrigation units. Volvo Penta acquired outboard production from Monark-Crescent, adding new products to the program. In 1973 the S-drive for sailboats was introduced and the year after, Volvo Penta of North America was formed. In 1976 a plant for modifying gasoline V8s to marine applications was built in Chesapeake, USA.
Engine history was made across a garden fence in Långedrag in Göteborg. Lars Malmros of the Volvo Truck Corporation and Harald Wiklund of Volvo Penta were neighbors and they agreed that what was missing from their joint product program was a small six-cylinder diesel engine. Together they decided to solve this and the concept for the 40 engine, otherwise known as the “fence engine”, was conceived. A manufacturing plant was built in Vara (Sweden) and, at its introduction in 1977, an enthusiastic member of the trade press wrote that this was “the first engine that combined the acceleration ability and quiet running of the gasoline engine with the economy and reliability of the diesel”.
Take a trip down memory lane by watching the presentation film, highlighting the benefits of the 40 engine.
In 1973, Volvo Penta acquired outboard production from Monark-Crescent and the U-22, Monark and Archimedes became new products in the already extensive Volvo Penta program. During the 70s, the engines were tested in a number of powerboat races all around the world. This video gives you a rich view of ice hockey superstar Leif “Honken” Holmqvist compete in a 24-hour-race in Rouen.
Toward the end of the 1970s, however, competition from Japanese manufacturers became so fierce that sales started to show a loss and outboard engine production was discontinued.