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TURBOBRICKS CLUB HISTORY:

Mission statement:
As the name implies, "Turbobricks" was spawned from months of e-mail conversations between a few 240-Turbo Swedishbricks members. "Turbobricks" was designed to help collect knowledge about Volvo upgrades as to benefit the whole Volvo performance community. We decided to establish a web page repository of our experiences after realizing that we were all asking the same questions and pursuing them through individual efforts.

Our intention is to use this web space, mailing list, and message board to chronicle our modifications and to attract collective research concerning more esoteric modifications. We hope you enjoy the Turbobricks Web site!

TURBOBRICKS, MY DEAR BRAINCHILD
(1996-1997) by Angel Morales, Turbobricks founder



History
I joined the internet community in March 1996, when the first ISP started its operations in my home town (David, Chiriqui, Republic of Panama). Being that cars and especially Volvos are one of my dearest hobbies, I quickly contacted the Swedishbricks mailing list web page. I was not very sure what it was or what the whole deal was all about, but I joined right away.
Then I learned that it was an e-mail forum; and I still remember my first post, it was about a pinging problem in my 242ti at 13 psi boost. From that post, I met my first Volvo Turbo enthusiast, Mr. Philip Bradley. We shared many private e-mails talking about performance stuff for the B21FT-IBS. I was very excited about the stuff Philip had done to his motor.

By that time, I was experimenting with a personal web page at Geocities. I knew nothing at all about HTML, and I had no "automatic" web editor. Later on, I met other Turbo performance enthusiasts in Swedishbricks: Jon Glommen, Jason Hiester, Adam Smith, Anthony Hyde, John Magnuson, Michael Jue, Brad Pollard and others. The performance talk in and behind Swedishbricks got pretty exciting (despite flamewars caused by some members who found performance Volvos an offending idea). There was a major limitation: everyone was on their own, tinkering their own mods, making the same mistakes, asking the same questions over and over, and all wanting more performance!

It was then that I felt something had to be done. Volvo Turbo performance was pure voodoo at the time, there were a thousand questions, and only a lot of speculation as answers. There was not a single organization on the Web dedicated to performance Volvo Turbos. I thought... What if I make a web page where people can post articles about their own experience and research? It would be great, I thought, weīd have a knowledge bank where we could save our current knowledge and add future research.

That was when I sent an e-mail to my performance buddies from Swedishbricks. They loved the idea, Jason Hiester suggested the name, and the next day I had a very simple page listing the members, it was October 16, 1996. The next day, I posted an article by Jon Glommen called "Club Ideas".

As Jon said at the time: "the format is loose and much under development". It was very true, we didnīt have a clear idea of how the whole thing was going to work. We didnīt have an automatic mailing list (that was a distant dream), and communication among the members was clumsy (with a manual mailing list). The first thing that came to my mind was to give "membership"to anyone who owned a modified Turbobrick and was interested in contributing. In turn, I would list their names and make a page about their modified brick.

This didnīt work as expected since people wanted to see their name listed at the site but didnīt have much interest in contributing to the development of the site. Later on, I built a membership form and a letter for the membership requests to make things clearer about the clubīs membership. This didnīt work either, only about 5-10% of the members were doing some work for Turbobricks.

My long-time dream was a mailing list, but without a web server or money for it, this was almost impossible. Then came in Mr. Todd French, a very nice fellow who runs the "BrickYard" in his own web server. Despite not being a turbobrick owner, he volunteered to help with the mailing list and additional web space for our site. In a few days, we had a mailing list with 30 members (January 15, 1997). I was so grateful that I couldnīt find a way to suitably thank Todd.

The mailing list worked wonders for our club, we started "talking" on a daily basis. In five months of excellent service, the maling list managed by Todd French had grown from 30 to over 80 members. On May 17, 1997, John Bertram took over the mailing list when Todd French had to shut down his server.

With the strong mailing list, the need for new members full of empty promises ended. Club membership requests were eliminated. Now anyone could join the mailing list, and earn their membership after they did some kind of contribution. This ended the problem of new members overloading the webmaster instead of helping with the development of the site/club.

After a full year of hard work making web pages, designing the web site, making banners, asking for help with the mailing list, almost harrassing members into contributing, looking for more webspace, etc, I am ready to leave the position open for someone with fresh energies. However I would like to organize a system to ensure the future success of Turbobricks.



Final word.
Itīs been a lot of work. Itīs been a lot of fun!!!
One year later we have 160+ members, a real mailing list, members with 350+ HP Volvos, and even a new performance parts company! Thank you all.

-Angel Morales R.
Turbobricks founder 1996
 

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