Classic 242 GT - Dedication To a Friend Lost
In memory of Matthew Dionne (3-23-83 to 5-12-03)
By: Dana Howe, Comments by turbobricks members
Dionne was one of our most well known members, enthusiasts, and most of all
a good friend. All of us who knew Matt either in real-life
or online through endless discussions about cars, politics, people, and
life in general, are at a great loss with out him. You will be missed
Matt, you can ride shotgun anytime you’d like.
When Matt first stepped onto our community message board after poking
around for a while back in the beginning of February 2002, he began his
search for making his ’78 242 GT into the ultimate road warrior.
Although his first few posts we’re all about building up a massive
turbocharged beast, Matt became one of the most prominent members to advocate
the normally aspirated side of things. Focusing on making the most of
the stock mechanics, beefing up suspension components, and spending most
of the time working on improving the “driver” aspect gave
him the opportunity to find the sporty feel he was looking for.
Right from the start, we saw a well versed young Volvo fanatic bringing
new aspects to topics and questions to the table one right after another.
Matt was able to fire off post after post almost methodically for hours
at a time. To this day I don’t know how he managed to read through
all the threads so fast and still have time to toss in a few comments
dashed with emoticons here and there. In a little over a year he had racked
up well over 1000 posts, more then the majority of the board had…
many who had been around for years prior. On more then one occasion I’d
log into the board and see each forums last post was by none other then
“Volvo78GT”, I can even remember Mike taking a screen shot
once just for keeps sake.
One of the greatest traits we saw from Matt over the last year or so
was that he was willing to go out of his way for anyone who needed it.
I myself met up with Matt at his home to pick up an OEM group-a spoiler
he had been holding for at least a year. Matt also managed to organize
multiple group buys from a popular cam manufacturer, spending hours of
his own time, completely with out profit, just for the satisfaction of
helping others. In doing so, he managed to piece together valuable information
regarding the install, performance specs, and problems on a website of
Even down to his last day with us, Matt was a die-hard Volvo enthusiast.
Midway through his journey back east to his grandparents, and to visit
many of us, Matt still managed to jump online and tell a story or two
about what had happened so far. Minor mishaps with the car or funny things
he had observed across the southern states, no matter where he was he
could always find a way to get over here to turbobricks and feel at home.
The following pages are our members thoughts, dedications, and stories
devoted to Matt and his family. We were blessed to have such a wonderful
person among us for what seems now, as only a short amount of time. A
great thanks to all who have, and will contribute to the Matthew P. Dionne
Even though I never really expressed it often enough, I considered you
a true friend... even when you asked me something I just had explained,
your one of the few people that for some reason, I didn't mind that from.
Sorry for the lectures, and the joking around, I hope you knew it was
all in good fun. Were going to miss you, including my girl friend who
always ask's how I can possibly talk to for so long online.
I guess its just going to get boring here with out you, thats the saddest
Hope you found that 200+ horse power n/a monster in heaven,
You don't know what a true benefit someone is until they're gone.
All the fun, jokes, poking, etc makes it really easy to take things for
granted, and thats kinda the way it was with Matt. We all joked about
it, about his trip and all, but deep down inside, we all (well at least
I did) thought he was going to have the best summer out of all of us.
What a complete shot out of the dark. At any rate, Matt, it was all in
good fun, we all had some great times, and you're always welcome on my
My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones, and to everyone
on this board he touched (which is pretty much everyone).
You will be missed
we miss you Matt
I first started conversing with Matt back when he did his first enem cam
group buy. I was always waffling whether I would shell out the money and
get a cam- some of you know what a cheep bastard I am- just look over
my wanted posts. He was so good natured about it, never got pissed off
at me for changing my mind over and over again. I knew that he was a good
guy that loved his Volvo, he worked very hard on those group buys.
As I got to know him more he told me that he was studying to be an electronic
engineer, I couldn't believe it... I am studying to be an EE also. We
talked a lot about circuit theory and applications that we could use in
our Volvos. It is amazing the type of personal friendship one can make
What I remember most about Matt was, when he was online he always had
time to help me out with my brick. He would always admit to me if he didn't
know enough to help me, and he never gave me bad advice. He was so good-natured
about everything, even when I waffled about getting a cam on the SECOND
With kindness and goodwill my thoughts go out to Matt's family and loved
ones. Our community will miss him terribly.
Santa Rosa, CA
It's been a while but not nearly long enough
Matt, I've known you since the Kalazdar days. I never really bothered
asking what that name meant... I guess its because you were just Matt
to me. You were really that simple; just a real, truthful, honest, sincere
You had an awful lot of energy and could really talk my head off. I remember
you high jacking me from my bed a few times to get me on the computer
and you were just gushing away about your next big step on the GT, or
listening intently about my Volvo exploits. We could go on for hours about
all sorts of stuff because you'd always be really interested in anything
I had to say. I remember sometimes I had to tell you like 10 times that
I needed to sleep before you went along with it. You really are a nice
guy, and you've always wanted to learn more and help more and do more
with you Volvo brothers.
I remember not really understanding how you could call the GT fast, but
you were always so into the thing, telling us about how much fun it was
to drive, that I started wanting one too. You just loved that car so much
that I couldn't help but feel the love.
Well the place is gonna be less interesting without you man. You weren't
just here, you were what this place was. As a self proclaimed 'post whore'
I think you'd like to know that you single-handedly brought the most people
together in TB chat last night, and yeah we were all talking about you
and your car. You'd be amazed by how many memories you left here...at
least a few lifetimes worth. You've got an awful lot of friends here man,
and a lot who'll be carrying on your spirit. We'll do our part if you
You'll be with us always since your help has changed all of us. We can't
ignore that you're gone, but what you've helped us with we keep with us,
and pass on to others, so guess what? 10 years from now it's still really
gonna be you posting on here. Volvo for life? You're TB for life now man.
There's no avoiding it, not that you would want to. Part of you is stuck
here forever, and I've got a feeling you'd like that.
Of course you did get to finally leave Texas, which you were really itchin
to do. I'm sure Tennessee was beautiful too. I drove through there on
a cross country trip too once. The mountains and trees overlooking lakes
below...it really is spectacular. Lucky you, you got to see it at sunrise.
It must have been fantastic stuff. Kinda like heaven really, which I'm
sure is where you are now. When you think about it, there really is no
other place for a guy like you. Lets hope you got your wish list up there:
a bunch of shiny new tools, megasquirt system, turbo to bolt onto that
GT (c'mon you know you want one), and an even more insane suspension than
you had. Good luck surprising guys like Alberto Ascari, Colin Chapman,
and Ayrton Senna up there. I suggest you race them for pinks. Who'da thought
a Volvo could take an F1 car? Hey thats why it's heaven right? Take care
man. We'll be missing you until we meet again.
Matt, I spoke with you every now and then. Always on a high note
at that. I was looking forward to your trip! I was reading it for the
first time last night, then I stumbled upon what happened. This will never
be forgotten by anyone as I am sure you know. Directly or indirectly,
you have affected us all in a way. It is all about the small things that
make a difference, one message, one post, or one word.
Turbobricks and the volvo community never really knew what it had until
it was gone so to speak, and now we know. You will be missed my friend.
You have moved on to a place we will all reach someday, sometime. I wish
we spoke more often, no one expected this. God bless.
[I can only wish Matt's family the best in dealing with this terrible
Matt. What can I say. Man, I knew you however briefly, but you were a
great guy. The times that we talked online, the advice you gave, the laughs
we shared will never be forgotten. We all know your in that great big
garage up there, building up the best turbo GT ever. Look down upon us,
we'll keep building em up and tearing em down if you do the same. You'll
be sorely missed man.
All the brick brethren send our deepest condolences to the family. Even
though our friendship may have been over something as trivial as the brand
of transportation we drove, we were all a big family. To the Dionne family,
we cannot begin to understand the loss that you must be experiencing,
but we send our sympathy. Matt's magnetic personality and wonderful spirit
brought him a large extra family online. We all send our love and prayers
to him and the family he left behind.
Matt, you know you were there for any problems that I had with Bricks
or other "normal" things I don't think there will be anyone
that could ever replace what you have done for me. you will always be
in my heart, and be greatly missed.
Kevin Elliot O'Brien
p.s. matt... my mech says the 79 is a 242... so once I get it in a moth
or so.. I will try to build it up like we always talked about.
You know that even though I sold my GT, I still think that 242GTs are
Da Bomb. In you I found somebody who was even more GT obsessed than me,
somebody who would actually build the sick NA motors we'd think up.
Every time I thought I was fast, you were faster. Every time I thought
I was saying something inane, you'd out-do me. You had the Volvo I wished
I had from the beginning, and you were taking the road trip I wished I
had the time to do. Even to the end, you still knew what was really important
- taking time for family and friends. I am glad to have known you, even
if I only knew you through emails and posts.
See you on the other side
Well, Matt, I made it. Here I am in Florence living with my grandparents
and soon to have a job. If any one person ever encouraged me how to get
on with life in spite of the crappiest crap, it was you. My trip went
wonderfully and I wish so much that yours could've gone the same way.
I never got to see "THE PAINTLESS WONDER" but screw that now...when
I get up there, I'll see that GT you dreamed of, and I know that, had
you not been cut short down here, would've had eventually. Nice, shiny
GT silver paint, complete with the GT stripes, and not a scratch or blemish
on it. Not to mention the 10-sec timeslip. Not to forget your 990/1000w
Cibies, 1500w Cibie driving lights, and 900w Cibie foglights.
Until then, I'm stuck with the 16 second timeslip and 55/65w sealed beams,
but hey, I know you would've wanted me to make the best of it, so that's
what I'll sure as hell do. See you up there someday man...until then,
you bet I'll make my brick as fast and as cool as I can while I'm still
Oh yeah, one last thing...your name is still, yes, still on my AIM list...and
mark my words...it's there to stay.