In memory of Matthew Dionne (3-23-83 to 5-12-03)
Dionne was one of most well known members, enthusiasts, and most
of all a good friend to all of us. 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 his own.
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 Scholarship Fund.
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
I guess its just going to get boring here with out you, thats the
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 volvo mis-adventures.
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 online.
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 group buy.
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 guy.
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 do yours.
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
[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
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
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
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 down here.
Oh yeah, one last thing...your name is still, yes, still on my
AIM list...and mark my words...it's there to stay.