Sunday, September 29, 2013

Classic American Cars in Sweden

My mother recently forwarded me an article from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. It chronicled the fascination Swedes have with classic American cars. I thought I had written about this before, but it appears I haven't. The best I could find was a May 2009 post in which I mentioned the hot rods on Rutger's street.

The love for old American cars (by some estimates there are more from the 50's in Sweden than the US) is intertwined with the love for the culture of the times. That post-war sense of freedom and coolness exemplified by Elvis, rockabilly, and "American Graffiti" took root in central Sweden and has flourished to this day.

It's not just the cars, it's the Levis, the hair pomade, the whole James Dean style, that's been adopted by (mostly) the men and boys in central Sweden. The sub-culture has been dubbed raggare, which has as its root raggar, which essentially means "to pick up girls".

There's a huge car show, the Power Big Meet, in Vasterås every summer. I really should go as it looks like a heck of a time: American cars, slightly adulterated American culture, and lots of cans of strong Swedish beer. Perfect.

Eva and Raymond, our neighbors on Aspö, gifted us a wonderful photo montage of American cars. I'm bringing a shipping tube with us this trip (filled with stuff of course) so I can bring the poster back and hang it in the garage with my own classic car!

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