Swedish Nostalgia Hot Rod Clubs Meet for a Car Show and some Fast Dirt Track Action
Scene at the Dusters Time Travel Meet
The first hot rod in Sweden was built as early as around 1950, which makes its rodding history longer than any other European country. However, today’s nostalgia hot rodders go back in time even to before WWII and hot rodding’s earliest days.
Two of the clubs in Sweden that are based on the early-style cars are the A-Bombers and the Dusters, and both have great events once a year. We visited the Dusters at their event at a 1940s “folk-park,” which was a small amusement park with a dance hall for the local people. The little folk-park in Tuna-Hästberga is about 15 miles away from the nearest city, Ludvika, and it was full of pre-war cars when we arrived. The owners were camping out, and many turned up the day before to spend some more time with their friends during the long weekend. Most of the A-Bombers club members were also there, even if most of them had a 4- to 5-hour drive from home.
It would be hard to find another event in Europe with this many early hot rods. The Dusters also welcome customs, but they have their own parking area at the park.
It is getting tougher for the nostalgia hot rodders to find the original Ford parts, so some have to buy replica parts to get their cars finished. We checked around and found that most of the ’32-based hot rods had original frames. One of the most popular models among the pre-war cars is the ’29 roadster body on ’32 rails powered by a flathead V-8, which also was one of the traditional hot rods built in the USA during the late 1930s and 1940s. The fenderless ’32 roadster is also one of the favorites, but extra hard to get today with an original body.
One who got all he could ask for in details is Ronnie Lindblom, who is also one of the people running the Dusters. He has many contacts among the older hot rodders in the USA and got ahold of an original ’32 roadster in parts a couple of years ago. Ronnie did not just have a hopped-up flathead in his roadster; he added a McCulloch blower with two Strombergs on top. Behind the engine, he has a ’39 Ford trans with Lincoln gears, which gives him a better step between the gears.
To get some more action during the weekend, the Dusters arranged for the cars to run on a small dirt track at an old firing range close by. One that ran hard was A-Bombers member Mike Johansson and his fenderless ’32 roadster. “I even got stuck with my left arm in the steering wheel when it got bumpy and nearly fell out of the car in one corner,” Mike says with a laugh.
Saturday night the club gave away awards before the rockabilly bands started playing. The Best Hot Rod went to Stefan Uhlen with his low, brown ’32 roadster. Best Kustom was won by Johan Törnquist with his super-nice ’40 Mercury in red candy. The Long Distance award went to a member of the Scrapers CC from Belgium, with and old ’32 five-window.
Even with some cold summer weather, the event was a success, and we can guess that many more European nostalgia hot rodders will take the drive next year to this beautiful part of Sweden called Dalarna.