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LKA (Lohikäarme Autojen)


#1

Here, with the CEO of LKA, Enska Lykäas, for an interview, telling the story of this company, that become one of the sleepers of the last decade. The finnish company started now to open its market to all the world, getting the first steps on the hypercars world with a secret project.

Enska:- Now, i start to sing about how we started right?

Laughs overall. He seems to be a very simple man, opposite to how his father was.

Enska:- Well… Ok, my dad started this company with some kind of dream. He was a metallurgical during the 60s. Lothar Lykäas, and his friend, Mirko Onred, always love to plan stuff. They make the company, they planned to do planes… Don’t ask… But they first step in this world was in the year 1972. The Wolfang was a kind of muscle car. This technically wasn’t the first car of the company, because it was made for another company, Amerbach, now out of business

LKA Wolfang - 1972


The car was a big ol’ V8. Strong, loud, everything that a V8 of the year was, but, terrible. Terrible car. It has 284 HP with 340 NM of torque at 5300 RPM. It was heavy, hard to drive and very wild. But it was cool at that time. The heads of Amerbach love it, and in the same year, the want it a “Special” version of it…

LKA Wolfang RR - 1972


They took the same car, and kind of tune it. The RR stands for “Race Ride” They put a bigger engine iniside, with 462 HP. But this was even worse. The wheelspin was out of this world. The engine was not really good cooled, even with the bigger vents and stuff. Still, the car was kind of successful in sales, but unfortunally, the Amerbach closed in 1975 due financial and structural problems…


#2

Enska:- Then, like 6 years later, the company officially runs by the name that it has today. They have a lot of problems. Not enough workers, not enough space for tests. They even have a rat problem in the “Factory” if i can call it that way. But, they were happy. My dad was happy, his friend, even the people working there. So they started simple, they make a simple car, nothing fancy, nothing like super sporty…

LKA Äiti Type 1 - 1978

Enska:- Simple car, for simple people. Not to big, not to hard to drive, but a technical mess really. It was really really cheap for its time. It has only 63 HP, too lacking for that small V8, and that makes a lot of problems in climbs. The weight of the car was too much for the engine on those situations, but its low consume and really low price was the reason this car was a kickstart for my father’s dream.

LKA Äiti Type 2 - 1978

Enska:- The Type 2 was a little more “Luxury”. It has a better interior that the Type 1. The engine was a little better too. It has a small turbo, taking the power to 103 HP. We manage to save one of this cars. Still working and i have it like a toy on a box on my garage so… Yeah, a good piece of my history if i have to say it. This one was a little worse in terms of sales. It was cheap, but it has so much less to offer than some of it’s competitors at the time. Also, this one wasn’t nice with the fuel consumption, making it a little more expensive.

LKA Äiti Type 3 - 1979

Enska:- The Type 3 was more Mirko’s hand than anyone else there. He was a racer, not a professional racer, but a racer. He always love the power on the cars and that kind of things. So he decided to make it more “Tasty” than the other two versions. The turbo of this one its bigger, reaching 130 HP with 200 NM of Torque. It has wider arches and a little spoiler, for some aero. A bit useless taking in consideration the shape of the car, literally a box, but they were dreamers after all. The car was very well recieved. The sales were really good, even with the expensive price of this one.


#3

Enska:- After that first step, the company started to grow little by little. In 1892, they released a second car, the Koti. This one was more polished, with more development and stuff. They really put their hearts on every car.

Koti Yksi - 1982

Enska:- The Yksi was the first try away from the V8. They use a bigger platform from the Äiti. More of a “Family” car than it. The V6 they use for the Yksi was a 3029CC with almost 200 HP, 199.7 to be exactly. The car was rough, but light. Also, it was the first car with automatic transmission of the company. It was… primitive, but functional at least. Maybe, one of the first dad’s “Babies”

Koti Kaksi - 1982

Enska:- The Kaksi on the other hand, was the “Bussiness man” car. They don’t have much differences. It has more HP (232), more luxuries on the inside, and more chorme to put a more stylished “Face” on the car. This one was like a shadow. The sales were like complete 0. I think, there’s only 20 sales of that car in all the registries.


#4

Enska:- At the end of 1982, my father and Mirko decide to try again with the compact style cars. This time, they took everything learned with the Äiti, fixed some mistakes here and there. By the start of 1983, Kolme was born.

LKA Kolme - 1983

Enska:- I really don’t know what was on their minds when they designed the back of the car. It was really ugly… But, for some reason, the car was a blast on its time. People loved it. It was cheap, it was really easy to drive. With its 117 HP, its small V6, really fuel friendly and almost toylike looks, the first Kolme sales was amazing. It was the most successful car of that era for the company. This is when they hit the nail.

LKA Kolme Erityinen - 1983

Enska:- Months later, after the big success of the Kolme, and taking some advices from the people on the streets, Mirko decided to make another Kolme, but better. They maintained the economy friendly stat of the platform. With some little tweaks on the engine, they manage to put 10 more HP, getting a good 127 HP from it. It was a little more heavy than its little brother, but with some more luxuries. The reworked back make it more appealing to the eye. The most notorious feature of this version its the chromed details and more fancy wheels, clearly aimed to the young ones of that time.


#5

Enska:- The same year, they launched a heavy duty van, the Vauhko, their first big car in bussiness. The market was filled with those, and, my father and Mirko didn’t want to lose that chance. They worked almost in secret with the Vauhko. There’s only a 3 draws of it, and nothing more. I don’t know if they’re lost or that this is the only stuff they used to make it. But anyway, this was the first step of the company on the cargo market.

LKA Vaukho - 1983

At this moment, the door opened and a man stepped in. Mirko Onred Jr. designer and an chief engineer of the company, really close friend of Enska. The two mens hugged each other. After the greetings, Mirko takes the word.

Mirko:- The Vauhko was a challenge at that time. They know little to none about vans, or even trucks, so they worked blinded. This big boy has a V8 powering the rear wheels with 250 HP at 5000 RPM, creating almost 380 Nm of torque at 4000 RPM. It was more like a muscle car but with a big chassis over it. With a 4 speed automatic gearbox and almost 1900 KG of weight, it reaches a top speed of 130 MPH. It was fast, but it has a little problem…

Enska:- It can’t turn… The suspension was really hard to put in place. The van was big, and the lack of knowlege about this created a big problem with it. With some tweaks, the Vauko worked better at corners but, it was a lot of time of trial and error. Companies didn’t like it so much because of that, at least, big companies. Small ones really love it. All the cars of that time were really cheap in comparsion with the other more renowned companies, so, the van was kind of a success…

Mirko:- The technical problems with the engine afterwards kind of killed it. They took too long to fix some problems, so my father decided to just lay the Vauhko to rest.


#7

Enska:- After the not so good run of the Vauhko, the company worked on a sedan. This one needed to be kind of a success, being the first “True Sedan” of the brand. By 1985, the Matkaaja finally saw the light. 2 years of work witout rest, to bring this one to life.

LKA Matkaaja Sedan - 1985

Mirko:- This one… Oh boy this one… This is one of my father designs. He was always a flamboyant dude. Always getting into the edges of the conventional and wacky stuff. The rear of the car worked like a radiator for the engine. It had 2 special tubes connected all around the car to the front, to give an extra cooling to it. But, people seemed to like it. It was rare, and that was some of the “mystic” this car brought to the table…

Enska:- Techwise, the car was pretty standard. Nothing out of this world for that age and time. It has a 3.5L V8 with 175HP. Its FWD, with a 4 auto gearbox and the hydraulic powersteering make it really confortable to drive. This one has a slight fuel problem. The engine was a little too big for what the car was supposed to do. But in sales, it was decent. Nothing to big or failure. It was pretty neutral. But this one was the starting point from our fathers to a good renown. This one the first car of the brand that actually had an TV spot. I think, a great portion of the sales came directly from there.

LKA Matkaaja Coupe - 1985

Enska:- With all those spots and stuff, my father decided to make a more “Exclusive” model of the car. The coupe version was really more expensive than the sedan. Almost double the value. I don’t know what was he thinking. But the car was really better than the Sedan. 5.5L V8 with almost 300 HP. They used a modified version of the same gearbox, slightly lighter and with more closed gears.

Mirko:- The idea behind it, i believe, was to attract more rich guys to buy this one. With all the chrome and those interiors. Premium leather on the seats and handmade dashboard. It was really good at that time. Also, the wide rear tyres make the car looked really like a race car.

Enska:- I liked this one, we manage to save one from a junkyard 2 months ago and restore it almost completly with the original parts, except for the suspension and some of the dashboard parts. We have it down in the museum from time to time, but i like to use it to some fun drives around the test track.