Trafikjournalen: Cars that influenced Swedish car culture (The end!)



ROUND 2: 1956-65

A short summary of the era:
The war is now very much behind us. The wheels are turning faster and faster, it seems like there is no end to the growth. The economy is strong, the companies are building everything they can produce, the exports are strong and the standards of living are rising for every day. Now we are in something that most people view as the golden era of the country.

What happened during this era? (OOC: Including this as it might reflect society as a whole, important to consider in this challenge)

1956: To fight the lack of apartments, the government decides that 53 000 ones should be built the coming year. M/S Stockholm collides with S/S Andrea Doria. Volvo presents the 120-series “Amazon”. IKEA introduces their flat packaging.
1957: Automobile sales in Sweden are reaching new records. There is now almost a million cars in the country.
1958: Work time is shortened from 48 to 45 hours a week. The first female cops starts their duty in Stockholm. Also, the church of Sweden gives a “yes” to female priests later during the year. The hamburger is introduced to the country.
1959: Joakim Bonnier wins Formula 1. Ingemar Johanssons becomes heavyweight champion in boxing after a knockout on Floyd Patterson. Sweden joins EFTA.
1960: A Saab 35 “Draken” becomes the first aircraft to reach Mach 2 in Sweden. There is now 1 millon TV recievers in the country.
1961: The Vasa ship, that sank in 1628, is salvaged. Radio Nord starts transmitting commercial radio (banned in Sweden) from international water. That leads to the start of a second official radio channel in the country.
1962: An april fools joke that one could get colour television by pulling a nylon stocking over the TV is fooling many people. Stricter radio laws are forcing Radio Nord to stop.
1963: A law requiring 4 weeks of paid leave per year is passed.
1964: Stig Wennerström is sentenced to lifetime prison for his espionage for Soviet.
1965: The first experiments with colour TV starts in the country. The first lawsuit is held against Astra for the damage Taldiomid given to pregnant women had done to their children.

Model year - 1965 or older
Trim year - 1956 - 1965
Engine family year - 1965 or older
Engine variant year - no newer than the trim year of the car

Banned parts:
Racing intakes
Racing tubular headers
Semi slicks

Restricted parts:
Alu or fiberglass bodies not recommended except for sports cars. May result in binning, if you are unsure, ask first.
Lockers are only allowed on 4x4 vehicles.
Magnesium wheels only allowed on very high end sports car (if you are unsure, ask)

Fuel type: Any, but premium might put some cars at a disadvantage.

Emissions/loudness: No emissions restrictions. At least one muffler required.

Safety: No regulations yet, but a car that will kill its passengers in a fender bender has never been a great image booster, not even back then.

At least one pair of headlights required - can have any shape since Sweden never had any sealed beam regulations, and in this era other shapes than round started to appear. White or yellow lenses forward. One pair of extra parking lamps allowed, not required.

Turn signals required front and rear. The exception is that one side mounted turn signal can be accepted, IF the lens is visible from both front and rear. The lens then has to be orange. White or orange turn signals up front, red or orange turn signals in the rear.

At least one pair of taillights and one pair of brakelights. They can be combined in the same fixture. If orange rear turn signals is used, a red fixture with one bulb is OK in the rear, but for red turn signals, at least two bulbs are required (in one or two red fixtures). One or two backup lights optional, not mandatory

Wiper/washers: At least one wiper required. Washers not required.

Mirrors: Not required

License plate: One up front, one in the back. Any shape or (unaltered) size. There are no 50s Swedish plates in the game anyway and in this era you bought a DIY license plate kit on the gas station (sic!) when you got the car, so they could differ a bit in size.

Gas cap: Any placement, didn’t even have to be on the outside of the car in this era so no visible gas cap required.

Tyres: Crossplies or radials, but keep in mind that except for on french cars radials were very rare during this period. Maximum rim diameter 16 inches. Minimum tyre profile 75.

Others: Hard, protruding hood ornaments are banned 1959 and later. To give you a little hint of the rules, this is OK:

Not this:

Model/Trim : SCCR2 - Your name / The name of the car
Family/Variant : SCCR2 - Your name / The name of the engine

DEADLINE: Sunday the 17th of October, 6 PM CET
Before this, I want the car file sent to me via PM, and also a presentation, ad, or similar of the car in this thread.

(Feel free to ask any questions!)


Strange how there’s no judgements on the cars, is it for later?

I am working on the last writeups at the moment, I guess that you will have them tomorrow if I won’t finish them tonight.


Just check out the rules once again, I forgot the laws regarding hood ornaments.

Decided to split the reviews in two…



There is no question about it, some cars have a greater influence on the car culture in a country than others. Sometimes it is hard to find a pattern in why, other times it is obvious. Some cars are classics when they leave the factory, others will take rather strange turns throughout history.

So, at Trafikjournalen, we now have decided to take a look at the most important cars that have shaped the car culture in this country. The ones that have made the biggest impact will also get a special mention for that. It is not a competition per se, but we still think that some cars are more worth mentioning than others. But the roots behind this article series is to do a deep dive into history and try to find out why some vehicles do have a cult status that others doesn’t have.

Let’s start with the years directly after the war, since some of the roots can be deeply rooted…

1950 Schnell 2500/2 @interior

The Schnell 2500/2 could have been a car that just had faded away slowly in our memories. Instead, it got a more or less infamous reputation, that still stays to this day, despite most of the cars being gone forever.

It all looked promising from the start. It was one of the first attempts from Schnell to build their own body instead of leaving it to the coachbuilders. For its era, the design was very contemporary, impressing many people as a first attempt. The car had a nice 2.5 litre 6 cylinder, featuring a primitive form of overhead camshaft technology in an era where many cars still used prewar flathead engines. A power output of 124 hp was not bad for its era, and it was fast, being able to reach 197 km/h.

But, that also overpowered the narrow crossplies and abysmal drum brakes of the era. It should be said that Schnell was by no means more sparsely equipped than other cars from the era there though. But it also was obvious in one way that Schnell was a bit inexperienced in building their own bodies - it could not even keep up with the low safety standards of the era. It didn’t have splinter free glass in the windows - they had the same simple form of glass that you have in the windows of your house. The door locks weren’t any more advanced than the one of your porch door either, only of the single stage type. So, even if only a few cars were sold in the Swedish market it has a quite dark history. Some nasty accidents with the powerful and unsafe 2500/2 actually sparked the traffic safety debate, more or less. Was there a need for speed limits, safer cars, safer roads, safer drivers?

Now, seen in a modern perspective, the question is if the 2500/2 was that much worse than other cars of the era. No matter what, only a handful of cars are said to be remaining and most of them rarely see the light of day anyway. Maybe the bad reputation stays 70 years later.

VERY INFLUENTIAL: 1954 AEKI 100 (@conan )
The Swedish word “lagom” is sometimes seen as laughing stock in other countries. It is unusual to have a dedicated word for “not excessive, just enough”, but sometimes lagom can lead to success. Like with the AEKI 100. The epitome of lagom, the quintessential Swedish made automobile.

When it arrived in 1954, the economy was blooming and people were ready to step up a notch from the most simple automobiles, and the AEKI 100 managed to get everything right. It was by no means cheap - but economical enough. It was not a sports car - but fast enough. It was no barge - but large enough. It was the symbol for status and wealth among middle class families - without being excessive. And everyone and his mother had one in the mid to late 50s.

Fast forward some years, for a teen driver with a fresh license, what’s the natural step? Of course inheriting the old AEKI 100 from your parents. The engine had potential to be tuned, the clean styling was seen as a blank canvas for customizers. And probably about everything that could be done to an AEKI 100 has probably been done too.

You would have thought that the AEKI 100 craze would have faded away in the 70s, but at the exact right time, the movie “The last night with the gang” * appeared in 1973. The 50s was hot again and if you couldn’t get your hands on a 50s yank, the AEKI 100 was a suitable replacement. Chrome wheels, flame paint jobs, even V8 conversions were seen.

The cult factor means that many first time drivers got AEKI 100 cars still in the 90s, but by then prices were rising, and many examples were restored to showroom condition, making them out of reach if your wallet was thin. Ironically, you could still by then see beat up daily driven examples that were refusing to die, roaming the streets like cockroaches.

Was the AEKI 100 the best car ever made? No, but it was just good enough. “Lagom”. And it struck the heart of the Swedes. There are songs written as tributes to it. The main character in one of the most popular comic strips in Sweden drives one. There are numerous examples at any cars & coffee event.

The car had a soul, and mr. Average could identify himself in that soul.
( * = “American Graffiti” reference, the movie had the name “Sista natten med gänget” in Swedish, meaning “The last night with the gang”)

1955 Mons Vertu B (@cake_ape )
If you had a small delivery van in your lineup in the early-mid 50s, you also had customers. The need for them was almost larger than the market could keep up with, and one of the alternatives in the early 50s was the Mons Vertu B. By no means a bad van in itself, but it was on the other hand kinda anonymous in a sea of small delivery vans, it didn’t stand out in any way. And why should it do? It was a pure workhorse, nobody bought it for the sake of standing out from the crowd or being the coolest cat around. And as the work vehicle it was, they were all used up. Rusting into oblivion. After some years all of them were gone, more or less.

It also took a long time for the Vertu B to gain any interest among the vintage car crowd. Form followed function here, it was by no means the most stylish vehicle around. Yet, since the functionalism was not really driven in absurdum, it was not seen as charming for those reasons either, it was just an old van and the memories of them had mostly faded away when 50s cars were gaining any interest among collectors.

So was the Vertu B totally doomed then? Maybe not. Some Vertus have survived, some barn finds have been brought into the daylight, some of them have even been imported, now we are talking about the last 10 years though. All of a sudden, many small businesses saw the Vertus as a chic little rolling billboard. They even got borderline trendy, along with many other forgotten commercial vehicles from the past. So if you think that your ecological sourdough bread will taste better if you can buy it from a little unloved and quirky 50s van, chances are that you will find one, at least if you are in one of the larger cities.

And frankly speaking, chances are that you will have a greater chance there than on a vintage car show.

1955 KAI K40 Premier (@abg7 )

“All cars nowadays look the same”.

Yes, you have heard that many times, but the question is if it is anything new about that at all? When the KAI K40 arrived, it looked like if it as well could have been a badge engineered version of the AEKI 100. The shape and size were nearly identical and some differences in trim were everything that set the design apart - yet the K40 Premier was in some ways a different beast.

On the Swedish market it was kind of aimed against AEKI, and one could easily understand why some buyers opted for a K40 instead. For a slightly higher price, you got a 100 hp six cylinder instead of a 66 hp four, automatic transmission and a more upper class interior. But at the same time it had some drawbacks that did not make it the smash hit that the AEKI was. You did not get the same durability for example, even if that was hard to know when the cars arrived at the market. It was not Swedish - which didn’t necessarily make the car any worse, but still probably felt like an argument for buying an AEKI for many people. But also, it came a year too late. The craze about the AEKI 100 was already around, and what people asked for was not a copycat version with some nicer upholstery bits and a larger engine. That lead to the model - maybe a little bit unfair - being lower down the sales chart all the time.

The K40 buyers were maybe often a special kind of breed too. We’re talking about people that most often were pedantic, taking very well care of their beloved cars. That, combined with the for its era excellent protection against rust, means that many of them survived in good shape while the competitors were more or less disappearing from the roads. Although the value was low for many years - and still is, considering that it doesn’t carry the same kind of “scene tax” as, for example, the AEKI 100. And if you find one, it’s less likely to have been messed with.

So, if you want an entry level ticket to 50s motoring, the K40 is often worth considering - and many people also do. Finally they start appearing on classic car shows, often unrestored and well preserved. One can always wonder - where were they during all those years?

1954 Cabrera 100 deluxe (@Petakabras )

The problem with the Cabrera 100 Deluxe was that it arrived too late. Swedish buyers were already stepping up a notch. A few years earlier, everything with wheels could be sold, especially if it was cheap and economical, but in 1954, that train already had gone, the market was a bit saturated with economy cars. The Cabrera was not any worse than the competition but on the other hand it didn’t offer much over them either. It simply existed, sold in mediocre numbers, was used up and largely forgotten. In the 60s and 70s, they were more or less a forgotten chapter of the automobile history in this country.

Then in the 80s something happened. One of the more popular TV shows in the country started featuring a famous stand up comedian, playing his role character “Sven with the Cabrera”. In every episode, this man was bragging so much about how fast he had been driving with his Cabrera, how it had braked from full speed in just a couple of meters, had been driving on two wheels, and so on, and so on. Yes, you probably remember him.

The Cabrera 100 Deluxe got kind of a cult status after that. The few remaining examples that were. And its owners are probably quite tired of being called “Sven” now, or hearing all his old Cabrera sketches being told as soon as they show up at a car meet.

It was maybe not expected, and the Cabrera 100 didn’t really skyrocket in value, nor will it ever be the vintage vehicle for everyone, but it is interesting how things can take a turn sometimes.

1951 CADE Scutermovil (@Edsel )
A what, you say?

We understand that it may be totally unknown for you - the Cade Scutermovil is among the more obscure vehicles that have ever been driving (albeit barely) around on Swedish roads. It is more a symbol of a complete failure. Let us explain…

When looking at it, it is easy to get the impression that it was inspired by the legendary Willys Jeep, but nothing could be furter from the truth. This vehicle drives on one front wheel. Yes. One. The engine in itself is a 10 hp inline 3 with a displacement just under 300 cc. Brakes? Hmm….let’s just say that they do exist. And that they aren’t THAT much worse compared to the brakes of the Schnell 2500/2. But the difference was that the Scutermovil could barely reach 70 km/h so, well, it is easier to excuse that one.

Equipment? Steering wheel and headlights.

This little spanish joke of a car maybe was the right vehicle in its home country. But in Sweden it turned out to be a massive flop. It was simply too primitive, too sparsely equipped, too small, too slow, already in the early 50s. Most people rather bought a small motorcycle, and we can understand them. It was better at almost everything, and the weather protection were about as bad. And the difference between this and most other microcars was that the Scutermovil had four wheels, not three. “But that’s a good thing?”, you say. It was not. It meant that you could not drive the Scutermovil on a motorcycle license.

The importer pulled the plug after a little more than a handful examples were sold. And to put it this way, a car that was impossible to sell in postwar Sweden, it was doomed, no question about it. And how many cars is known to remain in the country, you may ask?

One. Yes, one. And yet, if you have kids, you may notice that it feels surprisingly familiar.

Yes. That childrens TV show with the little annoying talking car. Of course that’s exactly THAT car. The only remaining Cade Scutermovil in the country.

At least it was good for something.

1954 F&S A-3500 Roadster (@Tez )

Nothing gets more classic than a sleek old British roadster, right? And if you wanted to be a cool cat in 1954, the F&S A-3500 really hit the right spot. With a top speed of almost 220 km/h and a 0-100 time of 9.8 seconds it had downright blazing performance for its era. The reason for this was the 3.5 litre 6-cylinder found under the bonnet, with a power output of 148 hp. Not bad for the 50s, and yet it didn’t feature any large amount of exotic technology. Just good old pushrods.

And among the sports car crowd it was a favourite already as new. As we have already stated, it was among the better performers on the market, but yet it was not overly expensive. It did not cost much more than a KAI K40 in fact. That led to the A-3500 being a surprisingly strong seller in the Swedish market. And as the sports car people was among the first true “automobile enthusiasts”, it could really be said that this was an enthusiast vehicle already when it left the factory. And, of course, it also got a huge following among the motorsports crowd.

Yet, despite having a sane pricing as new, and being sold in quite large numbers, getting an used A-3500 was never a cheap affair, not even in the mid 70s when prices did hit the bottom. They have always been sought after, and it is easy to understand why. Then, the nostalgia craze struck in the 80s, meaning that many cars were restored to factory condition, and values were steadily rising.

Today the A-3500 has its given place among the vintage car crowd, as well as when it comes to historical racing, where it really could be said to be doing the things that it is intended to do.

1953 Schumann A160 Deluxe (@BannedByAndroid )
The 1953 Schumann A160 Deluxe is proof that not everything becomes an instant classic, and that being good is sometimes far from enough to reach that status.

Because when it was presented, it was a surprisingly decent family car. The design was stylish, very modern, even if maybe not much did set it apart from the crowd. Fuel economy was good for the era, performance was adequate, reliability and build quality on a high level. The driving dynamics weren’t the best, but on the other hand, that could be said about many cars from the 50s. It had enough room for a family and was sold at a competitive price. And it sold. And sold and sold and sold, and the buyers were generally satisfied with it.

But as time went on, more modern cars surpassed the Schumann A160 in most areas, naturally. And since Schumann owners seemed to have less of an emotional connection to their vehicles than, for example, owners of the main competitor, the AEKI 100, they simply replaced their cars without too much drama, and the old Schumann became just…old. A cheap used car, and if you said “Schumann A160” in 1969 people would probably have pictured a rusty heap with faded paint, one hubcap remaining and blue smoke from the tailpipe. Not because the quality level was any lower on the A160 than on its main competition, they were actually well built. But 10-15 years without any care takes its toll on any car, and keep in mind that cars got old fast in this era.

Restorers didn’t open their eyes for the Schumann A160 until the 90s, and by then not many of them were left, sourcing spares was also something of a struggle, both a bit surprising actually considering how many of them that were sold. But it has gained a small but dedicated fanbase, some repro parts are actually produced today, the A160 section of the Schumann owners club is alive and kicking like never before, and it is both accepted and appreciated at any vintage car show today.

But where do you have the largest chance of seeing one? If you’re an automotive enthusiast (probably, since you’re reading this) and on Facebook, you already know the answer. In the “Abandoned wrecks in Sweden” FB group. At least once a week someone has found a completely rusted out and stripped A160 in the woods, and the crowd is typing “SAVE IT!!! Not many of them are left!!!” at a rate that probably makes their keyboards glow.

Boy, if they only knew the trouble associated with restoring one in that condition, they would probably be more quiet…

VERY INFLUENTIAL: 1948 AMM Sarek (@AMuteCrypt )
If there is any vehicle that most men (well, above a certain age at least) in this country have a connection to, it is probably the AMM Sarek. And not always out of their own free will…

During World war 2, the Swedish armed forces saw that the Americans had a brilliant idea in their little Willys Jeep. And they also saw the need for a similar vehicle for us Swedes. But they also saw that production in this country would be a great idea. Thus, the contract went to AMM that made the vehicle that later evolved into the Sarek offroader. After the war, civilian production started, and sure, Sareks were sold to various government departments, to farmers, to forestry services, not to mention that there seemed to be a Sarek outside every gas station at least a far bit into the 70s, suited as a light duty tow vehicle as it was. But as the niche vehicle it was, it never quite caught on to private customers.

No, it was the armed forces that kept buying all the Sareks that AMM could even produce for them. And if you did the obligatory military service in the 50s, 60s or 70s, you have probably been riding in or even driving one.

In the 60s and 70s, the Volvo “Puppy” and later the C303 was starting to replace the Sarek for good. That also meant that there was heaps of surplus Sareks for sale, for next to nothing. And then, we were not late to catch the offroad craze that was going on in the states. The Sarek made us do it.

The heaps of Sareks were sold to people lifting them, doing V8 swaps, mounting mud tyres on widened wheels and driving the guts out of them in swamps and mud pits.

Ironically, it might have saved lots of Sareks that otherwise would have been heading for the crusher, but it also means that finding an original one is almost out of the question. Maybe you have to look into the civilian market then. On some small farm in rural Scania where time has stood still for 60 years and it is used as the work vehicle it was intended to be.

But the chances that it is for sale is probably small.

1951 Zerve PS51 (@Restomod )
The PS51 is proof that you should not give things to people that they can’t handle properly. The small and cheap little sedan sold like there was no tomorrow when it was introduced in 1951. The demand for cars, mainly small and economical, was still high. And most of them were quite humble. But there was an exception…

The Zerve PS51 had a 51 hp engine. In a car weighing 720 kg in 1951, that was quite impressive. It also meant that most people had a hard time keeping the foot off the accelerator. Because it literally went like a stink, considering what it was.

Unfortunately that also led to some troubles. Calling the engine “notoriously unreliable” would be unfair, but they could not really cope with abuse and had to be driven with care. Which nobody did. Engines blew up, one after one, and considering the low value of the PS51, and that most people were ready to trade up for larger and more modern cars as the 50s was coming to an end, most of them ended up in the scrapyard. Frankly, the rumours of engine failures did of course lower the second hand values even more.

Another thing to consider is that the roads were very bad back then. Certainly not made for driving like if it was a rallycross competition with a car mostly supposed to be small and light. If the engines kept themself together, the car itself was often in a sad state after some years.

According to restorers, they do work well with modern oils and sane driving. You will more likely encounter one on the backroads than on the highway.

But the speed demons never really lost the grip they had around the PS51. It is quite popular among the historic racing crew. Weighing marginally more than a plastic bag, and with the engine being very tune-able, and also having potential for great driving dynamics for being a 50s RR car, they have quite good track records.

Of course, they are also fully aware that their engines will need overhauling every now and then.

(Flip the page for more reading…)


Pretty good for a tractor company lol. I never considered how quick it was. I was going for a beetle (obviously), but came up with something very different. Thanks for hosting this, can’t wait for the next round.


Do you test them in BeamNG?

i don’t believe so. i don’t think his pc can run beam iirc


continued from last page.

1951 Mara Konyk (@AndiD )
If the AMM Sarek won the heart of the government and the military, the Mara Konyk was actually a greater success among private buyers. And if we try to give it an unbiased view, there are some really good reasons for that, actually. For less money than the AMM, you got a more civilised (well, in comparison at least) and more practical vehicle. It was better at almost everything, but was slightly worse off road and a bit underpowered compared to the Sarek.

Still, it should be noticed that this also was long before the SUV craze. Nobody bought an offroader for any other reason than actually needing it. And without the contracts with the government and the armed forces, the Konyk was never any real threat to the Sarek. But for, as an example, private businesses, the Konyk remained an interesting alternative, and was a steady seller.

What it never got, though, was the intensive afterlife of the Sarek. Sure, there has been Konyks in the offroading community but nowhere near the number of Sareks, and there are probably both pros and cons with that, if we watch it in a pure historic contest today.

Many Sareks survive to this days thanks to the cult surrounding it in the offroading community, but on the other hand, they are generally heavily modified too. Fewer Konyks survive, but when you find one, the chances of it being an unrestored, unmodified barnfind is very much higher than for a Sarek.

And the Konyk absolutely has its fair share of enthusiasts despite the lack of the cult factor. But calling it as influential as the Sarek would be to stretch the truth way too far.

1954 Moravia 850DA “Veverka” (@Maverick74 )
It’s funny how sometimes cars appear at the same time from completely different manufacturers that seem to be carbon copies of each other. The Czech Moravia and the Spanish Cabrera are two good examples. Body shape is fairly similar. Measurements are identical. And most of the stats are in reach of each other. Also, none of them were a downright success in the Swedish market. Steady sellers but they should maybe have arrived a bit earlier.

The 3-cylinder of the Moravia may have felt a bit cheap compared to the 4-banger in the Cabrera but fact is that despite running a bit more agricultural, it was more than able to keep up with the Cabrera performance wise. And both cars carried the RR layout that was so common for small cars back in the day.

But the Moravia had some edges over the Cabrera. It was $500 AMU cheaper. And maybe not as important in the new car showroom, but for its future - it was very well built and reliable for its era and class. That meant that the Moravias had a tendency to survive - neglect and abuse simply could not kill them.

When the owners club was founded in 1973, it was kind of a counter-culture movement filled with self-irony. “I own a Moravia” have never been a prestigious thing to say. But a group of enthusiasts were really willing to save the little car that could. And there were still nice examples rolling around at a time when the competition had been in the junkyards for a long time.

Almost 50 years later, the owners club is as alive and kicking as ever, and is of course as accepted as any other vintage car club. A little more pride, and a little less self-irony than in the 70s though.

VERY INFLUENTIAL: 1946 Tack 20F (@HighOctaneLove )
The Tack 20F is proof that almost anything is possible to sell in a market that is more or less wild west. Because after the war, the first one that could sell you a car would be the first one to cash in on it.

Enter Tack and their terrible 20F.

As a Swedish manufacturer they were among the first to be able to offer cars after the war. And sure, not even the 20F was without its good points. It was relatively cheap, and still offered you a six cylinder engine that gave decent performance. Many people also saw the fastback as stylish and modern, and…

OK. It was really everything that did speak for it. Still, it did sell. Despite huge drawbacks, like the interior with its two rock-hard pergamoid upholstered benches and its floppy rubber floor mats. A single sun visor and a speedometer was more or less the luxuries you got. A heater to survive the Swedish winters? Pfft, forget that. Also, the styling might have been beautiful in the showroom, but trying to mimic the huge American land barges of the era with a car that was smaller than most superminis of today resulted in a terribly cramped interior, that Tack promised would “seat six people”.

Yeah. The dwarves drawn in automobile brochures of the era, maybe.

Still, the Tack sold in huge numbers. At least for a while. Better cars were taking their toll on the market share later on. And another thing that should be noticed - the inline six, especially with the oils used in the 40s, was among the most unreliable engines on the market, even by the pretty low standards of the era.

So, what happened? Every junkyard had a heap of them with blown engines. Every farmer had one or two or twelve behind his barn. They were abandoned at forest roads, at parking lots in the cities, about everywhere.

The story could end there, but fast forward to 1968 now, when drag racing was introduced to this country. The small and light 20F almost begged for a V8 swap to be catapulted 402 metres forward in almost no time. Well, with the standards of the time at least. Especially considering that the original engine was probably blown anyway, and that the rest of the heap was cheap because of that. One of the first dragracing cars in Sweden was the “Wild plum”, a purple Tack 20F gasser that is legendary, but unfortunately was wrecked beyond repair when it crashed on the dragstrip in the early 80s. * But it is far from the only one. It seems like for the first 10 years of drag racing in this country , Tack 20F bodies completely dominated on the strip. Of course, never with its original engine.

They say that all good things will come to an end, and it probably was like that with Tack 20F bodied cars on the dragstrip. Until the late 90s and the nostalgia drag craze that started to arrive. So now many of them are brought back to life again. There has even been a tribute build to “Wild plum”, called the “Insane plum”.

Sometimes history takes strange turns indeed.
( * = Yes, it is a nod to the “Hot tomato” Volvo PV444 and the tribute build “Wild Tomato”)

1955 Franklin HiWay 1500 (@Jaimz68 )

The Franklin HiWay 1500 was very aggressively positioned on the market. Being a notch lower in the hierarchy than cars like the AEKI 100 and Schumann A160, it did honestly not offer much less than they did. Yet, in pricing it was very close to cars like the Moravia 850, Cabrera 100 and Zerve PS51. As you probably already have understood, it led to the model being a huge success on the market. And people actually liked the concept very much. The HiWay gave you an almost unparalleled value for your money, and it is by no means hard to understand why it became such a strong seller.

The popularity never really resulted in any form of “cult”, but the car remained popular for ages to come. Appreciated and fondly remembered as it was, it never really disappeared. People took care of them. And the transition from a daily driver to a classic was quite smooth. And it has always been popular among enthusiasts of british cars, to have as a “backup car” for their, for example, F&S A-3500. In the old days maybe as a daily, nowadays maybe more as the classic car to take out when it is raining or when the whole family has to follow.

So, sure, the popularity may never have “boomed”, on the other hand it also means that the prices of today are at a quite sane level. Ownership is a quite pleasant experience, there is lots of both repro and NOS parts on the market and the community surrounding the vehicle is quite helpful. So it is a both good and common entry ticket to the classic car world.

1946 Courageux Ambronay (@mart1n2005 )

One can say a lot of things about french cars - and people also do. But there has always been a certain charm behind them. And the Courageux Ambronay is really not an exception to that rule - rather the opposite.

After the war there was a need for cars like the Courageux - and it also sold very well. Maybe it was not much of a car in itself - it was very simple. But more important, it had absolutely everything that a car needed to work. In fact, it was very much engineered like a “real car”, but scaled and stripped down. That led to an unbelievably low price of $8050 AMU - and a car that was still completely useful. Yes, it could not be called fast, comfortable, sporty or any other superlative. But who cared? It was a car, it was economical, and when it came to doing car things, it was good enough and did it with huge portions of charm. So, needless to say, the Courageux was one of the really big sellers after the war.

After being used for family transportation, the Courageux got a second life in the 60s. Young intellectuals loved this little anti-hero of a car. It was small, it was french, it was, dare we say, cute? You could see them being driven around with more or less psychedelic patterns brush painted on them, they were the student transport of choice in those days, and who could blame them for their choice? The very economical nature of the car rather made it a very sensible one, actually.

But it was not over after that. In the 70s, when the interest was growing for postwar cars, the Courageux was one of the first ones to gain a following there. The charm and the fond memories many people had of them made it into a true classic, and of course, that is how it still remains. Have you looked into the prices of one lately? We have. And one thing is for sure. The “economical to buy” part has been gone for many years.

But the charm is something that will never go away. And a cat may have nine lives, but a Courageux at least has three, and that’s not bad either.

1955 HSM V8 (@Quneitra )

Do you remember our may 1955 issue? Probably not since we guess most of you readers are too young. But some of you may still remember it. The black HSM V8 that was the poster child of that issue was as impressive back then as it is now, and probably caused many young boy to buy the magazine just to dream a little.

Because a car to dream about, that’s something that sums up the HSM V8 very well. A V8 with overhead camshafts. Sure, 3 litre and 143 hp may sound a bit tame today but it gave blazing performance for its era. A top speed of 223 km/h and a 0-100 time of 9.55 seconds. Quartermile times in the low seventeens. For about twice the price as a KAI K40 though, so for most people it had to stay as a dream forever.

Yet, it has always stayed as an icon despite not many people having experiences with them. So how are they really? Well, for its era it is a dream to drive, but according to the people that have made their dreams into reality, it is a bit more like a nightmare to live with. Build quality and reliability aren’t exactly top notch. Parts can’t really be bought at Biltema. It really takes a dedicated enthusiast to live with one.

Maybe it does not matter anyway. Prices have skyrocketed for every year and getting one of the handful examples in the country is probably out of question.

But as a legend, the HSM V8 will probably stay forever. It will never stop impressing people with its beauty and performance, and it is not hard to see why it became one of the most iconic sports cars of the fifties.

1953 Ardent 422 Deluxe Coupé (@VicVictory )
In 1948, two new brands were introduced to the country when “Skandinaviska automobilimporten” was founded. The mix was actually quite interesting, they had the little Mamayan IP Lily as their entry level alternative, and slightly more upmarket, the American Ardent lineup. And they have stayed true to IP and Ardent as their main brands since that, even if they of course also got Suzume in the 70s. Quite impressive, but what made them so dedicated to their brands?

Well, we doubt that it was the sales figures of the 422 coupé. A compact american was not the most common thing to see in the 50s, but Ardent had it in their 422. And as American as they were, they had of course crammed an inline six under the hood. All of this for only $11200 AMU should maybe have been tempting, but it really wasn’t. It was quite fast for its price, but other than that it was relatively bland. In one way or another, it was kind of a spiritual successor to the Tack 20F, albeit it should be said that the 422 coupé was at least a little better thought out. If one should be completely honest, the 422 deluxe was never notoriously bad, but not much more than the performance contra price did actually speak for it. And the buyers were not really standing in line to get one, the sales figures were kind of a disappointment.

And while the 20F got a second chance on the dragstrip, the Ardent 422 remains a distant, faded memory. Not many of them have been saved, not that many of them were sold from the start either. And to those of you that have done it, we salute you. We don’t know who you are, but we think that all classic cars deserve some love. The Ardent 422 should not be an exception.

1955 Maestrum M32 800 (@voiddoesnotknow )
If the Franklin Hiway was the british hope in the medium sized class, the Maestrum M32 was the hope among the small cars. It should be noticed, though, that it was not priced as aggressively as the Hiway was - fact is that it was only $300 AMU cheaper than the Hiway. Instead, it was a surprisingly refined small car. Easy to drive, easy to live with, remarkably comfortable for its size. As we have stated earlier, many buyers was eager to “trade up” from small economy cars in the mid 50s, but if any car made them change their mind, it was the Maestrum M32. So sales were quite strong indeed.

Of course it still had some of the small car drawbacks. It was far from fast, and not overly roomy either. But it felt “grown up” for being a small car, and it had heaps of personality. Many people also saw lots of charm in the design, maybe not a thing of beauty, but “cute” in some pug kind of way. People loved their M32s, started giving them names, saw them as part of the family more or less. And for the british car enthusiast community, the Maestrum has always been kind of a mascot.

Surprisingly many of them have survived, maybe thanks to that, and they do have a somewhat strong cult following. Prices are steadily high and you will likely find a bunch of them at your next classic car meeting.

1955 Anhultz Mimas II (@Elizipeazie )
There is no doubt that the price was the main selling point of the Mimas II. $7720 AMU was hard to beat. Even more hard to beat considering that you actually got a station wagon for your money, albeit a small one. Other than that, the car was a small, cramped, slow and crude affair. That did not bother the customers, though, that bought everyone that Anhultz could put together. Especially popular among people running private businesses, as the pure workhorse (well, maybe more pony sized…) it was, where bells and whistles did not matter that much.

But something that made the Anhultz different from most of its competitors - the Mimas II withstood the harsh Swedish climate with its surprisingly good rust protection. And it was sturdy and reliable. They were simply unkillable and survived themselves more than once many times.

So, if the Courageux was the chariot for the intellectuals, the Anhultz was the anti status vehicle for the “green wave” movement in the 60s and 70s, that were moving out from the cities and out in the rural areas. Their counter-culture behaviour made the humble Anhultz into some kind of inverted status-symbol. It was THE vehicle to have.

And probably that rumour is still there in the mind of most people, because the Mimas II has kind of a cult status even among non-car people. Or should we call it cult anti-status?

Even if we would like to call every car here a winner in its own, special kind of way (actually they got in here while other cars faded away and became distant memories), we have identified three extra important cars from the postwar era. The AEKI 100, the AMM Sarek and the Tack 20F. Next issue, we are going to look at the golden age between 1956 and 1965. Stay tuned!


i will just treat this as lore for the early Anhultz growth boom

did not expect to be THIS successful

Round 2: FIGHT


Knug, what photo scene did you use? I don’t seem to recognize it.
And thanks for the review!

It’s the parking lot outside of the 2010’s dealership. (:

1 Like

Serves me right for never using that scene :slight_smile:

I was not expecting to be so successful so quickly. I especially love that my car is considered successful despite it’s clear flaws rather than because it’s technically the best… This is what happens in RL car markets after all, hahaha!

Now all I have to do is somehow get lightning to strike twice. :thinking:


ITA Cuter

The 1965 ITA Cuter is an extra-small roadster originally built as a testbed for a new boxer engine that was being considered for the next generation of family sedans. Although the original plan didn’t come into fruition, the Cuter proved to be quite a capable sportscar, weighting less than 800kg and with a 2.2L B4 producing 95hp

The Cuter was the first car that ITA exported to foreign countries, having some success in Europe and Asia. Thanks to it’s size and good power-to-weight ratio, as well as having a safer steel body instead of a fiber glass one, it was overall a solid contestant on rallies.

The recognition that ITA got from this car would later come handy when developing cars for the international market


Wait, is that too early to start?

No it has been open for submissions since yesterday, I didn’t want to force any unnecessary waiting on you if my writeups should have been delayed for some reason.


OK, thanks for the clarification.