Jan-Olof “Jolo” Olsson 1958-2016

I met Jolo in school on the 9th grade in a small town called Tranemo in Sweden. He was into mopeds and all things mechanical just like myself. Once we became old enough to drive cars we focused on American cars. I drove a 1957 Chevrolet, Jolo drove his hot rodded Chevelle. We cruised our cars (Swedish Graffiti) as often as we could afford fuel and went to car shows together.

jolo-in-america

I moved to USA in 1982 but I stayed in touch with the old gang. Jolo and our friend Claes came over to America to visit in the early eighties. Here he is stylin’ next to a Chevrolet Impala.

They stayed at my house and when I came home from work they were sitting on the lawn by the street. I asked them why?
The answer was: “We are listening to V8 cars”

detroit-locker

Being all about cars, they visited several wrecking yards and they came home with several treasures. One of the finds were a Ford Detroit Locker third member. They built a cage in wood and added a handle so they could take it on the plane as carry on!! Those were the days!

claes-and-jolo

Since they are Chevy guys they were not pleased with this Ford part, hense the “holding your nose” pose. Note era correct clog footwear! (Jolo right)

I went back to Sweden this summer and met with Jolo. Jolo opened up his home and we spent the whole night talking about cars and hot rods.

1964 Ford Galaxie

The next day we went to the Wheels & Wings show in Falkenberg in his beautiful big block 4 speed 1964 Ford Galaxie. Here he is backing out of the driveway with nothing but a big grin on his face.

Crusing Sweden 2016

We spent the whole night cruising the town with Jolo and my friends Roland and Claes. It was like 35 years never happened! Bonus: My sister and her son came down to Falkenberg as well and we all had a great time.

Jolo left us very suddenly while working in his car shop. Claes was there and tried to revive him but Jolo had moved on to the big muscle car place in heaven.

jolo-in-car

Jolo, you will be missed! RIP.

 

Swindler’s 17th annual Poker Run

poker-run-logo

So…it was that time again…time for the 17th annual World Famous Swindler’s Poker Run.

 

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With fuel tank full of decomposed dinosaurs and high expectations we started at the usual spot: Conway.

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Since I am hot-rod-less currently (horrible situation!) I was able to get a ride in this pile. The driver, my friend Chris insisted that the 327 small block should be approaching 6000 rpm before shifting to another gear. OK with me.

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Conway is a nice sleepy town with lot of history and lends itself to a great back drop for old cars.

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The surprise of the day was this 60’s style 1930 Ford Model A Sedan hot rod belonging to Mike Thompson. It was powered by a diesel! Why not, it’s a driver. The 4BT engine offers 265 ft lbs of torque at 1700 rpm! In other words, you shift at 2K !

 

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1932-ford-on-the-road

Traffic was really bad, old cars everywhere!

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Co is my Dog Pilot?? Hot Dog is my Pilot? Whatever…

 

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The Pacific North West is rather scenic. With the Puget Sound as a back drop, we stopped for a break along the shore.

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1932 Ford 3W coupe by the sea.

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Riviera by the sea…and a sign.

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Hot rods by the sea

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Refrigerator truck by the sea.

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Sam’s most excellent shoes box rollingin style.

 

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Model A Hot Rod truck by the sea.

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Rich’s 1957 Chevrolet truck.

 

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They don’t make hood ornaments like this anymore…well, they don’t make hood ornaments at all these days.

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I think they call this patina.

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No patina here…super nice 1940 Ford.

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Cool sedan.

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The day was ended at Paul’s upholstery shop for some show and tell. Great day.

Mellanspel

“Mellanspel” is Swedish and directly translates to “Middle Play” as in something you would do in between. I am in the midst of a full on rotisserie restoration of a 1961 Volvo P1800. Doing a big restoration like this sometimes requires some “mellanspel” to keep your sanity.

I took a break from riding when I had back surgery but now when I am doing OK I decided to get back in to riding again. A world famous motorcycle philosopher once said: Four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul”

I picked up a very nice original BMW R60/5 and it has been a great joy to be back on two wheels. Riding the R60 for a while I have come to appreciate the simplicity and the solid ride on these bikes. At the same time I got bitten by the cafe racer bug but cutting up this virgin R60 is not an option, besides, if I am going to race from cafe to cafe I need more powaa!!

So what to do?? A Mellanspel Project!

1977-bmw-r100-slash-7-motorad

So here is the “Mellanspel” project. A 1977 R100 bought from the 83 year old original owner. Needless to say, he did not worry about cosmetics but he changed oil every year in the 75K it has traveled. Runs strong.

1977-bmw-r100-slash-7-motorad-busy-rear

This must be the ugliest motorcycle rear that I have ever seen. Originally I figure I would ride it for a while just to get to know it but I can’t see myself riding around with all those “things” so I decided to at least strip the bike of anything not essential. You know, the old race trick: remove anything not needed to run.

1977-bmw-r100-slash-7-motorad-ugly-fairing

If you look up “ugly fairing” in the dictionary there will be a picture of this.

1977-bmw-r100-slash-7-motorad-naked-bike

Just removing all this junk it looks like a motorcycle again.

1977-bmw-r100-slash-7-motorad-chopping

This will probably get me banned from the BMW club but less is more. This is just a quicky job, the whole bike needs to be properly torn down and build right but it’s kinda fun to hack away a little.

1977-bmw-r100-slash-7-motorad-farkels

Pretty good pile of farkels.

1977-bmw-r100-slash-7-motorad-naked-and-better

I know, this is NOT a cafe racer yet but after shredding close to 100 lbs it sure looks better and should scoot along just fine. I also replaced the handlebars with a shorter version for an all business look. It rides great and now I can spend a month or so getting to know it before I tear it down.

1977-bmw-r100-slash-7-motorad-on-lift

Ergonomics Galore!

With a 25% off coupon this motorcycle lift came to $322 from that tool company. Hell, I could not get the materials to build one myself for that. What a back saver.

This should be a fun winter project. Zoom-Zoom!

Crusing Falkenberg, Sweden 2016

So…if you go to any car show in the US you will notice the complete lack of cars with fins. You know, pretty much anything made in America between 1957 and 1961.

1958 DeSoto

1958 DeSoto

Sure, there is the ever popular 1957 Chevrolet but other than that, fins cars are hard to find. You will see plenty of sixties cars and of course stockers and hot rods from the thirties.

1958 Dodge convertible

1958 Dodge convertible

So where did they all go?? The answer is…Sweden! Ever since the early seventies, the Swedes have had an insatiable appetite for the skyward rear ends and they have been importing anything with fins.

At one point in the seventies, the Swedish import harbor looked like a Sears parking lot in 1961.

The larger the fin, the more popular.

1959 Dodge

Anything Mopar is probably is probably on top of the list like this 1959 Dodge.

1959 Cadillac

Second on the list would probably be the 1959 Cadillac.  These bullet tail light equipped cars have been displayed in Swedish motor magazines ad nausea.

1958 Cadillac convertible

1958 Cadillac Convertible

1958 Dodge convertible

1958 Dodge Convertible

1958 Dodge Custom Royale

1958 Dodge Custom Royale

Another mind blowing event in Sweden’s car world is…cruising. So what, you say? We cruise here in the States don’t we? Yeah, we have the Woodward cruise and similar event but in Sweden the art of cruising is perfected.

1961 chrysler

1961 Chrysler

1963 Chrysler Imperial Convertible

1963 Chrysler Imperial Convertible. At 4840 lbs or 2400 kg for your metric dudes this car is not a lightweight. A 413 cu/inch V8 helps motivate this rare car only made in 531 examples.

1964 Ford Galaxie

My ride to the event: 1964 Ford Galaxie with a hot bog block and Tremec five speed. Could be worse.

1964 Ford Galaxie wrenching

Unlike today’s “solid state” cars, when you have a car with both carburetor AND distributor there will be some tuning and adjustments. In this case one of the plugs gummed up offering us a 7 cylinder ride. It was fixed quickly.

1969 Camaro wrenching

Then it was the Camaro’s turn. The tight fit in the engine compartment caused the firewall to push off one of the ignition wires resulting in another 7 cylinder car! Well, that was fixed as well and off we went.

When your humble editor lived in Sweden in the seventies I used to hang out with some guys that drove American cars. Yup, that is about forty years ago.  Then they all left the American cars behind and started families.  Now the kids are grown and it’s once again time to get behind the wheel of some Detroit iron.

The Gang in Sweden

From the left we have Claes and his son in law,  Roland and Jolo.

Wheels and Wings Falkenberg Sweden

It is hard to grasp the size of this meeting as the camera lens can not capture it all.

With a huge meeting like this, the local city gives up it’s street to organized cruising. Alcohol plays a large roll in cruising and in Sweden it is allowed to be consumed inside the car.  However,  the written (and unwritten) rule is that the driver never touch the stuff.

Crusing Sweden 2016

At this point, my mode of transportation had changed to a 1966 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible. This offers a 360 degree view of the cruising.

As the strong European beer and booze get consumed the passengers and spectators become more rowdy as the evening progresses. It goes on way in to the early morning.

Crusing Sweden 2016 Falkenberg

The whole town is shut down and the locals enjoy classic cars cruising all night long.

I could not think of a better way to spend time with my old cruising buddies. Good times, good times indeed!

1971 BMW R60/5 motorcycle

I always loved the look of vintage BMW motorcycles and their engines. I figured I would build a custom BMW bike at some point.

1971 BMW R60 motorcycle side

Just to see what’s out there, I clicked on motorcycles on that local interweb classified page. One should never click in classifieds that may contain your dream ride but there it was…a 1971 R60/5 and yes, it followed me home. What can I say!

As an original unmolested bike it would be a shame to tear it apart to build a custom. I think this bike should remain pretty much stock and enjoyed as it is.

1971 BMW R60 motorcycle logo

The R60/5 was produced between 1970-1973. The 599cc engine was rated at 46hp @ 6,600rpm and could move the 440 lbs. bike to a top speed of 102mph.

Prior to the R60/5 the BMW motorcycles was rather sluggish and boring.

BMW stole Hans-Günther von der Marwitz from Porsche and that was a good thing as his first job was to design a new bike…this one.

The new design called for an improved engine. The engine now uses a chain driver cam shaft and the connecting rods came from the 2.8-liter 6-cylinder car engine. The electrical system was upgraded with a 12-volt alternator and electric starter.

The new tubular frame was lightweight and 7.3-inch drum brakes were responsible for the stopping part. Another brilliant design solution by Hans-Günther (yeah, I feel like I am on a first name basis with this dude) was that the drive shaft also served as part of the swing arm.

 

1971 BMW R60 motorcycle

The suitcases…ahem, the saddle bags are like new, not a scratch.

 

1971 BMW R60 motorcycle saddle bags

The seat is perfect as well.

 

1971 BMW R60 motorcycle original keys

It came with original keys for the saddle bags and the seat lock.

 

1971 BMW R60 motorcycle bike cover

Bike cover…then again, why would you want to cover this beauty? I can just sit and look at it!

 

1971 BMW R60 motorcycle Mikunicarb

The previous owner just added these Mikuni carbs. The work well so I will just leave them. I did get the original Bing carbs with the bike.

 

1971 BMW R60 motorcycle Tools

A full set of the original tools was found under the lockable seat.

 

1971 BMW R60 motorcycle manuals

Repair manual and the original owner’s manual complete with previous owner’s handwritten notes.

 

1971 BMW R60 motorcycle headlight chrome

I am a firm believer in “less is more” so I think this chrome bar need to go. I like chrome and cool accessories as much as the next guy but these vintage BMW bikes bring out the practical utilitarian in me.

 

1971 BMW R60 motorcycle lights

More “take off” stuff. These LED auxiliary lights are brighter than the stock head light but they don’t look right on this bike. So off they go. Maybe they get recycled as back up lights on my truck or something.

 

1971 BMW R60 motorcycle take offs

BMW R60 diet:

None of this is needed to ride this bike and it looks better and cleaner as well.

 

1971 BMW R60 motorcycle headlight yellow bulb

Do like the French…use a condom…safety first you know! This cover makes the white H4 bulb emit…you guessed it…Yellow light!  Looks great on a black bike.

 

1971 BMW R60 motorcycle headlight yellow

Without the head light bar. Looks cleaner.

 

1971 BMW R60 motorcycle mirror

The bar end mirrors did not look era correct so they had to go in favor of these perfect stock units.

 

1971 BMW R60 motorcycle rear shocks

Sexy! The new rear shocks came delivered in red fishnet stockings. This are IKON brand and they have both adjustable pre load settings and rebound. I added for the top cover as that makes them look like a factory part.

 

1971 BMW R60 motorcycle top

There it is. Lighter, cleaner and meaner as in pure motorcycle.It will be a great summer.

Bellevue Ford Meet 2016

With sunny and 80 degree weather I was looking forward to a full parking lot of vintage Fords mixed with other classics. That did not happened.

It is pretty clear that there is a generation shift going on. This very established meet get smaller for every year that goes by.

1932 Ford Tudor original

I hate to say it but the think the ’32 Ford generation is dying off and it is being replaced with  something else like muscle cars. Everybody want to drive what they drove in high school. Well, anyone that drove a thirties car in high school is pretty old by now.

Having said that, there were some nice cars to check out:

2016 Ford Meet Ford Coupe

This owner of this1936 Ford encurages passerby folks to help peel off the old red paint. Maybe one day it will be all black again.

 

2016 Ford Meet Ford hot rod rear

A few nice hot rods were present like this cool fenderless and radically chopped 1933 Ford coupe.

 

2016 Ford Meet Ford hot rod front

Looks good coming or going.

 

2016 Ford Meet 1954 Ford convertible

1954 Ford convertible. How to cruise in style.

 

2016 Ford Meet 1954 Ford convertible emblem

Yup, they don’t make emblems like they used to!

 

2016 Ford Meet Buick Riviera

Buick Riviera cruising by…one of the best looking Buicks…evar!

 

2016 Ford Meet 1954 Ford wagon

I don’t normally like stationwagons but this makes me want one!

 

2016 Ford Meet Thunderbird

How refreshing! A well used un-restored 1955 T-bird. This car had a nice rebuilt engine but the owner had resisted the typical restoration. The car is very straight but shows signs of years of use.

 

2016 Ford Meet 1955 Thunderbird engine

It is clear that the owner freshened up the engine and we approve!

 

1964 Ford Fairlane

I guess it’s been a while but I just realized how small the 1964 Ford Fairlane is.  The car is just right if you ask me.

 

1931 Ford Roadster hot rod front

Doug Grande’s 1930 Ford Roadster hot rod.

 

1931 Ford Roadster hot rod

1931 Ford Roadster hot rod interior

1930 Ford hot rod interior.

1931 Ford Roadster hot rod rear detail

1930 Ford Hot Rod rear detail.

 

2016 Ford Meet 1936 Ford truck

1936 Ford truck

 

1963 Ford Galaxie convertible

Let’s round this report off with a very nice 1963 Ford Galaxie convertible.

Toyota X-Runner up-date

“Körglädje”

This Swedish word translates roughly to “fun-to-drive” sort of.

2006 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner front qtr sm

This car…ahem…truck is probably the most fun-to-drive car…truck I have even owned.

It is not the most powerful vehicle but it has wonderful low end feel-in-your-spine torque and that is perfect around town. It pulls well below two thousand RPM and the fun really starts around three grand. The six speed transmission have been the subject of mixed reviews so I was not sure what to expect. At first I was rather irritated with the rev-hang but that is of course not the transmissions fault. It took me a good month to really get along with this trans and now I can drive it as smooth or aggressive as I feel like. I would like to shorten the throws a bit and there are several kits that can offer a fix.

Once I got along with the transmission I could concentrate on slinging the truck through corners and oh boy what fun. However, one small issue remained:

“Spåriga däck”

These Swedish words translates roughly to “Tracky tires”

The problem was those stock Bridgestone Potenza tires. More like im-Potenza! They were old and developed a flat spot from just sitting overnight and the truck had a lot of road noise. The im-Potenzas were also extremely sensitive to every little groove in the road.

2006 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner bed Goodyear
I opted for the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetrical 255/45/18 rubber donuts. They are definitely quieter and they have good road feel. Also, the “tracky tire” problem is also gone. Now I can have one steady hand on the directional devise and the other on the RPM selector!

 

2006 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner clen wheel

Here you can see how incredibly clean this truck is. The previous adult owner put 12K miles on it in ten years! It had never seen rain.

 

2006 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner bed cover

I added a bed cover. It is soft vinyl but it is stretched well with internal springs making it look like a hard cover but it rolls up nicely behind the cab when you find that 1947 knucklehead at a garage sale!

Next would be to add a stereo with Bluetooth and aux for that streaming experience, a cold induction and a short shift kit.

All is quiet on the Western front

So…not a lot of action on ClassicRoad.com web site lately. Why?

1961-Volvo-Jensen-P1800-ready-to-go

Well, your humble Editor have been sidetracked by a Euro car so I have been posting on VintageSwedishCars.com

I am restoring a 1961 Volvo P1800. It is a very early car with vin number 423.

I keep ClassicRoad up as I have the Model A build on here and other articles. As I get back in to more American iron there will be postings on ClassicRoad again.

 

Finville, USA

Welcome to: Finville, USA

“A place where steel sharks are still lurking, flanked by rocket outlets and chrome”

  1960 Plymouth1960 Plymouth

Photo (and owner)  Jon Radue from Wisconsin, USA

stude tailight

Fins doesn’t have to be stock to be enjoyed.

Steve Gould Colorado Springs, CO sent us this picture of this custom truck.

1960 Tbird

1960 T-bird

Photo: Casey Tarp

Fleetwood in The Rain

1960 Fleetwood in the rain

Photo: Wayne Liles from Asheville N.C.

1961 Cadillac fin aiming for the sky...

1961 Cadillac fin aiming for the sky…

Photo: Heine Hansen

60impala

Jim from Canada sent us this shot of his 1960 Impala:

wing caddy

1960 Cadillac

Lloyd , Cindy and Damiën  from the Netherlands sent us this photo.

57chev

1957 Chevrolet

64ch300
1964 Chrysler 300 Convetible

Photo: Michael Clay Andersen

Dodge

Photo: Gary Baker

58limriv

1958 Buick Limited Riviera
Photo: Kris Trexler

58mark

1958 Continental Mark III coupe
Photo: Kris Trexler

plaza

Plymouth Plaza

imperial

1960 Chrysler Imperial

1960ford

1960 Ford

1960 buick

The fins on the 1960 Buick became somewhat more sedate than the ’59 Delta wings, but they are very classy. This photo came from the owner of this 1960 Buick LeSabre Convertible, Denis Lachapelle from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

58ford

This 58 Ford Fairlane 500 is looking awesome at this angle.

Photo: Charlie Barone

1959 Dodge

Very few fin-cars can compete with the rocket outlets and chrome of the ’59 Dodge. Is this the ultimate set of fins??

1959 chevrolet

The gull-wing fins of the 1959 Chevrolet has always been a favorite.

1964 cad

The Cadillac fins got smaller for every year. This 1964 Cadillac shows what’s left. Check out the reflection in the paint, a 1963 Corvette split-window!

desoto

This 1959 DeSoto Sportsman are sporting some aggressive fins.

58century

58 Buick offered some very massive fins, as on this Century.

57olds

This 1957 Olds remind you how much the designers were inspired by space design.

1959 Lincoln

Ok, these are rather modest fins for the late 1950’s…However, this 1959 Lincoln convertible is sporting a very massive rear treatment, with acres of chrome.

59cad

The 59 Cadillac is probably the most recognized fins in the world. And yes, they are still cool!

59electra

The 1959 Buick fins were called “Delta Wings”, as shown on this Electra, in a rare rose color.

60cadThe 1960 Cadillac is sporting smaller and more restrained fins. Many folks thinks the ’60 Cadillac is a better looking car than the ’59. That discussion will go on until the world ends or internet stops.