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


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 web site lately. Why?


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

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


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.


1957 Chevrolet

1964 Chrysler 300 Convetible

Photo: Michael Clay Andersen


Photo: Gary Baker


1958 Buick Limited Riviera
Photo: Kris Trexler


1958 Continental Mark III coupe
Photo: Kris Trexler


Plymouth Plaza


1960 Chrysler Imperial


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.


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!


This 1959 DeSoto Sportsman are sporting some aggressive fins.


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


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.


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


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.

Taco Time!

Found: 2006 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner with 12K miles.

2006 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner front qtr sm

Why is there a Japanese vehicle on this mostly American Hot Rod site?

  1. World War II is over.
  2. Because fast or fun cars are made worldwide.
  3. I am the Editor so I do whatever I want.

As an old car guy (yes, that means old guy that like old cars) I have no interest in owning a new car. For work and commuting I have been driving a 2003 Ford Ranger that I bought used and it has served me very well.

2003 Ford Ranger EDGE

With the odometer approaching 140K miles on the Ranger it was time to look around for a suitable replacement truck. I think the current Ford, Dodge and Chevrolet trucks today are just so boring…and common. Non of them offers a sport truck unless you want to shell out 40K for a Dodge 1500 R/T Hemi. I pegged the Toyota Tacoma to be the best choice as it offers the right size and as we all know, they are quality rigs.

Small caveat appeared in the midst of looking for trucks!

However…big however…A quick glance at the calendar made me realize that it is time for a mid life crisis car!! You know, something flashy red with a roaring engine, stick shift and posi-traction. Yeah, I know Posi Traction is a registered trademark of Generous Motors but it sounds so much better than “limited slip”!! Slip what?? Slip on a banana peel??

There are plenty mid-life-crises vehicles to choose from these days but after some reseach a few cars rose to the surface. The Nissan 370Z and it’s sister car, Infiniti Q35/Q37 would be excellent mid life crises vehicles. They offer a powerful and great sounding V6 engines, they can be had with manual transmission and that damn limited slip that I apparently have to have.

I was flipping thru the virtual pages on the great big interweb and I found both nice Tacoma trucks and suitable coupes. By the way, one benefit with virtual pages is that you do not have to spit on your finger in order to move to the next page.

Among some of the Tacoma trucks the X-Runner made it self present. The X-Runner model was a limited production factory hot rod released in 2005 replacing the s-runner. It has a powerful V6, six speed manual transmission AND limited slip!!

There is however an inherent risk in buying a used X-Runner: the kid factor. Most of these were bought by testosterone laden young men that always wanted to explore the extreme limits of everything including the syncros, rev limiter and of course…the limited slip. A bit of a generalization perhaps but those boys also tend to modify factory these rigs and many times not for the better.

2006 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner qtr rear sm

Eventually this 2006 X-Runner popped up on the interweb and I contacted the seller immediately. That was a good thing!

2006 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner wheels miles

One local adult owner since new, non smoker and under 13K miles. It has never seen rain. The black undercarriage and wheel wells are still…black. Not a scratch…anywhere!
It is truly NEW.

This owner changed oil change every year. Yup, that is about every 1000 miles. Yeah, I was thinking the same: give me your old oil!

It killed me to pull it out in the rain but like someone said: it’s just water. So true.

2006 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner interior sm

The original owner even had a floor mat to protect the floor mat!


2006 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner wheels sm

The Bridgestone Potenza 255/45/18 tyres are partially responsible for the 0.90 G rating on the skid pad. When WOT is enjoyed these rubber donuts are screaming for traction but at least the effort is evenly distributed with the help from the limited slip.

The truck also came with much sought after and very collectible TRD hat, TRD watch, car cover…well, truck cover, all paperwork including window sticker, invoice and service record.

2006 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner exhaust sm

Initially I thought to upgrade the exhaust with something with more of a rumble but it turns out that the stock exhaust offers plenty of rumble so I will leave it alone and rumble on. The size of the exhaust pipe is directly related to manliness. This pipe is BIG!

2006 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner emblem elec outlet

The bed is equipped with a 110 volt power outlet and I can’t wait to go camping and hook up a toaster oven and make myself a grilled cheese sandwich!


2006 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner engine sm

The 4.0 liter engine with the purdy plastic engine cover is rated 240 hp and 270 foot pounds of torque. To keep that power to the ground the frame is braced with an X-frame, stiffer and shorter TRD springs, Bilstein shocks and anti roll bars in both ends..

Toyota claims that this 4000 lbs truck can haul from 0-60 mph in 7 seconds. I will be sure to test this.

So there it is: A perfect mid life crises vehicle…with a bed! Haul stuff and haul ass!

2006-Toyota-Tacoma-X-Runner avatar

The “Rolf Coupe” still going strong

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod in Germany

I sold this coupe back in 2010 locally but a year or two later it found itself in Germany where it lives an active life in the hands of Marco and Silvia Wenzel. They are in to American cars of all shapes. I get regular up-dates from Marco and I felt it was time to share.


1931 Ford Model A Crusing

It is used the best way possible: By driving it!…a lot.

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod Germany

The hot rod is a frequent guest at many events in Germany with likeminded guys and gals.

Ford Model A Hot Rod

Staging in at the drags.

1931 Ford Model A Drag RacingHere is Marco ready to abuse it in a drag race. Yes, of course he won!
1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod

The car was sporting black walls when it left the States but now it is back to wide white walls and I think it looks much better.


1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod Finland truck

The hot rod was invited to a Finish Hot Rod show and Marco was quick to oblige, It was tucked in a trailer and off to Finland it went.


1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod Finland

Marco’s hot rod was listed in the show programme the Guest from Germany. That is what “Saksan vieras” means. “PAKKO NÄHDÄ” means don’t miss! So don’t miss the Guest from Germany!


1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod Finland show

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod Finland visitor

One of the show visitors was Mika Kari. Mika lived in Washington state for a year and I met him several times. He did a feature of the car for the Finish magazine Primer at the time. Mika stopped by and visited with Marco. Mika on the left and Marco on the…you get it.

Thanks for sharing your adventures with us, Marco.

Photo: Marco Wenzel

Pacific Northwest Historics Vintage Car Race Day

The best part of this annual historic race event is all the great classic cars that shows up. They had a car corral for several brands and clubs to display their beautiful cars.

Here is a sampling of some that caught your Editor’s eye.

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Jaguar XK-120, 3.4 litre


1953 Jaguar XKC-041, 3.4 litre, 4 speed

IMG_1319 IMG_1320 IMG_1321 IMG_1322 IMG_1323 IMG_1327

So you think Panhard only made bars? Here is a car.

IMG_1328 IMG_1330 IMG_1331

1964 Datsun pickup

IMG_1332 IMG_1333 IMG_1334 IMG_1335 IMG_1336 IMG_1338 IMG_1340 IMG_1341 IMG_1342 IMG_1344 IMG_1347 IMG_1349 IMG_1351

Sleeper of the day. MGB with small block Ford.

IMG_1352 IMG_1353

We like the fact that the owner resisted conventional dual exhaust. Classy!


SNORTHY is a 1956 MGA

IMG_1358 IMG_1362 IMG_1363 IMG_1364 IMG_1365 IMG_1367 IMG_1370 IMG_1371 IMG_1372 IMG_1373 IMG_1376

Volvo 444

IMG_1377 IMG_1378

Volvo 122S

IMG_1380 IMG_1382

Some folks know how to pit: Huge Kenworth with monster trailer, Cadillac Biarritz convertible for pit car, matching scooter and six white table cloth tables for your crew and friends to dine at. It’s a rough life.

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