Monday, August 31, 2009

Where Elvis is still king

Trixie

1959 Buick Invicta

1956 DeSoto

I guess I should explain a little about the subculture known as raggare (greasers or cruisers), in Sweden. It is people that love American cars from 1950s and 1960s. And everything else American from that era. Although there are of course also many raggare that drives a Swedish Volvo Amazon. Their preferred choice of music is rockabilly, and obviously Elvis Presley is the king. Every weekend they dress up and go for a cruise around their town. Or if it is summer they will drive to one of the big meets, like this one in Handen on Saturday. Raggare has been around since the 1950s. Back then it was more gang oriented, with fights between troublemakers from different cities and regions. These days everyone knows each other and the meetings are often big street festivals where you will find both the young and old as well as many families. I didn't count all the cars I saw at Vegabaren, it must have been a few hundred. The place was filled with Chevrolet Bel Airs, Crown Victorias, Thunderbird and De Soto Fireflites to name but a few. And the traffic came to a standstill every ten minutes or so, when someone decided it was his time to do a burn out! I have read somewhere that we import around 5000 classic cars from the US every year, and that there are now more restored 1950s cars in Sweden than in the US! More classic cars and people in the coming days.

16 comments:

Jacob said...

The third photo, the DeSoto. My dad bought a new one in the late 1940s...picked it up at the factory in Detroit.

While in Detroit his wallet was stolen.

Somehow he got the car without ID. Drove all the way to Los Angeles with no ID, no driver's license. His uncle in Kansas lent him enough cash to make the trip.

It was a beautiful car, white with maroon top. I loved it! All that chrome!

Memories. Thanks Steffe!

Birdman said...

Love these old cars. And you are correct! I might like the Greaser Girl(in white) too! hahahaha

brattcat said...

These are really BEAUTIFUL, Steffe. And I love that the event has transformed from gang slugouts into this big friendly festival.

Leif Hagen said...

How about a foto of Steffe Meister zipping down the street in one of those old cars?! You could put on your Elvis suit! Great classic snaps!

Yoork said...

Oh! That first car is so sweet it makes my teeth hurt! Perfect for a "pink lady."

Thanks for explaining what a "Greaser" is. Or, raggare rather. They do this every weekend? Quite a cult!

Olivier said...

je suis dans un rêve, elles sont magnifiques, j'adore...
I am in a dream, they are splendid, I love...

Don and Krise said...

Excellent reporting Steffe. I make my living around classic cars, and you have shown some pretty nice examples. The Desoto and the Buick Invicta especially. Keep on showing us more.

Gunn White said...

Barbie would have gone for the first one! :-)
Nice photos!:-)

John said...

What great cars; they really evoke the idea of the 50s & 60s, the heyday of damned big chrome bumpers etc. Great

Lois said...

They are all great cars, but I do like "Trixie" the best. It's probably because it's pink!

Lachezar said...

I don't really like Elvis that much but these cars I do love! Great images! Thanks for visiting and a big Cheers!

Teresa Bitler said...

Love the old cars. I went to the Barrett Jackson Car Auction in Scottsdale last January and had a great time taking photographs all afternoon. You've inspired me to go through those photos and see if there's one worth posting.

B SQUARED said...

Gotta love the "land Yachts."

Jimmy Seville said...

I love the classic Elvis time cars and like to save their photos that reminds me of that golden era of photo canvas

Amy said...

woah! gotta love those old cars *drool*

Frank said...

Love your photos of the meet and cars. I had no idea that as many as 5,000 of our old cars were going over there. That is amazing. I look out to my driveway and there's a 560SEC and a Volvo for my wife. (I have owned everything at one time or another: 1957 Thunderbird, 1971 Eldorado, 1966 Chevrolet Impala SS Convertible, etc., - love cars!!! - but more and more Americans are NOT buying American-made cars anymore. Europe and Japan now rule. I am so glad to see your cruisers love our 50s-60s cars. GREAT!