LIFE CHANGING VOLVO
This pink Volvo Amazon Custom Convertible by Andy Saunders changed my life in 1983, let me tell you how.
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n early 1983 we, my mother, father, two year older sister and me went on a day trip to the east of the Netherlands. I forgot what the trip was about, but one of the stops would be a car show that my father wanted to check out. It was an typical Dutch indoor car show with some roughly restored Europeana and American cars, plus a swap meet section up against the walls, where my father wanted to look for some books. I was already into cars, so I decided to go along on the trip, and brought my old Minolta camera with me… you never know. When we arrived in Enschede, I saw posters announcing the old-timer Car Show and part of the poster also announced an Custom Car show… Now I got really excited!
We went inside and I spotted where this Custom Car show was held, in the back was a small corner of the building reserved for some “Custom Cars” and “Hot Rods”. Absolutely not the typical US cars I had seen in the magazine, but my blood was still pumping fast. You have to realize that back then there was nearly nothing organized with Custom Cars and Hot Rods in the Netherlands. So when you stumble on to something like this is HUGE for a young kid like myself back then.
Typical Dutch car show held in a Sports Arena, no fancy displays but with a heavy metal fence around the car. But boy did I love this pink Volvo Amazon in 1983.
One car jumped out to me.. a bright pink with scallops Volvo Amazon turned into a convertible leadsled. I was in awe… I had never in my life seen a car that was so beautiful. I never liked pink, but it looked stunning on this car with its bright pearl white and lavender scallops. And it was a Volvo… so it was something I could have too… if I would turn 18 (in the Netherlands you had to be 18 years old to get your drivers license). I could see a lot of posibilities for me in the future. Get met one of those Volvo Amazon’s now and learn how to work on it and have it built into a beautiful Leadsled, just like this Pink one, well perhaps not pink. Thinking back I must have leaned against the metal fence, surrounding the cars, for a long time, day dreaming about all this. I absorbed every little detail on this perfect automobile. When we later left the car show to do other things I was quietly sitting in the back seat of my dad’s car… dreaming of driving in my own white upholstered Volvo Custom.
Back in the early 1980’s when I started my passion for Custom Cars I only had very few magazines that showed some Custom Cars. Mostly US based, and as a kid I could dream about those, but realistic as I was back then I figured by the time I would be old enough to own one of those they would cost way to much money for me to get to the Netherlands. This Volvo Custom drastically changed my thoughts about this. A Volvo could be bought in the Netherlands, A Volvo was a realistic possibility for me to own and drive a Custom Car. Of course my dreams did not come true… I never bought this Volvo to customize, but the day dreams about it where fantastic.
I only took a few photos at this show that day. I was young, did have a camera, but no money to buy film or have it developed, so taking pictures was cut back to the bare minimum. Since I did not have a try-pod or flashlight I did not want the chance of making to many photos that would end up blurry or to dark etc. Of all the photos I took, only this one of the Volvo came out decent. The rest of them were to dark to see anything.
So this photo of this Pink Leadsled is special to me, very special.
A year and a half later in late 1984, I bought a book named Street Machines by Andrew Morland. The main reason I bought the book was because if had four pages devoted to Andy Saunders UK built ’68 Volvo Amazon convertible. This was the first time I could find out a bit more about the car. I knew it was from the UK, but at the show I was unable to find the owner to ask about the car. It turned out that Andy was only 21 when he built this car. Based on a two door sedan, converted into a convertible with custom grille created from a ’57 Vauxhall bumper in custom opening with rounded hood corners and all. And the paint was done in pearl pink with white pearl and lavender pearl scallops. It had a stock but detailed with paint and chrome engine, and according the book it had a white Carson-style top. Later I found out that the car did not have a carson top, but rather an not to well fitting soft top. But you can imagine what all this information did to a kid back then.
I still love Volvo Amazon’s till this very day… and most likely, they always will have a special place in my heart.
More info and resources
- Street Machines, book published by Motorbooks International written by Andrew Morland, ISBN 0-85045-546-4
Contact Rob Radcliffe at King Kustoms for more info on these T-Shirts Email Rob
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