August 13, 2014

2014 A-Bombers Road-trip part 2


In 2007 my wife organized my best birthday gift ever… a trip to the A-Bombers show in Sweden. In 2014 my good friends Palle Johansen and Tim Kirkegaard thought they would try and top this gift. They invited me to join them on their trip to the A-Bombers show in their ’39 and ’47 Custom Cars with tear drop trailers! This is Part 2 of the A-Bombers Road-trip story.



ts Thursday morning July 31, 2014, we have arrived at the A-Bombers Old Style Weekend show in Backamo, nearby Udevalla in Sweden. The day before I had left my home in the Northern part of the Netherlands and drove to my friend Palle Johansen in Assens, Denmark. From there we took Palle’s 1947 Cadillac Custom Car with matching 1947 teardrop trailer and drove to Frederikshavn in north Denmark. On our way Lars Friborg joined us driving Palle’s 1951 Mercury, Lars Kjær driving his 1936 Ford Coupe and Tim kirkegaard driving his 1939 Mercury with passenger Tore Vogh. Check out part one of this trip.
CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-01We had made it to the camp-site. Wolf’s SMV trailer is all the way to the left, followed with Tim’s teardrop with matching old tent, the red and white trailer is Stefan’s and the other SMV traler in white and yellow is Benny’s, a Custom guy belonging to the Hammers club. Tim’s Merc and Palle’s Caddy are parked here with Wolf’s 51 Merc and Stefan’s ’48 Buick.


When we arrived at the Backamo Old Style Weekend location early Thursday morning we were welcomed by Stefan Elebrink (’48 Buick). He had spend the night at the campsite and “guarded” the Customs spot on the capsite together with our friend Wolf. Wolf had brought his nice old SMV trailer, and Stefan had borrowed another nice old trailer to sleep in. We put Tim’s and Palle’s teardrop trailers on each side of Wolf’s SMV trailer, to make a nice set and got some water on the fire, in the small kitchen in back of Tim’s trailer, for some much needed coffee. We had spend the night on the ferry-boat, and there was no real comfortable chairs to sleep on, so we where all kind of tired.

It was really great to meet Stefan, we had spend a lot of time on the email discussing several Digital Restyling projects on his ’48 Buick, but we had never met before. After having some coffee and unpacking some of the stuff, we wandered around the camp site a bit. All the A-Bomber members had also spend the night there in their special VIP building, which is located next to the section we stayed at. We checked out their cars talked a little here and there, and then it was time to check out the Line-Up location Wolf and Stefan had prepped for this year’s Custom Car line-up. The weather was perfect, a bit windy, but sunny and a nice temperature, absolutely perfect. We had received a phone call from the two Larses who where now on the ferry to Sweden in the ’51 Mercury. We all looked forward to be reunited, and especially me, since my tent and some other belongings were packed in the ’51 Merc.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-25Early Thursday morning, the A-Bombers staff cars parked on an otherwise still empty camp-site.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-04The camp-site is located next to this wonderful lake.


Thursday is not an official Old Style Weekend day, but the campsite is open, and when we got back, for a little trip, more cars and people had arrived. It was really great to see the campsite fill up with great looking cars, and nice people. Some I recognized from 2007, others from Facebook, or the CCC. We were at the gate looking at the cars checking in, when Andreas Åberg arived in his 1950 Ford Custom. Andreas was another guy I had emailed a lot with about his New Panoramic Ford, but I had never met him in person. I knew he was going to park with us at the Customs section, so hurried over to shake hands and check out his car in person. Wow, what a nice guy, and what a fantastic Custom. I spend many hours looking over every little detail on that car. There is so much work done on the body to make it look at its very best.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-05Andreas Åberg ariving with his amazing New Panoramic Ford. Adreas built this near clone of the early 1950’s Barris/Cerny built Buster Litton Ford and included a lot of his own refinements to improve on the design of the original Custom.


In the meantime Lars and Lars had arrived in the ’51 merc, and I put up my vintage tent, one I already had when I was a little boy of 12 years old. Later that day Andreas took me for a a ride in his car to go do some shopping with the others. We needed to get some supplies, and Palle had offered to cook a nice birthday dinner for me… and the rest of the gang. Due to the lack of sleep I had forgotten it was actually my birthday that day. It was an real pleasure to sit down in the New Panoramic Ford and see the amazing attention for details Andreas put into this car, inside and out. The seating position was quite different than what I was used to for the last day and a half in Palle’s ’47 Cadillac. I have to admit that the Cadillac does drive a lot more comfortable than the Ford… especially the seating is far more superior in the Cadillac which is really comfortable and soft, while the ford interior looks very nice, the seats are much stiffer. I got used to it fast though and enjoyed every minute in the car talking with Andreas about his car and all kinds of other things.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-29The guys doing shopping for the birthday dinner.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-02New cars arrived at the camp-site center location.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-03We took Palle’s ’47 Cadillac and Wolf’s ’51 Mercury to check out the location(s) for this years Custom Car Line-Up photo-shoot.


When we drove to the village to do some shopping, Lars called to let us know the ’51 Merc was having problems again. It turned out to be a bold on the alternator getting loose all the time. This caused the alternator to loosen up and the belt starting to slip badly. Eventually two guys went with Wolf to a local garage, where a friend worked, and there they modified the bold in such a way it would fix the problem. Back at the campsite Palle made a wonderful diner for all of us, and for desert the guys surprised me with an amazing cake they had ordered from a local bakery. I could not stop smiling.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-06Lars having problems with a loose alternator bold and slipping belt. Soon after this photo was taken the bolt was removed and modified at a local garage to fix the problem.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-07Palle (and the other guys) preparing the groceries for perfect diner.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-08The birthday cake they had ordered… it was gooooood!


That night we all went to bed a bit early… to make up a bit for the lack of sleep the night before, knowing the next couple of days were going to be very busy and long. The next day, Friday, was the first of the official Old Style Weekend days. We took it easy in the morning walking around to check out the new arrivals, and decided to go on a nice little trip at the end of the morning. We all washed the cars and off we went to a trip to the West-Coast of Sweden… to see the ocean.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-10The trip we took on Friday afternoon. The green dot on the bottom right side is the A-Bombers camp-site.



CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-09Filling up the cars with gas before the trip. Wolf had found out over the years that V-Power from Shell worked the best with his Flathead powered ’51 Mercury. So thats what we all used while in Sweden.


I had never really been to this part of the country other than close to the A-Bombers camp site. The scenery was breathtakingly beautiful. And the closer we got to the coast the more rocks and the rougher the terrain. There is something really special about driving together with 6 amazing period looking customs. Most of the time Palle and me were the last car in the row, and it was just amazing to see all these rolling sculptured float over the curvy Swedish roads, see their reflections in windows and watch people turn their heads, put on a huge smile and start waving, pointing their fingers or put their thumbs up. There is just nothing that can compare to see these great looking Custom Cars driving on the road in front of you.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-11On the road, and looking good.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-12Stefan and Ulrika crossing the bridge close to Uddevalla, Lars drives Palle’s ’51 Mercury in front of them.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-14We would drive about the same speed as the big trucks on the four lane high ways. Its great to see Stefan’s 48 Buick in motion. A chop and new grille are planned for the next season.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-15This was my favorite sight. All custom cars lined up on the curvy smaller country side roads.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-16And the extra bonus came at the stop sign’s when the cars got close again and the engines could be heard as well.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-17More rocks, trees, nice houses and the wonderful shape of Tim’s ’39 Mercury.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-18We now had  gotten close to the ocean, the water in this picture is actually the ocean with some small rock islands behind it.


Last year Palle had major heating problems when he drove the Caddy to the A-Bombers show from Denmark to Sweden, even so much it had to be trailered back home. But after the radiator was cleaned and other issues fixed the car had been driven flawlessly for a few weeks before the show. The trip from Denmark to Sweden the day before showed perfect engine temps, but somehow the engine was running hot again during this road-trip. We could not figure out what was going on. When Palle shut the engine off for a few seconds while driving, it would cool down real fast, after it had just been marked as cooking. Later Palle discovered when he would put the lights on, while driving, there was no heating problem at all. So more than likely there was no real engine heating problem at all, just an electrical problem, or at least an indication problem. It was a huge relieve, to find out there was no real engine heating problem, since we had now been about an hour and half from our camp-site. After a nice long drive we arrived at Kungshamn a small harbor village. Here we all ate a nice burger and looked at some of the boats in the harbor.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-19Driving the caravan of period Customs thru some of the small wonderful villages on the coastline, sure got the attention of the locals and tourists. Perhaps some of these people will remember this sight for ever, or perhaps even get a little inspired by it.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-20At one of the quick stops to discuss the designation plan I snapped this photo thru the mail-slot window in Palle’s Cadillac Padded top.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-22Arrival at Kungshamn. Here we parked the cars in the harbor an walked to a nearby restaurant for a nice burger and fries.


We thought it would be a great idea to find a nice location for sa photo-shoot of the customs. However none of the better known spots, with a nice view on the ocean, had enough space that allowed for a photo-shoot with all 6 cars. It was tourist season and most parking lots were filled with tourist cars. In the end we found a parking lot at a local factory, that we used to shoot some pictures with the ocean somewhere in the background. Again it was great to see the look on the faces of people coming by, some stopped and took some photos with their cell phones, while others simply put the thumbs up and probably could not really believe what they just saw.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-21After our late lunch, we drove up to some of the small streets of Kungshamn where the cars fitted in very well. While driving we kept looking for a nice location to shoot some photos.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-23We eventually found this abandoned parking lot (it was summer vacation for the workers) were we parked the car. The rock-hill in front of the parking lot gave the perfect elevation for some nice photos with the ocean in the background.



Then it was time to take the hour and a half drive back to the camp-site again… we took a slightly different road on the way back home. We even hit some rain, but nothing really bad, and on our way home we did some more grocery shopping for the days to come. 6 Customs parking in the parking lot of a local small village supermarket… it was a great sight. This road-trip was one of my personal highlights of the whole weekend. I had loved every minute of it.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-26More amazing scenery on the way back to the camp-site.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-27Andreas needed gas, the others waited for the next Shell pump.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-28Shopping for the rest of the weekend in Uddevalla, close to the campsite. Again we had many people stare at the cars. 



This is part two of the 2014 A-Bombers Road-Trip, check out part one
Or continue with in part Three.







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About the Author

Rik Hoving
Rik is the CCC editor in chief. As a custom car historian he is researching custom car history for many years. In 2004 he started the Custom Car Photo Archive that has become a place of joy for many custom car enthousiasts. Here at CCC Rik will bring you inspiring articles on the history of custom cars and builders. Like a true photo detective he will show us what's going on in all those amazing photos. He will write stories about everything you want to know in the realm of customizing. In daily life Rik is a Graphic Designer. He is married to the CCC webmaster and the father of a 10 year old son (they are both very happy with his excellent cooking skills)


  1. Ah, so cool!! It’s almost like being there!


  2. Didn’t know there would be a Part Three, Rik!! Looking forward to seeing that!



  3. Now that’s what I call a VACATION!
    Stunning photos, too.


  4. wow rik, its like steve boutee said , its like being there, i feel like im following you guys in my car, the cars are awesome, the photo with ur friend in front of the cars making a funny gesture is funny , that 47..48. buick with red primer looks so cool allso, the cake for you looks tasty happy birthday rik ur only getting younger, the trip is so neat great scenery an the photos awesome , waiting for the next story, memo ortega


  5. Part 1 & 2 are great. Hurry with part 3. Thanks


  6. You guys are my heros.
    The only thing that beats seeing a custom on the road is being the guy that is in the car driving/riding.
    Bring on part 3….


  7. I’ve been suffering withdrawal symptoms all week that the sites been down. Great to be back. Palle’s Cad looks so good with the rear end all done. Yes the photos of the cars on the road really does add another dimension to their looks. Static is one thing. Driving is sublime.


  8. I really feel like I was there, between the pics and writing. This makes me wish I could bring my car with me on vacation to Sweden next year.


  9. Glad you guys enjoyed the stories… It was an amazing trip, Many thanks to Palle and Tim for making this happen. I have at least one more… and possibly two more article about this trip in the works.


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