August 19, 2014

2014 A-Bombers Road-trip Part 4

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Written by: Rik Hoving
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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 1939 and 1947 Custom Cars with matching tear-drop trailers! This is Part 4, the last part, of the 2014 A-Bombers Road-trip story.



ts Saturday night, our last night at the A-Bombers Old Style Weekend, and we are all having a great time. I took a few more night photos of some of the cars and the people having fun. We walked around the camp-site some more, looking at the cars and people, talking about a lot of stuff with the people we came across. Later I went back and sat with some of the other guys at our place. Over the years this spot has become the Custom Place at the Old Style Weekend. Everybody wanting to talk custom would come by and take a seat. It was really great listening to all these stories.

The people at this show came from several different countries. In our group we had people from Sweden, Denmark and myself from the Netherlands. But there were also a few people from Finland, Norway and Germany that hung out with us. The languages spoken in these countries are all quite different although Swedish and Danish is some what similar and Norwegian also has similarities. These three languages could be spoken and understand by all three of them. However Finish, Dutch and German is quite different so most of the discussion/talks were done in English. But so every now and then some stories were told in Swedish, or Danish, which was a bit hard to understand for me, but after spending some time here and if there were enough car related terms used in the conversation I was able to understand most of it. Dutch, the language I speak, has some similarities with Danish, although still completely different, it does make me understand some of it, when spoken slowly. It was fun though, to just listen to this strange combined and mixed languages and trying to figure out what they were saying.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-01Saturday-evening… time for a few more long exposure photos on the tripod.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-02Long exposure photo taken next to the entrance of the music tent, people walking in and out, dancing and having a good time.


After we had gone to sleep, the wonderful weather it had been most of the weekend, changed. Temperatures dropped a bit more than usual, and during the night several small rain clouds passed the site, making sure the whole place looked different in the morning. It was a little colder and all the cars were covered in a wonderful blanket of raindrops mixed with falling leaves… On the floor of the site there were empty beer cans and other trash evidence from a wild last night of the OSW weekend. The bands had played musing till early in the morning, but we had to get up early to make sure we would catch the ferry to Denmark. We sort of forgot to buy breakfast stuff the day before so all there was were some left over sausages and small Swedish meatballs, which we put on the grille… they tasted great. We all went busy taking down our tents, and packing our stuff. It was sad to see our camp place being dismantled, but it also felt good to go on the road again. I was looking forward to the drive in the Caddy back to Denmark, as well as getting home and take a nice long warm shower. But that last would take almost another day from then.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-03The next morning it looked like Autumn has started… Rain had fallen during the night leaving raindrops and fallen leaves on Andrea’s his New Panoramic Ford.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-04Early start… packing all our stuff, and getting ready to leave…


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-05Even thought Palle’s trailer was now much lighter than on the way up, it still dropped the back of the Caddy.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-06Strange things had happened during the last party night…


After we had packed everything in the cars and trailers we took off to the gate and left for an half hour trip to Wolf’s place. Wolf leading the way in his ’51 Mercury with SMV trailer and the three Danish Customs behind it, followed by Stefan in his ’48 Buick. The sunny sky’s had made place for gray clouds, and when we arrived at Wolf’s place we could hear the distant thunder coming closer. We had looked at the weather forecast all weekend and knew it was going to rain, but had hoped it would not start until we got on the ferry.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-07Off we go…


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-08In line to leave the gate at the A-Bombers camp-site… Thank you for the hospitality and great times.


We had about an hour to spend with Wolf, and he showed us around on the projects he was working on, his personal 1941 Cadillac Custom Custom, which possibly will be transferred to a padded topped convertible at one point. Wolf also showed us his Spartan trailer which he imported from the US. An amazing huge and luxurious trailer which will look amazing behind his ’51 Merc, or ’41 Caddy. The trailer is completely covered with wood panels inside, has a wonderful living room with wrap around windows, a huge kitchen and separate bedroom. It is in need a a full restoration first though… but Wolf loves to work on projects like that. Then there was time for some coffee and a little bite to eat before we went on the road again. We said good bye to Wolf and Stefan, it had been really great to Wolf again and met with Stefan for the first time. It would take us 45 minutes Göteborg, and soon after we left the first rain drops started to fall. We knew that both the Caddy and the ’39 Merc would not be water-tight, so we took some paper towels and other absorbing stuff with us.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-09Parking at Wolf’s place for a quick stop to check out some of the stuff Wolf was working on.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-11Wolf’s 1950 Spartan Royal Mansion which he imported from the US. Plans are to fully restore this amazing trailer and use it for camping in and around Sweden in the future.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-10Tim’s Merc looking good and looking forward to the drive home.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-12Then is was time for some well appreciated coffee and a bite to eat on the deck before we headed to the ferry in Göteborg.


Palle’s Caddy is an in progress project and the windshield is one thing that still needs to be finished. On these Cadillacs the windshield is made up of two sections. The outside has a rubber moulding to which the stainless trim mounts to, and then the glass mounts from the inside in another piece of rubber moulding and this all is kept in place by the windshield garnish molding. This also makes sure that the windshield is completely waterproof, but Palle’s Caddy has only a temporally windshield installed with only one pice of rubber… which was not even sealing properly… oh well.  The windshield wipers on the Caddy were also not working properly. The rubber ends on the arms was hitting the rubber on the windshield frame and besides that the vacuum was not working properly and Palle had to release the gas pedal to make it work, so that was far from ideal. Before we had left Palle had treated the windshield with rain-x or a similar product that would help keep with the visibility during the rain.
Besides the rain it was a fun drive on the quite Sunday morning roads. The car ran well, and it was great that despite the rain we could keep the side windows down most of the time since no rain came in. We enjoyed the last scenery in Sweden and arrive well in time in the harbor of Göteborg.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-13It was nearly dry when we got to the harbor in Göteborg to line-up for our ferry ride back to Denmark.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-14Driving onto the Ferry… the sky was clearing up again.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-22Parked inside the ferry for the 3.5 hour ride back to Denmark.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-15Good-bye Sweden, thank you for a wonderful time.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-16The ferry would spend quite a bit of time close to the beautiful Swedish coast before it reached open ocean.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-17Open ocean… Denmark, here we come…


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-18When the center lanes on the ferry had unloaded we spotted this nice 60’s style ’65 Buick parked on the other side. They were also at the A-Bombers… but the campsite is so large, we had never even spotted them there.


Back in Denmark the weather looked very nice, but Palle had received a phone call from a friend that there were very heavy rainstorm on their way. There was no way around it, so we just had to go, and hope it would not be to bad. The first part of the drive was still very nice with sun and nice sky’s, but in the distance we could see the rain clouds coming. We talked about the weekend and what a great experience it had been and how well the cars had done it, despite some minor stuff as the heating problem on Palle’s Merc, and the failing light problem on Tim’s Mercury. The failing lights on Palle’s trailer from day one had been solved. Palle’s car runs an 6 volt system, but for some reason the 6 volt bulbs on the trailer lasted only a few minutes. He had now put 12 volt bulbs in it and they worked fine. Something else to look into during those long Scandinavian winters. Tim was still driving without working lights. Then the first rain was coming down, not really too bad and apart from a few drops coming from the windshield center post holes and the gap from the A-pillar to the vent window on my side of the car there was no problem at all.

It dried up, the sun was out again before we saw it turning really black in front of us, we thought about stopping, but there was no exit’s nearby and also no bridges to hide under so there was no other option that let it come. We were prepared for some rain, but the huge amount that was starting to fall right then, was just a little more than we had anticipated. The only fear we had, was that the water coming inside was leaking into the dash and would affect the electrical system. The water was now coming in from the top of the windshield header, the center windshield post and from the A-Pillars to the vent windows. After a while we did not have any paper towels or other fabric stuff handy to stop the water from coming in… but around that time the rain stopped, and it would stay dry all the way to Palle’s home. I wiped off most of the water and then we could just relax and enjoy the rest of our trip in Denmark. Around the city of Århus Tim and Tore passed us in the ’39 Merc and waved good-bye. They would take the next exit which would bring them to their homes. Lars and Lars, who drove Palle’s ’51 Mercury took shelter somewhere during one of the heavy rain storms, but they had called to say they and the car were okay. We had about another hour to go.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-19Back in Denmark the weather was nice, but we knew rain was coming, the distant clouds tell what was coming.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-20Not too long after we hit the highway the first drops started to fall. Not long after that it was raining, and the windshield was starting to leak.


CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-21The sealing of the padded top to the windshield header turned out to be, not totally waterproof, fortunately it was mostly on the passenger side, so I could make sure the dash stayed as dry as possible while Palle drove the car.


When we got home we unpacked the Caddy and trailer and I stuff all my belongings in my own car, and then it was time to say goodbye to Palle who had arranged the best ever birthday present and road-trip ever. I had a 6 and a half hour drive back to home in the Netherlands ahead of me and it was soon starting to get dark. It was quite a different experience to drive home in my everyday driver, but in my mind I was still driving in Palle’s Caddy which made the drive home nice, comfortable and quick. I got home at around 2 in the morning… what a trip.
Thank you so much Palle Johansen, Tim Kirkegaard the rest of the road-trip gang and of course my wife for make this happen.

Go to: Part ONE, of the 2014 A-Bombers Road-trip Story.







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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. I really enjoyed the whole story of your “custom car journey” in Denmark and Sweden.

  2. what a nice trip, to bad nice times have topass so fast ,glad you guys had a neat trip, driveing in the rain awesome i really dug that, the little pig on the trailer hiech really funny, all the stories were neat well done , rik, the ayala circle of the cars was a good idea brings back memories from back then an now in 2014 you guys did this ,how neat,thak you rik an your friends that you took us on this trip,

  3. Wonderful story, Rik……I wish I could do the trip with the guys next year, if they go to the Old Style Weekend again……Thank you so much for sharing your adventures with us!!


  4. Great story, great cars and great scenery. Thanks.

  5. Wow Rik.what a great trip. Sounds a little stressful during the hard rain at least I get kind of stressed while sledding and it starts raining hard. Awesome photos for a great looking show. The line up shots are incredible, it looks like L.A. back in the good days. It would be such a dream to go to this.

  6. thanks again Rik…it was a great trip. good company!
    Bruzie..didnt you get my message, i shot one of the guys, and there is a seat ready for you!

  7. From my experience, telling your story to others in the community gives them the feeling of being there with you…plus it is fun for the writer. This includes relating the troubles along the way. As jay Fitzhugh kept saying to me as we were having troubles along the way from Maryland, USA to the Bonneville Salt Flats……”IT’S ALL GOOD”…..and it IS! I thoroughly enjoyed this story of your journey…..especially about sitting around talking CUSTOMish in many languages. Bravo!

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