1948 Giveaway Teardrop Trailer

 

1948 GIVEAWAY TRAILER

 

Besides being able to win a FREE Hot Rod at the very first Hot Rod Show in Los Angeles. You could also win a cool Teardrop Trailer in 1948.



Last night I was browsing a couple of books that I had not looked at for quite some time. One was about Trailer Travel in the US from the early days to the 1960’s. Interesting book with some nice pictures. Towards the end of the book my eyes spot the word “Hot Rod” in one of the pictures. I stopped flipping the pages and took a good look at the picture. I recognized the trailer to be rather similar to one my good friend Tim Kirkegaard uses behind his full Custom 1939 Mercury. And the sign taped to the trailer reads¬† Free! Win this Kenskill Kamper at the Hot Rod Show at the LA National Guard Armory Jan 23-24-25.

I guess the owner of the Kenskill company is on the right, handing over the papers for ownership of the Kustom Kamper to the new lucky owner on the left. The photo caption in the book reads: The proud new owner of a teardrop. Courtesy of Delmar Watson.


[divider]Close up of the sign taped on the trailer (Photo courtesy of Delmar Watson.)
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I knew that Tim’s trailer originated in 1947, so this photo must be from about the same time. I do not know the dates from all the early shows first hand, but I was thinking. Perhaps this photo was taken at the very first Hot Rod Show in 1948, the one where George Barris took his ’41 Buick Convertible to be the only Custom Car attending. I looked up the dates in my files, and yep, there was an ad for the 1948 Southern California Timing Association Hot Rod Exposition with the same dates as on the sign. I had never heard about this Teardrop Trailer being given away at this first show. I knew about the Hot Rod that was assembled at the show and at the end given away to a lucky ticket holder.

The Hot Rod magazine ad for the Hot Rod Exposition showed the same dates as on the trailer poster.
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I tried to find out more about this Giveaway Kenskill trailer, but so far no luck. Would be interesting to find out where it went to, if the lucky new owner was a Hot Rodder, or perhaps a Custom Car guy. Perhaps this Giveaway trailer might be the very same trailer my friend Tim bought many decades later. How neat would that be?

Kenskill magazine ad for the Kustom Kamper.
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Hot Rod Exposition 1948

The first annual Hot Rod Exposition was held in 1948 at the National Guard Armory in Los Angeles, California. The show was held on January 23, 24 and 25 in 1948. Around 55 000 people visited the show during the three days it was held. The photos we have seen from the event show a huge crowd, visualizing the HUGE success of the show. The show was organized by Wally Parks and the SCTA, and promoted by Robert E. Petersen. The very first Hot Rod Magazine was created as the program for the show, selling ads to whoever wanted to display as a vendor and hawking copies on the steps outside the Armory by its co-founder Robert E. Petersen.

The show featured the best designed and engineered cars belonging to members of SCTA. The show was originally called the SCTA Automotive Equipment Display and Hot Rod Exposition. The whole show was the idea of Robert E. Petersen, he wanted to arrange the show in order to raise money to build a dragstrip. The actual dragstrip was never built. During the three-day event a 1932 Ford was built and given away at the end of the show making it the very first Hot Rod door Prize. The first Hot Rod magazine does not mention anywhere that the Teardrop Trailer was also given away. So more than likely this was an initiative from the Kenskill company alone.

Huge crowds at the very first Hot Rod Show, the 1948 Hot Rod Exposition in the National Guard Armory at the Exposition Park in Los Angeles. The Show program is shown on the left.
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Celebrity Colleen Townsend poses with the giveaway 1932 Ford at the 1948 Hot Rod Exposition.
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Tim Kerkegaard’s 1939 Mercury with his Kenskill Kustom Kamper teardrop trailer. What a fine combination.
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Teardrop trailers are popular among traditional Hot Rodders and Custom Car enthusiasts all around the world.
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Close up of Tim’s Trailer. (the vertical tubs at the top are added to the trailer later and allow a seperate tent to be attached to the trailer)
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2014 A-Bombers Road-trip Part 4

A-BOMBERS ROAD-TRIP 4

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.

 
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]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.
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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.
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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.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-04Early start… packing all our stuff, and getting ready to leave…
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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.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-06Strange things had happened during the last party night…
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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…
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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.
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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¬†G√∂teborg, 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.
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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.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-10Tim’s Merc looking good and looking forward to the drive home.
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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.
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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.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-14Driving onto the Ferry… the sky was clearing up again.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-22Parked inside the ferry for the 3.5 hour ride back to Denmark.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-15Good-bye Sweden, thank you for a wonderful time.
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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.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-17Open ocean… Denmark, here we come…
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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.
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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¬†√Örhus 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.
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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.
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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.
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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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2014 A-Bombers Road-trip Part 3

A-BOMBERS ROAD-TRIP 3

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 3¬†of the A-Bombers Road-trip story.

 
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]ts Friday night, we made it back to the camp-site from the best ever road trip, with six fantastic Custom Car. The image of these beauties floating the curvy Swedish West Coast roads, is still on my mind… and I know these will never fade in my memories. But we are back now, and the camp-site has been filled up completely by now. Hot Rods, semi stocks and Custom Cars from Scandinavia, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands have gathered… and the party is on. The bands have started to play music in the large tent, and wonderful smells rise¬†from the burger¬†–¬†wrap¬†–¬†noodle -stand¬†next to it. Period dressed-up people are walking the site, just to enjoy the cars, the people, or to parade and enjoyed to be looked at and photographed. People are drinking, eating, and gather around with old friends, creating new friends, and just having a good time.
 
CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-24Darren Chapman originally from Australia, now from Norway brought his in progress ’49 Buick Chopped Sedanette. Darren explained that the car will have restyled front and rear fenders as well as some other changes for the next season. It was already great to be able to walk around it and see the flow of the chopped top.
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I met up with some old friends, Per Webb, Janne Kutja, Klaus Gardan, Christer Ehrling, and had great time talking with them and a lot of other people. We ate some grilled Swedish sausages on toasted bread with loads of Swedish mustard and ketchup and discussed with Wolf which cars he would pick for the Custom Car Line up this year.  It is the second year Wolf is organizing the Custom Car Line-Up with the CCC, at the A-Bombers Show. Wolf is trying to get a series of period perfect Customs at a photo-shoot. The cars can only be chosen by Wolf, and to be a candidate they have to have a period look, preferably with fender skirts, chopped top and Appleton Spotlights. But there are exceptions to these rules as long as the overall look is period, and Wolf likes it enough. We will do a separate CCC-Article on the Line-Up soon, stay tuned.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-30The 2014 Custom Car Line-Up flyer Wolf was handing out to the owners of the Customs he thought might look good on the Lin-Up. Only period looking Customs make a change of being chosen by Wolf.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-23Wolf also invited Tomas and his white primered in progress 1939 Mercury. Sadly Tomas could no be found early the next morning at the agreed meeting time when we headed out to the Line-Up Location.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-25Wolf (center) asked¬†Miikka Salminen (right) if he and his ’36 Dodge Coupe would like to be part of this years Custom Car Line-Up… Miikka was thrilled to be part of it.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-26People having a good time, enjoying some food, drinks, the cars and their friends.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-01When it got dark I took a few night time photos with long exposure time on my tripod. 
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When we where out on our road trip some really great Custom Cars had arrived so together with the guys we went wandering around looking for the new cars, taking photos and talking to the owners. When the sun was setting I went back to my tent, took my tripod and took some long exposure car, people and overall photos. They are always fun to do, with all the nice lights and people walking around looking like ghosts.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-04Early Saturday morning… if you want a shower, you have to get up¬†very early, since there are only three showers on the whole camp-site. The good thing is you have a very long day ahead of you. Palle is heating up the grille to have some toast made and boiling the water for some fresh coffee.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-02Early morning dewdrops cover the Oldsmobile taillights on Andrea’s √Öberg’s New Panoramic Ford.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-05After breakfast Palle downloaded the photos from his camera from the days before to his laptop.¬†He now could check them out full size… and was very happy with the result.
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Saturday morning we had an early rise again… the Line-Up photo-shoot candidates¬†would¬†gather at the gate at half past 9, and some of the guys wanted to give their car a quick wash to clean off the dirt from the drive the day before. I was pretty excited about the Line-Up thing. Last year I had to wait for the guys to get back home again to see the photos, but this year I would be there in person.. and help out Wolf getting the car lined up etc. The weather was absolutely perfect, nice blue skies with a few clouds here and there, and nice and warm. The nicest day so far. There would be two Line-Up photo sessions today. Wolf had scout two locations, the first one, was the same as last year. A nice restored old cobble stone road with a nice hill in front ¬†of it for perfect photo opportunities. The only disadvantage this location has is the that the sun comes from behind early in the morning. But it worked out fine anyway. The second location was a wonderful simple grass airfield across the street from the A-Bombers camp-site. It was the first time Wolf was going to use this, and for this he planned to have the cars sit in a circle and also do a semi Ayala 1951 Motor Trend cover redo.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-06At around half past 9 we left to the gate were we would meet with all the Custom Car guys that Wolf invited for this years Custom Car Line-Up.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-07We had to wait for a little bit… some of the guys were not quite ready after staying up late for¬†the big party last night.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-08We were on a tight schedule, since there were two locations for a Line-Up this year, and most of us wanted to go to the hill-climb early in the afternoon. So we ended up leaving with 8 period looking Customs. Here we just arrived at the old road, location number one.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-09The last three cars patiently waiting before they were called to park their Customs next in line.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-10Wolf made sure all the cars are parked at the same angle, and with the front end on one line. The cars were parked with a bit more space in between them than last year. This way more of the cars would show up in the photos.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-11When all the cars were parked, the owners and helpers climbed up the hill for the perfect view, and to allow the photographers to take as many photos of the Customs with no people around them as they wanted.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-12Camera turned 180 degrees from the previous photo. This is the hill where we could all look down to the Customs and take photos.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-14View from the top of the hill at the moment the owners of the cars were “ordered” to take place next to their Customs and take on the Sam Barris position.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-13Another behind the scenes photo. Palle is taking some photos using the ladder Wolf brought. There is a small hill in the middle just next to the road and you have to stand tall to be able to shoot the photos over that small hill. Lars and Stefan made sure the ladder is not falling over… teamwork.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-15When everybody had taken enough photos we all got back into our cars and headed to the second location.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-16And there we go again, back to the A-Bombers camp-site where the second location was at the small airfield across the street from the show.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-17I just cannot get enough of these wonderful custom cars on the roads. This u-turn leaving the Line-Up location, was perfect for getting the best view of the cars as well as hear the engines while taking off.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-18Wolf was the first one to get to the second location. Wonderful colored empty space background… perfect for the Circle of Custom Cars Wolf has planned next.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-31It took some effort to get all the cars in the right position for this photo-shoot, but in the end it was all worth it. The Circle of Custom Cars looked amazing.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-19It then was time to sort of re-create the famous Ayala Shop Motor Trend magazine cover from¬†October 1951. Wolf drove his ’51 Merc into the center of the circle, and the car owners were asked to take place next to their cars again.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-27Wolf sat on the cowl of his Merc, just as Al Ayala did in the Motor Trend Cover and the others stood with their own cars. It was not intended to duplicate the scene exactly… just inspired by it.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-20Then it was time to hurry back to the camp-site to have a bite to eat and get ready for the hill climb which was another 20 minute or so drive from there.
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After the Line-Up photo-sessions we went back to the camp-site for a quite bite to eat, and then it was off to the hill-climb. The location for this is about a 20-min drive from there. We were a bit late and it was already very crouded there, as well as on the parking space reserved for it. So we parked our Customs a little further and walked back to the race track. Palle wanted to shoot some action photos from the cars at the starting grid. We arrived a little late at the race, and by then the hill road sides were filled with spectators already. So instead of getting back in line hoping to see some action on the road we went to the parking lot to look at the cars and shoot some more photos.¬†After the race we went back to the camp-site, walked around and went to the food place at the site for a really tasty burger. Its now Saturday night… the biggest party night of the weekend, with many bands performing in the music tent.

 

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-21On our way up to the hill climb we stopped for gas. The gas-station was filled with Hot Rods and Custom Cars… so many that I saw several regular cars who wanted some gas leave the place looking for a more quite station.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-22Custom Car Parking close to the hill-climb. Palle ended up being the only one going to the actual race, the rest of us hung out on the larger parking-lot down at the hill, to check out the cars there.
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We had to get up a bit early on Sunday, I think the camp-site has to be left by ten in the morning or so. And we had to be at the ferry back to Denmark at eleven. But we also wanted to make a quick visit to Wolf’s place which is on the way to the Ferry.¬†I tried to wrap up the trip in this third part… but there is still so much to tell and show that there will be a part four.
 
 
Go to Part ONE, or continue to part Four of the 2014 A-Bombers Road-trip Story
 
 

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2014 A-Bombers Road-trip Part 1

A-BOMBERS ROAD-TRIP 1

In 2007 my wife organized my best birthday gift ever… a trip to the A-Bombers show. In 2014 my good friends Palle Johansen and Tim Kirkegaard thought they would try and top this gift, so 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!

 
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[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his 2014 trip is done, and I’m back home now, and I have to say Palle and Tim were actual able to top the best ever birthday present from my wife. Driving to the show in Sweden from Denmark in a period perfect custom, with teardrop was an AMAZING experience. Many thanks to my friends Palle and Tim for making this happen. It all started about a week before the annual A-Bombers Old Style Weekend in Udevalla, Sweden which was held on August the first and second of 2014. Palle asked me if I wanted to join him in his ’47 Caddy, Tim with his ’39 Mercury and Lars,¬†who would drive Palle’s ’51 Mercury to the show in Sweden… as a birthday gift. I did not have to think long about this, and fortunately my wife and son thought it was a great idea. I started packing, and on Wednesday July 30, day before my birthday, I drove to Palle’s home in Assens, Denmark, a 6 hour drive. I got there around 3 in the afternoon, Palle was putting the last gear into the trailer and then we took the car to a local gas-station to check tire pressure and made sure the tires were ready for the trip to Sweden. We load up my stuff in the car and trailer and off we went to Frederikshavn in the northern part of Denmark, were we would take the ferry to Sweden. On our way we would meet up with Lars in Palle’s ’51 Mercury, and later with Tim in his ’39 Mercury and Lars in his ’36 Ford.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-01The trip from Palle’s home in Assens, Denmark to Frederikshavn in the Northern part of the country, then with the ferry to Sweden and up to Udevalla where the A-Bombers held their Annual Old Style Weekend. (Map from Google)
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-07Before we left we filled up the tires with some air and made sure the pressure was the same on all four tires.
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The last time I had seen Palle’s Cadillac was on our GNRS trip in early 2013, then the car was at David Martinez his shop in California, getting ready or the chopped windshield and Padded top. I had seen many photos after the car had returned in Denmark. But nothing beats being able to walk around it, and even better sitting in it knowing the next couple of days would be spend in this car. The seat in this Cadillac is absolutely perfect, its soft, has the perfect seating position and the leather upholstery has the perfect patina. The chopped windshield is still unfinished with no trim on the out- or inside, and¬†even has some holes for the stainless trim were now the open air could be seen outside. This could be fun if we get rain on our trip I thought to myself. The view outside, thru the chopped windshield is amazing, the tail dragging stance puts the nose up in the air, with the chrome hood trim and Cadillac hood ornament showing which direction it wants… forward!

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-03On our way, leaving the street where Palle lives, with a view over the ocean.
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The side windows,¬†temporarily¬†plexiglass units made for the trip were rolled down, and would stay that way most of the trip. The view back is mostly blocked by the heavy padded top, the mail-slot rear window, which is actually the original ’47 Cadillac convertible unit, gives a bit of a view outside rear, but was¬†now blocked by the teardrop trailer.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-04We both had a smile on our face the whole trip. The Cadillac drove fantastic, we both felt like a King in a Cadillac.
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We drove off around 6 a clock, the wonderful original Cadillac flathead engine roar was only noticeable when it was bouncing off a building or structure close to the car, all we could hear in the car was a soft hum of the engine and the air blowing around the chopped windshield and padded top. The weather could not be any better, with nice temps and a wonderful selection of clouds which would shift colors in the next coming hours. The¬†Caddy drove fantastic, like a “modern” car, strong, and even with the trailer behind it did not show any vibrations and Palle could let go of the steering and the car would still go straight ahead. The Northern part of Denmark is always very nice, with soft flowing hills and nice little villages. But this time of year it is even more special because of the large¬†grain fields being ready for harvesting or which have just been harvested. Wonderful deep yellow fields marked with colorful green trees and bushes. And it seams like it even looks better from a chopped padded topped custom. Our first stop was an parking lot at some fast food restaurants,¬†were we would meet with Lars who was driving Palle’s ’51 Mercury. Lars had picked up the Merc the day before and took it home to load with stuff we would need in Sweden. We ate a sandwich and burger an when Lars arrived, did some repacking to take off some of the weight in the Caddy. Some of the heavy stuff was packed in the Merc, which has airbags in the rear. The Caddy has been lowered, but the frame still has to be c-notched. On the way up the heavy load and the trailer caused the rear axle to get in contact with the frame on bad portions of the road. Nothing major, but the repacking raised the rear a little.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-05First stop was to get together with Lars who would drive Palle’s ’51 Mercury. Palle making a call to Lars… where are you?
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-06Wonderful scenery of Northern Denmark with nice villages, and farm land ready to be harvested, or just being harvested.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-08Holding my camera out of the side window created some interesting shots.
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Next stop was an¬†offramp close to the city of Aarhus, where Tim¬†with his ’39 mercury live. Here we would also meet up with Lars¬†Kj√¶r who would drive his ’36 Ford un-chopped, two tone, 3-w coupe up to Sweden. When everybody had arrived we took some photos of the line up on the bridge crossing the highway and off we went, to catch the midnight ferry to Sweden. Now four great looking customs in a row on the highway… what a sight!

 

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-09When we arrived at the¬†meeting point Lars Kj√¶r¬†had just arrived with his in progress ’36 Ford 3-window.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-10Soon followed by Lars Friborg in Palle’s ’51 Mercury and Tim with his Sledge Customs built ’39 Mercury. The guys are glad to see each other and exited about the trip to come. Everybody took some photos, which would soon be followed by many more.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-11Palle took this great photo of the line up at the meeting point on the bridge over the high way. Amazing clouds predicted a wonderful sunset.
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In the meantime it was getting dark and disaster stroke on Tim’s Mercury. Most likely some fluids leaked on the electrical wires caused the lighting on the merc and the trailer, both front and rear to fail completely. There was still electricity in the car, but just nothing for the lights. So Tim had to drive to the ferry with no lights, and it was getting dark fast. Tim and his Merc was ‘”sandwiched” in between the ’51 Merc and us in the Caddy, this way the traffic from behind would not drive up to the non lighted car.

 

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-12Shortly after take off Lars overtakes us with his¬†healthy sounding flathead powered ’36 Ford.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-13Appleton spotlight and a setting sun.
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We had to make one more stop on our way to the ferry, one for gas. When we left the gas-station Lars with the ’36 Ford had some electrical problems, which at the time looked an easy fix. Lars with the ’51 Merc decided to stay and help and Tim with his friend Tore in the passenger seat and Palle and me decided to go ahead to catch the ferry, time was getting short, and both the ’36 and 51 had no trailers and would be able to catch us later. The Lights on our trailer now also failed for 90%, and produced only very little light. But fortunately the trailer also had side markers which still worked. After a while Lars called, to tell the problems were a little more severe than first thought, an that it¬†would take more time to repair.¬†Shortly after that the other Lars called in to report the ’51 had its drive belt broken, and that there was no way he could repair that on the spot right there. It was now completely dark and Tim and Tore drive the Merc behind us, completely in the dark with no lights or marking lights. We tried to go at about the same speed as everybody else on the road so that people would not bump into the trailer. Lots of flashing lights and blowing horns tried to warn us for things we already knew. We know it was not quite save, but we wanted to make it to Frederikshavn to catch the ferry, since we did not know if we would miss it we could go on the next one the next morning. We got at the harbor at 5 minuted before eleven, 5 minutes before the final boarding time…. pfffff.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-15Both Palle’s cars were in for some gas, the others took a change to get a burger and coffee.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-16By then Tim and Lars noticed the¬†failing lights on the ’39 Mercury and trailer. They tried to fix it, but nothing worked.
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By now it had become sure both Larses would not be able to make it there in time. Phone calls were made and arrangements made to repair both cars left behind at the gas-station, so they could make it for the 8 o-clock ferry the next morning. Before we actually entered the boat a little after midnight Lars called that it turned out to be a loose alternator that had caused the belt to loosen and looked broken.¬†He had found the bold that was missing and he was able to fix the merc. The news on Lars his ’36 Ford was not so good. After he had driven the car to a German show earlier that month, a 1,300 plus round trip with no problems, an electrical fire now made sure his car would not make it to Sweden. His car was towed and the Both Larses took the ’51 Merc and drove to the Ferry, where they would catch the next one at 8 in the morning.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-17While waiting for the ferry Tore and Tim were able to get the light on Tim’s Mercury working again. Arriving in Sweden the car had lights again.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-18But the working lights did not last long…
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-21It was early in the morning, and we had time enough, so at this point we decided to park the cars and wait for the sun to come up a little more.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-19Palle took this photo of the two customs pared at the McDonald’s waiting for the light of day.
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Our ferry took off at around 30 min past midnight, and we got in Sweden around 4 in the morning. It was already getting light, but to be on the save side we parked our cars at a nearby Mc Donald’s and waited for the sun to rise so Tim would not have to drive in the dark with no lights on. Its actually mandatory in Denmark and Sweden to have your driving lights on, even during the day. But the police has never stopped us for not having them on the ’39 Merc. Somewhere around 5 it was light enough to hit the road, about an hour and a half more to the A-Bombers site close to Uddevalla in Sweden.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-20When it was light enough we drove off to the A-Bombers site… another hour and half or so to go.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-22While it was still very quite on the Swedish early morning roads Palle decided he wanted to have some riding photos of his Cadillac with the teardrop trailer. So I switched seats with Tore and joined Tim in his ’39 Merc so I could photograph Palle driving his Caddy.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-23What an amazing sight it was… is.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-24Early morning warm sun light creating long shadows make up for an amazing image.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-25Arrival at the A-Bombers Old Style Weekend site.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-27And at the Customs camp site, where Wolf and Stefan had already put up their caravan’s.
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When we arrived at the show area it was still very early and only very few people were there. our good friend Ulf “Wolf” Christiansson was there with his nicely shaped trailer and his trusty ’51 Mercury and so was our good friend Stefan Elbrink with his ’48 Buick. Wolf had been at the camp site for a day and a half making sure the Customs favorite camping spot could be reserved. It was a perfect spot!

More in part two of the 2014 A-Bombers Road-Trip

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