Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


A FELLOW automotive journalist and I were motoring down a country road on Sweden’s northwest coast; the car was one of Saab’s new convertibles; the year was 2004. First, a couple of Model T Fords came by. Then a Studebaker touring car. Then an old Chevrolet.

This was no ordinary Swedish country road. In fact, with complete automotive serendipity we had come upon the annual Sofiero Slott Veteranbilsrally, one of Sweden’s biggest old car rallys.

At the next turn was a checkpoint for the rally—and great photo ops.

This rare BMW 501 dates from 1959. Behind it is part of the rally’s English contingent, an MGA and Austin-Healey.

This 1934 Morris 8 Racer Special made a marvelous sound. No doubt it was a breezy ride as well.

The English Jowett company built sturdy sedans (and an occasional sports car) from 1906 to 1954; this one, a 1953 Javelin, had unibody construction, torsion bar suspension and an aluminum flat-four.

The 1954 Ford Popular would have been a tidy car for a tidy English family.

A show of exuburance: This 1958 Vauxhall Cresta almost outstyles a 1957 Cadillac DeVille Convertible.

An MG TD driver ponders the instructions; a navigator ponders the road ahead; a dog poses for the camera.

This 1939 La Salle Convertible Coupe is evidently prepared for the dark days of a Swedish winter.

Spectating in style: A lovely lady and her best friend watch from their Daimler Drophead.

A flashy paint scheme for an exhilarating era: This Studebaker Flight Hawk was one of several Hawks in 1956.

The Fiat Topolino (“Little Mouse”) was the everyman’s car of Italy. This 500 Convertible is a 1952 model; it quivered charmingly when its driver let out the clutch.

This 1954 Saab 92 B poses with its great-grandchild, the 2004 Saab 9-3 Convertible that had us visiting Sweden.

Clearly a good time was had by all at the Sofiero Slott Veteranbilsrally. We sure had fun encountering it. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2012


  1. Bill Urban
    November 17, 2012

    Great pics’. What good fortune to happen upon this rally. I’m especially taken with the ’53 Jowett Javelin and the La Salle, as the Javelin is somewhat reminiscent of the ’40 Ford I owned . . . and it was powered by a Cadillac engine with La Salle transmission. (These transmissions were known for their strength.) Might the Javelin have recalled the ’40 Ford from the front as well? Completing my circle later was my (Swedish) 544 sedan, also Ford like.

    And that ’54 Ford Popular”? To die for.

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This entry was posted on November 17, 2012 by in Classic Bits and tagged , .
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