The Bengt Wennergren Photo Collection
Bengt Wennergren of Enskedefältet in Stockholm, Sweden is an early Swedish hot rodder and a drag racing pioneer. Bengt's first car was a customized 1949 Ford. In 1962 he bought a 1931 Ford Model A roadster in Denmark. Over a four year periode he turned the old car into a "Street Roadster". The build was completed in 1966, only hours before Bengt hit the road to Ramstein, Germany. Bengt had read in Hot Rod Magazine that there were drag races being held at the Ramstein Air Base, so he decided to go and check it out. At the air base Bengt met Robert H. Jones. Robert invited Bengt to attend the race, and Bengt and Walle stayed for free at the Air Base for about a week. 90 cars attended the race in Ramstein. Most of the cars ran in the "MP" class, Modified Production. Bengt had the only hot rod, and he was put in the "C" class. As he was alone in the class, he qualified for the Middle Eliminiations. Bengt outran a Corvette in the "Middle Eliminations", and went on to compete against a 1957 Chevrolet with a 327 engine. Even though the Chevrolet had a 10 meter handicap, it turned out to be an easy win for the young Swede. Bengt's e.t. after that race was 15.6 seconds. Six races later, Bengt was still unbeaten, and his e. t. had been improved to 15,3 seconds. In order to win the "Middle Eliminator" competition, Bengt had to beat a Porsche. The Porche's e. t. was 16,8 seconds, so in the race against Bengt is started with a handicap of 20 metres. Bengt wasn't able to take the Porsche, and he crossed the finish line one meter behind it, at 15,1 seconds. After the race, Bengt heard that the Porsche might had been cheating during the qualification run. According to rumors it hadn't been running at full speed, in order to start with a bigger handicap. After a week of fun in Ramstein, Bengt and Walle took the roadster over the alps in order to catch a boat race in Monaco.
After attending the drag race in Rammstein, Bengt was bitten by the bug, and back in Sweden he and some friends formed the Swedish Drag Racing Club. The newly established club wanted to host organized drag races in Sweden. One year later, in 1967 Bengt left Sweden for the United States. Over the pond he met Wally Parks, and he got to hang around Tony Nancy learning the sport of dragracing. Instead of going to Vietnam, Bengt decided to move back to Sweden. Back in Sweden he was instrumental in forming the SHRA.
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