Roland Larsson's 1932 Ford
1932 Ford Roadster owned and built by Roland Larsson of Hammarö, Sweden. Roland's Roadster was sold new in Sweden in 1933, so it is listed as a 1933 Ford in the registration-title. In 1958, Roland bought the 25 years old roadster from a man named Rustan Haeger. Haeger lived in Karlstad and Stockholm, and used the roadster all year round, driving around in a wolf fur coat during the winter. Another Swedish hot rod pioneer, Lennart Djurberg, remembers seeing the roadster in 1953. He remembers how impressed he became by the two Stromberg carburetors and the Scintilla magneto he could glimpse through the vents in the hood. Haeger bought the car in 1953, but according to old paperwork that came with the car when Leif Hultdin bought it in 1996, the engine had already been hopped up to 130 horsepowers in 1950. In the spring of 1952, Torsten Manby of Karlstad, Sweden bought the roadster. With help from Folke Carlen, Manby prepared the car for racing in the open car class in the Nordiska Specialvagner race. Manby bought a rare homemade dual-carb intake manifold from Gunnar Berger of Norway, and it is believed that the intake was made by Gunnar in Norway. Torsten and Folke did also install shaved heads and increased the compression to 10:1. They drove on Bentyl, and the car was supposedly good for 150 horsepowers at 5000 rpm's. In August 1954, Haeger took the roadster to Bilfirma Harry Est in Karlstad where he had them install hydraulic brakes from a 1948 Ford. At the same time the transmission was overhauled, the front axle straightened and a new windshield installed. September 23, 1954 Haeger's roadster was ready for delivery. Later on, Haeger returned to the local Ford dealer in Karlstad to install a set of NOS fenders on the car. After this, the car was painted light-grey with dark-grey fenders. Paperwork from when Haeger owned the car shows that by then the car still had its original engine, but it had been fit with a 1936 Ford camshaft, a Scintilla magneto, aluminum heads, hydraulic brakes from a 1948 Ford, a 1948 Ford transmission, hydraulic Gabriel shocks, Marshall lights, 3 signal-horns and more.
November 6, 1958, after buying the roadster from Haeger, Roland went to San Francisco with HMS Älvsnabben. During his stay in San Francisco he bought two chromed air-cleaners and a set of Moon discs for his roadster project. He returned to Sweden April 4, 1959. After returning from the trip, Roland drove the car around for a while in the same configuration as it looked before he left Sweden. It didn't take long though before the front fenders and running-boards were gone, and photos taken during the summer of 1959 shows Roland's roadster without front fenders and running-boards with bobbed rear fenders. Later on the same summer, motorcycle-type fenders made from 1936 Ford spare-tire rings were installed up front. After enjoying the summer in the roadster, Roland tore the car down In the autumn of 1959. His plan was to turn it into a fully channeled roadster like the ones he had seen in Hot Rod Magazine. After lifting the body off the frame, Roland cut out the floor and dropped the body 8 inches over the frame.The gas tank was placed in the trunk, and a rolled-rear pan was installed where the tank used to be. The exhaust was routed through the new rolled pan and the bobbed rear-fenders were molded to the body. The license-plate was recessed and a pair of 1954 Ford taillights installed. The windshield was chopped about the height of a matchstick-box. Inside, Roland installed a 1954 Ford steering wheel along with a set of 1946 Mercury gauges. The build was completed during the spring of 1960, and Roland had now entered the history books with one of the first, if not THE first channeled hot rod of Sweden.
In 1964 Roland sold the roadster to Hans-Erik Larsson of Stockholm, Sweden. In 1965 Larrson brought the roadster to Skellefteå, Sweden in order to attend Guldruschen. He left the car in Skellefteå, stored away in a warm garage at his grandparents place. In 1978 Leif Hultdin of Skellefteå, Sweden saw a photo of the old Swedish hot rod. He contacted Hans-Erik Larsson who still owned the car, and asked if he wanted to sell it. The car was still stored away in Skellefteå, and Larsson refused to sell it. he told Hultdin that he was going to give it to his son. Hultdin couldn't get the car out of his head, and called Larsson about twice a year asking about the car. They became friends, and in 1996 Larsson called Hultdin and asked if he was still interested in the old car. It turned out that his son had other interests. Larsson didn't have to ask Hultdin twice, and in 1996 Leif became the proud owner of one of the first Swedish hot rods. He picked it up May 27, 1996. July 16, the same year, after replacing the brakes, tires and a rod-bearing, the old roadster passed inspection and was again graced with a set of Swedish license plates. Leif replaced the red wire-wheels with the 1947 Ford steel wheels that came with the car. He did also replace Roland's Moon discs with a set of 1947 Ford hubcaps. In 1998, the old engine needed a rebuild, so Leif had Roland's old friend Lennart Djurberg build a new engine for the roadster. The new engine, based on a 1936 Ford block, was fit with Eddie Meyer heads and intake, bigger valves and an Iskenderian camshaft. The old Scintilla magneto distributor was kept. In 2011, Leif's roadster was featured on the cover of Gasoline Magazine September/Oktober 2011. By then, the car rolled on 5.50x16 whitewall-tires up front, and 6.00x16 whitewall tires in the rear.
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