This was our vacation in 2008.
This is the way we transported and drove our Impalas to get to the two drag races in Piteå and Fällfors
in North of Sweden -Norrland. And this is the way we travelled and lived in our Solifer caravan, at the
races and in between. This is also the Swedish adventure of our guest Karl Ellwein from Maryland USA
and it's mostly because of that I have made this story for all of us to remember for years to come.
Tour sponsored by
Chris Condor.. -.. Sören "Fixarn" Fjällstedt.. - ..Thomas Öhman
NSA-Företagen.. -.. Autoshop.. -.. Nordtrafik
You can always follow our tour while reading about it, by clicking
this map to get a large one.
July 20 - 2008 - After the race in Fällfors...
Hit the road Jacks! A 2 hr cool SS cruise south on the E4 highway to Umeå awaits. All three colors.
DGGM, BBB and DCM!
Blackout SS in the free among normal cars...
We stopped in She-Left-You - Skellefteå - for Sibylla junk food. Sibylla is a classic Swedish brand in
the junk food business, started in the beginning of the last century! Seagulls try steal it from you.
Ola's memory of it. And after this regrettable dinner we went over the street to fuel our gas guzzlers.
13.99 SEK per Litre 98 octane. That's 53 SEK a gallon - circa USD 6.86 per gallon Premium...
Is that more than three times as expensive as in USA?
Always curious comments from people.
Agneta. Hero hauler.
Think about it. Here famous Karl Ellwein is driving his "The Heavy Eliminator" SS on good ol' Swedish
E4 road south to Umeå! And Ola and I'm following him. Let's do something fun out of it!
- Hey Karl! Wanna race?
-DO YOU WANT TO RACE???!!!!
-It's twenty past eight, I think...
Sometimes pictures are just too messy! But if I like the picture - like these three Impalas - I'll work on it
in Photoshop. I love that, it's great fun! Yes, I know it takes more time to finish a webpage and release
it for you, but it doesn't matter, this work is rewarding for me and one of the reasons I like to have this
website. And then this parking will be better looking to the world, and I also have a chance of wash
myself and do something to these Popeye-trousers...
See what I mean? Often you win a lot by cropping the picture to leave out disturbing stuff
like other cars, lamp poles, signs.... Here I used the pole-filter in Photoshop.
This is the "cheese-slicer-crossing" in Ånäset where you can turn off to Burträsk and the factory of the
famous Swedish cheese Västerbottensost which is as spicy as popular. And expensive. We were
ahead of Agneta since we had a "little more speed" so we waited here for her, but she didn't notice us at
all when we stood here waving (!) and she just blew by us. So no visit to the Västerbottensost factory.
You can just imagine what I have done with these pictures... =) We all took a lot of pictures of our
cars here on this parking because of our simple SS-vanity. Picture to the right taken from Ola's house
and he managed to take a nice photo from above of the three Impalas, including his own Dark
Cherry, and that's the three different colors they came in, as Chevrolet said in their ads 14 years ago:
"...you have just three color choices: black, black or black"
Our final destination was Umeå and Ola's house on Dragongatan where we parked our cars. This is the
house where Ola lived when growing up. His parents owned it and now Ola owns it and they try to spend
as much time as possible here even if they live in Solna, Stockholm. Our family was invited to stay
here while Kent took care of Karl.
A little panic is always funny. Bad weather played with the kid's tent and stuff. Ola and Jaana worked
hard to secure everything. Weather was one of the reasons we didn't have a party tonight, the other
reasons were that we were quite tired after the adventurous weekend and drive home, and we
had already decided to have a party tomorrow - Agneta's birthday party.
Victoria Öhman, daughter of our buddy Thomas Öhman, came by to say Hi and test sit the Blackout SS.
She's into reining herself (western riding competition) and designing and manufacturing of western
style clothes for riders, together with her mother Marita.
There are a lot of rooms in Ola's Umeå house to host guests. We got Ola's boy's room in the cellar
with a lot of Fantomen magazines and stuff! Click picture to explore!
July 21 - Agneta's birthday
Ola and Jaana have a big warm family. Here Ola, David, Amanda and Victor are looking on how Axel
play their toys.
Amanda is super cute. And already a model!
Now a quickt tour around in ol' Umeå. Stig "Loppan" Larsson. Owner/operator of the Hansen Racing-
connected speedshop Stilservice in Umeå and he also order straight from Birgitta at Autoshop, Orlando.
In the 80's Autoshop was of course THE speedshop in Umeå, and it also became one of the largest and
most popular in Sweden. But they forgot the mailbox when they moved to Florida in 1985. So we stole it!
Nowadays, locally wellknown Italian profile Roberto runs a pizzeria in the premises
The mailbox was planned as our birthday present to Birgitta. Together with the framed picture that told
what it was all about. Haha!! So happy she became! You can see this mailbox when visiting Autoshop
in Orlando. And we still wonder what Roberto thought when he discovered the brand new mailbox...?
When in Umeå I had of course to go to Storgatan 1c where I grew up and my mother Birgit lived in this
appartment between 1959 and 1998 until she moved to Gothenburg. I tried to get Axel out of the car to
scare all the neigbours here with something like a "Now he's back, and it starts all over again!"-déjà vu
thing - since Axel is really looking exactly like me in that age. Axel didn't think this place was that
special so he stayed in the car instead of going out in the rain. But we had a satellite dish early here!
First garage for the first years with the Whiplash Camaro wasn't so special either. Here it was anyway.
We stopped att Nordendahls to buy flowers to celebrate Agneta's birthday. Kent bought an Orange tree.
Agneta loved the big red roses she got from me. (Guys, it always works!) BTW, Kjell Nordendahl and
me were both at Hedlunda school and in the same class for the first 6 years.
Ola, Kent, Linkan and Karl gathered for tonight's birthday party. It was nice to check all the pics from our
Norrland Tour so far, soon to be ended. But it won't end for us until we reach our home in Gothenburg.
The host took care of the wonderful bbq. It was remarkable rainy and cold but we kept our spirit high!
July 22 - Leaving Norrland
Ola takes a last photo of Karl and his beloved 1995 DGM before he leaves for Umeå Airport. Who could
then know that it actually was the very last picture of them two together? (Karl sold it later that autumn!)
Thanks Karl Ellwein for walking the talk! Meaning sending over the car and coming over to race it!
Then it was time for us to leave Umeå, still more than 1000 KM / 620 Miles to drive, by way of
Stockholm and Gnesta which isn't the shortest way. We took the shortest way up here. Now we will
visit some friends and family and interesting places on our way back to Gothenburg. Please follow us!
Sweden's oldest thinbread manufacturer (nineteenth-century!) can still be found in Mjällom at the Höga
Kusten - High Coast - Mjälloms Thinbread was open but had no factory sale! Everything was out
at the resellers. Sigh! Hard thinbread can be saved for a very long time, but we also wanted soft
foldable thinbread which you need to eat in a couple of days before they turn bad. Mmmmm!!!!
And don't forget that my old friend and engine builder, late Lennart "Bagarn" Bergqvist, had a father, Nils
Bergqvist, who was the owner/operator of Umeå Thinbread Factory which he started in 1955 when
"Bagarn" was only 5 years old. So Lennart was called "Baker" because his daddy was a baker. However
Nils was rather an inventor and engineer because he made this factory automated with own built
machines. Handmade turned machinebuilt. The old factory to the left (in Röbäck south of Umeå) was
also a place where Lennart "Bagarn" built on his '66 Nova in the basement. I remember him welding the
roll bar in this garage, cursing that the rules made him do it "even though it was only a street car".
Next weekend he rolled over the Nova at least five turns in a crash at Pite Dragway...the Nova was
totalled! "Bagarn" never complained on safety rules again. To the right an original thinbread box from
Umeå Tunnbrödsfabrik still in my possession, now with automotive magzines...
Well, where were we...? Yes, going south.
Still at Höga Kusten we stopped at one of many road cafés, Norabutiken in Östanö. In this hundred
year old house they sell specialities of the north, like smoked moose, moose heart, sun dried moose
beef, sausage of moose and bear! This is also actually the sales point for the local coffee roastery!
Kaffe Calypso from 1961. A small series made by Lill-Babs and Putte Wickmans Big Band. And two
packages of "high roasted" coffee 286 m / 938 feet above sea level. The large region of High Coast is
declared World Heritage by Unesco because of the incomparable land uplift on earth after the last
ice age. And it's still rising by 9 mm a year, a 0.35".
Typical view in Norrland, an old farm painted in the classic "Falu rödfärg" This color is the most
common in the whole of Sweden on old wooden houses ever since the 1600th century because this
color last forever and protects the wood! The red pigment comes from the mineralisation in the Falun
copper mine. This includes, in addition to copper also iron oxides, silica and zinc and it's this
combination that creates the wood preservative effects.
Next stop at the High Coast was in Sandslån upriver from Kramfors (click on map) where they have a
Witch Museum! I have a special interest in this because my late friend Annette Hägglund in Kramfors,
when doing a genealogical research on my family, found both an executed witch - and a witch priest!
(safe thinking) This was of course back in the middle of the 17th century and in this region they have
had a lot of executions by burning! At least the poor ladies here were beheaded before they were
burned, unlike in most other countries! This is very dark but interesting exhibition...
On June 1st 1675, 62 women followed the priest and the headsman... Here in Torsåkers church district
they where very effective to find and burn witches. Torture was recommended to make them confess
first! And The Bible backed it up... Book of Exodus 22:18 "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live"
More scary facts here: Swedish Witchprocesses
Ljusne Camping, by the sea. Moon is up helping us to compensate for the less light down here in
Hälsingland. Click here on the link Big Nordic Map to check where all these places are.
24 minutes past midnight. It's really much darker here. And cold.
July 23 - Have we driven too far?
South of Gävle you suddenly enters China! An amazing place called Dragon Gate is built here by
Chinese billionare Mr Li. The idea is that the business and culture in our countries should meet here.
Already now you can take a close look at a full size dummy parts from the famous Terracotta Army!
After this place is finished a whole Dragon City is planned nearby for the future! It's said to have been
built according to the rules of Feng Shui
The way of building it have been critizised by Sweden authorities and they have also got heavily sued
because of breaking several Swedish rules and regulations regarding the worker's environment and
the total absence of any worker's collective bargaining. And these are the Communists!? Much of the
friction was surely because everything was shipped here from China - material, tools, machines,
scaffolds and workers! It didn't exactly boost local Swedish business... Click the picture and try to find
anything Swedish - like a Sandviken hammer?
We were inside Dragon Port and had lunch in the Chinese restaurant but they had only tea - no coffee!!!
Lucky us that a Swedish (!) woman had her Thai (!) Take Away on the parking!
Some things never change...not even in generations...
Just outside Gnesta we visited Agnetas daughter Frida who was here studying the garden courses at
the Vårdinge School. (She stayed here and started a business after that education)
Here we could see tomatoes in a green house and Frida also helped me in fixing up the Bolero.
Then a visit at my sister and her family's cottage outside Gnesta at the lake Båven. Big nice lawn.
Cold beer at the dock deck. Good practice.
Then some angling in the sunset. Axel and Agneta. No fish.
Dinner at the dock deck. Good practice. Good family.
Axel tried to get fish until after sunset but it was calm as in a bathtub. No fish all day!
July 24 - Fish and drag racing!
7:36 AM. Good morning! It's already warm!
You could hear their discussions on this distance, that's how quiet it was!. Inger, Hans and Axel were
out emptying the net. Hans is keen on this after several years duty.
Three fine perches!
Breakfast at the dock deck. Good practice.
At last! A tour with the motorboat!!! Axel's grand daddy Erik Envall - my dad - was a supercargo ship
captain, so this was easy for Axel. He's got it in the genes.
Hans showed me an impressive little "toy". It was the "4th generation" of self-acting lawn movers,
Automower from Husqvarna! It backs up to this contact to charge its battery. Then it works your
lawn - often - very thouroghly and quiet! What a dream!
A short visit at Gordon Callin and Linda Axeldal's new living at the countryside in Hölö, just south of
Stockholm and Södertälje. Hey look at that house!
And thanks for the hat Gordon! He ordered them at a booth at Santa Pod. Hahaha!
Wow! A room strictly for airhockey!
Good plan to have little cute Chris growing up on the countryside! It's not too late for Gordon either...
Ok guys, thanks for the coffee, now off to Mantorp! See you there!
Between Norrköping and Nyköping the classical Stafsjö Värdshus & Hotell! Closed in 2007 but rumor
has it that it opened again in 2009? Thinking about The Dragon Gate earlier on this page.
Lövstad Castle is situated 50 km before Mantorp Park where we stopped for a calm lunch. This is an
interesting place with its origins in the 1500th century and the castle has its history connected to the
International famous Swede Axel Von Fersen (the alleged lover of Queen Marie Antoinette of France,
and he was murdered in a gauntlet in Stockholm 1810) Well, the Veidec Nitro Festival was ongoing,
so we had to pay and leave the castle and its stories! And I had to get a good spot inside the
Mantorp pit! I sure needed to call some important friends... Third drag race in three weekends! Fun!
How about this spot? Far up in the Pro pit area, back to back with European Pro Stock multi-champion
Jimmy Ålund from Norrköping. In the middle of everything! First visitor who stopped by in our shadow
was the Swedish Nitro Funny Car legend Leif Helander who enjoyed a good cup of coffee. Leif was
hired here by Michael Kågered's Bacho-team to drive the 8-second taxi-dragster with "lucky" people
who of course went crazy in their adventure in drag racing!! But low 5-second nitro Leif almost fell
asleep behind the wheel...hahaha!
Leif noted that our Bolero tomato plant looked a little weak. Fun people continued to come in! Like the
speaker Björn Sundqvist and the photographer Patrik Jakobsson who had a funny discussion.
BUT - WHAT DID THEY SAY?
Send your suggestion in to email@example.com and win a Blackout t-shirt, size LARGE.
Meanwhile it the kitchen, Agneta prepared our catch of the day. three perches. BBQ!
Hmm! Summer dinner served on our 50's camping table.
More friends came by and just wondered "how the hell I gould get this spot?" I just said "connections"
Kim and Kenneth Feldthusen, Lars-Inge Johansson and Ann-Sofie Karlsson were impressed. :-)
Good place eh?
Late conference between the Pro Mod people Patrick Wikström, Michael "Gullan" Gullqvist, Uffe
"Goofy" Schölin and The Nitro Godfather Leif Helander. I believe there could be a market for a "simple
small quiet sober café" for the teams at Mantorp where they can sit and discuss in the evening, off-trailer.
Because I can't provide this spot every race, I'm sorry to say.
July 25 - A bad start for Axel
Professional photographer Stefan Boman (left) who works for Bilsport and Wheels among others came
visiting with his old irish friend Eddie Corr, Top Fuel Dragster mechanic. They both were in the Peter
Lantz TF-team years ago. They gladly bought chewing gum in Axel's money box to sponsor him in the
"Axel's Fund For A Junior Dragster" which many people have contributed in during our trip. Sadly
enough, this money box machine (and two of our classic Craftsman camping chairs) were stolen from
our site during this night! Chairs were found during the day by the pond in the Bike pit but not Axel's
machine with his money. Axel was quite sad this morning when learning another lesson in life.
Into the tower to show you how it looks inside! Hello Lasse Pettersson, Chairman of the Drag racing
Committee of the Swedish Automobile Sports Federation (and my secret contact to get in!)
Christer Abrahamson is sharing the speaker duty with Björn Sundqvist. They both are amazing in
keeping up the flow and interest over a weekend! Andy "Tog" Rogers of Eurodragster.com has the
same gift and can also concentrate to write all the figures of two racers in a run - plus write a clear
comment of what happened during the run for both drivers! Big big applauses to these guys!
Other people from Norrland here. From Piteå. Danne Söderberg cuddling the nitro engine in Monica
Öberg's Top Fuel Dragster while running it! He's been doing that for almost 30 years and been doing
it very good since Monica has won the Swedish Championship in 1986, 1989 and 1992. And in 1992
she also became the European Champion!
From Umeå with safety. Jan Pehrsson and Annelie Olsson are touring events in Scandinavia to offer
the latest in Simpson safety equipment. It's even so late that it arrives with UPS!
Anders "Brälla" Brändström is cool. He's from Umeå.
Swedish bottle holders are different. We were also standing on the bank to see some action (can you
spot Gordon's head with the nice hat?) before we decided to go home! We actually lost our interest of
staying here after that theft experience in the morning! Axel got moody for the rest of the day, at least!
So when Agneta finally at least found the chairs we wanted to go home, said bye bye Mantorp
and this was only Friday...
The Bolero tomato survived this trip! It didn't grow so much but it did survive and got stronger!
It got better genes!
Back home I had to deal with the broken Dodge 3.8 L V6 (remember Alingsås in Norrland part 1?).
Thanks Kenneth Feldthusen who stepped up and helped a friend!
Then we cleaned, washed, changed oil and filter before we returned the Toyota to another friendly
guy - Thanks Dick Koning! And big thanks to all our sponsors for this racing tour!
August 11 - Finally the return trip of the cars!
The return transport of The Great Train Snobbery. It was a long wait to get them cars back on the train
to Gothenburg. Kent and Ola took care of the drive to the train. Thanks guys!
Karl's SS is already in there and mine is on its way. There's no problem forward - but backing them up
through the narrow doors between the wagons...it's tight!
"And everybody's saying that there's nobody meaner
Than the little old lady from Pasadena
She drives real fast and she drives real hard
She's the terror of Colorado Boulevard"
Not that old maybe but this lady Karin Jonasson in Umeå has driven more cars that you and me
combined! Her husband and son are also working there with loading and unloading train transports
every day. And they reverse the cars through the wagons like they were driving forward on an open
road! It really looks like Hell Drivers, you can only look with one eye. So - when unloading the Impalas
July 10th I raised my hand and said I wanted to unload my own car myself and they said OK.
Crash!!! Check Norrland Tour No 1
Can you see what's missing on my SS in the picture above? Yep, the driver's outside rear mirror...
So I'm glad that the little lady from Pasadena did it this time.
Note the missing rear view mirror...
Thanks for reading!