Bilsport Performance and Custom Car Show 2018.
Sweden is famous for many things. From flat-pack furniture to Abba, those pesky Swedes are pretty good at global exports; they make it and the rest of the world seems to buy it.
However when it comes to their love of cars, Swedes are polarised. Most Swedes are loyal to their domestic car industry and drive Volvos and Saabs, so no surprise there, but modifying, that’s another story. It’s just not big on their agenda, so we were intrigued to hear about the Elmia show, Sweden's biggest indoor custom and modified car event.
For the Petrolheads.
However, it would seem that Swedes who do have a love for cars are 100% petrol-heads, it’s almost a secret society, if you know where to find it, there’s a growing scene, especially for when it comes to low cars and stance.
We’ve all heard of Gatebil Sweden, the craziest annual festival for car enthusiasts anywhere on the planet. It would be a fair assessment to say that at big events, all hell breaks loose and we see what their car culture really represents.
Sweden’s relatively small car enthusiast population doesn’t hold back because those that modifiy, modify in a BIG way. Their love for big power and motorsport influences dictates a lot of what goes on in their modifying scene, but they have definitely caught the low car bug.
Our Swedish contributor, Sebbe Erlandsson, made the trip to the Bilsport Performance and Custom Car show at Sweden’s Elmia.
With other 80,000 visitors, the Elmia Bilsport Performance and Custom Car show is well worth a visit and is getting bigger and bigger every year. The shackles are off - this is Swedish modifying scene is in full flow, let’s take a look around…
Would it even be a Swedish car show if we didn’t show you some Volvos and Saabs? It’s hardly rocket science that Swedes love Swedish cars, so at Elmia there were plenty of modified Volvos and Saabs on show. You’ll probably all know Dan’s Volvo 240 estate, “Bricky” - you could say we have a soft spot for Volvos here at RollHard.
For me, this Saab 9000 CS is epitome of Swedish cool. A modern classic reworked and oh so relevant. Perhaps not the most obvious choice of project car for most, but this is Sweden - this 9000 is a perfect example of what is possible. The last of the non-GM Saabs, these things are bullet-proof. Don’t blame us if you find yourself browsing the Car and Classic classifieds for a 9000 CS 2.3 turbo…
The rise and rise of Violent Clique has created an aspirational brand with a strong global following. These guys are in search of the perfect fitment. Clean bodywork and outrageous offsets are just the Violent Clique way, all represented with their trademark windscreen banner logo.
In additional to Violent Clique, the other Swedish car collective making waves at the minute is OijOij, who are part of the Swedish modified events in a big way. They had a strong line-up of cars wearing their banner.
The STW drift team brought their 2JZ-equipped BMW E21 along to show the crowds. These guys are serious about motorsport and their E21 was a highlight. In addition to the STW drift E21, there were plenty of performance oriented cars at Elmia.
Popular in every modified scene bar none, German cars have an unquestionable presence and Sweden is no different. From Audis to BMWs, Swedish modifiers really have taken German cars into their hearts.
You’re never far from a modified BMW E36/E46 3 Series at shows these days and Elmia was no different, with some very clean examples dotted around the show.
It’s impossible to ignore the influcence of JDM on the global car scene. With so many Japanese cars being imported overseas, we’re seeing a real influx of rare Japanese cars in Europe. For example, the Nissan PS13 is a true JDM icon and somehow looks right at home at Elmia. A rare import car, this rear wheel drive beauty has all of the hallmarks of a Japanese tuner. This could almost be Tokyo Auto Salon, almost.
Another JDM hero catching our eye was this Toyota Crown. On the luxury “VIP” end of the spectrum, this radiused executive barge with its outrageous camber was an impressive and complete build. Keep it classy, Elmia.
Sweden, we love your style. For another year, that's it from Elmia. We'll be sure to update you on Swedish car culture throughout the year...