Sweden is well known to many people, including the writer of this piece, as a place that is in love with classic American cars. Nevertheless, during an ongoing trip to Sweden, the writer is still stunned daily by the number of classic American cars in daily use around the country. 1960s Cadillac convertibles? An everyday sight in Stockholm. Chevies? A several times a day sight. Ford Roadsters straight out of American Graffiti? Seen on the road every weekend. A 1953 Cadillac 62 convertible towing a camper trailer? Seen yesterday. Convertibles, coupes, station wagons, pickup trucks, vans … they all are represented in vast numbers, some pristine restorations and others ratty but still solid runners, often driven daily and parked on the street. While amassing photos for a more extensive profile of the curbside classics of Sweden, I decided to share one exceptional example spotted in Gothenburg, the second largest city and largest port in Sweden: a beautifully restored Cadillac Series 62 convertible, spotted at a wedding photo shoot on the waterfront.
A 1958 Cadillac with sharkfins, Sabre Spoke wheels, and chrome edgings and hashmarks galore has to be one of America’s most flamboyant vehicles of all time. A continental kit with a full custom bumper, which can look artificial and out of place on most cars, somehow works on this one. The wedding party and the waterfront scene evoke the atmosphere of Cadillac advertisements of the 1950s, which showed their cars in glamorous scenes with obviously wealthy owners, usually dressed in formal clothes. A 1958 Cadillac clearly conveys the same kind of glamour to young people in Sweden.
The tall ship is the Viking, built in Denmark in 1906 as a merchant ship and preserved in Sweden as an accommodation and museum ship in 1950. An interesting moment in its history is that during the First World War, while on a voyage in the Pacific in February 1917, it was intercepted and boarded by the German commerce raider Seeadler, also a tall ship, but was released because it was from neutral Denmark. It is now permanently moored in Gothenburg, confined to the harbor by a bridge that is too low for its masts to pass under.