Cruisers

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YSTAD CRUISE


Small shiny things are not my thing. I am no motor head but I have a certain affection for large, vintage chrome laden V8 propelled American cars built around the time I was born. It was an era when people were not only looking forward but also upwards. The space era had arrived and car designers borrowed features from the aircraft industry. The fins were born in the ”golden age” of American Automotive industry. And they grew to reach the apex with the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado. It’s two protruding red tail lights shaped like rockets. Today these cars are collector’s items and those rolling have had both lots of time and money sunk into them to reach prizes well over 100 000 USD.


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In Sweden the subculture of cruisers (raggare) grew out of the late 50ies influenced by the HotRod and Diner culture of the US and movies like Rebels without a cause. Skin jacket and jeans clad they flocked into the sofa seats of big American cars. The trunk stuffed with beers and booze, the stereo cranked up. They met and formed gangs and cruised through many small Swedish towns throughout the decades. Fights were not uncommon and a certain amount of drug criminality also existed. Much of that is now gone. Sure there is still plenty of drink but those young in the 60ies are now grandparents. Should they still own a jenkare (a possible Swedification of Yankee) they are today fetching prices well over a Million Swedish crowns and are taken out only on balmy summer’s evenings or congregate at meets often in smaller towns around the country. An annual meet is in Ystad. The Corvid pandemic have forced an official cancellation of the meet but as a police officer told me “we cannot prohibited them from driving around” There is a large turnout from the locals just to sit by the roadside to smell the (poorly combusted) petrol as the well-kept, polished, shiny gas guzzling Detroit eye candy roll by.