Author Archives: Johan

Lamborghini Scarabeo kitcar – Love on a shoestring budget

The mighty Lamborghini Scarabeo homebuilt kitcar. Photo by Johan Åhlund

Behold the epic (probably one of a kind) Lamborghini Scarabeo kitcar based on a VolksWagen beetle. A great sportscar ready to take on the world with power design and performance.

I wonder if it has the original beetle engine sporting 44 strong horsepower in the back. Remember, love these builds, don’t hate. You bet that this ”Lamborghini” Scarabeo got a lot of attention, you will get new friends every time you will take it for a ride.

Text and Photo : Johan Åhlund

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Fiat 126 – with a Yamaha R1 engine…

An amazing car, this little Fiat 126. Far from standard and with a mighty power to weight ratio. Photo: Johan Åhlund

Have a look at this little wonder. It used to be a sleepy little Polski Fiat 126. The original Fiat 126 had a 594 cc engine with 23 horsepower. Weighing in at a mere 580 kilo, and only measuring a tiny 3,05 meter in total length it was a delight to drive in the city. But it was not very quick. However, this Fiat 126 pictured in this article is. It´s an amazing build. Its also in my Instagramfeed @carsandbullshit

This little Fiat 126 packs quite a punch

In the rear, it has a very potent motorcycle engine. Builds like these is quite popular, and you can sometimes find Minis or Fiats with engines from fast bikes. The Suzuki Hayabusa, is a popular engine to fit in small cars for example. In this car rests a Yamaha R1 engine, and it has 150 horsepower. Yes, that might not sound that much, but bear in mind that this is a very small car. And it is also put on a diet. This results in the same power to weight ratio as an Audi R8.

It is really quite cute, and the sound is amazing. Photo: Johan Åhlund

Performance will be staggering, and with just 3,3 horsepower per kilo you better believe this car moves pretty fast. And it also sounds great when the engine is allowed to work. Yes, I would like to have a got in it.

Text and Photo : Johan Åhlund
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Saab 9-5 SportCombi – The last Saab

The ultra rare Saab 9-5 SportCombi. One of just 27 cars made. Photo by Johan Åhlund

Well, this is the second post in a row on cars made by Saab. This is one of their absolute most anticipated cars, a car that many customers really wanted Saab to build.

Behold the Saab 9-5 Sportcombi. A station wagon (or in Swedish: a combi) with a lot of room. The last model Saab ever built before going bust in 2012.

The SportCombi is ultra rare – only 27 exists

The 9-5 was a beautiful car, and the SportCombi in Arctic White pictured here did not disappoint. I took theses photos at Mantorp Park racetrack at a trackday. This car is a Saab 9-5 SportCombi TTiD4 XWD Vector with 190hp. It is owned by Combitech and resides at The Saab Museum in Trollhättan. At the trackday, it sure did draw a lot of attention. Actually, several persons I spoke to really wanted this car. They absolutely loved it.

It’s a shame really, that Saab only builds 27 of this very nice model. It definitely deserved better. The Saab 9-5 SportCombi has the Saab quality, Swedish design, top notch safety and very nice engines under the bonnet. But, unfortunately they are rare as they come. The Saab 9-5 SportCombi is now a collector’s item, and is rarely seen in the classifieds.

The Arctic white Saab 9-5 SportCombi TTiD4 XWD Vector with 190hp. Photo by Johan Åhlund

The 9-5 SportCombi came with several engines. You could choose between diesel, ethanol and petrol. The most potent version had a 2.8 liter V6 turbo, delivering 300 horsepower. The two-liter turbocharged inline-four with 220 horsepower seems to be the clever choice for most people. All 9-5 had Saab´s XWD all-wheel drive as standard.

It is a big car, 501 centimeters in length. The cabin is light, with wonderful seats, several nice features and it’s perfect for long journeys. The cargo space swallows 56 cubic feet of luggage with the back seats folded.

The SportCombi has nice Performance

The top of the line model had the 2,8 liter turbocharged V6. The 300 horsepower power plant combined with Saab´s XWD was effective. It did the sprint 0-60 in 6,9 seconds and had a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). The 2.0T BioPower with 220 horsepower was no slouch either with 7,9 seconds 0-60 and a top speed of 240 km/h (150 mph).

The car in these pictures has 190 hp (142 kW; 193 PS) at 4000 rpm. It scores 400 Nn of torque at 1750 rpm, accelerates from 0-60 in 8.8 seconds and can do 230 km/h (140 mph) flat out. Remember these were big cars weighing almost 2100 kilos.

Want to see one? Well then you can visit Saab Car Museum in Trollhättan, Sweden. There are many interesting Saab´s in stunning condition to admire, if you care to visit.

Text and Photo : Johan Åhlund
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Saab Sonett II 1967 – Two-stroke heaven

Hans is ready to race. The Saab Sonett II is a very small car and it looks amazing. I took this photo at the line-up at Falkenberg Classic after a brief talk to Hans about his little racer. Photo by Johan Åhlund

Sweden has several classic car events, and the Falkenberg Classics is considered to be Sweden’s own Goodwood Festival of Speed. A couple of hundred classic cars raced each other on the short and fast racetrack. Last year was as usual very sunny and had a lot of spectacular cars, both on track and in the exhibition area.

Saab Sonett II is a rare car, Saab only made 258 in 1967

One of the nicer cars on the grid is driven by Hans Eklund. Hans is very fond of Saab cars, owns several classic models and is an experienced driver who has been racing for more than 25 years. Hans is running a 1967 red Saab Sonett II. It’s a rare car, Saab only made 258 Sonnet’s in 1967.

The Saab Sonett II in full speed at the straight at Falkenberg racetrack. The 850cc roars like crazy and the audience is cheering in the perfect weather. Photo by Johan Åhlund

Under the bonnet sits the legendary great sounding 60 horsepower three cylinder 841 cc Saab two-stroke engine. Famous from the Saab Sport (also known as the Gran Turismo 850 or the 850 Monte Carlo), the sound this little engine makes when driven hard is remarkable.

Ok, let’s be honest, The Saab Sonett II with the two-stroke engine is not a very fast car. However, like many other classic Saabs it is very fun to drive. Weighing in at 780 kilo (fiber-glass body), the 60 horsepower engine resulted in 0-100 km/h in 12,5 seconds. If you went flat-out you might reach 160 km/h, according to the beautiful Saab press-kit. I wonder how fast a Saab Sonett fitted with the engine from a Volvo Amazon 123 GT (1,8 liter, with 115 horsepower) would be.

The Saab Sonett II has a very nice interior. The dashboard is covered in wood veneer and has very stylish dials from VDO. Photo by Johan Åhlund

The Sonett was most expensive Saab that you could buy

Back in 1967 it was rather expensive; it was actually the most expensive Saab that you could buy. Fortunately it was also, by far the most beautiful. It came with bucket seats, leather steering wheel, had a dashboard in mahogany plywood with very nice designed gauges from VDO, and also a built in roll-bar. Remember, Saab is Swedish and has a tradition of building safe cars.

Compared to later Sonnet’s the engine was quite easy to reach with the front hood section hinged forward. You just flipped it up and then you could easily access the little gem.

Hans in gaining speed as he is heading for the long straight at Mantorp Park. The little Saab is chased by a big Chevrolet Camaro, so far its ahead. Photo by Johan Åhlund

At a different race at Mantorp Park there were a lot of other cars at the track and it was a pure joy to see the little Saab Sonett being chased by Chevrolet Camaros, Porsche 912: s and other monsters.

Text and Photo : Johan Åhlund
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Victory Motorcycles just got axed

Another great looking Victory you bet it got a lot of attention at MC-mässan in Stockholm. Photo by Johan Åhlund

Let’s just sort this under bikesandbullshit should we? Well, this is a damned shame. Iowa-based Victory Motorcycles is now history. During the last 18 years Victory has made several thrilling motorcycles. But the owner, Polaris has now decided to terminate Victory. They will instead focus on their other motorcycle brand, Indian (remember the Indian Scout from 1920?).

The Victory Hammer at Mc-mässan in Stockholm. Photo by Johan Åhlund

I did really like the looks of Victory motorcycles, beautiful design, high quality, mighty sounding engines and lots of attitude. Models like the Hammer, the Eightball and the Judge are seriously cool.

Victory Motorcycles will be missed by their fans

This is one of the first Victory Motorcycles that entered Swedish soil. And man, it is gorgeous. Photo by Johan Åhlund

But as a matter of fact, I was quite surprised when I read the bad news. Ok, the company has struggled hard to establish the market share needed to be a profitable maker, but I did not thing it was going to be shut down.

That’s too bad, because their bikes were really something special. Certainly not good news for bike fans, and unfortunately the motorcycle business seems to be very unstable right now.

Let’s remember the great Victory bikes and hope for a better future. I will miss them. Perhaps it is time to order one, or just pay your respect and visit the Victory homepage.

Text and Photo : Johan Åhlund
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At least five teams ready for the STCC in 2017

This is Swedish racing driver Tomas Engström putting the pedal to the metal in a very fast Honda Civic, back in 2012 at Mantorp circuit in Sweden. I’m looking forward seeing at least one Honda on the grid! Photo by Johan Åhlund

The cars will be TCR-cars, and hopefully it will be more cars on the grid than before. Last year was not the finest moment in Swedish racing history. Don’t get me wrong, the racing was great, the drivers phenomenal, and we have some great tracks here. But we need larger grids, and cheaper cars that do not cost an arm and a leg to run. Last year there were way too few cars competing. At Falkenberg racetrack I watched a race with just five cars finishing (ok there was some carnage, but what the heck). That has got to change; otherwise the audience will stay at home.

The former STCC cars were extremely expensive, it’s very important that the new cars will be cheaper to run and maintain. If there are less cars racing next year, the sport will lose its attraction to many fans. Fortunately the former STCC-cars will race in the GT-series.

SEAT Leon TCR during the first shakedown. It sounded fantastic and looked quite fast. Photo : Johan Åhlund

Lets hope for several new teams in the STCC this year

In May, I visited the Mantorp Park circuit at a sports car event and watched the testing of the new Seat Leon TCR-car. Man, it did sound awesome. And it seems to behave very well on the soaked track. I was actually surprised by the performance and sound, it did look fast and I imagined in my mind a starting grid with a bunch of other cars like it. That would be great to watch.

This is the new Volkswagen Golf TCR, a car that will be driven by at least two teams in the STCC next year. Photo: Lestrup Racing Team.

When im writing this, only five teams are presented for 2017. That is alarmingly few. However, STCC driver Markus Annervi just signed on to run a Honda Civic TCR, and Greger Petersson, head at Sportpromotion just said to STCC.se that he has two more JAS-built Honda Civics available for other drivers to rent. PWR Racing Team will run at least two Seat Leon cars. LMS Racing will enter with the Audi RS3 TCR, and Fredrik Lestrup at Lestrup Racing Team and Experion Racing Team will race join the others in the very popular VW Golf TCR.

It sure will be exciting to see how many cars will be joining the grid on Ring Knutstorp the fourth of May. Hopefully the grid will hold at least 12 cars, that would be great. More info as always on STCC.SE.

Text and Photo : Johan Åhlund
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Arden XKR AJ20 Coupe – A very powerful Jaguar

Arden XKR AJ20 Coupe is in many ways the perfect streetcat. Photo by Johan Åhlund

A standard Jaguar XKR isn’t exactly slow. But if you really want to spice it up, you might give Jochen Arden a call. He is very good at making English cars even better. An Arden XKR AJ20 Coupe is the ideal choice if you want to travel with style. It is also sporty in a comfortable way. It’s a rare sight and in a trip to beautiful Stockholm it suddenly appeared in front of me at the boardwalk. This is a delicious Arden XKR AJ20 Coupe. When the car was new, it was the fastest Jaguar ever made. Now it’s quite a lot way faster.

Arden beefs up the engine to 4.5 liter, then fits it with a Eaton supercharger. This results in massive performance. Now, the V8 delivers a mighty 480 horsepower. Even more impressive is it´s torque, 640 Nm at 3850 rp/m. The top speed is 305 km/h and the Arden XKR AJ20 Coupe (very long name) has also got superb acceleration. Zero to 100 km/h, takes just 4.1 seconds.

The Arden XKR is both athletic and powerful

Yes, it DO look nice even from behind. Epecially when parked in sunny Stockholm. Photo by Johan Åhlund

The outside also matches the performance, and with Arden´s aerodynamic design in combination with upgraded suspension and a sportier exhaust system, the XKR will be great to drive. It also has a refined body kit with discrete styling that makes the car look even lower. 21″ rims gives the car a wider stance and meaner look. The XKR did also sound as good as it looks. Not bad.

Text and Photo : Johan Åhlund
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This is one great looking Corvette emblem

This nose emblem rests firmly on the hood of a very nice, bright yellow Corvette Stingray from 1973

A cars emblem or is often quite boring and dull. But not those mounted on classic Chevrolet Corvette´s. Especially American cars made in the sixties and seventies has gorgeous details in their emblem. The sporty Corvette has a number of different logos or emblems. Many of them are very beautiful.

This is one great looking Corvette emblem

This is definitely one of the best looking ones. This nose emblem rests firmly on the hood of a very nice, bright yellow Corvette Stingray from 1973. It’s the first emblem with the so called sunburst design. It has the crossed flags, is made of cloisonne enamel and is fitted with a very nice typography. I think it’s a little masterpiece. But there is one Corvette emblem thats even more beautiful. I will post that one later.

Text and Photo : Johan Åhlund
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Porsche 911 GT3 RS – It´s a wrap!

In to the pitlane after some agressive driving in the rain. Photo by Johan Åhlund

A standard Porsche 911 GT3 RS is not a boring car to look at. But this car has been given a very nice wrapping (designed by Skepple INC) by Swedish company Wrapzone. The patinated livery in the classic Martini Racing, with rust and scratches looks quite amazing.

Push it to the limit, the GT3 RS can take it

Ready to enter the main straight at Mantorp Park. Hard on the breaks, than floor it. Photo by Johan Åhlund

The owner, Henrik really pushed it to the limit on the Mantorp Park circuit at the annual track day arranged by Autolife. Unfortunately the rain poured down, but the drivers did not care at all.

The 500 horses from its very impressive, naturally aspirated 4.0 liter engine give this “Internet celebrity ” Porsche ballistic performance. 0-100 km/h on 3,3 seconds, and 310 km/h flat out.

Text and Photo : Johan Åhlund
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The beautiful Ferrari 458 Italia…

This is so perfect. Red italian supercar with golden wheels soaking in the sun at a trackday. Photo by Johan Åhlund

It’s painted in Rosso Scuderia with very nice golden diamond rims and has lots of options. The interior is a dream in black alcantara racing seats with red stitching and red seatbelts. And it moves too, and sounds terrific.

Ferrari 458 Italia looks just amazing in Rosso Scuderia

The V8 delivers 570 bhp @ 9000 r/pm, has 540 Nm of torque @ 6000 r/pm and the DCT double clutch gearbox its fast. 0-100 km/h at 3,4 seconds, and flat out it will reach 325 km/h.

I took this picture and several others at the Autoropa Racing Day at Mantorp Park last year, and I will soon publish some other nice Italian cars from that event. Perhaps of this car when it’s flat out on the track.

Text and Photo : Johan Åhlund
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