Lars Erik Ljungkvist's 1932 Ford
1932 Ford Roadster owned and built by Lars Erik "Junken" Ljungkvist of Huddinge in Stockholm, Sweden. As a teenager in the 1950s, Junken used to hang around Lette Djurberg's garage. At the time, Lette was building a 1932 Ford roadster that featured a hopped up flathead engine. Lette's roadster incorporated many of the tricks you could read about in the American magazines. Junken grew a passion for fenderless hi-boys, and after building a roofless english 1932 Ford Tudor outside in the snow, he decided to build a real roadster in the early 1960s. Junken had a passion for high speed as well, and he decided to use a 1956 Buick V8 engine as power plant in his roadster. The engine was hooked to a 1947 Ford Commercial transmission, and produced around 124 horsepowers. The front axle was dropped 2 3/4 inches, and the car rolled on reversed 15 inch 1951 Mercury wheels with whitewall tires. The running boards and front fenders were removed. The rear fenders were kept, but bobbed. Inside, the roadster was fit with a cut down 1959 Mercury dashboard and a 1956 Ford steering wheel. The upholstery was from a 1960 Ford Thunderbird. A skull was used as shift knob. The build was completed in 1963, and Junken had a hard time getting it through the Swedish vehicle licensing department. In order to get it approved, he had to install Motorcycle type fenders and mud flaps. In 1963 a vehicle-licensing-department friendly version of Junken's roadster was shown on the cover of Teknik för alla December 1963. The caption on the cover stated that the hot rod sport had reached Sweden. This version of the car was green with a red interior, frame and other details. The engine was dress up with several chromed items such as the valve covers and alternator. The plug wires were red, and matched the theme of the car. Junken was 20 years old at the time, and according to the story his car was one out of about 30 hot rods in Sweden at the time. Build cost was about 13 000 Swedish kroner.
Needing a place to park the car, Junken bought an old barn together with Bengt Wennergren and a fellow called "Rompa."The old barn was turned into a shop, and they called themselves the Road Knights; "There was a comic book back in the days that contained a story about some kids that were into Hot Rods," Bengt Wennergren told Kustomrama in 2012, "they had a club called the Road Knights, so when we were adding our phone number to the phone directory, we decided to use "Road Knights." When someone called us in the shop, we answered saying "Road Knights." It wasn't much more then that."
Once the build was completed, Junken drove the roadster to Rimini, Italy on a vacation in 1964. Along on the trip was also Bengt Wennergren with his 1949 Ford, Inge Ellburg with his 1956 Ford, and "Palle" with his 1924 Chevrolet. Rickard Bergström and Monica drove with Junken. Monica sat in the rumble seat. "Crille" Lundberg rode with Inge, and Morris with Bengt. In 2012 Bengt told Kustomrama that Junken blew his transmission in Germany; "He left the '32 in Germany, and put the license plates on a 1956 Ford Sunliner, so he could continue the trip. Later on, in Bad Hersfeld, he blew the engine in the Sunliner. After replacing the engine in the Sunliner, Palle managed to drive his hot rod straight over a runabout in the middle of the night. The engine came loose in the hot rod, and Palle ended up in jail. When we arrived in Monaco, Palle met us, as he had bribed out of jail. He was not allowed to drive in Germany any more though. Both the Sunliner and Palle's made the trip back to Sweden." Bengt did not know what happened to Junken's roadster though.
Junken had one of the fastest cars in town, if not the fastest car in town. The only car that could beat him was Palle Eriksson's Hemi powered 1924 Chevrolet Model T. In 1964 Junken drove the roadster to Monaco, without front fenders. By then the car had been repainted Marigold Metalflake. Junken bought the Metalflake from Gamen, and his roadster might have been the second Metalflaked car in Sweden. The first one was supposedly Bengt Wennergren's 1949 Ford.
In 1965 Lars' Ford was shown at the first annual Hot Rod Show in Stockholm. By then the roadster had been fit with a white top and a 1959 Mercury steering wheel. The wide whitewall-tires from 1963 had been replaced by tires with skinnier white stripes. A color photo of Lars' roadster was printed on the cover of the souvenir program from the show. According to the souvenir program, the top and upholstery was made by Auto Clayt.
In 1968 a Candy Red version of Junken's roadster was shown at the 1968 Hot Rod Show in Stockholm. This version was owned by Pia Karlseth. Rumor has it that the car was eventually sold to Germany in the late 1960s or early 1970s.
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