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Sweden's chaos celebration: Dagen H

Swedish celebrations

While Volvo celebrates 40 years of their 240 model range (born 21 augustus 1974) and 7 decades of the PV444 (1 september 1944) it’s also 47 years back in time since Sweden was the most confusing place in the world to drive a car. The country had their ‘Dagen H’ eventually leading to 5 AM on 3  September 1967. Dagen H stood for 'Days of Högertrafik’ - Swedish for ‘Right hand traffic’. Yes, Sweden changed from driving on the left to driving on the right on that particular moment in time. The reason? Neighboring Norway and Finland were driving on the right either, which made Sweden a bit of an oddball sandwiched in between them. Apart from that the government found that left hand driven vehicles caused too many head-on collisions while driving on the left. And so, while 80% of the Swedes said no to the change in a referendum, the change was there to come.

As you can see in this famous picture taken on that September morning in Stockholm, it lead to some, erm, imbalance. But according to the contemporary press only 125 minor accidents were reported on the day. One boy on a bicycle broke his leg after he was hit be a confused driver – supposedly one of the worst incidents. The politicians were also keen to report that traffic accidents went down over the next few months. However, by 1969, the accident rates were back at their normal levels and the Dagen H became once more a point of discussion... Left hand driven traffic is in a minority now – this map shows you the exceptions in blue. For better or worse?

(Picture courtesy Wikipedia/Jan Collsiöö)

Wednesday, 03 September 2014

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Identifying pre 1961 GP cars.

Your editor take a nap
Clearly the editor of PreWarCar is not so hot on the fifties-sixties racing cars. He takes advantage of the soft growl of these pre-1961 race machines at the Zandvoort Historic Grand Prix (here heard at Brno) to take a short nap. Or is it concentration? Maybe he is trying to identify the cars just by their sound. 
Can you identify the cars that passed during the few minutes pictured above and below just by their colour and silhouette..?

(photos Bart Kleyn)
 
   

Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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What is your view on Callum's Mk II ?

Ian Callums take on the Mk II Jaguar.
Many of us remember being struck by a car when we were children, and even sketching that car as a reminder. But few of us get to see that childhood sketch refined into metal. But this is exactly what has heppened with Jaguar Chief of Design Ian Callum, whose own re-working of the immortal Mk II was unveiled at CMC in the UK last week. 

Having seen a friend of his Father's Mk II in his early teens, Ian Callum had kept the desire to "improve" upon the classic lines. Being a grown up car designer allowed him the expertise with form and line, working for Jaguar the budget! Trusting the work force at Classic Motor Cars he pronounced himself "delighted" with his dream made reality. Changes include Cad rendered front and rear bumpers; a 4.3 litre XK derived engine; entirely new IRS and uprated brakes, settring and interior. Yet the whole is still unmistakeably a Jaguar Mk II.  It even sounds gloriously right!

Members of the press at the unveiling, which was done by legendary Jaguar test driver Norman Dewiss, asked what the price was, Callum demured at this, but was quick to say that CMC boss Peter Neumark could, he was sure, supply a "replica", to which Peter replied that he would be delighted to, and mentioned that the brand new IRS was a registered design unique to CMC's highly skilled team. With Ian promossing that he was going to drive the car, even using it daily, be sure to keep eyes, and ears, open for what may well prove to be the "Ultimate" Mk II Jaguar. By Callum.   (text & photos Guy Loveridge)

editor: now we wonder how your position is towards this intrepid design experiment 
      

Monday, 01 September 2014

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Tough to Crack: Puzzle #91

Tough to Crack: Puzzle #89

In the 1950s lots of little factories -or even artisans- created cars with old parts from cheap WWII scrap which could be found almost everywhere. But this is not the case of our current quiz. This friendly  looking car wasn´t produced in a country which took part in the War, and it wasn´t made from old parts of other cars: all components, inside and out, were newly made by this little company. Another hint is important for this car: despite the suggestive front end design the engine is located in the rear and is air cooled. So if you know or find out what it is, use no more than 100 words to tell us marque, year, model, origins and name of the creator. And please send in before Monday,  September 1,   if you want to have a chance winning the PostWarClassic T-Shirt! Good luck!

Saturday, 30 August 2014

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