Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Holy ground

So this is my first post on this blog and possibly an introduction to me, what I like and how I think. I’m on a work trip to the US of A. I won’t mention anything about, but I have had a great time, I have met old friends, made new ones, I’ve seen hot rods doing burn outs and running huge superchargers on the street. If any of my Phoenix friends sees this I just want to say thank you for this time, I will try to come back soon.

I have of course also bought some stuff while being here. Even if it didn’t burn a hole in my pocket it did so to my wallet and the magnetic strip on the credit card is now worn out.

I have been driving a lot, since that is part of my work here. Much of it has been on smaller roads and I love it. Seeing the different sceneries, small villages, big cities all of it just gives me so much inspiration. I love the houses, the roads, the hand painted signs and the use of color. Sweden is pretty boring where all cities goes in different shades of grey. It makes me want to go back home and paint a big mural on my garage wall.

But the real highlight of the trip was when I just before sunset drove down Utah Interstate 80 and exited at exit 4. I was excited when I was driving closer to the holy place, the Bonneville Salt Flats. I was finally there. OK it was flooded so I couldn’t actually walk out there and feel the salt. But it was beautiful and want to go back there soon… Hopefully next time I see it will be thru a 6 inch tall windshield to the sound of a roaring 6-cylinder.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Escape from work !

At the same time as Håkan, Anders, Carina and LM were doing good progress with the build, Catrine and I sneaked out the backdoor, took some time off and visited friends in Florida.
Florida at this time of the year is very nice and warm but not too warm, it's around 30 deg C, with sea temp around 25 deg C or more. Sunny with some lovely sun sets in the Mexican Gulf.
It has to be seen in perspective, of the really, really shitty weather we have in Sweden at the same time, where it rains more than ever before and is windy like hell, while it gets even colder and darker…until the spring is back.

Weather is and was for sure better in Florida.

Sunset in the Mexican Gulf

Beaches and channels / swamp with wildlife like Dolphins, Sharks, Alligators, Manatee, Turtles etc
Lovely nice warm beach 

But as always, The Beach and sun needs something more. So already if you would consider to drink or some high end sparkling water the "Gasoline" comes sneaking on you as a close, warm friend.
I mean what would Pellegrino be without Ducati.
Branding co-operation

AAAAA Life is more than heat and high end sparkling water, There are cars to be found, lets start with some easy ones. The neighbour to our friends (Larry) had just bought himself a SSR Chevy with low mileage and in very good condition. He had been searching for the right color and spec for a long time. 
Red will make you visible.

The Build sheet with the right spec. 

The next day when we drove up to Sarasota we stumbled over this Mercury. Very nice. 
Notice the ridge on the trunk !

Notice the combination of paint and chrome on the Appleton Light.

OK we needed some more, so some days later we drove up to Muscle car city in Punta Gorda.
The collection was big, somewhere between 200 - 250 cars all in very good condition. Very focused on certain cars, only GM and certain specific variants. See homepage for more info For a Swede on muscle car diet this was a very good and healthy dosage.

Corvettes from 1954 to today 

Race version 

What really caught our interest was the huge collection of Big Block 65 - 67 Corvettes. We stopped counting after around 25. I got the impression that every color of 1967 was represented by a Big Block Corvette

One example of one of many nice 1967

The 1967

The motivation

I  did as well spot my wet dream, a 69 Camaro Pace Car, it would look nice together with my 69 Hugger Orange Z28.

Ok What is this ? Schwinn cruisers in different colors. I'm not sure if they are replications but they looked like new. Magnus B in the team has one as his daily transportation to his fathers farm so he for sure have a soft spot for them.

Around 5 - 10 409 impalas.

409 makes sense

All at least two door body styles of Chevy 55 - 57

Nice 1956 Nomad

Last but not least why not a fast Hydro boat together with some Pontiacs. We are in Florida with a lot of cool boats, but this one was of course a little on the edge and a little bit more than usually.

Fast Hydro with Turbine engine

Guarded by the Pontiacs

Besides of cars, food is important, Burger of the best quality from Jimmy P in Naples as one example but what all good food has in common is first class vegetables.

Avocado of fantastic quality and size.

Ok when writing this I'm back in reality in Sweden with raining and rather windy weather, just a perfect time to spend some quality time in the SSR Garage.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

To Notch!

The Sunday morning was grey. There was an obvious need to cheer things up. To get rid of The Gloom. I looked at my two cars. I thought for a couple of seconds before I took the decision.  It had to be the yellow C6 Corvette, I needed to hear the LS engine, feel the responsive steering, enjoy the acceleration and not the least, see young kids jumping up and down making thumbs-up, while the autumn leaves were tumbling in the rear mirror. In short, I needed a feast for the soul.
Happy as children on Christmas Eve, Carina and I entered the workshop today. Carina made a garage apple pie, served directly from the garage oven, in order to provide energy to the Salt Slush Racing team and all the others that showed up to support, socialize or work on their own contraptions.  
Lars-Martin and I got the tubes in place in the milling machine.
...and the milling machine was gently humming its peaceful low frequent lullaby...
 ...while smoke gets in Anders eyes as he adjusted the B-pillar.
 Turning things around, while thing geeting a nice weld burn.(note: buying shirts in the same store might work as team building)
 Aim, shoot and hope for the best. That's the Salt Slush Way! Perfection with Speed!
 As predicted, the result was close to perfect.
 But was it still possible wo use the hinges? The SSR team took in external help to find out.  Per (PA) confirmed that everything was ok. As expected...
Passing inspection is always frightening, but Gitte seemed happy with our role cage. The final review was completed successfully. A relief.
Meanwhile, in another part of the workshop, Carina was working with her rototiller. New ignition part was assembled. But will it eventually tear up the asphalt? Nobody knows.
To be continoued...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fast & Low!

Slowly our Speed Machine starts to come together. Piece by piece are getting there after being discussed, designed, manufactured and eventually assembled to the vehicle.

In this fun and time consuming work it can sometimes be difficult to remember when a certain milestone was achieved. When one part is done you just move on to the next area on the priority list.
But then, suddenly, there's a magic moment. When you shout out load while feeling victorious! Then something happens, don't ask me what it is...but you can hear the wild engine roar and the turbo whine...You feel the distinct clunk from the gearbox which report that you’re in gear! You can feel the vibrations and you can smell the exhaust, oil and gasoline. In short: A Workshop Moment.

This was what happened when we mounted the wheels on the rear-end!
Low & Speedy! We're lovin' it!
Anders has as well designed and mounted hinges on the newly completed rear end frame structure. The body is now possible to lift like a funny car body. Serviceabillity is always a priority for SSR. 
Meanwhile parts are being restored. 
But perhaps most importantly, the driver seat position is decided. After a lot of exercising, i.e. jumping in and out of the car, Anders and I got tired, made a mark in the sheet metal and said jointly: Here's the position!
After this was done we welded the first part of the roll cage in place. This felt good, really good.
Next step? Elbow grease. A lot of…One measuring, one milling, one welding and one serving cold drinks.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Hot Rod Amazon!

We'll soon update you all about our latest and greatest achievements.
Here's some info upfront:  The frame and roll cage is being welded at the moment. Tomorrow or on Tuesday we´ll try to understand where to put the driver’s seat. In general we know where it should be positioned, but we’re trying to fix the absolute point in order to get the steering wheel as well as the pedals and eventually the firewall in the right (suitable) position.

Nevertheless, forget about our technical issues, lean back and enjoy these videos, which perhaps can make you understand why Volvo Amazon is an excellent European Hot Rod basis.
An objective video
A test comparision.

But why?  How come the Volvo Amazon became such a Rally /Hot Rod car?
Well, already the 1962 commercial gives us a hint.
    The commercial

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Maybe not the latest and greatest

But for us this is absolutely something to hang on to.

Its in Swedish and kind of a love song to an old Amazon made by Svenne Rubins.

All of us in the Team have been cruising down the main street listening to some for that time mega big hit on the Radio (Yes without cassette player) in the Amazon. For sure many years before CD and Spotify.

The main Challenge was to keep the windscreen free from ice and mist.

Svenne Rubins I en Gammal Amazon

The driver of the Amazon is the late Christer Glenning who passed away 1998. Glenning was at that time, at least Sweden, a World famous Automotive Journalist. Maybe (or for sure) not on Jeremy Clarkson or Freiburg, Finnegan get the picture.

Anyhow, The Volvo Amazon do have a special place in every Swedes life.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Design, Disappointment and Dedicated work

Sunday again. The SSR team meets with dedication in their eyes. The autumn had begun, the rain was about to stop and almost all of our cars and boats had been put to sleep.  All but one (it turned out) of us had found this autumn piece of mind, when you miss the summer, are depressed about the coming winter, but still can find relief in the slow undemanding period of the year when the sun goes down earlier and the workshop or garage is there for you with open arms!
Lars-Martin is working at the lathe.
Magnus, The blacksmith, makes progress with the transmission mounts. His seriousness is obviously absolute.
 Carina is by some reason really happy to work with the Salt Slush Racing AB webshop, where it soon will be possible to buy really cool race/street turbochargers from BWTS EFR!
  Meanwhile inside the Amazon, the whole team works with removing the transmission again in order to get access for welding and as well enable design of the transmission mount as well as the frame and roll cage structure. We're really trying to think about serviceability as well since, we might need to repair stuff while in a stressful situatiuon in the middle of the dessert... 
As mentioned in the beginning, we've all found piece of mind, except Kalle who is on the verge to a breakdown since he cannot understand why his boat doesn’t really give full power and full speed every time. It’s complicated…
The frame structure is getting there, step by step. I’ve welded a lot today. The frame is getting fixed and ridged. The contraption that we call our Landspeed racer, starts to look fast and nice.
Magnus and Anders now have an idea of how the roll cage eventually will look like. We'll soon fix it once and for all.

When we left the workshop the road was dry and the sun was shining. At this point in time is was about time to call it a day, drive home grab a beer and make some food. And recap the nice feeling of getting something done.

Luke 6:31

Treat others the same way you wan't them to treat you.
Don't poke a welding rod in others face or eye !

Magnus who is an experienced and thinking person took it to the next level today.
Made a bend on the welding rod and avoided poking it in someones face or even eye. 

The Bend  

With the bend Magnus could weld without any worry.

The relaxed friendly welder

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Our Logotype and brand -How It All Started.

In one of the earliest post, we told the story about how it all began.   As those of you who've already read it know, it’s a story that involves barbecue, beer and ideas.

Good ideas and big dreams. Dreams about flying low over the salt (hopefully with some grace) with a turbocharged 800hp engine howling under the hood.

But we needed a logo.  A simple and fast one. We discussed and discussed. This mental exercis almost made our brains boil.

Then suddenly, in bar in US… we got a breakthrough.
Carina made a sketch on napkin. We took a picture and celebrated.
Ok, we had an idea, but it was in need of more work.  When we were all back home in Sweden again, Anders, Karl-Johan and Catrine gathered to think...

Afterwards Anders started the artistic work... and we're all proud the result!

Fast and somehwat evil...

Orange and Black...for our soon to open Speed Shop…

Yellow fever ?

...or classic black...

or just clean and simple....