G'day folks,

This post relates to more cars that have been collected and deserted. The “Raggare” movement, which emerged from a post-war youth counterculture mainly in Sweden and parts of Norway, is known for its undying love of vintage American hot rod cars and 1950s pop culture.

Deep in the Swedish woods, there lies an army of more than a thousand abandoned cars, decaying since the 1950s. The land was once owned by two brothers who opened a scrapyard business for cars left behind by U.S servicemen in Sweden and around Europe after WW2. Disassembling the cars and selling them off to Norway for parts was big business in Sweden at the time. Norway had been left a poor country after the war and car parts were near impossible to get. Junkyards popped up all along the Swedish border and Norwegians were their best customers.

The brothers who owned Båstnäs lived on the land and continued selling abandoned American cars up until the 1980s. Today you can still the see the forgotten cars strewn around the land, filling the fields surrounding the brothers’ two dilapidated homes.

While many Swedes are demanding the country’s junkyards be removed and the forests cleaned up, ironically, environmentalists are pleading for them to stay, arguing that wildlife have made nests in the automobile remains. And if they get their way, the cars will remain until they’re dust.

“Ragga” roughly means “to pick up girls” in Swedish and they were known to do just that; pick up impressionable young women in one town and find new ones in the next, having their “bad boy” way with them in the back seat of the car along the way.

Today, the Raggare have quite a different reputation, met with amusement or only mild disapproval by modern mainstream society. There’s been some controversy about the raggare seen waving the Confederate flags while driving their old muscle cars, but to quote an article published last year by Jalopnik about the car culture, “like most cultural icons, the Confederate flag doesn’t translate fully when its taken overseas … and in Sweden, it’s both a symbol of America and rebellion, and not of anything with scary undertones.”

Now,  check out these pearlers.

Clancy's comment: Amazing, eh? So much steel, and so many spare parts for some keen enthusiast who is restoring one of these icons.

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