Swedish uprising: Raggare phenomenon in car culture

By studying the styles and trends of tuning, inevitably confronted with the people that make those or other manifestations of culture came to light. We already know about the gang and Truckers Japan, European tuners, as well as the US youth since the end of World War II. Today we will focus on the most controversial and vibrant car culture phenomenon in Scandinavia, and perhaps the entire world. After all, on the peninsula more than half a century ago was born the movement Raggare, bringing together the young and the Swedish American cars. How is that even possible?


Who would have thought that Sweden, with its quite a decent standard automobile will become a center of worship classic American sedans and coupes? It is much more likely to be the backbone of the fans looked Volvo and Saab. Such is certainly there, but the dawn in the mid '50s rock' n 'roll and everything connected with it, swept away everything in its path. Do not resist, and Sweden. What is needed for young people at that time? Freedom of thought, love and self-expression. Magnificent companion in this quest appeared car. Although this time was characterized by the dawn of the Swedish auto industry (Volvo then exported to the United States for more than 5 000 vehicles per year – almost 20% of total production), imports of the latter-day muscle cars also had the place to be. It is not difficult to guess that the eight-cylinder Buicks and Pontiacs presented the Swedish youth what they lacked – the spirit of freedom. Their behavior did not fit in the way of post-war European society: drinking alcohol, sex in the back seat, unsafe riding with a large number of passengers in the cabin. The terms «beer car» (ie car to travel over a beer or beer drinking) and «raggare» it appeared at that time. In the original language this is called Transportation «Pilsner Bilar».

Big American car itself was unique compared to European models, and therefore perfectly suited not only for the guys drunk pokatushek with speakers coming from chords Little Richard, but for the "pick-up". This, of course, draw attention of girls, and not on the transport of trash in the back of the SUV. In view of this tuning is practically not used. Moreover, while in Scandinavia he simply has not been available for such rare machines. Frivolous ladies often transported right outside – good wide fenders and hoods "Americans" perfectly suited for this. In 1959, the box office was a film «Raggare!», Which tells about the life of young people relating to this subculture. This fact provided the impetus to the promotion of the movement in Sweden and neighboring countries, as occurred in 1960 Pontiac Bonneville went on to become an instant classic raggare.


Fuel crisis in the US in the 1970s reduced the demand for more powerful models, and many of them have purchased previously sought to get rid of them at bargain prices. The Swedes took advantage of the situation, began buying American cars. Therefore, in the history of the Swedish automotive era Creedence Clearwater Revival marked by massive influx of vehicles from overseas. Five-meter sedan and coupe on a background calibrated, concise Volvo looked existent madness – what you need to raggare! In rare even issued a circulation can be found in the suburbs of Stockholm, just a few hundred, oil cars, bought just a couple of thousand dollars. Condition of the car and his appearance did not matter, so a few deep into tuning and restoration of this technique. While Americans do not get tired to improve its Hot-Rod'y, Scandinavians were content with only the fact of ownership of the "American dream" in the format of four wheels and eight cylinders. Since then, many cars raggare remembered as rusty and battered Rydvan to complement the image of the property owner – rockers and bespredelschik in denim or leather jackets, cowboy boots with stacked randomly hair.

Photo: Goa Pilsnerbilar

Modern stage

Development and formation raggare on all its half-century way of serving not only cinema, but also other segments of the entertainment industry. The flow of the song is dedicated to Magnus Uggla 1975 «Raggarna»; it is regularly mentioned in the media as a result of the unrest, which its members uchinyali. In the '70s there was a rift between raggare and punk rockers, in which the past is constantly mentioned course participants in their songs, scolding them responding. Later, the screens out the TV series «Ronny & Ragge», in which two friends looking for adventure on his shabby Ford Taunus. In 1996 raggare symbols appeared on Swedish postage stamp cost 12 kronor, it did not doubt: it is an integral part of the history of the country.

Raggare exists to this day, despite the fact that fashion has repeatedly managed to raise and settle the popular rock culture 50-60s. The modern movement in Sweden alone has about half a million people. Their numbers swell people from Norway, Germany, Austria and even Russia. Swedish raggare Age ranged from 18 to 60 years, and some families many as three generations, is directly involved in this movement. Characteristically, the newcomers fanateyut it from the classic rock music, not its modern interpretations.

If in the past century, the community met weekly as a part of a few dozen people, but today are held more and larger monthly and annual events. One of these – the July Festival Sweden Power Meet in Vasteras, which is hundreds of kilometers to the west of Stockholm. This event annually attracts more than ten thousand classic American cars, which can be divided into two types. The first – instance, putting professional technical and aesthetic perfection in the best traditions of the restoration. Shining chrome on a freshly painted body panels, they are opposed to the second group of participants – was a "thrash" cars and their owners. Koi do not hesitate corroded skewed wings and doors and behave like their predecessors were: drink liters of alcohol, shout loudly old hits and conquer the attention of the fairer sex.

Sweden Power Meet is the largest festival of fans of the "right" of American cars. Fans and restorers muscle cars every year come in Vasteras, including with a view to the acquisition of rare parts, as a chance to find them there are much higher than in the US. This is not surprising – in the past century, annually imported more than five thousand of these machines in Sweden.

Thus, raggare – not the kind of car tuning and style. This global social phenomenon, bringing together people and machines from different parts of the world. It is impossible to become raggare, not carried away by the American rock culture of the mid XX century, and not owning "full-size" car. Nevertheless, the movement develops, delaying a new age and social groups from Scandinavia and neighboring regions. And remember: you can love jazz or hip-hop, but if you like big cars from the old world – their appearance in Europe, you owe raggare.

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