Some time ago my friends from Russia started to mention one bad-ass event that is held in Sweden. It is called Power Big Meet and is organised for more than 30 years. Friends invited me to go with them this year. They are running a car club called Non Grata, some of you may know that it’s the first Lowrider club in Russia. Aleksandr and Andrei arrived one day earlier to Tallinn, in a sorted out Chevrolet Impala and crisp Volga “GAZ-24” Lowriders. We did some photoshoots, but more of it you’ll see in future posts, let’s stick to our road trip.
2. Next morning we arrived to Stockholm and started our journey to Västerås.
3. We were joined by Vitalik from Moscow, who also took his Impala to the meet.
4. On the way we were getting constant “likes” towards our cars from passing by cars
5. On every petrol station we were meeting other pilgrims
6. Some were big, others were small
7. Also I noticed few times already that it’s ‘OK’ for Swedes to drive their cars on drag slicks.
8. Looks legal…
9. Still wide as drag tyres, even though they have a pattern
10. Hello Mater!
11. And you must be his younger brother?
12. Rockabilly meets punk
13. and Lowrider gals have different style
14. But we’re in Sweden and any car subculture is overshadowed by Raggare, punks who love 50s – 60s american cars. I will come back to them a bit later as well.
15. Let’s concentrate on the Meet. It’s a two day event held at Johannisberg’s airport. Also, there are number of events around the city. On first day we were invited to Lowrider Barbecue at Fatcap Garage.
16. Volga was getting a lot more attention than others. You see, in Stockholm people saw all the american cars you can imagine, but most people never saw a proper stylish Volga.
17. but for us, American cars with hydraulic suspension were a looker
18. Not your ordinary Play Station joystick
19. Non Grata meets Rollerz Only
20. Fatcap isn’t only about lowriders, it’s a garage, that deals with street cars in general
21. Sun was going down, that meant that we need to go to one supermarket car park where “everyone are going”
22. Town was totally converted into American Car Museum
23. Ordinary Statoil in early 70s
24. Looked like everyone were going in the same direction
25. Shopping mall was closed, but seemed that nobody is leaving
26. Reminded me of a local streetrace meet
27. They even organised a special area for burnouts. And yes, it’s BMW 2002 with a big block
28. Not your ordinary american car lovers
29. Next morning I was on my way to the airfield, exited to see 20 000+ cars
30. On the way I saw more Raggare
31. I understand they have a dozen Raggare clubs in Sweden, but it seems that one thing they have in common – their cars looks like a pile of junk
32. I’m not saying it’s bad, just punky, and I can understand that inside most cars are properly sorted. Air suspension, motor in check and so on
33. Lowrider gangs don’t like them mainly because they both choose Impala, but where “gangstas” have law & order, Raggare have anarchy.
34. Showed up in dirty t-shirt – you need to pay; rims are dirty – you need to pay.
35. Picking on someone else’s girlfriend – you’re banned from the lowrider club.
36. I have a feeling that Raggare don’t have anything of this sort
37. Let’s get back to the Meet. First one was held in 1984 where 80 cars gathered, now we can see more that 20 000 cars on the field and probably 10 000 more in the city itself.
38. The weather was around +27C every day, people were trying to hide from the sun if they had the opportunity.
39. Tents with cloches was a good choice, sadly for me and luckily for my bank account, they didn’t accept cards
40. Big Meet is mostly about classic cars, but you definitely can spot a number of future classics
41. Traditional numbers were noticed on a lot of the cars, 396, 440 and so on
42. but I only saw a couple of confederate flags, usually it’s hundreds at such events
43. Attention to details is sometimes mind blowing
44. the field with cars was endless
45. I would criticise the event as a quantity over quality event, but it’s ok, it’s a Meet, not a Show.
46. My personal favourite was this 1959 Impala Dragster
47. Again, it was sublime in terms of details
48. Every year you get a Big Meet badge, I envy a bit, because my first one is dated 2015.
49. After the Meet everybody were preparing for the Grand Parade around the city
50. Party hard as they say
51. People gather on sidewalks. It makes sense, on the streets you see even more than at the show itself
52. Parade was huge and never ending
53. I believe that I saw most of the american cars built between 50s to 70s, but of course some earlier/later examples as well
54. We were on our way home, tired of the sun, but happy
55. By the way, our house looked something like a perfect “american dream” setting
56. Next day I boarded the ferry and returned to Estonia. My Russian friends are still there, visiting custom meets and cruising the city.
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