Christer Lundberg's 1937 Ford Coupe

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An early iteration of Chrille's coupe was shown at the 1965 Hot Rod Show in Marmorhallarna in Stockholm. Running blackwall tires and chromed and reversed wheels, this photo shows the car as it appeared in the souvenir program from the show.
A photo of the coupe taken at the 1965 Hot Rod Show. This Photo appeared in print in Colorod 1 1970.
Chrille, who was an early Swedish hot rodder and an active builder in the 1960s, had two cars on display at the first Hot Rod Show in Stockholm. In addition to the coupe, he also showed his Hemi-powered 1931 Chevrolet Roadster.
A photo of Chrille's Coupe taken at the 1966 Matshugget Hot Rod Festival in Gothenburg, Sweden. Photo by Ryde Brundin, courtesy of Maths Pålsson.
A photo of a Crown Victoria custom taken at the September 1967 Hot Rod Show in Marmorhallarna. Chrille's coupe can be seen behind the Crown Victoria. Photo by Ryde Brundin, courtesy of Maths Pålsson.
The car attending a later Hot Rod Show. Painted silver, this iteration featured Astro wheels.
A photo of the coupe that Mikael de Bourg Wetterlund took at the 1973 Hot Rod Show in Stockholm. Raymond Öström was the owner of the car by then, and it had been dressed up with a fade and panel paint job. Photo from The Mikael de Bourg Wetterlund Photo Collection.
A photo of the coupe at the 1973 Hot Rod Show from The P.A. Flink Photo Collection.
Another photo of the coupe at the 1973 Hot Rod Show from The P.A. Flink Photo Collection.
A photo of the coupe from 1973 Hot Rod Show that appeared in Colorod 3/1973.
A photo of the coupe taken at Skokloster in 1974. Photo from Colorod 7/1974.
Janne Ström racing the coupe at Hudiksvall. Photo courtesy of Erik Henriksson.
Erik Henriksson of Hudiksvall bought the car in 1992. Erik started an extensive restoration of the car after the fire and got it back on the road again. Click here to see Erik's pictures from the restoration..
A photo of the coupe next to 'Mystic Blue,' another historic Swedish hot rod. Photo courtesy Erik Henriksson
A photo of the coupe take in 2018. Photo courtesy of Pelle Hammarberg.
A photo of the coupe taken at an indoor car show in Örnsköldsvik in 2020. Photo by Timo Ala-Krekola.

1937 Ford Business Coupe originally owned and built by Christer 'Chrille' Lundberg of Stockholm, Sweden. Christer was an early Swedish hot rodder and an active builder in the 1960s. He bought the coupe for 200 SEK in 1960. It was in a poor condition when he got it, but he did a good job restoring it, getting it back on the road again - Fully approved.[1]


Roadtrip to Italy

In the summer of 1964, Christer joined several other Swedish hotrodders on a road trip to Italy. It was a nice experience and according to Chrille, the car behaved very well on the European roads.[1]


1965 Hot Rod Show

An early iteration of Chrille's coupe was shown at the 1965 Hot Rod Show in Marmorhallarna in Stockholm. By then, the had car had received a powerful 392 Dodge Hemi from a crashed car that Chrille had gotten for free. The brakes were converted to hydraulic during the same operation, and according to the souvenir program from the show, the engine was hopped up with an Iskanderian racing cam and three Stromberg 97 carburetors. It ran a 1939 Ford transmission with Zephyr gears and 14" chromed and reversed wheels. Chrille scrapped the stock bumpers, replacing them with chromed nerf bars. Aftermarket headlight rims were also installed along with turn signal lights on the fenders. Inside it was dressed up with a red tuck'n'roll vinyl upholstery and seats from a 1964 Ford Thunderbird. The windshield wiper shafts on the coupe are below the front windows, indicating that the window frame is fixed and not possible to open. The car was supposedly painted white when Chrille entered it at the 1965 Hot Rod Show, and in addition to the coupe, Chrille also had a 1931 Chevrolet Roadster on display at the first Hot Rod Show.[1]


Silver

Sometime after the 1965 Hot Rod Show, the coupe was painted silver and dressed up chromed wheels from Astro Custom. A 392 Hemi with an automatic transmission from a 1959 Chrysler found its way into the coupe, precisely fitted within the hood sides. The rear end from the same Chrysler probably found its way under the car as well.[1]


Show and GO!

Christer attended and raced the coupe at the "First Go" - the first drag racing event at Anderstorp Raceway in 1968.
He had the #1 start number of all cars! Bitten by the bug, he went on to build build a dragster from an Anglia. [1]

Sold

Christer was an active builder. He had several projects, and he sold the coupe around 1968 - 1969. It is not known who he sold it to, and the history of the car in the following years, but in 1973 it attended the Hot Rod Show with Raymond Öström as the owner. By then, a 413 ci Chrysler that had been bored to 426 ci had found its way into the coupe. It had also been dressed up with Ansen wheels and a new fade and panel paint job by Frittes Billack. This iteration of the coupe did also run widened fenders to cover up the wheels.[1]


"Chrille Lundberg's Old One"

Since nobody really knew Raymond, the car became known as "Chrille Lundberg's old one" amongst other rodders. Shortly thereafter, the coupe was sold to well-known drag racer Tommy "Blue Swede" Svensson from Västerås. Tommy kept it for a while before it changed hands and was sold to Ryde Brundin of Östersund, another well known Swedish drag racer.[1]


Mustang driveline

Later restorations indicate that the car was re-painted several times in the 1960s and the 1970s. Around 1974 - 1975 Janne Ström of Hudiksvall traded his Chevy Nova for the Ford. Janne immediately pulled out the big and heavy Chrysler driveline, replacing it with a complete driveline from a crashed 1971 Ford Mustang. This included a 302 ci smallblock engine, a C4 transmission, and a 9" rear end. The rebuild made the car much lighter, and it gave it better mileage, performance, and handling on the road.[1]


The fire

Janne drove the car frequently over the years. Unfortunately, it was slightly damaged in a garage fire in 1992. Erik Henriksson of Hudiksvall bought the remains of the car from Janne in August of 1992. Having a collection of Volvo PV's, Erik is known as "PV-Erik."[1]


The restoration

Erik started an extensive restoration of the car and got it driveable again. He mounted original chrome bumpers and gave it an overall tune-up.

Click here to check out Erik's pictures from the restoration and see how he even worked on the car outside in the cold and snow!. Remember that the northern parts of Sweden have a very long, dark, snowy, and cold winter season.

We believe many 1930s Ford owners recognize themselves in the work![1]


Restored, again

Erik drove the car a lot. Not having a garage to park it in much of the time, he decided to perform a second extensive restoration in 2013. The good result was shown at several exhibitions, and at one show there was an elderly man who checked out the car thoroughly. Erik asked him why, and as it turned out, the old man happened to be Christer Lundberg "himself" telling him that this was the car he built in the sixties! They both had a nice chat! Christer told Erik he had left the motor scene many years ago but was delighted to see his old car![1]


We hope Erik keeps the car and continues to run and show it around.


This is a great example of a strong survivor having a tough long life surviving fire, racing, rain, and snow. It also proofs the good solid work from all owners over time to preserve this Hot Rod for the future!


Like the old saying: - "Old Fords never die - They just go faster!"


Magazine Features and Appearances


References




 

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