Gunnar Berg-Kristoffersen's 1924 Ford

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Gunnar Berg-Kristoffersen's membership card from Nor-Way Custom. Gunnar was 13 years old when he became member #1 in the biggest hot rod club of Norway. Photo courtesy of Gunnar Berg-Kristoffersen.

1924 Ford Model T Bucket owned and built by VIking Custom member Gunnar Berg-Kristoffersen of Oslo, Norway. When Gunnar set off to build his dream-rod, at age 14, he had already decided that his Model T should have a Halibrand Quick Change axle and a Hurst gearshift. Gunnar was one of the first members of Viking Custom. When Per Arne Knudsen and Roar Arnegård decided to form a Norwegian hot rod club in 1964, they ran a classified in the Swedish magazine Start & Speed looking for like-minded teenagers in Norway interested in forming a club. Gunnar had read American magazines such as Hot Rod Magazine and Rod & Custom for a while, and was very excited about the idea of forming a Norwegian club. He attended the first meeting, and Per Arne became a mentor for the young unexperienced kid. When Per Arne went on and started Nor-Way Custom in 1967, Gunnar followed Per Arne.[1]


Gunnar's project started with a front-suspension that Per Arne had gotten cheap. After he had bought the suspension, he bought a power-drill and a wire brush, and started stripping the suspension for paint. Per Arne had also a modified 1924 Ford Model T four-seater roadster body that he told Gunnar he could have for 800 Norwegian Kroners. The body had first been built into a pick up before it ended up as a modified T-Bucket. As Gunnar didn't have enough money for the body, Per Arne promised to hold it off until Gunnar had saved up enough money. With a body and front suspension lined up, Gunnar went on and bought a Model A frame for the Model T as well. By then the club had a garage at Alnabru in Oslo, at the site where the city of Oslo parked their retired city-busses. Gunnar rememebers that they drove the frame to the garage using Per Arne's Morris Minor delivery. As Gunnar was too young for a driver-license at the time, he used to hitch a ride with some of the other members of the club when he went to the garage or attended club meetings. At the club garage, Gunnar modified the frame to accept a Model A rear-spring and a 1946 Ford rear end. The front of the frame was suicided and dropped 4 inches. As Gunnar was busy sanding and painting his car, he remember that Per Arne's 1934 Ford Cabriolet was nearing completion, almost ready for its first test-drive. Per Arne helped Gunnar out with a lot of parts, and the 1946 Ford rear end was later swapped for a 1956 Oldsmobile rear end that Gunnar got for a good price. The Oldsmobile rear end was the end of Gunnar's Halibrand dreams. Another part Per Arne dragged into the shop was a NOS Ford flateahd V-8 block that Gunnar bought for 150 NOK's. When Gunnar took off for his summer vacation that year, he had almost saved up the 800 Kroners that Per Arne wanted for the body. By then he had painted most of the parts for the car, and he could begin assemble the car when he returned. Back home from the summer vacation, Gunnar took the bus straight to the garage. Unfortunately the city of Oslo had decided to route their new freeway across the land were the club garage was located, and when Gunnar arrived at the site the garage was gone. Gone was also his hot rod dream, and nobody could tell him what had happened to his parts. The club got a new garage that they could work on their cars in. Gunnar stopped by from time to time to see if his parts had surfaced, but they were gone without a trace.[1]


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Hot Rod Drømmer i 60-Årene by Gunnar Berg-Kristoffersen


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