Lars Erik Ljungkvist
Lars Erik "Junken" Ljungkvist of Huddinge, Sweden, (b. 1942, d. August 13 1998) was a Swedish hot rod pioneer. As a teenager in the 1950s, Junken used to hang around Lette Djurberg's garage. At the time, Lette was busy building a 1932 Ford Roadster. Lette's roadster featured a hopped up flathead engine, and it incorporated many of the tricks you could read about in the American magazines. Junken grew a passion for fenderless hi-boys, and it didn't take long before he was busy building his own car. As he didn't have access to a garage, Junken built his first hot rod in a snowy parking lot, close to "Valhallavägen", in 1960. Junken's project was an English 1932 Ford Tudor that he cut the roof off. It had to be a roadster, and he didn't care about the snow and cold weather. The fenders were scrapped as well. Bosse "Gamen" Sandberg, another Swedish hot rod pioneer, helped Junken build the jalopy.
Junken's next hot rod was a "real" 1932 Ford Roadster. Anything else was unthinkable. The build was completed in 1962, and Junken had a hard time getting it approved by the vehicle licensing department. In order to get it through, he had to install accessories such as front fenders and mud flaps. Junken's roaster featured a hopped up Buick Nailhead engine, so he was one of the fastest guys in town at the time. The only one that could beat Junken in a street race was Palle Eriksson, who ran a 1923 Ford Model T with a 392 Chrysler Hemi engine. In 1963, Junken's roadster was featured on the cover of the Swedish magazine Teknik för alla December 1963. Junken was 20 years old at the time, and the roadster was supposedly one of about 30 hot rods in Sweden at the time. The car was shown in a vehicle-licensing-department-friendly-version, featuring front fenders. In 1964 Junken drove the roadster to Monaco without fenders. The following year the roadster was shown at the first Hot Rod Show in Ostermans Marmorhallar in Stockholm, Sweden.
Junken imported one of the first V8-powered flat floored ski boats to Sweden. The boat was imported from the United States, and as there were no licensing vehicle department for boats, anything was allowed. Tired or the "nazis" at the licensing vehicle department in Sweden, Junken decided to pack his bag and move to the United States. After living in Los Angeles and Florida for a while, Junken settled down in Orgeon with an American woman. Junken enjoyed the climate in Oregon, as it was not so different from the climate in Sweden. In addition to cars and boats, Junken was also into airplanes, and he and some friends in Oregon used to fly Air-Races. Unfortunately, Junken was killed in August 1998 when his North-American T-6 Texan crashed on a flight from Oregon to Canada, where Junken was attending a flight show. By then, Junken, had built more than 10 hi-boy hot rods. Junken was alway very found of hi-boys, and considered channeled hot rods stupid.
More information of Junkens aeroplanes can be found on this link.
Report of the accident can be found here.
Lars Ljungkvist's Cars
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