Sven Sandberg's 1932 Ford
1932 Ford 5 Window Coupe owned and restyled by Sven Sandberg of Stockholm, Sweden. The car, also known as "The Glowing Coupe" is one of the most iconic hot rods of Sweden, and it started life as a plastic model kit that Sven built when he was 13 years old.
In summmer 1961, at age 15, he bought a rusted out body that he based his full-scale build on. Sven's brother, Bo Sandberg found the car on a junkyard in Norway. He bought it for 225 Swedish kroners, brought it back home, and sold it to Sven. The build was started in a barn in Vendelsö, and completed in "Transhuset" in Täby 5 years later. Sven had little experience when it came to building hot rods, so his brother Bo "Gamen" Sandberg teached him how to weld. Sven started out by chopping the top 5 inches. With a lower top in place, he angled and boxed the frame. The chopped top was then fit with a Crown Victoria plastic roof. Power came from a 1955 Oldsmobile V8 engine. The engine, transmission and rear axle came from an Oldsmobile that Sven bought for 250 Swedish kroners. The dashboard from the Olds was also cut down and fit inside the coupe. The steering wheel was taken from a 1959 Mercury. Bo Sandberg of Yankee Customs painted the car.
The gear shifter knob in the first version was a crystal ball from a chandelier!
An early version of the Glowing Coupe was shown at the first Hot Rod Show held in Stockholm in 1964, prior to the Hot Rod Show in Ostermans Marmorhallarna.
In 1965 The Glowing Coupe was shown at the first annual Hot Rod Show in Stockholm. Once completed, Sven's brother, Bo Sandberg, told Sven that he had to give the car a name, as it would sound better with a name.
Sven's first visit at the vehicle licensing department in 1965 was no success for the young builder. They refused to approve the car, and he had to leave without license plates on the car. Sven went back home and installed fenders on the car before he also repainted it "Sierra Gold", a brown, more neutral color and more approval-friendly color.
In 1966 the Glowing Coupe won the best hot rod award at the 1966 Hot Rod Show in Marmorhallerna in Stockholm. The same year, it also won the best hot rod award at Show Time in Örebro.
Sven and Maud used the car a lot on holiday travels to France and Italy. The car and couple draw attention wherever they showed up.
One example is when a crowd of Frenchmen surrounded the parked car (Glowing Coupe) in Monaco.
Sven and blonde Maud tried to get in the car to drive away when someone shouted: -" Brigitte Bardot!" .
The crowd got completely mad and climbed all over the car! Finally Sven could slowly drive away from the masses....
Another episode is when they stopped at a gas station in Germany and a rather fat man fell in love with the car (Glowing Coupe).
So when Sven went in to pay the man entered the driver seat without permission and got stuck!
He couldn't get out! With a lot of help from pushing personel he finally could roll out on the passenger side!
The first organized drag race of Sweden was held October 1-2, 1966 just outside of Stockholm. Sven attended the race with his Glowing Coupe. Due to rain and a wet track, Svenne did the quarter mile in 16,6 seconds.
Sven sold the car in the end of 1969 to a car dealer in town - Guy Lindström. It then went through another car dealer until it was bought by Sven "Hottis" Granberg in Bollmora. 
In 1972 it was displayed at the Custom Car Show in London together with three other Swedish Hot Rods.
In 1983 it was shown in Wheels magazine "Garage scenes".
The chassie was then during a rebuilt with Jaguar front and rear end. The Oldsmobile engine was swapped by a bigblock Chevrolet. (This swap must have been done before 1972).
In 1991 Sven bought the car back and started to restore the Glowing Coupe back to how it appeared in 1969. During the restoration, Sven decided to replace the body of the car as it was so rusted out.
Sven prepared a new plastic body. The whole driveline had earlier been replaced by a Bigblock 396 ci Chevy engine and a Jaguar rear end.
The restored car was sold 2009 to Harald Sannum of Trondheim, Norway.
The original body is under restoration using another 1932 chassie with a flathead engine somewhere in Sweden ... See pictures.
- ↑ Spoca.se
- ↑ 1965 Hot Rod Show Souvenir Program
- ↑ Maud Sandberg
Did you enjoy this article?
Kustomrama is an encyclopedia dedicated to preserve, share and protect traditional hot rod and custom car history from all over the world.
- Help us keep history alive. For as little as 2.99 USD a month you can become a monthly supporter. Click here to learn more.
- Subscribe to our free newsletter and receive regular updates and stories from Kustomrama.
- Do you know someone who would enjoy this article? Click here to forward it.
Can you help us make this article better?
Please get in touch with us at email@example.com if you have additional information or photos to share about Sven Sandberg's 1932 Ford.
This article was made possible by:
SunTec Auto Glass - Auto Glass Services on Vintage and Classic Cars
Finding a replacement windshield, back or side glass can be a difficult task when restoring your vintage or custom classic car. It doesn't have to be though now with auto glass specialist companies like www.suntecautoglass.com. They can source OEM or OEM-equivalent glass for older makes/models; which will ensure a proper fit every time. Check them out for more details!
Do you want to see your company here? Click here for more info about how you can advertise your business on Kustomrama.