Just like bees get drawn to pollen, we, too, often find ourselves amidst beauty just beyond our ability to comprehend it. Went to Ålands, met up with few of the local petrolheads I knew from before, and saw a couple of the upcoming projects. Those Studebakers might become a very welcome challenge… On our way back, we got an opportunity to visit my friends near Stockholm- that turned out to be an experience by itself.
As we arrived in Sweden, it seemed fittingly refreshing to be met with rain after a summer like this. Even more so as we got to a countryside that has “peace and quiet” written on it’s doormat. Far enough outside of Stockholm for the ripe fields of wheat not to look out of character. It was only when we arrived to Baiba’s and Joakim’s, we saw there’s something different about this place- a sign on the wall of their house reads: “Rockabilly House, Latvija – Sweden” with a “hot rod” in the background helping to set the theme here.
I met them some time ago, in 2013, when they came to my previous workshop in Riga, but, unfortunately, I hadn’t visited them before now. But being here now can surely say- Baiba’s and Joakim’s house really doesn’t sell itself short, as we discovered after being welcomed in with the warm hospitality known to people who have tons of experience when it comes to hosting large and small groups of guests. They did provide catering for few of the nearby Power Big Meets after all! First up is the wonderfully fitted diner that’s partially built within the house while the other half is an old bus now attached to the house. The bus comes with a drivers seat and everything! Further in, after passing a Marylin Monroe’s mannequin, shelves of car models, vinyls and walls covered with posters of Rock’n Roll events and stars, we enter a beautiful kitchen that’s sharing the room with a small stage- probably very handy when, during a party, your more musical friends want to share with their performance.
A jukebox was my personal favourite piece as I got to select a vinyl I never even dreamed of hearing.
At one point we noticed the Power Big Meet’s poster on the wall and were happy to ask more about our hosts’ participation in the event that brought so many classic wheels together- some of which I got to work on in the past. The mostly Swedish Raggare sub-culture is only one part of this. As Baiba explained, it’s not about a particular name or a well defined style- it’s about being in touch with your own passions and not being afraid of standing out at the cost of blending in. The shared love for America’s 50s seems more like a common catalyst for everyone’s creativity rather than a fashion statement.
This is where we get to the best part- the cars! Obviously, they’re a very important part, but we might have been somewhat distracted by all the novelty surrounding this place. From Pontiac Business Coupe to interiors filled with space age design elements and so much inbetween! Loads of work to be done on many of the cars, but two Eldorados (1957 Biarritz and 1957 Brougham) looked truly at home.