42ndAnnual Power Big Meet - 2019 , Lidkoping, Sweden - July 2019

Photos by Noel Hastalis

The 42nd Annual Power Big Meet was held July 4-6, 2019 in Lidköping Sweden, at the small local airport there. Thanks to Michael Burke, I connected with Jan Fridberg, via Oslo Airport, delicious moose stew lunch at Arne Nilsson’s in Norway, and on to Jan’s hometown of Malung Sweden. We then drove 5 hours south to the Meet location on Wednesday July 3rd, vendor setup day. At precisely 4:00 p.m. the many vendors who lined up were allowed to proceed to their pre-assigned vendor areas, stretching along a 2-mile service road. The weather over those 4 days was cool temps, windy and mostly heavy overcast, but for a sunny Friday July 5th. A couple rainy evenings, and rain again midafternoon Saturday, but the weather discouraged no one from bringing out their classics. Thursday and Friday evenings we cruised into town, enjoying the other classic iron and partying crowds, for a very mellow experience. Only preregistered cars cruised into town.

American music blaring over the grounds, American flags flying, American accessories on the cars, American apparel being worn – all-in appreciation of the magnificent car era in which we grew up during those years. The abandoned underappreciated 3-or-so-year old used cars our folks turned in back then were enticing to our Swedish and Norwegian friends at bargain prices, leaving our shores and crossing the Atlantic for the past 45 years. Back then, very very few new American cars were exported to Sweden, so buying ‘used’ became the thing to do. Enjoyed visiting with Per Blixt, restorer of the white 300-D Fuel Injected coupe we’ve seen recently on Jay Leno’s Garage. Also, daily visits with Dave Mihalko of Quirey Quality Design, and Anders Andersson, who’s reproducing many of the taillight, parking light and backup lights lenses for our Chryslers. Thanks to all the friendly folks I met there who made my experience unforgettable!

Having heard that this Meet draws 15,000+ cars, I expected to see a lot of American iron. Over the 3 days, over 4,000 cars drove in on Thursday, and over 7,000 cars on each Friday and Saturday, for a total 19,000 or so. Attendees represented all European countries, and many others. Cars were driven to the Meet from as far away as central Europe. No overnight camping on the grounds, except for those of us who were with vendors.

What I saw was mind-blowing – about 98% of the cars were American iron, and about 90% of those were ‘50s and ‘60s beauties, most of which are full-sized cars, and not the preponderance of newer Challengers, Mustangs, Camaros and Vettes we see at most US shows. I saw only one Saab, a small handful of Volvos and other European makes, and just a couple Asian cars. So many beautiful 4-door hardtops, and sedans too. Many wagons, coupes and ragtops, along with a few trucks. Several of these cars with bumper hitches, some towing trailers. Beautifully restored cars, and many drivers, but very few rust buckets. Lots of funky wheels, and several ‘continental kits’ but the bodies were rarely modified from factory design and trim. Visiting with the owners, many of them have large collections, and the cars they brought to the Meet were but a small sample. I concentrated my photo-taking on Mopars, but I loved seeing so many wonderful marques. When was the last time you saw a line-up of 13 ’59 Eldo Biarritz convertibles in a row, and 4 ’61 DeSotos in one show? So many ’58 Buick Limiteds, ’59 and ’60 Cadillacs. Of course, ’57–’61 Forward Look Mopars were tops in popularity. Among my favorites were a pink and beige ’57 New Yorker convertible, a copper over beige ’58 New Yorker coupe, a yellow and dark green ’57 FireFlite convertible with dark green Hartz top – photos attached.

Here’s the link to a 40-minute video of the cars at this year’s Power Big Meet, if you’d like to see more –

1960 wagon in Malung, Sweden

Driving to Power Big Meet in Lidkoping

Entering meet site on Wednesday, vendor setup day

Vendor set up day

Vendor's van, advertising US Car Parts of the Big 3 manufacturers

Typical rear window sticker - car name and manufacturer

Yellow Challenger - 522" supercharged Hemi, owned by the Meet's organizer

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