SWEDEN. Peoples Choice at the biggest meet in the north of Sweden, Street Meet in Sundsvall, went to an EPA-tractor this year. Where ever Robin Kvarnström stops in the street, people gather. by Lars Krantz
The working mans timid working car was transformed to a mean machine for youngsters. 16 years, summer and this car – yammie.
EPA-tractor is a Swedish phenomenon that needs explaining. After WW II Sweden farmers were low on money and in desperate need of tractors. The wars rationing of rubber had put old, sturdy cars as the Chevys and Fords in barns and farmers now started to make tractors out of these.
Sweden government answered by making them legal on the street opening for registration, not as cars, but as EPA-tractors.
You have to be 18 to drive a car in Sweden. A tractor you can drive in the street at 16.
In the sixties youngsters started building a new kind of tractors. Keeping the build inside the rules of a farmer-meant-to-be EPA-tractor they built vehicles for use in the street at 16 years of age.
The catch is that they can only go 18 (yes eighteen) mph, but they are still super popular in Sweden and looking at the pics I guess every motor head can imagine why. Now back to Robin.
With fever he raises the trophy to the sky. He hasn’t been sleeping in a week and nor have the family. Every family member has been participating in the battle of making the car ready. You might think they did it in time but as a matter of fact the car is late …by six years!
The dad Bengt has lived with the build for ten years. Fredrik, who was supposed to ride in it, has turned 22. Christoffer inherited it but only sat in it in the garage. Robin got to drive it in the last minute. He turns 18 now.
The one who was supposed to drive the tractor, Fredrik in the first time is turning 22. EPA-tractors in Sweden are for 16 years old. The build then was inherit by the younger brother Christopher but he only sat in it pretending to drive in the garage. When he turned 18 and finally got to drive a real car mom and dad only had one shot left, the youngster Robin. It´ worked and he got the car but only with a couple of months left. Robin is turning 18 soon.
Handy dandy family. Gunilla Kvarnström just got in to it and did it on her first try, marvelous! Note that the upholstery colours goes over into paint on the door.
EPA-tractors in Sweden are homemade slow moving vessels originated from cars. After the war farmers did not have access to tractors or money but they had old Fords and Chevys in the barns. Sweden government accepted that the farmers transformed the framed cars to tractors by leaving out some gears and making them move slowly. That loophole in the law has these days made it possible for youngsters to take a framed car, make in run slow and use it for pleasure on the road registering it as a tractor.
The hoods opening is moved from front to back. Engine is B20 with 90 horsepower. Who needs more when top speed is limited to 18 mph.
The build in this case took 10 years as they sank deep into finish, chrome and paint. The brothers are gathered. Papa Bengt arrives from his work and mom enters the driveway. The family feeling is warm and you can tell these people stick together.
Only the pink part remains from the bought car. Front is extended a little. Not much but just enough to get that cool look.
The build started 1998 with a used Epa from a boy who had turned it over. Only thing left from that car is the pink piece on the picture under the front windshield. Dad then dug into the build and set the pace. Parts from 13 cars are in it now. From the beginning it’s a Volvo Duett from the sixties.
-OK it’s no racer but who is in a hurry a midnight sun night like this_.
They were often used by craftsmen and workers as they were good to have tools and stuff in. The roof was chopped down and now has its metal from a Volvo Amazon. Taillights are from Ford Custom 1954 and the grille is from Opel Record 1962. Hours and hours of work and years and years of building. The front had to be lengthened just a couple of centimetres to get hat smooth line.
Oops. Girls taking a swim at 9 pm. Robin checks the ducktail.
The hood opening is moved from front to rear, battery box is turned 180 degrees into the car and holds now the heater. Tons of big and small changes all over the place. The young Robin turned out to be a hard working guy in the garage with specialty in finish.
Blue India Glowble bought in 1977 by a young dad at that time gives the right shine. Dad did the painting too.
After ten years the family locked themselves in the garage the final weeks before the car show and worked 24-7.
-People were crawling outside and looking trough the windows trying to catch a glimpse of what was getting done in there, says the family.
Pretty heavy with blue dash in a pink car but hey it works. Banjo steering wheel is always a winner and Robins total polishing of the steering column is awesome
Mom did the headliner so good that the rest of the family asked her to do the whole upholstery. That woman made it all with a remarkable result being the first time and all. What a player to throw in on the finish line.
Ford Custom tail lights in a Volvo PV front fender turned backwards. Car builders are artists
That’s why Robin had fever, the family was exhausted at that car show when they got the biggest price of all –
Peoples Choice. Imagine they beat all the big American cars, and all the fantastic customs with their small tractor made for youngsters.
Harmony from all angels. Fun with an integrated lamp from Volvo PV bumper just above the plate.
That’s a true blast. After that they got invited to Sweden’s biggest exhibition for these small home made tractors, Vallåkra, and I guess you already have figured it out…
– Yes they won there too.
Sunset, full tank and dad’s paying. Life is a blast
People gather when they stop.
Kvarnström brothers. Do not try to out swim these gentlemen. Both are former swimmers on elite level.
Time to go.