For most fans in Scandinavia, the Oslo Motor Show marks the end of the season of events, and perhaps no better way than that.
It’s hard to categorize the motor show in the Norwegian capital, as there is something for everyone – more than 53,000 attendees in 2022. But as far as their modified and custom cars go, I’d say they’re overall more elegant than outrageous. let’s see…
Given Scandinavia’s long history with rallying, I aimed to check out some of the show’s rally-focused builds, and they didn’t disappoint.
The Historisk Racing Norge booth has a variety of vintage rally cars on display ready to smash through the gravel specials for the upcoming 2023 season.
This is very striking for the Renault 5 Turbo 2. Longtime Speedhunters readers may recognize the black Turbo 5; its owner, Henrik Thorstensen, is no stranger to the Scandinavian scene. He also owns that white car, and it’s both a regular rocket.
Maybe I’m getting old, but ten years after the Speedhunters feature came out, I think the black Turbo 2 looks better than ever.
To be honest I don’t really need to look specifically for rally cars at this show as they can be found everywhere.
Behind the white Turbo 5 is a Ford P100 pickup built by Fredrik Tjelta. It’s no ordinary P100, though; the Sierra model has been facelifted from the ground up in RS Cosworth guise (at least from the front), and features a 500-horsepower YB Cosworth turbo engine. Maybe I’ll dig deeper into this build sometime in the future.
There are so many rally cars and rally style buildings in Scandinavia, I’m curious to see if the show will have a dirt road outside the arena…speaking of which, let’s go there and see what it actually has Tarmac road.
Norway and Sweden are known to host Gatebil, Scandinavia’s wildest motoring event. The final Gatebil event will be held in September, and the small track outside the Oslo Motor Show offers drivers one last chance to send it off before the long, dark winter we’re currently in.
It was a bittersweet moment to see the last car complete the final lap, as I won’t get a chance to get back on track in Scandinavia until April. It’s only January and my camera is already covered in dust.
That being said, Gatebil is strong in spirit, and everyone has a tenth.
The Scandinavian custom truck scene is bigger than I previously thought. With truck-centric events scattered throughout the summer calendar, I only get a taste of big rig culture at shows like this one.
The most impressive thing about these trucks is the job they put into the paint. You might think the graphics are wrapped, or layers of vinyl laid over the body, but everything is hand-painted or painted, and the physical size of these rolled steel canvases makes it all the more impressive.
Others go a step further and customize the interior of their trucks as well.For example, this Japanese-inspired Scania R650 is called geisha.
One aspect of Scandinavian car culture that I didn’t even know existed was land speed racing.
This 1922 Wisconsin Special — also known as the 3 Mile-A-Minute Car — was driven by Sig Haugdahl in the 1920s and is currently owned by Heinz Bachman, who performed a mechanical restoration of the car. At the time, the 12.5-liter flat-six propelled the car to an unofficial world-record speed of 180 mph on the Daytona Beach Oval, which sounded scary to me given how it looked. Just check the tires! The record is considered unofficial simply because Sig wasn’t a member of the AAA (American Automobile Association) at the time, which is a bummer if you ask me.
American car culture has really left its mark on the Scandinavian scene. And it seems to be getting bigger, which is fine with me.
Speaking of big, check out this 1962 Peterbilt 351 handsome peteThe custom trailer tows a huge rat rod trailer, and a clean hot rod all in the same bed. Imagine seeing this setting rolling on the road!
This 1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster Coupe owned by Robert Cserhalmi dominates the Scandinavian Motor Show for the 2022 season. It picked up no fewer than six awards at the event, including the coveted Best in Show trophy.
The Oslo Motor Show always attracts the region’s most beautiful two-wheeled offerings, from purpose-built tractors to café racers and everything in between.
A large crowd had gathered to watch the Aston Martin Valkyrie unveil, and this AMR Pro version blew me away. I’m not much of a supercar fan, but it’s hard not to appreciate all the details.
Now this More in line with my taste. The Porsche 917K is an absolute automotive icon, and this replica by Knut Markegård is as close as it gets to the real thing. The best part is, it’s 100% street legal.
I envy anyone who has witnessed the glory days of the DTM. This BMW E30 driven by Altfrid Heger is absolutely stunning.
For BMW fans, the Oslo Motor Show never disappoints. The Bavarian brand is one of the most popular among Scandinavian car enthusiasts.
One more thing this exhibit has compared to the famous Bilsport event in Elmia is the restoration of cars from the early 70’s to the late 80’s. There is a hall dedicated to these time capsules and it is always a treat to see them up close.
As elsewhere in the world, air suspension is now commonplace in the Scandinavian bespoke car scene, especially in late model stance builds. I am at ease in this world.
Pose scenes have been my go-to since I started getting into photography and cars in 2019. When I saw Henrik Schonhowd’s Datsun 510, I almost ran to the car to take a closer look.
Browsing through all these images has only made me more passionate about capturing all that Scandinavian car culture has to offer, so I really can’t wait until spring 2023 hits and everything starts to thaw out for summer.
In the meantime, though, check out the massive gallery below for more from the Oslo Motor Show.