The American Way
I spent a day looking at American cars, taking photos and went back in time.
If you travel west from where I live (which is pretty much as far south in Norway as you can possibly get), you will soon find yourself in an area where many people will say that the American way, is the right way. In a small town with the name of Lyngdal, I recently visited an All-American car meet, with old cars galore. It made me wonder, though, how they got here, and why they got so popular. Luckily, I could just take a look at my family history for clues and it's actually quite interesting.
Despite a brand new C7 Z06 Corvette getting a lot of attention, it couldn't really beat the classics. (PHOTO: Helene Helle)
As early as the late 17th century, a lot of Norwegians travelled to America in hope of a better life, due to poor harvests and poverty. When Norwegian shipowners really started to get a competitive edge in carrying commodities, such as wheat and oil over to America in the 1850s, the crew realised their wage was considerably lower than their American colleagues - and so, many jumped ship at the New York harbour. Only in the 19th century would Norwegian-American communities really start to grow, and eventually bring American goods back to Norway.
Over the years, as many were willing to travel far for more work, a large community grew in Brooklyn. One that my late grandfather would be a part of, and eventually, my grandmother and my father joined him.
A 1930s Ford Model A Tudor was decorated with gorgeous flowers. (PHOTO: Helene Helle)
The beautiful dashboard of a Ford Model A. (PHOTO: Helene Helle)
From the late 1960s and on, many decided to go back home to Norway. Some of them brought a little bit of the American culture with them - including cars. So, it’s not really surprising that American cars are popular around these parts, with the classics being the most popular of them all.
I’ve never been to the annual Lyngdal ‘AmCar’ meet before so I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised by the great atmosphere. Good mood was all around as the American automotive history was celebrated by proud car owners and keen onlookers.
Was pretty pleased when this gorgeous blue-coloured 1968 Ford Mustang showed up - with its owner, of course. (PHOTO: Helene Helle)
With many different brands such as Ford, Chevrolet, Buick, Pontiac, Cadillac and Dodge - there was more than plenty to stare at. In fact, over 150 cars were parked around the city square and in the narrow, cobbled streets.
Faceless selfie at the back of the door mirror of a 1956 Ford Thunderbird. I'm very trendy. (PHOTO: Helene Helle)
For some of these owners, the car is a part of their history. It’s a reminder of who they are, and where they come from. I’d say that makes them all the more special. It was a pretty good day.