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My Wheels: engineer Bjorn Hage’s rare 1957 Volvo TP21

Parting will be the sweetest of sorrows for Coogee engineer Bjorn Hage as he puts his beloved 1957 Volvo TP21 up for sale; he figures it’s time for someone else to care for the old girl and take her out on new adventures.

What are you driving and why did you buy it?

A 1957 Volvo TP21 produced by Volvo exclusively for the Swedish army, where they were used as radio-communications vehicles. It was quickly nicknamed Sugga, which translates to “sow” in English. Only 720 were made, making it quite a rare beast. As far as I know, this is the only one in Australia. I am from Sweden and bought it over there, then had it shipped to Fremantle many years ago. These vehicles were still in use by the Swedish army when I did my compulsory military service in the 1970s.

What’s your Dream Car?

This has been my dream from the start — and mine is still in original condition with the six-cylinder side-valve Volvo engine bolted to a four-speed non-synchronised Volvo truck gearbox. Off-road traction can be further improved by engaging the mechanical diff-locks that are fitted to both axles. I will always remember the fun and adventure of taking her over the sand dunes and beaches from Lancelin up to Wedge Island to go windsurfing.

What was your first car?

An early 1960s West German-made DKW — Das Kleine Wunder — which translates to “the little wonder” in English. I bought it as a cheap and very second-hand student’s car in the early 70s. It was popular and cheap, powered by a small three-cylinder, two-stroke engine and carrying the four-rings Auto Union logo that we see today on Audi cars.

What annoys you most about other motorists?

Most likely, I annoy other motorists more! The Sugga is not the quickest from a standing start or around tight corners. She’s clearly not designed for life in the fast lane but most fellow motorists appear to accept her with a smile or even a thumbs up.

What’s your favourite driving music?

I’m a devoted Paul Kelly fan, with friends claiming Dumb Things should be my theme song. However, I think Love Never Runs On Time has got to be the ultimate driving song.

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