Classic American muscle cars are a rarity at the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) tradeshow in Las Vegas. But a classic Swedish hot rod at the show is about as rare as ordering pickled herring "your way" at the local Burger King. But this year will be different. Sitting proudly among the three exciting highly customized Volvo C30s, this 1967 Volvo Amazon should attract plenty of admiring stares from the show’s 100,000-plus attendees.
But getting here wasn’t easy. At the 25th jubilee of the Vallåkra Custom Car Meet outside Landskrona, Sweden last summer, Mattias Vöcks’s classic Amazon estate was voted best car to represent Sweden and its car-customisation enthusiasts at the annual SEMA tradeshow in Las Vegas. SEMA is the venue for the world’s largest custom-car show.
Of the 600 or so customized Volvos on display at the Vallåkra Meet, about 30 were entered to take part in “Sweden’s Hottest Volvo” contest. The jury’s brief was to choose a car that stands out from the crowd, one that will pull at the heartstrings of the discerning American public. The jury’s justification for selecting the “VÖX-Amazon” is as follows:
“This is a car that represents true Swedish car-building art with its focus on high build quality and unique detailing. It reflects personal craftsmanship of the very highest order. This is a car that stands out from the crowd while at the same time acknowledging a Swedish motoring icon that turns 50 this year. Finally, the winner truly epitomizes the title of “Sweden’s Hottest Volvo” with its 600 horsepower under the hood.”
When the judging was complete, it was Vöcks who walked away with the grand prize: An expense paid trip for him and his Amazon to the glittering lights of Sin City.
Vöcks, 27, has long been active in automotive circles. In fact, his hobby indirectly led to him earning his living at sports-car manufacturer Koenig. His most recent creation, a Volvo P1800 , aroused considerable attention when it was unveiled. “Volvo is the make that I like most and I have actually customised several Amazons previously. It all began when I was given an old Amazon by my grandmother, and it’s continued ever since,” said Vöcks.
The jury consisted of Volvo Personbilar Sverige President Thomas Andersson, Volvo’s STCC driver Robert Dahlgren, press officer Bo Larsen of Volvo Cars Sweden, Leif Tufvesson who is a professional car builder, and Per Östman and Bertil Wilhelmsson from motoring magazine Bilsport and Vallåkra Meet, respectively.