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On this page you can read about some of the journeys we've done with our classic cars. The journey where we picked up our green Imperial Crown 4d Hardtop is of course the longest one. So we start with that one!

Quick links
USA 2007
England 1988

A long way for a 1965 Imperial Crown

We begun planning the journey by the end of January. 14 days in USA, focusing on Minnesota. This area was the final destination for many emigrants from Sweden in the 19th and early 20th century. A lot of places has typical Swedish names, as does a lot of people who are relatives to these Swedish emigrants. Along the way to the east coast, we planned to visit Detroit and the Chrysler and Ford museums.

Map
In total we drove 2.237 miles from Milbank to Newark with the Imperial.

As you might have read, we found a 1965 Imperial Crown 4-door hardtop for sale on eBay Motors. It turned out that the company that had the car for sale was located in the small town of Milbank, South Dakota. We were to pick up the car there, and then drive to Newark to have it shipped back to Sweden. The total driving distance were to be 2,237 miles. We flew from Kastrup airport, Copenhagen, Denmark to Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, Netherlands and then to Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. In total, 13 hours of travelling. We got pick up at the airport by Mr Marlow, who was working for Gesswein Motors. He then took us back to Milbank, which was a 186 miles drive over the plains of South Dakota.


 


Walter P Chrysler with his closest staff; Carl Breer, Fred Zeder and Owen Skelton.


Beautiful 1934 Plymouth PE Coupé.


The Ford museum in Detroit is a truly amazing site.


At the Ford museum you can read the document that proclaims that Ford had won the process against George Selden. Selden had a patent for a three cylinder motor vehicle that allowed him to collect royalties from all American car manufacturers. The court case last between 1904-1911.


Kristian and Gerd in front of his beautiful Imperial Crown 1962. In the background you can see the former German brewery in Minneapolis.


In the evening we met with the border of the Chrysler club in Minneapolis. We had a great time at the restaurant Applebees. Kristian Oyen and his wife Kathryn is sitting in the middle. Beside them sits the president of the club.


Gerd and myself in front of the Emigrant statue in Lindstrom.


New York City on the road sign, and the final destination Newark almost in sight!


Time to fly home, nice to see that the crew takes care of the plane!

 


 

 


First sight of the car outside the motel in Milbank on the Saturday afternoon.

The small town Stockholm near Milbank with 105 citizens. In case you don't know, the capital of Sweden is also namned Stockholm.

First sight

Gerd first spotted our car outside the motel Super 8 in Milbank "There's our car!". Once we arrived at Gesswein Motors we met with sales manager Bob Paulsen. He showed us their huge selection of classic cars. We then sorted out the paper work and drove away in our new car. On Sunday we left Milbank and drove to Watertown. There we visited the Terry Redlin museum. The museum has over 150 original oil paintings on display.

Article in Great County Reviews

An article in the local paper Great County Reviews told the story about a Swedish couple that would come and pick up a car. In the article on the front page Jim Gesswein told the story - about us! The first 185 miles from Milbank on minor road with little traffic went smooth. We used a portable GPS, which looked a bit odd in the Imperial. While stopping for a lunch break between Milbank and Minneapolis we met an older lady. "I heard you weren't from here" she told us. Then we told her that we had come over from Sweden to pick up the Imperial.eyttring bröt ut.

Tears in her eyes

"Sweden! Sweden! Sweden!" the old lady cried, she even got a tear in her eyes. It turned out that she, now in her 70's, had came to USA from Sweden when she was 2 years old. She had never been in Sweden since then.

Our journey continued and the last couple of miles to Minneapolis we had to drive on the highway. the traffic was now a lot more intense, and it started to rain. It was quite a thunderstorm, and the rain was pouring down. We didn't pay enough attention to the GPS, and drove past the first junction. Anyhow, we got a new direction from that little gadget and found our way to the hotel. We stayed at Hampton Inn in Maple Grove, which is a modern suburb outside Minneapolis.



I attended a Rotary meeting in Maple Grove, Minneapolis. After the meeting quite a few members came out to have a look at our Imperial.

Myself and Kristian Oyen, Imperial enthusiast from Minneapolis, admires our cars.


Meeting with fellow Imperial owners


Thanks to Internet, I'd made contact with another Imperial enthusiast in Minneapolis. Mr Kristian Oyen, who has Norwegian family. On Tuesday he showed us around in Minneapolis. We visited the American-Swedish Instiute, founded in 1929 by the Swedish news paper tycon Sven Törnblad. He donated his gigantic house to the institute. Today, it's a center for Swedish-American contacts in Minnesota. Kristian Oyen had a small surprise planned for us as well. After showing us around town, we ended up at his mothers house. The old women, well into her 90's, welcomed us in Norwegian! There we had tea and rusk. In the evening, we met with the local Chrysler club at the restaurant Applebys. The eveneing wnet on with lots of talk about cars in general, and Chrysler in particular.

Lindstrom, Vilhelm Moberg and Axel Olsson

The next day we drove through some of the cities with Swedish heritage. The Swedish author Vilhelm Moberg stayed in Lindstrom while doing research for his masterpiece The Emigrant Novels (Emigrants, Imigrants, The Settlers and The Last Letter Home). In the center of Lindstrom there's a statue of the emigrants; Karl-Oskar and Kristina. The genuine statue can be found in Karlshamn, Blekinge, Sweden. It's carved in stone by a sculpturer from Kristianstad, Axel Olsson. The one in Lindstrom is however made of plastic, painted to look like copper!

Behind the statue lies a white building. It's the local news paper; Chisago County Press with 4,000 subscribers. We drove on and stopped for the night in St Croix Falls. The next day we drove through the small village of Harris. There we stopped at an old cemetery, dating back to the 19'th century. Out of 12 tombstones, 10 were of children aged under three years. This clearly reminded us about how hard the life was for those that settled down in these area for more than 100 years ago.

Utanför Falun i Minnesota
On the way towards Falun, Minnesota. Another city with Swedish heritage.

The Imperial outside the local paper Chisago News in Lindstrom. In the park there's a copy of Axel Olssons statue Emigrants. The original statue can be found in Karlshamn in Sweden.


Swedish heritage

You'll find a lot of places in North and South Dakota as well as in Minnesota that clearly resembles of Sweden. Just outside Milbank, we passed through Stockholm with 105 inhabitants. It's kind of fun since Stockholm is the capital of Sweden with some 1,2 million inhabitants. In Chisago County you'll find places such as Scandinavia, Falun, Almelund and Mora. Turning the pages of the local telephone directory makes one feel at home. Page after page with Swedish names!

One striking thing that encountered numerous times was the generosity. In Watertown, we came to talk to a guy on a Harley Davidson who admired our car. It turned out that he was the police chief in Olivia. Anyhow, he paid for our lunch at the local restaurant without us knowing it. When we wanted to pay for the lunch, the waitress told us that it was already paid for by the police chief! The same thing happened at the lunch in Maple Grove with the Chrysler club. The man sitting next to us had paid for us as well. It turned out that he was a huge Chrysler and Imperial fan. He had more than 40 Chrysler and Imperial cars!

The road to the East

When leaving St Croix Falls we had some longer distances ahead. We drove 435 miles to Morris south of Chicago. That was a ten hour drive, but the car did it without any problems what so ever. The next morning we continued to the east, aiming for Detroit. On Sunday we went to visit the Chrysler museum, one of the high-lights of this journey. "What a beautiful car you got there"; that was the verdict from the staff.


The Chrysler museum in Detroit.

Ghia design from Italy, futuristic Chrysler prototype.

Chaos in Cleveland, road work everywhere.

Newly washed car.


Chrysler museum - a must!


The museum tells the story about the poor boy, the entrepreneur and the business man Walter P Chryslers. On display there are a number of Virgil Exners fantastic models from the 1950's and 1960's. More than 125,000 people visit the museum every year.

However, that's nothing in comparsion with Detroits main motoring attraction - The Henry Ford Museum! On Monday we headed towards that museum. However, the traffic was a lot more intense now and to make things worse there were road works everywhere. The GPS did it's best, but if the road is gone it gets a bit confused. Eventually we made it to the museum. It's a huge area, and we only visited the museum itself. It was opened already in 1929, and measures some 440 x 220 yrd. You can find links to both these museums via "Links" in the menu to the left.

The day after we drove on to the east. We ended up in Cleveland, and for some reason we had picked a hotel that was located in the bank- and finance disctrict. So in the evening it was completely dead, we could hardly find some place to eat.


Leaving the car in Newark harbour.


Bye, USA! At least for this time.
   


Newark and shipping to Sweden

The final 200 miles towards New York and Newark we had to drive on the high-way. We'd tried to avoid that as much as possible earlier on the journey, since we wanted to see more than just tarmac. However, the Imperial kept up with the pace really well even above 60 mph. We finally reached the hotel around five o'clock in the afternoon. The next morning we drove to the shipping company and filled in all papers. We parked the car, and they ordered a cab for us to get back to the hotel. It was a bit sad to leave the car in the harbour just like that. But knowing that we were to collect it in Gothenburg some three weeks later gave us some good hope.

The train home

Flying to USA and back home again wasn't any problem at all. The only mishap was the train between Kristianstad and Copenhagen! On the way out, the train was late and someone broke into one of our bags. On the train back, we had to wait a long time in Malmö because they couldn't find an engineer to drive it. And then we had to catch a bus from Hässleholm to Kristianstad.

 

Latest update
2008-01-28

 

England with a 1934 Plymouth PF

What about a holiday in England? It was a nice party when the suggestion came from one of our friends. Said and done, no time to waste!

 


Kung Arthur's round table, here seen high up on the wall in The Great Hall at Winchester castle.


Stopped for a lunch just outside Beaulieu.


We stumbled upon a wine yard.


Small grapes in the early summer.


Stonehenge - a truly impressive place.

 


Waiting for the ferry in Gothenburg. The ferry line to England has since been discontinued.

We stayed mostely on the country side once in England. From the left a Horch 1938, our Plymouth PF 1934 and to the right an Alvis 1934.


It was during the summer of 1988 and we have had our Plymouth for a year. Three families took off in three cars from the 30's and drove to Gothenburg. We went on the ferry that would take us to Harwich in England. This was the beginning of a nice journey through England. From Harwich we drove south, towards the first stop for lunch. Then a certain feeling came creeping, something was not quite right. We had seen the second car in the rearview mirror all the time, but where was the third one?

Third car missing!

We stopped at a turn-off and spoke to the other couple. Bare in mind that this was long before portable mobile phones... The other car turned around to look for the missing couple while we stayed on look-out. After an hour or so, the other car came back without having seen the missing ones. Now we had a problem, the couple in the missing car were the ones who knew where we were supposed to stay over night! Anyhow, we had to find another place to stay at. In the morning we drove into Winchester and found the local tourist information bureau. After some discussion they managed to locate the place that we were supposed to be at, based upon our vague description! A phone call later and all three car were back together again. While in Winchester we saw the famous Round table in the Great Hall at Winchester castle.


Our old cars got a lot of attention in England.

Worlds first tank can be found at the museum in Bovington.


Beaulieu and Bovington


The journey continued, via the castle Beaulieu. Here you can find one of Europes finest collection of old cars. We spent a number of hours at the museum. After a good nights sleep we continued to the tank museum at Bovington. They have a truly impressive collection of tanks from all over the world, including some Swedish tanks. After this historic tutorial, we continued our journey when a small sign caught our eyes. It was a wine yard, in England! Of course we had to stop and see what it was all about. We tasted the local wine, well at least the ones not driving. It was an interesting experience, to say the very least!

Profumo affair

On the second last night on the country side we ended up outside Sailsbury. We stayed at a manor, then owned by an architect. It was a truly beautiful place. In the morning, we got showed around the place. It turned out that this was the very place where the Profumo affair took place! The stage in one of the rooms had been used by Miss Keeler. She was the mistress of then-Secretary of State for War, John Profumo. She was also the mistress of Yevgeny "Eugene" Ivanov, a senior naval attaché at the Soviet embassy in London. The scandal was a fact in 1963, when Profume lied to the House of Commons. However, in June the same year he had to resign.

Eventually we reached London, where we stayed for a couple of nights. One of the cars got sold there, so only two cars headed towards the ferry to Sweden.


Beautiful mansion near Chichester. The house has an interesting story to tell as well!

This is the very room where John Profumo and Miss Keeler caused a scandal back in the 60's.

Three to go, one to come


Once we got off the ferry in Gothenburg, the second car got some mechanical problems with the brakes. It ended up at a truck taking it home to Kristianstad. But not our Plymouth, it made the whole journey without any problems whatsoever. But of course, it's a Chrysler car!