Long Form

Still Rolling: Swedish and the Bandit

This Trans Am was imported to Germany from the U.S. before it was shipped to Sweden.

Photo courtesy of Julia Eliasson

Across the Atlantic a Phoenix rose. A gold firebird dressed the hood of a 1977 black Trans Am T/A as it left the shores of North Carolina on its international voyage in the twilight years of the 1970s. It arrived in Europe and was transported to Germany.

There, amongst double overhead cams and flat inline fours, the Trans Am was used as a display piece in a General Motors dealership. The car was never driven except when it was being moved for stationing.

It served as an example of automotive power and design of the West. This wasn't a car anymore so much as an art piece designed to provoke thoughts of Levis, Cindy Crawford, and movie lines from "Smokey and the Bandit".

1977 Pontiac Trans Am T/A The Trans Am has had very few modifications.Photo courtesy of Julia Eliasson

That was the car's existence throughout the 1980's until it was bought by a private owner and moved to Sweden in 1992.

New country, same lifestyle. The Trans Am was spared from Scandinavian winters, sitting tucked away in dry garages and storage sheds, becoming a garage collectable despite never to be removed from its box.

It wasn't until the summer of 2018 that the Trans Am saw a new hope. It came in the form of a young woman named Julia Eliasson who would save this Pontiac from a fate of never-ending storage and auction houses.

Julia is a 21-year-old self-described car-girl from South Sweden. She lives in the city of Hassleholm, a town whose population of less than 20,000 has a surprising amount of vintage American cars.

The Trans Am's privileged life allowed it to stay in Barrett Jackson-type condition. The car had been stationary for most of its life to the point that the odometer broke from lack of use. The only modifications done to the car since leaving America are the addition of aftermarket wheels and exhaust system, but Julia has plans on reinstalling its original duel pipes sometime in 2020.

The 1977 Trans Am is Julia's dream car. Right before she bought it, she was prepared to settle for a second-gen Camaro when the listing for this T/A suddenly popped up. The planets aligned in Julia's favor as the owner decided to give her the opportunity to buy the car out of several potential buyers.

1977 Pontiac Trans Am T/A The Trans Am is living its best life, being driven in Swedish summers.Photo courtesy of Julia Eliasson

The Swedish woman's love of American V8's was passed down from her father who has several muscle cars in his high-octane past including a 1970 Chevrolet Nova and 1975 Pontiac Firebird.

Julia's favorite detail on the Trans Am is the CB radio.

Winters take up a lot of months on the Swedish calendar, so Julia only drives the Trans Am in the spring when the sun is out and the countryside beams with vivid shades of green. She takes her screaming chicken to local car shows and car meets around town, something she plans on doing for years to come.

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Motul has released a new line of lubricants for "rad" era vehicles.

Photo courtesy of Motul

Motul has been around for 168 years, far longer than automobiles. The new Classic Line of lubricants have been specifically formulated for cars slightly newer, those that are members of the "rad" era. Motul's Classic Line features oils, detergents, and additives that the company has engineered to enhance the performance of older powertrains while offering improved protection.

Each Classic Line lubricant features an additive package with high-zinc (ZDDP) and molybdenum (moly) for reduced friction and increased power. Synthetic base oils and adapted detergent levels of each formulation are suited for metals and gasket materials that are common of the era of vehicle manufacturing. Advanced additives ensure that the lubricants meet or exceed American Petroleum Institute (API) standards.

Motul Eighties 10W30 Motul's Eighties formulation is made for forced induction engine vehicles.Photo courtesy of Motul

The Classic Line's products have high-adhesion properties that are designed to provide excellent cold flow properties to prevent engine wear during start-ups and to coat and protect engine internals and running gear during the periods of prolonged storage that collector vehicles often experience.

Motul Modern Classic Eighties 10W40 meets the needs of forced induction engines while Modern Classic Nineties 10W30 was designed for the demands of high-revving engines with more modern valvetrains. Both Modern Classic oils are the first products to offer high ZDDP and moly for "rad" era collector cars from these two decades.

To get the new 2100 Classic Oil 15W50, Motul revised its 2100 oil to better lubricate and protect naturally aspirated and forced induction engines with flat tappet cams common to the vehicles in the 1970s and beyond.

Motul Classic 10W50 Classic vehicles have different needs and their lubricants have a different formation than Eighties and Nineties branded oils.Photo courtesy of Motul

Classic Oil 20W50 is designed for hot rods, muscle cars, and collector vehicles, and uses additive packages fortified with ~1,800 ppm of ZDDP. According to Motul, this oil provides "improved protection for flat tappet or high-lift cams and high-performance engines with tighter tolerances and older elastomer gaskets; the medium detergent level also makes Classic Oil 20W50 an appropriate break-in oil for newly refurbished engines".

Straight-weight Classic Oil SAE 30 and SAE 50 are mineral monograde engine oils with low detergent levels, blended specifically for gasoline or diesel four-stroke engines generally produced before 1950.

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Heritage Customs offers a bespoke take on the vintage Land Rover Defender.

Photo courtesy of Heritage Customs

The Land Rover Defender's body style is iconic. The most desirable boxy, utilitarian Defenders are two generations old, right before the Defender mutated into a model that looked like an old version bred with a London's black cab. It's these models that create the basis for the new Heritage Customs handcrafted luxury take on the Defender, called the Vintage.

Heritage Customs was co-founded by car designer Niels van Roij, who recently described the customization process:

"This likeable Dutch Vintage commission features a rich, soft green metallic paint. It feels right at home next to the Heather flowers in the forest as well as on the pebble stones next to the patron's striking monumental villa. For this Heritage Customs Vintage we selected our bespoke milled aluminium side- and bonnet vents whilst non-automotive tan Nubuck leather was applied to trim the seats, dashboard as well as rear benches."

Heritage Customs Vintage: Exterior

Photo courtesy of of Heritage Customs

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Each auto has a teak wooden cargo floor with white rubber inlays, There's a Marshall speaker integrated into the cubby box. A hand-stitched tan canvas hood complements the interior color scheme while a wooden steering wheel replaces the traditional standard plastic unit. The SUV's center stack has been color-coded to the body and has metal switchgear on its fascia.

Distinctive aluminum details and color-coded extra wide steel wheels create a hardier looking luxury SUV in the example shown. A section of Heritage Customs-specific wheels are available.

Heritage Customs Vintage: Interior

Photo courtesy of of Heritage Customs

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Customers are also able to select the bumper design of their choosing, whether it's a simple, clean unit or one of the custom made bumpers and side steps that Heritage Customs Vintage offers.

LED lights on all four corners complete the package.

The price of a Heritage Customs Vintage SUV start at €40,000, excluding taxes, depending on the preferred base vehicle and individual customer requirements. All Heritage Customs projects are 100-percent tailor-made and start out with sketches, based on conversations with the future owners.

The design and construction process takes about 1.5 months. Watch the video below to see how the undertaking occurs.

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