During the weekend of August 10-12, the annual international meeting for Volvo enthusiasts VROM (Volvo Rendezvous for Owners and Members) took place in Sweden.
On Friday the 10th visitors to Olofström in the south of Sweden were able to tour the Volvo Cars Components Olofström plant where body and chassis pressings for Volvo vehicles and other makes are made. Over 70 people attended the guided tour around the plant.
At the same time, Pininfarina Sweden AB in Uddevalla, north of Gothenburg, opened its doors to the people who had chosen to go there instead. Almost 100 visitors saw the production of the Volvo C70 convertible in the jointly-owned plant.
On Saturday August 11, two rallies leading to Gothenburg and Arendal took place. The one that started in Olofström gathered 45 cars and was driven over beautiful country roads across Sweden and up along the west coast to Gothenburg.
The Uddevalla rally gathered 66 entries and was run on winding roads in the western part of Sweden but ended in the same place, the Arendal area.
On arrival, the rally participants, and others, were met by preparations for the big Sunday meeting. Some market sellers had already erected their stands and parts (new and old), literature and all sorts of knick-knacks were already changing hands.
A perfect day out
Came Sunday August 12 with slightly overcast skies, a very light breeze and a nice temperature. The ideal weather conditions for an activity like VROM.
People started to arrive and the atmosphere was that of happiness and well-being. The Volvo Museum had open house and there was a shuttle service with an old Volvo bus taking people from the VROM area to the Museum if they did not feel like walking the 500 metres or so. The bus made 93 (!) trips during the day.
Famous autohistorian and author Peter Haventon was the speaker of the day and his talking was interspersed with music from the days of the classics that were on display. Eight of the Swedish Volvo Clubs were represented and so were Volvo Cars Heritage and the Volvo Archive.
Volvo Cars Heritage was present, handling out information. Standing with his back to the camera is Bengt Lidmalm, founder of the JC car company that did the Indigo 3000.
During the day some remarkable vehicles were shown to the audience and their owners interviewed on the stage. Especially worth mentioning are:
– Stoffel Mulier from Belgium with his beautifully restored 1963 Amazon convertible by Jacques Coune of Brussels. The only Coune on the road of two surviving cars.
– A very nice PV445 pickup with Klippan body in perfect condition, owned by Christer Angsman in Varberg.
– A much-modified 760 estate which had been turned into an exciting pickup by 19 year old Jens Olsson from Ronneby
– A Norwegian Amazon with chassis number 251 from 1957 was the oldest Amazon at the meeting. Owned by Jens Moen, it carries the same regsitration number, although in Norwegian style as it once did in Sweden; O-55942.
– A bright yellow JC Indigo with a 3 litre six cylinder Volvo engine under the bonnet. The car belongs to Bengt Lidmalm, who started and ran the JC company, and who told the whole interesting background story to Peter Haventon and the thrilled audience.
Jan Svanbäck from Stockholm turned up with his amphibious prototype from 1971, based on the C313.
The Volvo Amazon of Jens Moen, Norway, with chassis number 251 was the oldest Amazon at VROM 2007.
The VROM Heroes
The prize of the day was awarded to one category only, and that was not a car but people. The group of 15 Italians who had driven to Gothenburg fro Naples (appr 3,000 km one way) in eight cars were awarded "The VROM Heroes of 2007". Volvo entusiast Kjell Olsson from Olofström was also awarded the "VROM Hero" prize because without his help, about half the group would never had reached Gothenburg. He fixed parts and carried out repairs in order to make the whole group arrive safely!
The number of classic Volvos on display exceeded 400 with Amazons topping the list with 72 cars present, followed by PV (65) and 140 (42). Apart from Sweden, participants also came from Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Switzerland and the UK. The number of vistitors came to appr 3,500 and there were smiles from them all over the place during the whole day.
Now there is almost a year until VROM 2008. Planning has already started and it will be better, bigger and more interesting than ever. See you in August 2008!