A Volvo Moment: Taxi on US tour

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Published 12:00 AM, June 17 2016

It's June 24th, 1961 in Atlantic City. Kärstin Axe is dressed in a 17th century dress of purple velvet and rose-coloured silk with gold embroidery. At home in Stockholm, she has won the title The Queen of Lake Mälaren in the city's annual beauty contest and now she is touring the US for three weeks to represent Sweden and Stockholm. However, on the journey she is using the title The Vasa Queen, as one of her tasks is to tell about the amazing discovery made in Stockholm and that this summer is being salvaged - the warship Vasa

Kärstin Axe tours the US to represent Sweden and Stockholm using the title The Vasa Queen.

Already now, the potential is being realised of this tourist attraction that will be seen by millions.

She is making the trip together with the taxi drivers Inga Bäckgren and Bernt Edholm who take turns to drive the expedition's faithful transport. It is a Volvo PV831, which normally operates as a taxi in Stockholm but which was shipped over on the vessel M/S Minnesota exclusively for this tour.

The taxi, which has the registration number A66650 has already logged 850,000 km before the journey begins, and on the tour through 17 states, it logs a further 8,500 km.

"It ran fine the entire time", reports Bernt Edholm later. "Even at an altitude of 4,000 metres in the Rocky Mountains, though the Nebraska desert where the thermometer hovered around 43-44 degrees, was the hottest moment for her."

The reason that the black cab is on the tour is obviously to show that Volvo builds cars of good quality. The fact that the model was discontinued three years ago does not matter as the brand new model Volvo P1800 has also been brought along.

When the Swedish good will tour ends in New York on July 18th, it will have been to 17 states and visited 15 major cities. The Volvo taxi will take the boat back to Sweden while The Vasa Queen and her entourage will fly in first class with Pan-American Airlines.