Sweden, oh, Sweden! You never fail to impress me.
Last weekend it was finally time for one of the events that I’ve been looking forward to all year: Gatebil at Mantorp Park in Sweden.
Gatebil (which literally translates to ‘road car’ which is pretty ironic actually…) means non-stop drifting, car exhibition, a super huge party and maybe the most unexpected builds you’ll see in your life. That’s Gatebil.
Nothing is comparable to it and it’s always stunning to see the huge variety of everything.
THE CARS OF GATEBIL
Remember my words a couple sentences ago? The huge variety and unexpectedness of some of the builds? How about some examples.
Imagine a stock looking BMW E30. With the hood closed, there’s nothing to tell you about it’s innards. Pop the hood and you’re greeted by a S14 2.5l four pot from the E30 M3 that’s been swapped in – and given a massive turbocharger too! I sadly wasn’t able to figure out how much power exactly it’s pushing but just look at the size of that turbo!
And one of the most fun things about these finds: most of them are streetlegal in sweden!
Stock looks – big power. Turbocharged V8 in a Volvo wagon. Because, why not?
But it’s not all crazy engine swaps either. There’s a lot of builds with a focus on the visuals of the car…
Have you ever seen a BMW E63 6-series with huge selfmade overfenders? No, I’m not talking about another of these Rocket Bunny knock-offs… have a look!
I can’t recall the last time I’ve seen a e34 M5 Touring in the flesh. Especially not one that looked like this! It was for sure one of the cleanest and looked-after cars at the event.
A fun fact for those who don’t know: Sweden is known to be home to the largest US Car scene, well, outside of the US obviously. So it wasn’t uncommon to see some american iron cruising around the event.
Now it’s time for some serious buisness:
THE DRIFTCARS OF GATEBIL
It’s not about understatement – It’s about power and creativity!
Like I said in my post about last year’s event the people here seem to follow a call of ‘Hey dude, got an engine left? I have a spare chassis in the corner. Let’s do it!’
Thats the reason why you’ll find all sorts of engines in whatever car you can think of!
Do you prefer your Toyota Supra with a…
Then there’s Lasupra! One of my most favorite scandinavian racecars. Take a Toyota 2JZ-GTE, a composite body shell that looks like a Lancia and a purpose built chassis and stuff everything in a blender. Lasupra is what comes out. What a beauty!
See, it’s very possible to build something unique and beautiful yet still with the purpose of running it at the limit out on the track. Obviously a lot of time, work and fabrication goes into a build like this. But they’re all completely useable!
Which leads us to the last category, which I also consider the most important and exciting…
THE DRIFTS OF GATEBIL!
I learnt a lot over the past year and also stepped up my equipment game. This year I was prepared for the madness!
If I may say so, I’m very pleased with my action shots from this year (note: As you should be! – Bastien). I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
Team Black Smoke Racing and their famous diesel powered Mercedes C Class W204 from Finland.
If you follow international drifting then Frederic Aasbo will be a familiar name. It’s not hard to see why his fans call him the ‘Norwegian Hammer’ – his driving manages to pull your attention even in a big pack of cars. Physics? What’s that? He flies through other cars like it’s not even funny.
And this is the winner of the Gatebil Drift Series run at Mantorp! Ørjan Nilsen and his orange Toyota Soarer.
Another couple shots:
And as the track is very open, drifters will often run a bit outside the tarmac. So dramatic dirt drops ensue!
Anything else can be found on our Facebook page, including a “People of Gatebil” album where you can link yourself or friends if you notice them!