By Dave S. Clark
To me, Volvo and Sweden are synonymous so when my wife and I made a trip to Gothenburg, we had to visit the Volvo Museum.
Like most manufacturer’s museums, it’s very well put together and features a whole range of cars, starting out with the humble beginnings and ending with concepts of what the future of the marque holds. The Volvo Museum fit that bill perfectly.
SCROLL DOWN TO SEE FULL PHOTO GALLERY FROM THE VOLVO MUSEUM
One of the first exhibits we saw was the wooden chassis of a very early Volvo. If they kept building cars out of wood, they probably wouldn’t have the same reputation that they have today! There was an engine for a tank made for the Swedish military (Sweden has a military?) turbine engines and planes manufactured for their aerospace division.
We were travelling from Canada, so we hadn’t seen many of the earlier Volvo’s that never made it across the pond to North America. There were so many interesting designs and peculiar models that I had never seen before. I particularly liked two ‘Tandem’ concept cars that were two-seaters, with the driver sitting in front of the passenger, like in a fighter jet. They were incredibly narrow cars with gull-wing doors and pretty outlandish designs.
There was another concept that was designed by women for women, which was also pretty cool.
Motorsports don’t pop into my head when I think of Volvo, but there was still a large selection of race cars, from touring cars to rally racers.
Volvo also showed concepts that were truly ahead of their time, such as the LCP 2000, which was not particularly attractive, but it was designed to run on a variety of fuels including pure vegetable oil. That was back in 1983.
Another one I appreciated was one of the first back up cameras, although, as you can see in the photos, both the camera and the screen are somewhat primitive.
If you appreciate tractors and heavy machinery there is also a section that celebrates Volvo’s contribution to that world.
If you’re a car guy and not even necessarily a Volvo enthusiast, the museum is a must see. Quirky concepts and oddball cars really make this museum. It’s definitely not just like walking into a Volvo showroom.
The Volvo Museum is located in an industrial area of Sweden’s second city, a bit of a hike from the heart of Göteborg. However, it is right on a bus route, so it is pretty convenient to get to. My guess is a taxi would have been quite expensive, so the bus was a good way to go. The only downside is that the returning bus only came about every two hours, so be sure to check the schedule when you get off the bus for pick up times. Or else you could be waiting amongst a bunch of warehouses for a considerable amount of time.
Check the Volvo Museum’s website for current bus routes and schedules.[ngg_images gallery_ids=”8″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_basic_thumbnails” gallery_width=”600″ gallery_height=”400″]