Car Swamp, Sweden
This is the final resting place of hundreds of old cars. The cars date from the thirties to the sixties. Some cars sunk into the bog, some fell apart over the years and are hardly recognizable but it still is a unique and beautiful place.
It all started with Åke Danielsson, who shovelled peat in these moors. Åke was born in 1914. In 1934, when his sore back didn’t allow him to shovel peat all day, he started to collect scrap cars as a second job. He built a small shed and a workshop on the bog and lived and worked there with his dog. He had no electricity, nor water and lived in a 15 sq meter (161 sq ft) ‘house’ for years. When he had sold every valuable piece of the car, he just left it in the swamp. Over the years the car heap grew larger and larger. Various brand and models can be found here: Morris Minor, Austin, VW van, several American brands and of course many Swedish cars like Volvo, Scania and Saab.
In the early nineties Åke had become too old to still live in his shed, so he went to a retirement home were he finally died in 1999. After Åke leaving the graveyard, people began to ask questions about the fact that the cars might leak toxics into the swamp. They wanted the cars to be removed. Others where convinced that the graveyard had a big historical value, since a part of Sweden’s industrial past is lying there. The two parties kept squabbling for years.
In 2001 the community cut the Gordian knot. The graveyard will be protected for 49 years, since research showed that the impact from the cars’ toxics on the swamp is minimal. Until 2050 this place is safe, but after that they have to take a new decision and this wonderful place might be lost forever…
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