• Henrik Haupt

Car cemetery: Abandoned in Sweden

Updated: May 10

Three beautiful rusty cars

I was going to Norway in another connection, and as I usually do when I travel, I look for some possible abandoned places near my destination. In Sweden, not far from the Norwegian border, I could see an old abandoned car cemetery.

So I had to consider whether I would take the long drive home from Oslo to have the opportunity to get past it or take a relaxing trip home by ferry again. But the decision was not so difficult at all, and I do not think it at any time had been an option for me to take the ferry home. With the view of many hundreds of abandoned cars deep inside a forest where nature is about to take over, it would be really silly to sit on a ferry.

So when I finished my doings in Oslo, I got in the car and drove towards Sweden. The trip from Oslo is not long, but the last many kilometres into the forest with the cars is out of gravel roads through beautiful countryside, and past some small cosy villages making it a pretty long trip after all.

Nature is taking over these old cars
Abandoned cars in a Swedish forest

How did the cars end up here?

The story of how the cars ended up here in the woods is quite funny because it all started with a couple of brothers who had a business idea that ended up going a bit out of hand for them. In the 1950s, neighbouring Norway had set a limit on how many cars could be imported. This meant that several car brands became very difficult to get hold of, and therefore a great demand for them.

The business idea was that the Norwegian import restriction could be circumvented by importing the cars in parts. In practical terms, the cars were bought by one of the many car dealers and workshops along the Norwegian border, and those cars were then disassembled into parts and were then shipped in as parts to Norway. After that, they were then assembled and sold as whole cars.

Piles of abandoned cars
Abandoned cars in piles in Sweden

It all worked very well for several years, but when Norway's import restriction was lifted sometime in the 1960s, the demand for parts was drastically declining.

The need for spare parts was still there, which is precisely why the brothers could continue selling parts to Norway and Sweden. Maybe they should have put a brake on their car adventure because they continued to buy cars right up until 1988 when they ended up closing their business.

But the cars did not disappear for that reason, and it is these cars that are being taken over by nature today.

An abandoned Beetle in the woods
A series of fine old abandoned cars

The cars you can find are primarily from the 40s, 50s and 60s. They are scattered over a large area of the forest and fields around what used to be their business.

If you can find some parts you can use, these can still be purchased by one of the brothers' sons.

But it does not look like there is anything left that can be used anymore.

The forest is full of abandoned cars
Abandoned cars in several rows

It was a great place to explore and photograph the many cars. It was one of the places I really wanted to visit, and it is a place I would get back to again and again.

The place is conveniently located far away from public roads, and not many cars come here. So I could concentrate completely on capturing the most interesting motifs without being disturbed.

Beautiful abandoned cars in a Swedish forest

As I wrote earlier, it is located in a fantastic landscape, and I could enjoy my lunch in the silence by a nearby lake before I had to take the long drive back to Denmark again.

Peace and quiet after a good explore