American car show opens in Västerås

American car show opens in Västerås
The 'biggest American car show in the world' opened in Västerås in central Sweden on Thursday. More than 10,000 cars are expected for the Big Meet 2008 show.

The annual event started 31 years ago and was founded by Kjell Gustafsson who has seen it grow from the humble beginnings of 40-80 cars in a parking lot in Anderstorp.

“Just to keep the show going over three days costs 1.5 million kronor ($252,000). 160 officials work with this. That is around the same as the Hultsfred festival,” Gustafsson said to

The Big Meet 2008 show will take place over three days from July 3rd-July 5th and is a considerable money earner for the city of Västerås. Local hotels and campsites have been booked up for months and the largest odds-and-ends market in Europe will attract 600 vendors selling their wares.

American car enthusiasts will be able to go cruising in their Cadillacs, Corvettes and Mustangs on Friday and Saturday evenings. Competitions will be held in 11 different classes over the two days with the awards ceremony on Saturday, July 7th at 2.30pm. The Jay Leno Car Award will again be one of the gongs up for grabs and will be awarded by Swede Per Blixt, who looks after the US TV host’s large collection of classic cars and motorcycles in Burbank, California.

According to the Big Meet 2008 website, 30 couples have registered their interest in tying the knot at the “Get Married Drive In” on Friday. A local Västerås minister, Jerker Alsterlind, will be doing the honours.

According to Gustafsson the good times are rolling for those owning classic American cars with some vehicles fetching up to 4 million kronor.

“One could say that a hard working person today would rather buy an American car than a Picasso,” he said to