Every year, on the last weekend in August, thousands of hot rod fans in Stockholm fan out across the city to watch the Stockholm Open -- an illicit drag-racing tournament held on public streets. It's open to anyone who's car has enough muscle to compete -- and that usually means sub-9 second quarter-mile times, roll cages and enough power to pull an Ikea. This year saw a repeat winner, and a move by Swedish police to make the festival a little less fun.
As in much of Europe, Sweden's gearheads have a continuing affection for classic American muscle, for the same reason Chevy Monzas still line up at drag strips across the United States -- cheap, easy-to-build power, one that grows more alluring as regulations on newer vehicles tighten. While there are a few oddballs and Euro-only entrants in the video below, most of the setups wouldn't look out of place at any Friday night test-and-tune on this side of the Atlantic.
That said, winning ain't easy; previous champions have turned at least 1,000 hp and 7-minute runs. The men holding the cars down help get their burnouts started on wet pavement, and the same supercharged Camaro that won last year took this year's trophy as well. While the organizers will stage "meets" at several fake sites to fool police around Stockholm, authorities say they still have enough evidence to cite 74 people from this year's event with traffic violations. Something tells me that won't be enough to stop the Stockholm Open 2013.