The Power Big Meet is the biggest American car show in the world—and it takes place in Västerås, a small town in central Sweden. This year, 17,000 car owners from all over the world gathered at the three-day event in early July to do what car enthusiasts love to do—stand around, look at each others’ cars, rev their engines, and just generally shoot the shit.
The event comes out of Sweden’s “raggar” subculture, which emerged in 1950s and was inspired by American greasers. Raggare are mostly from small towns and are known for their love of rockabilly music, leather vests, pomade, and, of course, cars—the raggare’s mode of transport, sleeping place, chick magnet, and party venue.
Thanks to the raggar culture, Sweden is a hub for restored 1950s American cars. By some accounts there are now more of them in Sweden than in the entire US. At Power Big Meet you’ll find Street Rods, Customs, 50s cruisers, 60s muscle cars, Corvettes, Mustangs, Camaros—you name it. I went there to photograph the raggare and see what they had to say for themselves.