Home Is Where You Build It: The Slammer Garage
A sleepy Swedish suburb

A workshop, to most of us, is more than just a convenient work place. Over the last few days, you’ll have seen a lot of garages and shop tours from around the world already. I can’t say for certain – I’m writing this before I’ve read any other features put together by the rest of team – but whilst what I’m about to show you is humble. It is for me the most important set-up of them all…

Slammer Garage PMcG-33

Last year, Ben and I went on an adventure to Sweden. By now, you’re likely familiar with the cars we found on that trip: the Hemizon, the 1JZ Caddy, the 1294whp Supra and a particular diesel Chevy rod with more torque than a Bugatti Veyron. With a cast of cars like that, it was pretty easy to become over-awed. But nearly a year on, and it turns out that it was in fact one of the people we met who left the lasting impression.

Slammer Garage PMcG-39

His name is Emanuel Sandén. In the last twelve months, three of his own cars have been featured on Speedhunters. Quite a feat considering these were cars he built in his own spare time and for himself.

Chevy Rod Extra PMcG-1

Emanuel embodies all that is right about global car culture. He’s humble and happy to talk about cars until the sun comes up. It was through one of these conversations as we were finishing up a shoot on the Hemizon, that he invited us to come and take a look at his personal workshop, in a sleepy Swedish suburb.

Slammer Garage PMcG-1

Sweden is a utopia and as such a lot of it looks quite alike. However, when we arrived at Slammer Garage, we were immediately aware that Emanuel had carved out his own little corner of Sweden.

Slammer Garage PMcG-31

I’m sure his neighbours must be horrified at the sight of hot rod projects strewn about outside his workshop’s doors.

Slammer Garage PMcG-18

Inside, as they say, is where the magic happens.

Slammer Garage PMcG-8

Whilst the space is compact, it’s used efficiently and doesn’t feel cramped. In fact, there were four rolling projects on the floor inside, and probably enough room for a fifth.

Slammer Garage PMcG-4

As this was the first time we had seen the Cummins-powered Chevy, I’ll admit that it did steal a lot of our attention for the first hour or so.

Slammer Garage PMcG-3

But once the novelty wore off (actually, I’m lying, the novelty never wore off), it was time to take a closer look at all those small things that to Emanuel are probably just in the way, but to us are what defines the character of this workshop.

Who is Henry Ford?
Slammer Garage PMcG-5

I would love to know what this looks like to an American reader. To see your national flag proudly hanging on the wall in a country thousands of miles away and not a fellow US citizen to be seen for miles around. It’s clearly a positive thing, but am I the only one who finds these sort of homages fascinating?

Slammer Garage PMcG-23

It’s not unique to Slammer Garage of course, but something that can be found in every workshop around the world. All those little pieces of paraphernalia that we try to assemble to bring us closer, in spirit at least, to achieving a certain amount of authenticity with our projects and builds.

Slammer Garage PMcG-20

Even things as easily attainable as magazines that we can’t buy in our local newsagents but can perhaps source online. Not only do they inspire us but I believe they put us in the right state of mind.

Slammer Garage PMcG-9

Of course, no workshop is complete without the obligatory bias and banter. It’s never to be taken too seriously, more a playful shove than anything else.

Slammer Garage PMcG-21

Against each wall, you will find parts for upcoming projects. This Mercedes diesel engine has since found a new home.

Slammer Garage PMcG-17

In this ’49 Chevrolet pickup.

Slammer Garage PMcG-16

Which was spread pretty evenly around the workshop.

Slammer Garage PMcG-6

There were complete cars too, like this half and half (half painted, half rusted) ’40s Buick Super. Emanuel told us an amusing anecdote where they rolled down a street one day in this, before turning around and driving back the way they came. ‘Hey, did you just see that rusty version of that old car that went by a few minutes ago?”

Slammer Garage PMcG-28

This is the sort of character that you can’t buy off a shelf.

Slammer Garage PMcG-7

The same can be said for pretty much everything that Emanuel puts his hands on…

One man’s thrash
Slammer Garage PMcG-22

So, aside from the amazing cars, the interesting parts and the random pieces of ephemera that reside here, what makes this garage more special than any other?

Slammer Garage PMcG-19

Well, nothing really. Slammer Garage exemplifies what is great about every workshop around the world.

Slammer Garage PMcG-26

This is not just Emanuel’s sanctuary, it’s yours and mine too. It’s like a network of safe houses the world over, where we can all take shelter.

Slammer Garage PMcG-36

A place where even the thrash fascinates us and starts up a conversation.

Slammer Garage PMcG-30

You see, garages aren’t just four walls and a roof. They’re places where we make things happen. It’s a place where we can walk inside, close the door and forget about the outside world for a couple of hours. It’s a place of gathering, where we can hangout with friends, work on our cars or just talk shop. Our garages and workshops define who we are as petrolheads and each one tells you everything you need to know about its owner.

You can take the cars out and still know exactly what type of person the owner is. These are our churches. These are our temples, our shrines or whatever else you want to call them.

This is where speed is born.

Paddy McGrath
Twitter: @PaddyMcGrathSH
Instagram: speedhunters_paddy



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Thats some emotional drivel right there. Too much cheesy romanticism on speed hunters right now.


That's a lot of filter. Brightness +60, Saturation -30....nice article, but everything looks so foggy! Then again, I'm not a professional, so what do I know :)


Who builds rat rods? Asshands!


pretty inspirational if I'm honest
I like these kinds of posts. If I wanted to see pictures and specs I'd go to any other magazine or blog. The thing about Speedhunters for me is that it's a lot about the story of the car, and how it feels and stuff. Mushy bullshit, but it's a nice change from just "THIS MAKES X HORSEPOWER USING Y TURBO AND PUTS IT DOWN WITH Z TYRES".
I guess that's why I really like the youtube channel Petrolicious. 
Keep up the good work.


wheatgod Xenotimesure, because the concept and building ratrods didn't pave the way for the engineering masterpieces you're churning out in your garage today right?


@BleedingHearts the romanticism associated with workshops and automobiles is lost on you?  Sad state to exist in


Xenotime  Haha, now that's an interesting perspective. I never considered people who build rat rods to be lazy, oh that's right, because they're not. 

Your labels are wanted elsewhere.


CPTNSLO  No filters, just trying something a little bit different. You win some, you lose some :)


PaddyMcGrath I think it does a good job at giving a good "vintage" feel, which is appropriate for this kind of setting/subject, but it'd be nice to see a few really high quality "normal" image in the set. I've been following your work since I found this site, and you have an incredible talent...keep up the good work!


I think this is one of the best themes in SH for a long time. It is definitely interesting to see how similar, yet completely different garages around the world are. Cannot understand the negative comments at all. Not on this article or on the others.


wheatgod Xenotime Remember -- We are still waiting for Weaselgod to post some pictures of his fantastic creations -- -- of course that would require him to leave his blessed keyboard for more than 1 minute.


Love it, not a week has gone by with out a thought about that diesel hot rod, since i read the first article i have had a completely different perspective on the hot rod scene, and pushed my own ideas and dreams to the max, trying to not just think out side the square, but to cut, mod and rebuild the square and then think out side of that, please keep doing what you are doing SLAMMER GARAGE.


It never ceases to amaze me the creativity and flair of ordinary individuals: "let's put a gigantic diesel in a classic hot-rod!" And thus an icon is born =D
It also never ceases to amaze me how some people can find something to hate in everything... Lazy? Seriously? Let's see you build a car that could alter the earth's rotation in first gear. Small, closed minded people need to stick to politics.


Those last couple of paragraphs need printing out and plastering across a wall somewhere. So inspiring. So emotional. And so true. Another fantastic article Paddy!


And the diesel rod has the best horn ever. :D


Speedhunters_Bryn Xenotime  And that's where you couldn't be more wrong.

A rat rod is the equivalent of what the fanboy's of today consider a missile car.  A missile car is meant to be the back up, practice, test new grounds, smash-em up car for your real "race" car.  Instead what a missile car is to 99% of the people that claim to have them is their primary drift car/daily driver that they excuse the crashed quarter panel, broken mis-colored aero, and rod-knocking KA for the exception that it's a missle.  It's not, it's a piece of shit daily driver that you tried to drift twice, and you pieced together with scraps.

And a modern day ratrod is the same garbage. There's no ingenuity or creativity in putting a diesel in a 30's frame--it's shock value.  The same reason why there's barbed-wire on the car.  The same reason there's something slanderous about one of the most significant players in the automobile.  I think what makes today's "ratrod" so appealing, is that it's such a hacked-together mess, it gives the viewer the appeal that they could throw a bucket of parts at something and call it a car.  There's no attempt at panel fit and finish, at style, at precision--thus lazy assholes.


Thanks For this post!! A well-organized garage saves our money and time with safety. All pics are very informative. I am share this article with my friends. 



Great article and love to see the American flag hanging in their garage, it is however displayed incorrectly- the stars should be on the left when the flag is hung on a wall vertically. just sayin...