BACKGROUND

THE BIRTH OF THE VOLVO VENUS BILO

The young Swedish carmaker Volvo, which started its operations just 7 years earlier was already in the forefront of development and wanted to see and test the cars of the future. What would they look like and how would the consumers react?

The worlds first concept car was to be born!

Volvo put this project to the son of the famous industrialists LM Ericsson. His name was Gustaf LM Ericsson and he had been working in the US as a workshop engineer at Humpmobile. He became a M.Sc. at 1903 and started up a carfactory at Liljeholmen, Stockholm at 1905. Gustaf Ericsson Automobilfabrik was the name but it did not reach the same notice in the world as his fathers telephonecompany. The total production were only 10 cars before it filed for bankrupcy. One of the cars had a 6-cylinder engine witch was the first one of its kind in northern Europe.

Gustaf began to take more interest for bodywork manufacturing and design. He was a talented artist and drew, painted and sculptured. His passion for car made him a participant in many rallies and he was the President of the first car-organisation in Sweden, KAK. The Royal Automobile Club.

He was the perfect entrepreneur for Volvo to take this project of the future car. The first concept car in the world.

The company Norberg Karosserifabrik was at this time a very well-regarded bodywork manufacturer with customers like HRH Prince Gustaf Adolf, Ivar Kruger, Prince Oscar Bernadotte and others extreamly high potentates.

They made bodies on chassies from cars as Rolls-Royce, Duesenberg, Packard, Isotta- Fraschini, Cadillac, Hispano Suiza and so on.

One day in 1932 Gustaf LM Ericsson came to Nordberg company with a wooden model of a car in 1/10 scale. –”I think its beautiful, can you do it on a Volvo chassis?” he asked the director Gustaf Nordberg. After a moment of silence –”We ́ll do it!”

Volvo chassis came from Gothenburg and the work began. Volvo had long before starting informed Gustaf LM Ericsson to launch this, the fist concept car to see the market reaction. Volvo paid for the entire project.

THE PREMIERE SHOW

Gustaf LM Ericsson lived at this time in a magnificent villa called Villa Roskull on Lidingö, an island very close to Stockholm. It was here the assembled press were invited to see the future of automotive ovation: The Volvo Venus Bilo! This is the place were the famous photos of the car was taken. In the garden of the villa. Nowadays the Angolian Embassy is stationed in Villa Roskull.