The car world went beach buggy crazy in the late 1960s, inspired by California’s surf culture. A “different” contribution from cold, remote Denmark might have been expected, and the Joker didn’t disappoint.
Sommer Joker 1970
- YEAR REVEALED 1970
- PLACE OF ORIGIN Copenhagen, Denmark
- HISTORICAL STATUS production car
- ENGINE four-cylinder, 121ci (1,986cc)
- MAXIMUM POWER 82bhp
- LAYOUT front-mounted engine driving the rear wheels
- BODYWORK door-less, four-seater station wagon
- TOP SPEED unknown
- NUMBER BUILT seven
It came from the fertile mind of Danish car distributor Olé Sommer, who intended to offer a none-too-serious car that could be practical in the wild. His Joker rode on a stout box-section separate chassis on which an external framework of hot-dip galvanized steel pipes acted as the body frame.
Between their gaps, on the inside, were attached totally flat fiberglass panels, giving the van-like Joker the appearance of a mobile farm building. “Doors” were canvas sidescreens, and the exhaust pipe transversed the car under the running board before exiting on the opposite side.
The mechanical parts were all Volvo, and being lightweight the Joker was said to have excellent acceleration. Seven examples were sold. Olé Sommer had been apprenticed at Jaguar before unexpectedly inheriting his late father’s garage at just 21. He turned it into a large business, selling imported cars from Volvo and a variety of British marques.