Saturday December 2, 2017 at 4:08 PM
PIC: The Troll car from 1956 to 1958, credit to George Joaquim for this history,
The Troll was a car made by Troll Plastik & Bilindustri of Lunde, Norway, from 1956 to 1958. It was one of few attempts at car production in Norway, but only five cars were ever built.
The Troll Sportcoupe was built as a 2+2 sports car with a glass-reinforced plastic (or fiberglass) body. The idea was to build the first mass-produced car outside the US in this material. In the US, Chevrolet made it's Corvette in fiberglass, but no one in Europe had built cars in plastic, except for the East German Trabant, which was also a 2-cylinder, 2-stroke car.
Fiberglass was a relatively new material in the late 1950s, and the benefits were many. It would not rust, it would be 130 kg lighter than an equivalent metal car, and the production would be significantly simpler and therefore cheaper.
The chassis was taken from a Gutbrod Superior and made 15 cm longer. The gearbox was a three speed Hurth gearbox.
The engine was a 700 cc straight-twin two-stroke engine made by Gutbrod of Germany with Bosch fuel injection that produced 30 hp. The top speed was about 130 km/h.
Fuel consumption was 5 litres/100 km (47mpg).
There were plans to change to a SAAB engine, but these were never implemented.
At the beginning engineer Per Kohl-Larsen got hold of the molds for the car in Germany. The man behind the design was Hanns Trippel.
The first Troll car was revealed to the press in October, 1956. It was not completely finished, and although the form of the chassis was final, the car could not be driven. This car was later used as a prototype, and many changes were made during later testing.
The Norwegian and foreign press showed much enthusiasm towards the project, and the car was compared with brands like Porsche, Citro๋n and SAAB.
The first customer received his car May 1, 1957.
As the production commenced, Kohl-Larsen had to work hard to get a permit from the government to sell the car. He was only allowed to sell 15 cars in Norway. The reason for this was a barter treaty Norway had with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe to buy cars from them since they bought fish products from Norway. The government was afraid that domestic car production would disrupt this trade balance. Kohl-Larsen therefore started plans to export the cars to Germany and Denmark. There were also requests from other countries like Finland and Belgium. At one point there were plans to build 2000 cars per year, but after some moderation, they said they would be happy with one finished car per day.
However, the company was never allowed to sell more than those 15 cars in the Norwegian market. In addition they did not get hold of the investment capital necessary to start large scale production. When the government made it clear that they had never wanted to support the Troll car, all the potential investors closed negotiations. Hence, one of Norway's few ventures into car production went bankrupt in early 1958. Only five complete cars had been produced.
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|PIC: The Troll car from 1956 to 1958, credit to George Joaquim for this history, by Dick Johnson #35972|
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