Swedish Humvee? 1954 Volvo TP21 Sugga

OK, here’s an odd one, it’s a 1954 Volvo TP21 “Sugga” 4X4. You’ve never heard of it? Well, that makes two of us. That’s all the more reason to investigate and see what’s up with this unusual multi-purpose vehicle. It is located in Uerkheim, Switzerland and is available, here on Ricardo for 42’950 CHF or about $47,600 U.S. Thanks to Jeff for this one-of-a-kind find!

Technically the Sugga, loosely translated as “sow” or “mother pig”, and produced between 1953 and 1958, was a Swedish armed forces vehicle, that according to Volvo Sugga, has become “a favorite of military vehicle preservationists, 4X4 offroaders, show car enthusiasts, Volvo fanatics, and even auto-buffs who want a unique sport-utility vehicle for daily use“. The appeal will be limited by the Sugga’s slim production numbers as only 750 copies were produced.

The listing for this Sugga is not too informative, it states that this is one of approximately 200 still in use, and it has been “completely mech. outdated” which I think means completely mechanically updated; something probably got lost in translation. The listing further states that the seller has 15’000 in receipts (about $16,600), ostensibly for what was probably, a total refurbishment. It looks good, certainly like it means business, though I’m not sure that I would know otherwise. The olive drab finish appears to have been recently applied and there is nothing that seems out of place or begging for an answer. It does have a pair of jerry-cans attached to its hind side quarters but that’s it for features. No, there are no obvious guns/cannons attached but I suppose one could investigate that possibility if they were so inclined…

Power is courtesy of a 90 HP, 3.6 liter, in-line six-cylinder engine working through a four-speed manual transmission and a transfer case. This is a “side-valve” engine design that powered many Volvo passenger cars and small trucks. The seller, unfortunately, makes no mention of this Volvo’s operating prowess.

The interior is very utilitarian in nature but that’s pretty much what one would expect for such a vehicle. It appears to have been restored recently though I wonder if the camouflage headliner is correct. I particularly like the roof hatch, I can think of numerous instances where that would come in handy. Note the steering wheel – it seems a bit tarted up in this instance.

So this is a bit like a Swedish Humvee or an old-school version of an Oshkosh Defense light tactical vehicle with a gentler European flair. I’m not sure how you would use such a vehicle, it’s too nice for off-roading and I’m not sure that I buy into the idea of it as an MPV for daily use. But it would make for quite the conversation piece at a local car show. And, can you imagine the reaction other drivers would have when they see you closing in via their rear-view mirror?

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  1. Fahrvergnugen reality bites Member

    Sugga. Ah, huni huni…just because someone had to.

    Didn’t know there were zombies in Sweden to protect oneself from. Trolls I get, but not the undead.

    Actually this looks like a highly unique cross between an old Power Wagon and a sedan. Nice find!

    Like 16
  2. Will Fox

    Looks like a `40 Ford sedan & a post WWII Dodge Power Wagon had a baby!!!

    Like 12
  3. local_sheriff

    It’s more or less the Swedish variant of the Dodge WC58, ie a radio /reconnaissance vehicle. Most were destined for a hard life in the bog when they were retired from military service! 😁

    It’s long since I last saw one IRL and I never realized they were only made in 724 examples(says wiki at least). However according to the Swedish Armed Forces registry covering the whereabouts of almost 200 of these vehicles there should be one located in my neighboring town…?

    Like 3
  4. Greg Millard Member

    Wonderful – wonder what road speed is?

    Like 5
    • losgatos_dale


  5. luke arnott Member

    I knew someone who had one of these.Very slow & uncomfortable.

    Like 3
  6. Car Nut Tacoma

    Nice looking car. I’ve heard of Volvo producing the TP21, but for some reason, they were never offered in the USA, at least not in large numbers. It looks like a military vehicle, for use by the Scandinavian (Swedish, Norwegian, etc.) military.

  7. SDJames

    I think “mother pig” is a perfect name for this thing! :)

    Like 6
  8. Michael H Schine

    For more insight, read this Hemmings article.

  9. Husky

    In the beginning of the 1980s, the armoured forces here in Sweden sold them as surplus, $150 – 300 USD secured a good condition vehicle.

    A friend of mine bought one and put in a Chevy big block engine and automatic transmission, painted it Yellow. Fun vehicle to fill up with friends and enjoy your Friday lager while playing Chuck Berry on the stereo.

    That was great times!

    Like 3
    • Husky

      Should be $1500-3000 USD.


  10. Norman Phillips

    I can’t find more than 5 spark plug wires.

  11. Chris Londish Member

    More like a Dodge Travelall even has the six cylinder flathead allthough the rear is more like a 39 Chev sedan but not my cup of tea a serious 4wheeler

  12. Rustytech Member

    The original midsize SUV. This thing looks like it could go anywhere. I like it!

  13. NHDave

    There’s a lot of WWII Dodge WC-53 Carryall design emulated in that vehicle.

    Like 2
  14. Gene

    The engine in it looks block wise, identical to the 3.6 liter flathead six in my 1950 Dodge B2C pickup. Same location of the temperature sender, oil filter lines, distributer, and the dipstick looks the same, as does the waterpump. I’d almost bet they are the same family of engine.

    Like 2
    • BR

      They are. Volvo used Chrysler 6’s for a few years.

  15. PeterfromOz

    Note the exhaust pipe appears to go up and over the roof to the rear, exiting above the rear window.

  16. Mountainwoodie

    What a sugga..Needs some bristling antennae bent over the top and some radio gear AND comfortable seats I’ll bet!

  17. Wolfgang Gullich

    Volvo also harkened back to design cues from the TP21 when designing both generations of the XC90

    Like 1
  18. Kenn

    My guess is that the exhaust is high so that the vehicle can go deep in the water. I look at the carburetor intake would help to confirm that. Wish this was in the U.S. Would be fun to tour around the woods of Northern Michigan.

  19. Gaudenz

    The German word „überholt „ means in this case redone / refreshed.

  20. chrlsful

    one of my favs. A bit multipurpose, looks are the sell/buying point tho. Some 2nd owners have really made them their own. Not sure on gearing, just an admirer:
    any older ‘wrk vehicle’ I can repurpose is fun, interesting for me. Gotta PTO on an ‘early bronk’. Less a rec vehicle, more abt income. Want “free use”~

  21. Bill McCoskey

    I first saw one of these about 1987, parked for years on a back street in a very expensive part of Kensington, London, not far from Harrod’s. I left a note on the front seat, and the next year when I came back, the note was still there, and it was clear the vehicle hadn’t moved in a long time. Never did talk to the owner.

    Like 1

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