It started as a play with bike parts and tools, but then we saw him – Stålfarfar! It made us very happy because we have read a lot about Stålfarfar and his story has been a great inspiration to us. Of course we had to make a screen print!
In 1951, at 66 years of age, Håkansson rode his bicycle emulating the so-called Sverigeloppet from Haparanda to Ystad. Because of his advanced age the organizers had refused him to participate – the maximum age was 40 years – but he still started from Haparanda, formally not among the contestants but starting one minute after the last of them had set off and wearing a shirt on which he had written a big zero as his ‘runner number’. The Tour was run in stages, and while the contestants slept, Håkansson would pedal up to three days without sleeping. During the contest, he was presented as “Stålfarfar”, a name that had followed him since the late 1940s. He had a big beard that made him look extra old, and the organizers were afraid people would laugh at the race participants. Many newspapers were covering his story, and he became famous as the nation followed his journey through the country.
During a few hours off in Söderhamn the police asked him to take a medical exam, which showed that Hakansson was in good health. After 6 days, 14 hours and 20 minutes, he arrived in Ystad – 24 hours before the contestants.