The Biggest Car Theft in History: How North Korea Stole 1,000 Volvos to Jumpstart Their Car Industry
The story of the biggest car theft ever recorded is a jaw-dropping tale that involves Volvo and North Korea. It’s hard to believe that a national government orchestrated such a massive operation, but that’s exactly what happened. Here are the fascinating details:
In the late 1970s, the Swedish government signed a deal to provide North Korea with $70 million worth of heavy equipment, including 1,000 Volvo 144 sedans to be used as taxis. However, North Korean leader Kim Il-sung had other plans for the Volvos. He wanted to dismantle the cars and use the parts to create a domestic car industry.
To carry out this plan, the North Korean government had the cars stolen and taken to a secret location. In the end, only a handful of the stolen Volvos were ever recovered, and the rest presumably ended up as spare parts for makeshift North Korean cars.
It’s incredible to think that a national government would go to such lengths to jumpstart their car industry. This story is a testament to the power of cars and their impact on society. As a car enthusiast, I’m always fascinated by the stories behind cars, and this one certainly doesn’t disappoint.
My Experience with Car Theft
As a car blogger, I’ve come across various cases of car theft over the years. It is a sad reality that car enthusiasts and owners have to deal with. A stolen car can be heartbreaking, especially when it holds sentimental value. It’s not just about the monetary value, but also the memories that come with it. It’s a frustrating situation that leaves you feeling violated and helpless. I can only imagine the feelings of those who fell victim to the biggest car theft ever recorded.
The Collaboration between Volvo and North Korea
The collaboration between Volvo and North Korea was unexpected and had disastrous consequences. The Swedish government had signed a deal to provide more than 70 million dollars worth of heavy equipment to the secretive state. As part of the deal, 1000 Volvo 144 sedans were shipped to North Korea to be used as taxis. Little did Volvo know that these vehicles would be stolen in what is now known as the biggest car theft in history.
Details of the Volvo 144 Sedans
The Volvo 144 sedans were one of the company’s most popular models in the 1970s. They were luxurious, reliable, and had an excellent safety rating. These sedans were equipped with a 2.0-liter engine that provided decent power output, making them ideal for use as taxis in North Korea.
- Engine: 2.0L four-cylinder
- Power output: 100 hp
- Transmission: Four-speed manual or three-speed automatic
- Top speed: 96 mph
- 0-60 mph: 13.6 seconds
Note: These specifications are for the Volvo 144 model sold in the US market.
The Planned Use for the Stolen Cars
The stolen Volvo 144 sedans were planned to be used as taxis in North Korea, but that was not the endgame. It is believed that the North Korean government had a more sinister plan in place. The regime intended to use the stolen cars to clone them and replicate their technology, which they could use to build their own vehicles.
The Aftermath of the Theft
The aftermath of the biggest car theft ever recorded was catastrophic. The stolen vehicles were never recovered, and Volvo suffered a massive financial loss. On the other hand, North Korea benefited significantly from this, as they were able to reverse-engineer the stolen sedans and produce their own vehicles. It is said that the North Korean car industry is still using this technology to this day.
The Recovery of Some of the Stolen Vehicles
Years after the heist, various Volvo 144 sedans were recovered around the world. Some had been repainted and had fraudulent papers, while others were still in their original condition. Some cars ended up being sold to unsuspecting buyers, while others were seized by authorities.
Impact of the Theft on North Korea’s Relationship with Sweden
Theft has never been acceptable, and the biggest car heist in history left a sour taste in the mouth for all parties involved. The theft severely damaged the relationship between North Korea and Sweden, and the Swedish government canceled all trade deals with the secretive state. Even today, the relationship between the two countries remains tense.
In conclusion, car theft is always disheartening, but the scale of the theft that occurred between Volvo and North Korea was unimaginable. It is a reminder to all car enthusiasts and owners to always take all necessary precautions to prevent car theft.