JIGE karosseri AB

The coachbuilder JIGE was founded in Säffle, Sweden, in 1948. The company name JIGE came from the initials of the four founders last names: Jansson, Isacsson, Gustavsson and Englund. Gunvald Jansson was the head financier. He had become a millionaire through forests in the county of Värmland. Axel Mentor Isacsson was a factory owner. Except JIGE he started a bunch of other industries in Säffle during his lifetime. Car dealer Gunnar Gustavsson also came from Säffle. Hilding Englund had earlier been working for a coachbuilder in Järbo in the county of Gästrikland. When that company went bankrupt he moved to Säffle and became the technical supervisor for the JIGE project. JIGE went through the '50:s mostly constructing cabins for tractors. jige(2).jpgThe idea was to bring the production into manufacturing bodies for busses, but there were only 3 buses built during the lifetime of the company. In the beginning of the '50:s there were a lot of bodies built on the PV 445 commercial chassis, but when the Volvo duett was introduced there was no longer any profit in building these wooden based bodies. In the ending of the '50:s Gunvald realized that the buisness wouldn't pay its way. Therefore the activities were winded up. All the machinery were sent to Torsby in Värmland where Gunvald had purchased a hauling company. Hilding started a one man company in his garage offering smaller body work and repairs.

Karl-Axel Sandstedt helped out at JIGE during the '50:s. He began in 1943 as an errand boy at the age of 13 at Höglund AB. He was asked to help out with the big steelplates mounted with screws along the sides on the buses the company manufactured. K-A then were asked to help out with the electricity, a work much smoother than the one in the sheet-metal shop. At this time the wiring were nailed to the inner construction of the body. If the wiring had to be raplaced later on, the upholstery had to be removed. K-A than put the wiring in tubes instead wich eased the replacing widly.

In 1948 K-A had to do his militairy service and when returning he wanted to start a career as a show cyclist. He than was offered work at JIGE when he was not touring with his bicycles. In that way, touring summertime and working at JIGE in the winter time, he lived through the '50:s. When the company was winded up he got employed by Höglund AB again. When needed he did some work for Hilding Englunds one man company "coachbuilding service H Englund".

jige(1).jpgH Englund got a request from Volvo in Åmål if he could build a miniature school bus on the Volvo duett. Hilding contacted K-A who performed the work by lowering the floor and put two benches along the sides. This reconstruction made it possible to take 11 children overall, 10 on the benches and one in the front seat. K-A manufactured about 8 of these rebuilded duetts but had a request for more. Volvo in Gothenburg contacted him and wanted him to build some 50 to 100 cars. To meet this request K-A had to have localities with a lot of space. He found some localities with a "for hire"-sign but when he contacted the owner, the localities all ready had been rented. In fact it was rented just the day before K-A rang. He didn't make any further attempts to find localities and the project was never carried through.

A big thanks to Karl-Axel Sandstedt who has provided with information in text and pictures.

Published 2003-12-27