I translated an article about Alexi's cars today from a Finnish magazine called V8.
I do some adds for this mag too so I spotted this from the promo I got today. Enjoy.
Dodge Monaco 1974 &
Pontiac Trans Am GTA 1991
The Brutal Duo
TV series Knight Rider and the movie Blues Brothers made such a big
impact on young Alexi Laiho that the Children Of Bodom headman
purchased the respective starring cars to himself.
Alexi got psyched over America -manufactured cars around the age of
10, and ever since he had the income has he driven yankees, winter or
summer. Actually American cars remain his only freetime hobbies
together with playing and skateboarding. Naturally the guitar virtuoso
shreds off on his guitar during freetime as well.
- I've digged cars a lot since I was a kid, and of course dad's cars
were the coolest, even tho they were Audis and BMW's. Before I was 10
I used to watch Knight Rider from the TV, which was where you had the
coolest car in the world back then, KITT, the black Pontiac Trans Am.
A bit later I was struck by the movie Blues Brothers. I think the Dodge
Monaco is the most badass car ever, remembers Alexi, who since then
has watched the cult film for hundreds of times.
Because it was not possible to purchase an own car yet, Alexi
satisfied his most severe thirst for the hobby hanging around on the
cruisings and reading the mags. Around the time Trans Am became sort
of an obsession for him, which didn't go away when he got his first car.
- My first car was a BMW 320, just a regular teenager's shitbox. I
used it just for going from place to place but meantime spared money
for the real deal. In a couple of years I started seriously checking
out cars, and in the 2000 I found a wine red vintage '88 Pontiac
Firebird with 305 and manual. That was a good one from driveability
and I used it allover the year.
- I made trips all around the world, probably the most memorable one
was when I went to Göteborg with my second band [Sinergy] to record an
album. We had three blokes on the ride, two big guitar cases, people's
suit cases and all that, I still don't know how we managed to pull it
off. We all fit in and arrived as planned.
- The studio was upstairs at the building and the car was parked down
on the yard slot. I woke up in the middle of the night and figured a
bunch of fags were attempted to break into the Firebird. I screamed
gtfo as loud as I could and they ran off. They managed to tear off the
driver's side handle-lock. Plus they had tried to rip out some alarm
devices and cords, which fucked up the flicker on the other side.
- We made some successful errands across Finland with the Firebird.
The downhill started when a friend suggested I could handily switch
the 305 into a 350 TPI -engine.
The consequences were bad. The car spent some years at the garage, and
when Alexi finally took his car back, it would constantly halt to a
total freeze after half a kilometer of driving because of data bugs.
- It took so long that during the wait I had new cars coming and
going. Next one was a '83 Buick Electra farmer, which was practical for
transporting insanely large guitar cases. Only problem with the car was
its bad condition. The Monaco one I bought around the same time in 2003.
- I mentioned Monaco in a Soundi interview when we got carried away
to talk about cars. I jokingly advised them to write to the article
that if someone owns that car, please contact my record label
Spinefarm. Someone finally sent us his ID. The owner told in the phone
that he had a tuned 440 cid for engine, and that was it. Once I entered
the cockpit I knew it was mine, and made a deal.
It was a true Suomi-car in question, a former keel-figure for a
company in Mikkeli, with an original caretake instruction book since
the '90s included. The 440ci had accidentally been drilled to an
oversize of 0,030 and had 10,5l mugs for pistons. The cell caps are
from hte '70s and a notch tighter than normal. The front axel diameter
is harsher as well. Twin exhaust pipes. An inch more than 400bhp, which
comfortably moves the 2-ton pile of a vehicle.
- I drove the Monaco for the first winter, but it felt like reaping
an oldie so I just dropped it. At summer the car is used to taking off
and heading to some town with friends to hang around, also I
participate in the Helsinki cruising event everytime I'm around.
- Monaco has worked smooth and left me on the road just once. I was
driving home from Turku when I realized the indicators don't work at
all. I made the worst mistake and put the window wipers on. They
totally fucked up. Eventually all the revs went down and the car
stopped in the middle of nowhere, as the accumulator emptied due to
- My phone accumulator was also empty, so I could do was take a walk.
After some time I got desperate and got up right at the next ramp. I
arrived to a little village with a bar. There, a local lady ordered me
a cab and that was good because the locals didn't like a punker like
this dropping by asking for a taxi. The next day we went to get the car
back safe with a friend. Plus to what happened the only thing that
needed fixing was a slightly slided off 727-gearing.
- Monaco looks like a trabant that can't move nowhere. In reality it
reaches the 200km/h mark quite quick. I love messing around with the
tuning cars, and admit that's happened sometimes. I was gonna have the
Monaco painted in the future, but I'm not gonna make it some car show
sight. Just the rust off and same colour on. But you need to keep the
ghetto spirit, Alexi plans.
- After a failed engine-swap I started looking for a new Firebird. I
looked for the V8 magazine on-sales and spotted a '91 Trans Am GTA
350ci. I went for a test ride and right on the first pedal touch it
felt different. That was it.
- The car was in good shape. The engine was standard but it had a
shift kit. Really good driveability. It's a light-weight yet menacing
car. The floor works smooth except on rocks. It's also nice for long
journeys because it doesn't drink up as heavy as Monaco. It's also on
year-round use. I planned to have it painted matt-black and illustrate
an eagle on the front deck, Mad Max style. Most of these cars appear
red so this would be different.
Alexi also has a third car, '91 Caprice farmer, which was at the garage atm.
- I was looking for a newer model Caprice farmer and found one with a
290bhp LTI-engine fitted. It moved around real nicely even as it's a
space-miracle designed for 8 people. It can fit an immense amount of
shit in it as well as people. Driving long distances goes nice and
smooth. I've done some summer festival tours with it as well. Even tho
there's a bus going to the venues, nothing wins this as a festival car.
- At the meantime I used to own a Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew cab
spikey with a 4,3l V6. Awesome ride that carried a lot of stuff with
you, especially if it wasn't raining. All my cars are for use. I
recently had plans for purchasing a new pickup, but prices are rocket
science. I'm not gonna pay 70k for some fucking spikey, comments Alexi
who has particularly Mopar and GM products close to heart.
Alexi's collection of cars is set to get bigger in the future with a
'69 Charger. Same one from one of Alexi's fave movies, Dukes of Hazard.
Children Of Bodom is a fairly car-fanatic band. Plus to Alexi, the
sound check guy is into yankees, and owns for example Alexi's former
Firebird. The other guitarist is into old Datsunis. Alexi himself has
the duo of cars he's craved for since he was a child.
The beefed-up and de-compressed 440ci engine's neutral running revs
are menacing. Nearly 400bhp sets the floor on a test. It has thus been
Monaco is a true Suomi-car and has a good-shaped couch-style bench
fitted in. Alexi thinks it both works and is comfortable. The car will
never any fancier pop-machine placed than a regular casset player,
because the engine voice itself is music to ears.