There are certain little weird bits of knowledge that float around the collective unconscious of gearhead-dom that we just assume everyone knows about. Like how there’s a snake eating what might be a baby on the Alfa Romeo badge, or that Trabants were made from old Soviet underpants. Sometimes, though, it’s worth looking at some of these bits of arcana, which is why I thought we should do a quick explainer about why one of the most famous makers of supercars sticks a little ghost on everything.


We’ve actually covered this in passing when we toured Koenigsegg’s hangar-factory, but we got an email from a guy named Kevin asking about the ghost, and I realized we didn’t have a post that just specifically addressed it. So, here one is.

The best way to know about the ghost is to hear the tale from the man himself. Christian von Koenigsegg explains here that they stick a little ghost on all their cars because of a fire. A fire that forced them to move into an old airplane hangar that once housed the Swedish air force’s Johan Röd squadron, a squadron that used the ghost symbol and the English motto “the show must go on” on their Saab AJS37 Viggens and other aircraft.

(in case that doesn’t play at the right time, go to 28:56)

Here’s some planes from the squadron, wearing their ghosts:

By adopting the ghost badge, Koenigsegg is helping keep the show going on for the old squadron, which is a pretty worthwhile thing to do.

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)

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