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The story behind Bucket List Cars


The story behind Bucket List Cars

For much of his life, Dennis lived with his foot a bit too heavily on the gas pedal. Everything needed to be fast, and he aimed to live life to the fullest every minute, all while engaging in a groping, fumbling search for his own identity.

Now, he has calmed down, chooses to dig in where he stands rather than always aiming for the horizon, and sell cars, which he calls his superheroes.

Here is the story of a person’s journey that has culminated in living with his passion.

I slowly enter through the gate of Bucket List Cars in Rimbo, just a 30 min drive outside Stockholm. Autumn is making its presence felt with yellow leaves as a backdrop and a sun that no longer shines as warmly. A thin layer of clouds hangs like a mist over the sky, creating perfect lighting over the cars parked outside.

Bucket List Cars is the car dealership where you can find a car you didn’t think existed or something you’ve longed for your entire life.

The first time I met the owner, Dennis Branzell, was at a car meeting at Motikon in Uppsala, where he was revving a 1972 Porsche 911 with a 993 body kit and a swapped-in V8 engine. Yes, you read that right – a V8. Oddly, it almost sounded like a Porsche boxer 6-cylinder through the custom-welded Feritta exhaust. Strange, as I could clearly see the small block V8 twisting at each throttle.


BMW 850 with 1000hp

The cars in the yard don’t initially astound me – there are a few LandCruisers V8s, a P1800, and an older drifting BMW, recently acquired, with a real push that I saw on Buckets List Cars Instagram the night before.

I carefully open the door to the premises and step in to find someone to talk to. Right in front of me are two cars that give me an intense jaw-dropping moment. A BMW 850 and a Chevelle Malibu – maybe not the heaviest cars in world history until I look under their hoods. In the BMW sits a prepped Chevy LC9 5.3-liter engine, churning out a total of 1000hp, and the Chevelle, built by SS Autoshop, is said to have 900 hp. Wow!

The machines are amazing to look at, and the numbers almost make my head hurt. Now I begin to understand the concept of Bucket Cars List. These are not just any cars – they are special and they need to be sought after.

Posters made by Fascinating Cars – shipped all over the world at local shipping cost

Further into the premises, I find Dennis trying to maneuver out today’s photo subject – a 1992 Ford Mustang Foxbody Cobra R Clone. The decals are bright and typically American. It rumbles from the Flowmaster exhaust system as the engine comes to life.

It houses a classic Ford 302 engine with forged cranks and pistons. It has Ford’s racing turboswirl heads with a matching cam, a large Mac 1 filter, EcuMaster ECU, and a specially made large aluminum radiator.

To get a feel for the car before the photoshoot, Dennis asks if we should take a spin. Who am I to say no?


The Ford is unamerican steady on the road

We’re in the countryside, and the roads around are winding, surrounded by fields. It’s almost deserted, and we’re practically alone on the road. I hear the V8 eager to work as Dennis shifts into third gear.

“We need to warm it up first,” he says with a smile.

After a while, we come to a parking lot where he turns around and putters back onto the road.

Dennis shifts into first gear and – Smack! My back is pressed against the seat, and my head almost snaps back. When Dennis presses down the race clutch to shift to second gear, my body rolls forward a millimeter, only to be thrust back against the headrest and seatback when the clutch is lifted and the power from the engine is transmitted through the Tremec T5 box to the rear wheels.

It tickles in my stomach, and the car lies incredibly steady on the road and in the curves. The previous owner had it as a Sunday driver for almost 12 years and has redone the entire suspension around.

The Hurst short shift lever is moved up to third and then down to fourth, and the power hits my body again as the straight stretch begins to end. I feel how the whole car is stiff with the adjustable dampers, subframe supports, polyurethane bushings, and the entire Ford Racing handling kit.


Even though the car has a little more than 400 hp, it doesn’t feel like a devilish car but rather a pleasant, smooth kick to the body car. The corners are taken calmly and comfortably with the Flaming Rack short throw steering. The ceramic Wilwood brakes at the front do their job as they should and stop the car before we turn off back to the BucketListCars facility.

“The  drum brakes are still in the rear, , maybe the only original thing left on the car. Something for the next owner to change,” says Dennis as we glide back through the gates to the yard.

The car is parked, and I breathe out. It’s always a bit scary but simultaneously exhilarating to sit next to someone pushing a car to its limits. Especially when the car has things to push.


“FUN, RIGHT?!” his eyes seem to scream

Dennis shows me around the building and mentions that he has just rented another garage in the same building. Inside that garage, there’s an Audi Cabriolet and a dirty Polaris RZR XP Turbo.

Bucket List Cars was created in 2020 after Blocket (the Swedish eBay) banned Dennis for trying to sell too many cars on too many different accounts on their platform.

It was the first time he really turned it into a serious business after it’s been a long life “hobby.”

We continue to chat about various things while we go out to the Ford again to roll it out onto the large gravel area behind the house.

After just a couple of minutes into the photoshoot, I hear Dennis say, almost to himself, a bit eagerly, “Should I go and get the Polaris?”

“That Polaris has 200 hp and weighs nothing. Haven’t had the chance to try it yet, but it’s supposed to shoot like a bullet,” he says with a smile.

I get the feeling he wants me to justify his reason to go and fetch it.

“Yeah, sure, go ahead. I’ll continue here,” I say.


A minute later, he comes speeding full throttle over the gravel bed, with his wife, who was employed by the company just a few months ago, sitting beside him.

Dennis accelerates and drifts, sending gravel flying. They are doing lap after lap.

When he finally stops, both are sitting with huge smiles, and Dennis’s eyes are wide open, shining, and screaming “FUN, RIGHT?!”


This seems to be Dennis in a nutshell – living life to the fullest and always trying new things, never backing down.

Later, when I also get a ride in the Polaris, I understand their smiles. Once again, my adult brain questions the situation while the child inside me laughs, and adrenaline drowns everything related to reason.

We throw gravel in the curves, then drive straight until the next turn, where we – throw gravel in the curve, lap after lap.

Two grown men rolling around in something that resembles Barbie’s budget version of a Beach Buggy.

Really fun.


Sold well over 1000 cars over the years

Back in the garage, we sit down, have a coffee, and warm up after the chill of autumn has set in to our bones.

“The first car I owned and sold was my Renault 4. I bought it, crashed it, fixed it up a bit, and sold it for double the price.”

Since that day, Dennis has sold well over 1000 cars over 35ich years, and his eyes sparkle when he talks about it.


The cars are like superheroes

Dennis explains that the cars he sells are like superheroes. They help customers live and build their self-esteem.

“There’s nothing as cool as when a person has come to terms with themselves to buy a dream car they’ve long been searching and longing for.”

He shares many sales stories during our meeting, and some seem to mean more than others, as I see him genuinely moved by what he tells.

“Like the guy who came to me to buy a Ford GT500 when I lived in Smedjebacken in Dalarna. I didn’t really want to sell it, but he was so calm and determined that he wanted that specific car, so I let him buy it.”

A few months later in spring, when the customer came to pick up the car, he wore a leather jacket that matched the car’s interior and his best sunglasses. Calmly and with a big smile, he told Dennis that he was now going to take his wife on a proper date.

“Just a regular engineer who wanted to live out his dream.”

As I listen to him and his anecdotes that keep popping up, I feel that he is a humble and fair person but probably quite tough in negotiations.

He himself says that he always wants to go the extra mile so that the buyer of the car remembers him and, hopefully, comes back later.

“Several of my clients have returned because they know they get what they want and that I am genuine. I want to help them.”


Often, the journey has been dark

But the journey to this day has been dark, tricky, and sometimes really challenging for Dennis.

Dennis’s life story began quite tragically when his father took his own life in the family’s garage on Midsummer’s Day. The father gassed himself in the family’s Fiat 127 Sport from 1978, and Dennis was only 9 years old at the time.

The house they lived in was one of the finest in Flen and was quietly located by the water’s edge.

After this event, everything happened quickly. Within a week, Dennis and his mother had moved to a basement in Älvsjö, and there were never any discussions or talks  about the father’s passing. Life was to be lived as if nothing had happened, and that’s how it has been since then.

With this in his background, Dennis’s upbringing was somewhat confused. He found it difficult to form an image of how a young man should behave, develop, and be. His natural role model had passed away, and the men around him might not have been the best persons to look up to.

His attitude became one of being tough, being bigger than others, holding his head higher than others, and he always had to be the best at everything. Yet, his self-esteem was always fluctuating, and he constantly questioned himself.

“I did FOK, the preparatory officer course in Arvidsjaur, before the officer’s academy at the age of 19. It was the hardest of challenges in the Swedish military, but here, I saw my future. I was going to become a French Foreign Legionnaire.”

However, other plans emerged due to some “relationship disputes” during the camp, Dennis admits.

After that he goes back to Stockholm again to work in an ordinary fashion. As he goes through his life, it’s hard to keep track of time and exactly what he has done, because he has always been on two or three different tracks at the same time. His complete resume would be longer than a child’s Christmas wishlist, but adventure and sales have been constant in his life.

He says himself that he has lived in darkness, questioning himself and his surroundings,  for much of his life but has always pushed on to live life to the fullest. Outwardly, Dennis has maintained an energy that often puts him in the spotlight when he enters a room or a context – but behind the facade, the darkness thoughts have always followed him.

Running towards the horizon has always been more tempting than stopping to see what’s around and inside him. He hasn’t given himself any rest or peace, but has he been driven by hunting instinct, or has it been a hidden defensive instinct?

One of the major turning points in his life was in 2000 when everything collapsed, and the puzzle of his life with family and job became too much. Everything crashed, and a turbulent divorce led him to move from Stockholm.

“I sat in a rowboat, rowing back and forth across the lake we had in Fagersta, where I moved after the house of cards fell. I was incapable of doing anything and began to cry every time someone mentioned the word Filofax (the calendar of that time).”


The car he drives is the passion he lives

After that period, Dennis rebuilt his life again, with a kickstart of course, and was somewhat more aware of his weaknesses. However, the attitude was still that life should be lived to the fullest, push away the darkness, and the horizon is more tempting than the existence he lived in.

But while we are talking, I get the feeling that Dennis is now really satisfied with the life he now lives. He doesn’t seem to be the man who keeps running.

“Over the last 7 years, since meeting my new wife, I’ve realized that I need to dig where I stand and take care of what I have, not run, otherwise I will be eaten up from within and never find peace and quiet.”

Dennis summarizes everything by saying that one must dare to talk about and look at your own heavy things, otherwise it becomes a big dark burden within you that eats all your life’s energy and joy.

“It’s also only in recent years that my mother can lift the lid a little little to talk about what happened in our lives, before it was such a shame.”

After considerably more hours than planned, I walk towards my car after giving Dennis a big hug. My heart is warm, and my smile is wide.

Dennis has lived his life like a journey on a 70 km/h road through the forest, where the speed has always been too high. The road has wound up, down, to the right, and to the left, and often it seems he has driven through the night, to find his way to where he should be. Sometimes the road has been straight, but most of the time bumpy.

Now it feels more like Dennis is driving through the rural settlement he lives in, in the middle of the bright day. The roads wind calmly and nicely through the farmland, and he mostly keeps to 70 km/h.

The car he drives, is the passion he lives – welcome to Bucket list Cars.

Get in contact or follow Dennis here

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