Investigation of accident with a veteran car on Fv 651 at Rjukan


The Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) investigates the accident in which a Cadillac Coupe Series 62, 1959 model, drove off the road and crashed into the mountain wall beside the road. The car was on the way down from Gaustadblikk towards Rjukan on 2 September, 2018. The driver and four passengers died in the accident.

The car was a 59 year old veteran car without seat belts mounted. The car was on its way down from Gaustablikk towards Rjukan when the accident occurred. The stretch before the turn had a 9% drop, and the turn was the last "hairpin bend" that turned 180 degrees on the way down to Rjukan. The car drove straight through the curve and collided with a mountain wall to the right of the curve's outer edge. The collision was strong and the front of the car was crushed in the collision.

AIBN has obtained information from investigating the site and from other sources of information. Technical examination of the vehicle's condition has been initiated, and a fault in the brakes has been detected. Based on the course of events, this is central to the investigation, but further investigation of the brakes is necessary to be able to assess the importance of this. Other relevant information will also be obtained, that can help to understand and explain the accident. The purpose of the safety investigation is to clarify the course of events and to explain why this occurred.

Update 27 November 2018

The AIBN published a short time after the accident that a brake failure was uncovered and that further technical investigations would be central to explaining the accident. AIBN has now investigated the brake components further and can inform about the following:

  • There were worn brake bands on two of the wheels and great clearance between drum and brake band.
  • The analysis of the brake fluid showed that the boiling point was too low and that it had a high water content.

The brake condition was outside the requirements. This would probably have been uncovered in a periodic inspection if that had been mandatory. However, testing of brake fluid is not part of the periodic inspection.

There is no requirement for periodic inspection for the oldest veteran cars. Therefor it is important that this information reaches out to owners of these cars, so that they have the opportunity to attend to their vehicles, also before the final report is released.

AIBN will strongly emphasize that the brake failure alone does not explain the accident. Other contributing factors will be investigated. The focus of the investigation is to prevent similar accidents from happening in the future.

The report will be published on the AIBN website when the investigation is completed.


Photo: AIBN

Latest update: 27.11.2018

Fv 651 Rjukan, Telemark county
Occurrence date
Accident type
Run-off-the-road accident
Road class
County road
Police Disctrict
Vehicle type
Passenger car
Type of Transportation
Private transport
Road region
Southern Region
Accident category
Annen ulykke
Skriv ut
Reports same vehicle type