How Christian von Koenigsegg went from frozen chicken to supercars


Koenigsegg is the world’s most unlikely supercar manufacturer. Who would have thought that a tiny manufacturer in Sweden, of all places, would be building a rival to the Bugatti Chiron? Christian von Koenigsegg, that’s who. In the video above, the eponymous company’s founder talks about why he started building cars in the first place and some of the interesting events in Koenigsegg’s history.

It began when Koenigsegg started a trading company at the age of 19 selling, among other things, frozen chickens. Three years later he asked himself “What was it I really want to do? I want to build cars.”

“If I don’t do it now I’m probably never going to do it. I’m young, it’s going to be super difficult, most people fail. It’s probably going to be impossible. It’s the perfect challenge because anyway I’m going to die in the end so I have nothing to lose.”

Initially, Koenigsegg thought it would only take a year to build his first prototype. It took eight, plus investment from about 30 shareholders during Sweden’s late-’90s IT boom.

From the start, Koenigsegg realized his car needed to be different. “It has to have some unique features,” he says in the interview. For the first model, the CC8S, that meant a removable and stowable hard top that didn’t exist anywhere else in the supercar world. Uncommon traits continue to be part of the brand’s allure. “No one else can do what we’re doing,” is a major reason why people want to continue to buy Koenigsegg cars. Much of that unique selling proposition is massive horsepower and otherworldly performance, of course, as with the 1,500-horsepower Regera.

Check out the video for more interesting stories from Koenigsegg, like the milestone of building the first 1-megawatt car and how he missed out on a fortune in wood flooring.

Based in Brisbane, Australia, Sean has loved cars his entire life. At 21 he launched the popular 80’s Falcon forum, then at 24 created, one of the most popular Top Gear fansites in the world.