Rolf Tibblin won the European championship on his 250cc Husqvarna in 1959. The following year he chose to step up the ladder and go for the big-bore 500cc class. Tibblin already had some experience from Husky's newcomer as he had done the initial tests when the machine was introduced at the beginning of October, 1958. Now he was to use the machine with number 18-61 printed into the frame. The Husqvarna power plant had a displacement of 485cc from a bore and stroke of 79 x 99 mm. The compression ratio was measured at 10:1 and it gave a performance of 36 horsepower at 5,800 rpm. The big-bore beast from the factory showed big potential and had already won the 500cc title in 1960 with Bill Nilsson.
Six events out of 10 were counted for the top of the podium. The season opener was held at Sittendorf in Austria, a famous 3-kilometer track that has been used extensively in MX championship races. The circuit was fast and this year it was also very dusty. 40,000 spectators came to watch, and they were in for a total Swedish dominance. Out of six riders, five Swedes were among the six top places! Somebody said it was like a national championship race. In each moto there were 15 laps to conquer. Tibblin took the holeshot in the first leg and won comfortably. In the second leg, he crossed the finish line behind the winner, but gained overall victory, picking up eight valuable points in the championship.
Six weeks later, the contenders rode in Pèrnes-les-Fontaines in France. It was a repeat of the opener with Tibblin winning and with five Swedes in the six top places. Two weeks later Tibblin came second behind Gunnar "Smiling" Johansson in Bremgarten, Switzerland. And a week later in Imola, Italy, Tibblin was again in front of his antagonist Johansson, picking up yet another eight points. The hardest Grand Prix during the 1962 season was no doubt the Czech GP in Prérov outside Prague, where everybody was exhausted after the two heats. "It just proved that my hard training paid off well," Tibblin told us. However, he didn't score since the frame broke when Rolf was leading the field. After half the season he was leading the championship with 30 points.