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by RobinM

SOTW, Tally the Turbo4

November 22, 2014 in Sotw

 

Hi Robin,

I’d like to submit my 2009 9-3 Turbo4, nicknamed “Tally” for SOTW. I have owned several SAABs over the years, starting with my first car, a 9000 Aero at age 16. Fast forward six more SAABs and 10 years later, Tally has become my favourite. We are a “strictly SAAB” family and you will only see us driving SAABs as long as possible! Specifications are below. Thanks!

Eric Winchester

Chicago, IL
USA

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by Tim

Next Friday is Judgement day… again…

November 22, 2014 in Editorial

Last week a story was circulated in the media in Sweden that NEVS wanted to cut its debts by 50%, the story originated out of P4 West and the source was no other than the lawyer responsible for managing NEVS reorganization. Using the correct translation from Swedish the suppliers were really pissed off about this and the interesting note, the story was firmly denied by NEVS who have always claimed that the suppliers were to be paid back in full.

What also leaked out in the story was the fact that NEVS won’t be done with the negotiations by the 29th of November which is the new deadline for the reorganization, which can be extended to yet another period NEVS can prove funding over that period of time and the suppliers agree to be away from their money a bit longer. In reality if the company was to be declared bankrupt the suppliers were to go away empty handed since there is next to nothing within the company that a bankruptcy administrator is able to sell.

So whats taking so long? A lot of people are unwilling to accept the fact that negotiations are still going on and that “it can’t possible take this long to make such kind of a deal”. And no, they’re probably right but what people need to understand that since November-December 2013 when these talks begun, a lot has changed. Back then NEVS was a healthy company with a production that had just restarted, things were going the right way, since then a lot of deteriorations have occurred at NEVS, the worst: they lost the rights to the brand name.

And according to SU sources the name is the key factor through this whole mess. Back in 2012 it took NEVS almost 6 months to negotiate the rights to the name and neither Scania nor SAAB AB were actually willing to allow them to use it and when they finally got the rights they were extremely limited compared to when Saab Automobile AB had its rights. Back then NEVS was loaded with money and had “all the time in the world”.

SAAB AB has just sold 108 Gripen aircraft to Brazil, a deal worth more than what Sweden is spending on defense over a 2 year period (more than Saab Automobile AB earned on making cars for roughly a 20 year period) and due to the tense situation in eastern Europe with the Russian Air Force constantly engaging our borders, SAAB AB is getting requests from several other countries to either acquire more Gripen fighters or become Gripen customers. SAAB AB has also made a huge deal in the Submarine business taking over a Swedish submarine plant from its German owners. SAAB AB is now gearing up to start production of one of the worlds most silent diesel electric submarines that a lot of countries have shown interest in.

So there is a lot at stake for SAAB AB Read the rest of this entry →

DIY Saabs (Yes you can too!)

November 19, 2014 in Fan Stuff

This is probably something different from what you think when you read the headline of this article, but this is Saabs you all can make at home, that’s for sure!

saab_ice_cube_trays

After making ice cubes all summer in my 92.001 ice cube tray from Saab expressions, I realized that I could use the tray for other things too. So what’s better then make some chocolate-Saabs?
To be honest I did this for a few years ago too, but since I have very limited cooking-skills the result was discouraging. To explain what level I’m on when coming to making food - if I manage to boil some water without burning it it have been a great day in the kitchen…  After some debriefing I came to that that I heat up the chocolate too fast and maybe to a far too high temperature, and it ended up very dry, hard and after a few hours it had a white shell.

92001_icecube

But shame on those who give up – to continue making 92.001 chocolate I have to buy some special tools. And one day, I saw a heater for making chocolate fondue in a gadget-shop. Since it was cheap (like 100 SEK / ~USD13) I thought it was worth checking out, so I bought it. So yesterday was the big day for some Saab candy production, and of course I don’t remember how much chocolate I needed for making to full trays, so I started with a 300g plate of milk-chocolate.
The process matched my skills very well, simply break the plate into small pieces so they melt faster and put them in the 25W heaters pot and wait. When its ready I started filling the ice cube trays but as the pictures show I have to get something that can remove the leftovers to make a smooth finish. As you can see its not only at the Stallbacka factory they get short of materials – I simply ran out of chocolate after car no 16!!! ;) So if you are planning to make some chocolate-Ursaabs, you will need about 20g of chocolate pr Saab.

chocolate_lineup2

After this it was time to allow the Saabs to cool down, I let them stay in the refrigerator over the night, but I think 3-4 hours will be enough.
The result was over all expectations but there was one small problem; a few small air-bubbles in the cars when I release them from the trays. So if you have a good solution here, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. Place also a comment if you have ideas of other things to melt in those trays, I guess that it’s not only ice cubes and chocolate this is suitable for? And next time I meet up with local Saabers it will be some samples to taste for those who dare… ;)

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by Rune

Inspector Rebus and more (review snippets)

November 16, 2014 in Off-Topic

Good whisky. Proper music. An interesting car. And solving crimes. We all know what ingredients are required for a proper detective novel of this century.

Inspector Rebus taking a nap in the 9-3's comfy seats. Rude colleague interrupting (I had a colleague like that once, she kept poking my sides during meetings. I lost countless hours of sleep because of her).

Inspector Rebus taking a nap in the 9-3′s comfy seats. Rude colleague interrupting (I had a colleague like that once, she kept poking my sides during meetings. I lost countless hours of sleep because of her).

Enter Ian Rankin’s character Inspector John Rebus. Rebus enjoys a good Scotch, he listens to The Rolling Stones and he drives …a Saab.

No wonder then that a dear colleague (who shares my love of Saabs, but not the Stones) of mine suggested I should acquaint myself with the Inspector.

The first few books start off lightly. He notices a 900 parked on a street, or a fancy 9000 parked in some politician’s driveway (“Strip Jack”), but eventually his old car packs it in and Rebus finds himself driving a Saab.

The novels have been adapted to TV and two actors have so far portrayed Rebus. The first series overplayed the melancholy part a bit and the second series delayed the introduction of the Saab too long (episode 7), but the exit given to his previous car underlined the significance of switching to a proper car. Unlike Commander Bond, the transition from books to film kept the Saab (although, in “Strip Jack” the politician no longer drives a Saab).

Rebus drives a OG900 in the book as well as the first TV show, and a OG9-3 in the second.

All in all, the series provides lots of pleasant reading (or watching if you prefer the TV show) for Saab fans of all ages. I give it 4 griffins out of 5.

–––––

The Goodmans and their 9-5. Stereo blasting at full tilt.

The Goodmans and their 9-5. Stereo blasting at full tilt.

Next, in a completely different genre, is the TV show Friday Night Dinner. The action mostly takes place in the family home of the Goodmans. Their two adult sons turn up for a family dinner every Friday, and inevitably something always goes sideways. Lots of good comedy ensues, but the head of the family drives a OG9-5. In the second episode the family tries to figure out the 9-5’s stereo (I swear I could hear Tim shouting “read the manual!” in the background) and later they performed an impromptu crash test backing into a friend’s Mercedes.

It is a funny and well executed TV show, but the 9-5 clearly deserves more exposure (with regards, signed Captain Obvious). So only 3 griffins on this.

–––––

If that fails to quench your thirst for Saab-related fictional literature, I would also like to point out my earlier review of “A Man Called Ove”. The book has since been translated to several languages and does a remarkable job of exploring the psyche of an average Saab driver. A 5 griffin rated book. Not bad, considering the book’s author drives a ToyotaHyundai.

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by Tim

Did the lack of a good diesel engine kill Saab?

November 15, 2014 in Editorial

1159758

There is no doubt that the Saab management made a number of bad decisions in the past decade and that the chain of errors started many years ago, most likely around the launch of the car that was supposed to save Saab, the NG 9-3. To better understand why certain decisions were taken its important to understand the mentality of the management at the time. The place to be, back in 1990-2000 was the US market, it was the market that everyone was fighting over, pretty similar to the Chinese market today.

Saab had a well established presence in the north american markets and the american influence management of Saab was highly focused on configuring Saab cars for the american market.

About ten years earlier the european market had really started live its own life. In the 60′s and 70′s the EU market was heavily influenced by the american market, the standards for premium cars built in Europe were highly influenced by what was popular across the pond. But in the 80′s, the Euro market really started to established its own way in terms of premium cars with one serious significant difference compared to the rest of the world, it relied heavily on diesel engines.

Diesel has always been very popular in Europe and its origins can be tranced back all the way to world war two, when german aircraft engines ran on a variant of Coal-diesel and Russian tanks had massive diesel engines. This made them more resistant to enemy fire than equivalent allied tanks which ran on flammable gasoline.

In 1998 selling a gasoline powered premium car in Europe was like trying to sell ice people in northern Sweden in the middle of winter worst winter they’ve ever experienced. If it didn’t have a 6-cylinder powered diesel engine or another type of diesel engine with equivalent power, it simply wasn’t interesting to anyone. The Euro market is that it is big, really big! With over 750 million people living in a condensed area, the majority household having a high economic standard and the majority of this population is focused to 4 countries in close proximity to each other. This was the market that made Mercedes, VW, BMW and Audi into the biggest players of the world in the 1990-2005, they have ruled this market since the early 90′s and it was done by selling premium cars with a powerful diesel engine.

In 1995, the GM / SAAB management realized that the new 9-5 which was about to be introduced was not going to create the sales numbers they needed on the american market alone and european market had turned into a different direction than they had first thought. This is the issue that I have recently discussed at great length with several people who used to work at management level of Saab and these talks is the main source of this article.

According to several dealers in Europe that I’ve talked to, geting people interested in a Saab in 1998 wasn’t the problem, people who walked through the doors of the dealerships loved the looks of the new 9-5 and Saab had everything these customers wanted, but in the end people didn’t buy the car. When I asked why, the answer to that question was so obvious to the dealers: “we couldn’t offer them a competitive diesel engine option”.

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by RobinM

sotw Rare 9-5 in Housten

November 15, 2014 in News, Sotw

Phil’s passion for Saabs follows him across the Atlantic.

Hi Robin,
Please find attached a picture of my current SAAB collection, comprising a 2003 9-5 Aero Combi, a 2011 9-5 NG BioPower and a 2002 9-3 SE HOT Convertible. SAABs are rare in Texas in general and Houston is no exception, compared to states on the Eastern and Western seaboards and the mountain states. While the high heats of our summer seasons can affect the car’s interior, there are no issues with salt corrosion so the cars’ paintwork and general condition remain great even after many years. My history (addiction?) with SAAB started while i was still in Europe in the eighties and nineties, and continued after my work took me to the USA in 2002. My 14th SAAB, the 9-5 NG, is amazing, there are less than 10 of them in the whole Houston area (over 5 million inhabitants) so it gets many looks and wows for roomy interior, remote start and of course the HUD feature.
The 2002 9-3 SE Convertible was my first car bought on arriving in the USA, new off the lot of a struggling dealership. I had owned 8 SAABs from 82 through 2002 in Europe, so the salesman did not have to make a big effort to get me in the car. It is still going strong today with 154,000 miles. My wife bought the 2003 Aero Wagon from my SAAB shop in Houston in 2010, and 40,000 miles later it still goes like a bomb.

My history with SAAB:
Europe:
1) 900 Turbo 1979 (82-86)
2) 900 GLi 1982 (86-90)
3) 9000i16 1988 (90-00)
4) 900I16 1990 (93-02)
5) 900 SE Sensonic 1998 (98-02)
6) 9-3 t 1999 (99-00)
7) 9-3 Convertible 1999 (01-02)
8) 9-3 1999 (01-02)
USA:
9) 9-3 SE Convertible 2002 (02-present)
10) 9000 Turbo 1988 (04-08)
11) 9000 CSE 1994 (05-09)
12) 9-5 Aero 2002 (09-12)
13) 9-5 Aero combi 2003 (10 – present)
14) 9-5 Biopower 2011 (12 – present)

The search for Saab number 14 in the summer of 2012 took almost 3 months. The few ex-GM dealerships in Houston with some relation to past SAAB business did not sell many if any 2010-2011 9-5s, and this car was certainly never seen on the roads around here. I wanted a model with HUD, the most defining aeronautical feature of this most remarkable car, and numerous candidate vehicles were considered as far as New Hampshire (2,000 miles away) without success, before finding on sale in Minnesota cars, including this one, that had been company vehicles for SAAB USA employees, and thus taken off the road in 2011 when the bankruptcy was concluded. This model had less than 6,000 miles, a 4-cylinder BioPower dual fuel engine and all the technology options except the DVD package. The car has 35,000 miles today, impeccably maintained by Swedish mechanic Tomas Larson at Texas Automotive Performance. The car gets compliments from many car aficionados driving German and Japanese premium brands, and there are clear signs of envy when the HUD is lit up.

A line up I’d like outside my house. Thank you for sharing. A few more pictures can be found on my flickr page

 

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by Trued

The most intelligent Swedish vehicles now and then

November 12, 2014 in Classics, Saabology, Sweden

saab-900-intelligent
Guess some of You rememember the 1980 is ad campaign from Saab talking about the “Most Intelligent Car Ever Built”. Stating that the swedish technology and production was special in some ways. Guess they where right to some extent. Still today a properly restored 99 or 900 OG is a true performance drive and with compared to todays safety standards still as an slightly below average car safety vise . The most intelligent thing to do today with just two Swedish manufacturers of vehicles left, Volvo Trucks and Koenigsegg (Scania Trucks is today a 100% German MAN/Volkswagen company, and ovloV cars is chinese). So this leaves You with three options really if You want to be intelligent. Get a Koenigsegg One:1, a Volvo FH Dual Clutch Tractor or build Yourself a 900/99 car. To make Your decision I have posted a small consumers film here for You.

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by till72

SU Calendar – Entries Close soon

November 12, 2014 in cyc, Fan Stuff

About two weeks ago we asked for your photos to create the 2015 SaabsUnited calendar. Just like in the past years we have gotten a big number of entries and we would like to thank you for that.

We’ll wait a bit until the 11th has ended all around the world and then we will face the tough but fun job to choose this year’s winners. So if you missed it yet, send your last minute entries to shop @ cardyourcar.eu

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by Trued

SAAB “Expert” Tom Magliozzi / NPR CarTalk has passed away

November 11, 2014 in News, Uncategorized

My favorite US radio program CarTalk has lost one of the two Magliozzi brothers Tom and Ray. Tom just recently passed away in Alzheimers disease.
The two brothers has given me so many hours of great car talk. Any brand and owners are helped or roast by the two guys.
I remember most clearly a guy with a SAAB 99 calling in to the programme. The issue with the 99 was explained something like this. “In sweden it is dark most of the year and the workers in Trollhättan happened to mount the engine on top of the gearbox and to add more issues the put it in the wrong way with the clutch just behind the radiator” I had a great laugh. It seams like quite a few of callers where from the east coast and drove cars like Volvo, Saab or european cars.

Read more here: http://www.cartalk.com

Here is one on 900 with an exploding muffler:
Dear Tom and Ray:
What would cause a muffler to explode? We just had work done on our ’93 Saab 900S. It was running very sluggish up hills, and diagnostics showed several leaks in the exhaust pipes leading out of the catalytic converter. After having a new converter and pipes installed, the car was better, but still a little sluggish. Within a week, we were accelerating to get on a highway, and the muffler exploded. It literally burst open along the side. What kind of pressure would cause this, and should our mechanic have picked up on a muffler problem in the first place? — Angela

RAY: Well, here’s the key question, Angela: After the muffler exploded, did the car run better?

TOM: If so, the muffler might have been the source of the sluggishness. Often what happens is that when a catalytic converter fails, its innards disintegrate and get pushed farther down the exhaust system, where they can lodge in the muffler baffles and plug it up.

RAY: That would cause exactly the symptoms you describe — the car would be sluggish when climbing hills or accelerating. If the tailpipe is blocked and the engine’s exhaust can’t get out, the fresh fuel and air have no room to come in, so the engine bogs down.

TOM: So both your catalytic converter AND muffler might have been clogged. And when your mechanic replaced the converter, the acceleration improved a little bit, but the pressure on the muffler multiplied. At some point, the pressure got to be too much and the muffler burst at its weakest point — the seam.

RAY: While that makes you unwelcome in most bedroom communities after dark, it also allows the exhaust to escape. So the car should run better. And once you replace the muffler, you should be all set.

TOM: Mufflers sometimes explode due to backfires, caused by too much unburned fuel in the exhaust system. But given all the corroborating symptoms you have, I’m betting yours was just badly clogged. Next time, try Mufflermucil.

Or listen to the library of great old shows like the one with:
- How many rocks can you fit into a Saab? http://www.cartalk.com/content/0729-sorry-dad-i-blew-your-car

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by Trued

Memory lane revisited: Saab 9-5 NG

November 11, 2014 in Classics, Interview, SAAB 9-5

Was talking to Tim on the phone and we got started talking about 9-5 NG. Tim had seen a feature on Bloomberg TV where they mentioned the Saab 9-5 NG as one of the best cars for young people with new drivers licenses. Then I searched the web and found a Bloomberg feature posted on Youtube with just 703 hits. Bet that number will increase after this posting. For those of You wondering where my old 9-5 NG is today I can say it is in the hands of a pianist in Göteborg. Interesting enough the the fact that the car had the Harman Kardon sound system was of less interest since he did lot listen to much music in private.

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by till72

Back Soon: Hirsch 3-Piece Grille

November 10, 2014 in cyc, Hirsch

Hirsch Grille Detail

For quite a while the 3-piece grille has been one of the most wanted items from the Hirsch portfolio. Driven through that demand we at cardyourcar.eu have been eager to encourage Hirsch to start a reproduction. We are pretty happy to announce that currently a (most likely last) lot of those grilles is manufactured.

As of today you are able to pre-order those grilles at our store. According to our current time schedule we expect to start shipping of those orders mid December so they should be at our customers in time for Christmas. What a nice present for your 9-3.

As a little bonus we will also add a small gift to every pre-order made before Dec 12th.

We also have a small number of the lower grilles available that make the look complete on the Aero models.