The Saab Fall Festival at New Salem Saab

The following is a letter from Darryl Carl at New Salem Saab, hosts of this year’s first Saab Fall Festival.

Before I get to that, though, you should also check out all the images at the following galleries. I’ve reproduced a few from each after the letter:

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Letter from Darryl Carl, New Salem Saab

Dear Everyone who participated in the Saab Fall Festival,

We here at New Salem Saab and NESA would like to extend a heart felt thank you for your attendance this past Saturday. In addition we couldn’t have done such an event without the folks at the New England Saab Association and Goldwing Saab parts. With 120 Saabs and nearly 200 people, we were delighted in the response for what’s now to be called the 1st annual Saab Fall Festival.

This was completed in 30 days and through social media advertising only! Saab people are truly modern in their means of gathering and sending information.

The day was long and busy from start to finish. The weather held off, thankfully. When I awoke it was drizzling and the weatherman had changed his mind. It was forecasted for sunny and 60, what we got was cool and overcast with some late peaks of sun, but no rain.

Saab Fall Festival at New Salem Saab

I would like to mention a few stories that I picked up. Gary Wolfe from Montana was here for the show. Now this is a page out of the Saab community’s book. Gary was in NYC for some business and had a day to kill while he was there. He learned of the Saab Fall Festival and emailed me and called me to see what could be done to get him from there to here. Gary also posted on Saab United seeking a ride from Manhattan to Albany for the show. Gary was later contacted by a Saaber in NYC who after some discussion kindly drove into Manhattan to pick him up and drove him all the way to the event and back! Gary and I were able to speak some here and I was very happy, as was he, that the Saab community allowed him to attend the event so far from home. Gary I hope you enjoyed yourself while you were here!

Kent, our Saab Service rep was here with his very nice 9-3 Convertible, top down! He stayed all day and I heard from many people how they enjoyed talking to him about Saab. The past, present and future. I appreciate the presence from our mother company, Saab.

Art Levy had brought 5 Saab here for the event. His collection makes you smile. I appreciate him bringing all of the vehicles ( 2 – c900 SPG’s, a springtime in Sweden 1988 Conv, the Dulles friction tester and the 1984 Prototype SPG in white) over to the dealership for everyone to look at. I know many people enjoyed your Saabs. Not only did Art bring those Saabs but he also brought the Saab Vert Go-Cart. One of around 1900 made. Soon we will help him make this go and stop again. It was awesome to have all the Saab pieces around. Nearly everything and everywhere you looked, Saabs of one kind or another were here!

As you have read there were 5 Turbo X’s here Saturday, one being a T’X combi. What a stunning photo of Saab aggression when all parked in a line. And thanks to Meg for letting the folks in the Combi know the event was happening too! The tone of all the the T’x’s here running at the same time was like music to my ears!

The Dyno put some cars through on Saturday. We Dynoed 15 Saab from 9am to 5:30pm. Starting with a Sonnet II and working our way through a long line of folks who signed up to “get their numbers”. Everything went well on the Dyno and for the most part we put them on and off safely as fast as we could. Only one incident occurred and it was only a coolant hose that let go. That made a huge mess and we need to stop to do some cleaning up. Thankfully it happened here and not on the return trip for that Saab owner. Overall the Dyno was very busy and a lot of video and photo’s were taken. I’m sure they will pop up all over the social networking sites as well as YouTube and SU.

We did 20 $25 Oil changes for Saabers and looked over a few things for people that they requested. We also loaned out the Tech II a few times to double check codes and allow folks to do some of their own diagnosis. Over all the service and parts departments were active all day.

We had a 9-3X, 9-3 SS and the brand new Saab 9-5 AERO available for test drives. All of the new cars were on the go, all day. Especially the new 9-5. There was a waiting line to drive the 9-5 and the best part was when it returned Saabers with no connection jumped in the car together to ride and drive the 9-5. As expected it looks great but to hear some of the comments about how it drives really gives you the smiles we are looking for. So many folks eagerly await the 2011 9-5 with the 2.0T in FWD. This car should sell well to our current Saab owners as well as turn some heads in the industry for the BMW, AUDI, Volvo, crowd. In the end we used up over a tank and a half of petrol. That’s a lot of test drives! I hope everyone enjoyed that opportunity.

The Saab displays went over very well. We had several displays. One for all the old Saab memorabilia that New Salem Saab has collected, one of all of the Saab toy cars we have collected, History hall which is full of historical pictures from New Salem Saab and Saab itself, One of a Saab accessories cabinet with all of the recognition awards from Saab highlighting our years in business, old soundings mags from the 60’s, advertising and even our original dealer agreement from Saab Motors signed by my Dad and grandfather as well as Ralph Millet.

We were also showing a table full of old tools and test equipment from Saab which included a tool kit from a 2-stroke and a reserve fuel tank for 2-stroke owners. Of course our not quite done yet 73 Sonnet III was there, our 1969 yellow Sonnet II, my grandfather’s 1973 Saab 96 and the infamous 1967 Saab 96 with 654 original miles was there to see as well.

One of the things I enjoyed most was people checking out this car. Its like dreaming when you see it. Unbelievable is the only thing you can think. Sticking your head in the window, it still has the new car smell! Thanks to my friend Bill and his Grandfather Huck for letting us show this car again!

We even had a sitting area for people to sit and look through some really old service and parts books we still have. I know every time I passed through someone was sitting and looking at the great manuals, Saab books and information we had to share! The showroom was full of Saab stuff, exactly as it should be for a Saab dealership whose heart and focus are totally with Saab for 50 years!

Curvin O’Riellly was here. He spoke at the Owners convention about Saab advertising and was a big part of Saabs advertising in the past when Bob Sinclair was the head Saab guy. Curvin and I spoke for quite a bit again and I had pulled a lot of old ads and advertising information from the barn for him to look over. He ended up spending over an hour in my office thumbing through all of the ad work and photographing most of the print ads from the 60’s and 70’s, most of which he told me he had not seen. My Grandmother is to thank here as she collected and stored everything New Salem Saab ever did. Not to mention the book she kept listing every new Saab we have ever sold and to whom. New Salem Saab has sold well over 10,000 new Saabs to Saab people over the last 50 years and thanks to her foresight, we have a book which lists its all! Awesome stuff to pass along to each generation.

I can only say this event, the people, the cars and the excitement is what keeps me pushing so hard for this brand. The passion for the brand is apparent in every conversation I had. The distance traveled to be a part of the Saab Fall Festival was no less impressive. We had cars from Detroit, South Carolina, Rhode Island, to Maine and every State in between! I was grateful folks journeyed so far to be apart of our Saab community!

We heard you loud and clear about making this an annual event. New Salem Saab and NESA have tenitively agreed to do so. Plan for 2011 to be the 2nd annual Saab Fall Festival in combination with New Salem Saab’s 50th year with Saab celebration! I promise it’ll be something to look forward to and remember. Plus our very own Steven Wade from SU will be invited to be here with us, in another part of the Saab world where this dealership, the surrounding Saab Owners, Saab pride and Saab passion are overflowing into the streets.

I could write for days about this event and our past, present and future within New Salem Saab and the Saab brand as a whole. However, pictures tell a thousand words and I know Steven has a lot of pictures I have sent as well as other have sent to him as well. I would again like to thank NESA, GoldWing all of you who attended. All of you who continue to support and promote this brand. All of you who helped save Saab and continue to be part of the saviors of Saab.

We need to continue to spread information about our brand through our community. There is little better then a Saab owner telling their Saab story to a conquest owner and sparking their interest in the brand. Saab is the car company that can and will. Three cheers for Victor and Jan Ake. For without them, none of this would have occurred.

Long live Saab, Long live New Salem Saab. Skoll!

Sincerely,
Darryl F.Carl

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