We are all so excited about the first ever Canadian SAAB Owner’s Convention happening this weekend.
More information can be found at www.saabconvention.ca
I packed up my car for the trip…..proudly displaying my saabsunited license plate.
Just arrived at the host hotel, the Westin Bristol Place.
Nice to see the presenting sponsor, SAAB Parts North America setting up their tent.
Glad to have SAAB of London/Ultimate Automobiles as a sponsor. They have brought several cars to the convention…love the custom Canadian convention logo on the hoods of their cars.
Owner’s and enthusiasts are starting to arrive for the convention tomorrow. A big thank you to all of our sponsors and to Peter Backstrom from the SAAB Museum. He will be flying in on Sunday to conduct a seminar and will be a speaker at the banquet gala.
Even though SAAB is going through some uncertain times with many challenges ahead, owner’s in Canada and the U.S. still have a soft spot for a brand that defies logic. The SAAB Spirit is alive and well in North America! Looking forward to seeing everyone this weekend!
For the past two weeks Anna and I have been trekking around Germany in my 9-5. Stops along the way: Berlin, Kiel, Wolfsburg and Düsseldorf.
Berlin & Düsseldorf because I happen to be a 178 cm tall Stones fan (i.e. a medium to large fan) and they just happened to be playing those towns (if any of you have two spare tickets for Stockholm, let me know).
Wolfsburg because RedJ and his wife lives nearby and we enjoy hanging out with them. Apparently they have an automobile factory down there too.
Kiel… Well, as Trued reported there was a Saab meet taking place there last weekend. Knowing that Autohaus Lafrentz have specialized themselves on the NG 9-5 I decided it was an opportune moment to check them out.
Ethan in the background getting the coffee going. Meanwhile a hungry Norwegian dude (behind the camera) is about to pounce on the breakfast buffet long before everyone has arrived.
The event was one of the most pleasant Saab weekends I have ever participated in. Lafrentz had gone all out and provided free food and beverages for the 34 NG 9-5 owners who signed up for the event in addition to a hefty bag of swag (flashlight, Hirsch cap and a usb memory stick among other things). Friday evening we enjoyed a nice barbeque, followed by a hearty breakfast the next day, and finally the big dinner on Saturday. In between the scheduled activities we got to talk to old and new friends and see lots of great 9-5s, including eight of the pre-production combis.
After seeing some of the neat stuff Lafrentz have in stock, it dawned on me just how significant they have become in the NG 9-5 community: Replacement dashboard fascia (as previously reported by RedJ), rare 9-5 SC parts secured after the bankruptcy and some upgrades intended for future 9-5s.
Case in point: A fellow Norwegian had his 9-5 retrofitted with a back-up camera. The job was completed in about eight hours, and a new discovery was made along the way: MY11 sported a different wiring harness between the transmission and the steering wheel. MY10 seems to be better prepared for this particular upgrade than its slightly newer sibling. Wires have to be Read the rest of this entry →
The spectacular Gothenburg City Race marked round two of the 2014 STCC campaign – with Team Tidö enjoying its strongest showing so far between the Armco barriers. This is the story of how Richard Göransson claimed a second consecutive podium behind the wheel of his SAAB 9-3
Last Sunday it was time for Trionic Summer Meet 2014 in Trollhättan. The Trionic Group is a bunch of local enthusiasts from Göteborg-area and they usually meet in that area. But for their summer meet they took the trip up to Trollhättan, and arranged a meeting at the parking lot at Saab Car Museum. I don’t know exactly how many cars we where in total at the show-parking and the public-parking because there were many that come and went during the day (no sign-up was required), but it was a lot of cars! Regardless, it was a hot and sunny beautiful day in Trollhättan with very nice people, and as a bonus the Saab Car Museum were open so those who want could see the collection in the museum, and if you wanted to cool down a bit you were able to buy the very special good tasting local produced ice cream they sell at the museum =)
Winner of the “Best in show” was Adam Wennerholm from Trollhättan with his good looking 9-3 “Smokey” Vector SC TTiD modified with Aero optics and Hirsch details.
Swedish Day 2014 was our 7th event and this year also moved to a new home. Our new location was the beautiful setting of Haslebury Mill, which is located just outside Crewkerne. A fantastic 19th Centaury Mill with lots of history everywhere you look. Traditionally Swedish Day always takes place on the Sunday with a carvery held on the Saturday evening. This year we added a new item to the mix in the guise of a Road Tour. The idea was Etienne Morsa’s who lives in Belgium and between him and his friends at “The Saab Farm” they produced a very leisurely 60 mile route taking in Muchelney Pottery, Perrys Cider and the seaside town of Lyme Regis. The tour was so popular that we will arrange for another drive in 2015. The Carvery on the Saturday night was very popular and we managed to fill the attic restaurant with very happy diners. A big thank you to the chef and staff for making everybody very happy.
Well, the much anticipated Dragon Saab event of 2014 titled ‘Spring Roll’ took place on Sunday amongst concerns over the impending weather. The clouds were low, the skies ominously dark but thankfully the rain held off, for the first part of our day at least! Things got under way from 9AM to 10AM where some 21 Saab’s gathered in preparation for the start of our convoy. It was fantastic to see each of the cars arrive and take a place in the line up with many onlookers taking time out to admire the spectacle. Considering this is a relatively new club/SOC group, we were overwhelmed by the terrific support for the event with some SAABISTAS travelling from as far afield as Plymouth, Birmingham and the West Country.
Following chats and early morning coffee the convoy got under way and began it’s 5 mile run to the Cardiff Bay Barrage where we had been granted special permission to access and cross the barrage which is not normally open to traffic. This really was a spectacle to behold as each car in turn checked in by barrage control and allowed to proceed to an area of the roadway where we all lined up for some great photo opportunities.
It was then on to our reserved parking area where we were allowed to stay for a couple of hours to either take a stroll and take in the exceptional scenery, visit one of the many attractions including the Dr Who Experience or just take a coffee and chat.
It was soon time to re group in preparation to leave the barrage and take in a quick tour of the marina before heading to the picturesque Penarth esplanade and pier. This was the beginning of our convoy tour of the Welsh Heritage Coast which was to cover 70 miles, passing through some beautiful coastline and countryside and onward to our first stop at stunning Ogmore-By-Sea. By now the threatening rain had materialised but in some ways only added to the dramatic feel of the location.
By now it was getting a little cold so following yet more photographing we moved off to head for our final stop which was a late lunch at the Wenvoe Arms, which incidentally is now run by one of my ex Saab dealership customers. He was delighted to host our lunch and was so pleased to see so many Saab cars in his car park. We also surprised Anne Dallimore with a card and flowers as she was celebrating her birthday with us, what better way to celebrate a birthday than a lovely Saab rally!
This was a great day spent with a lot of old friends and quite a few new ones. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Cardiff Bay Harbour Authority in particular Chris Seddon, Simon Allen, Mark Cranmore and Andrea Davies who expressed the greatest enthusiasm in allowing us to visit the barrage and who have already granted us permission to use it again next year if we wish. We even had a mention in our local newspaper, see photos.
Here are a few links to member photos and videos of our day, and again a particular thank you here to Kyle, Chris and Alex whose photographic prowess is superb! (due to an internal issue you may have to copy and paste these links into your browser)