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July 14, 2015 in Fan Stuff
Five years ago I bought a M04 9-5 Aero sedan (actually I got it just in time for Saab festival 2010), and thought I was going to have this car for 3 to 5 years, and by then trade it in for a newer, but a used Saab. The original plan that came to me after a year or so was to buy the new 9-3, that from rumours was going to be about M98-M09(M10 SC) 9-5 in size, and my hope was of course that Saab decided to do a 3 door variant. I was at this time not considering the new 9-5, because of its size and a preview during the winter there I didn’t like the interior – or more specific the quality of it. But the time went on, and the 9-5 was growing on me at the same time a new 9-3 getting longer away from production. At this time we have summer 2012, and at this time ANA Trollhättan had a lot of used Saabs, so one day I decided to drop by them. I was not looking for anything special, but a test drive in a 9-5 was “the mission”, since I only had tested the 2.0 TiD 160hp at this time. So after a talk with one of the salespersons, he said he had the right car for me. That was a 2011 220hp 2.0T BioPower XWD, and I took it out for a spin. As some of you guys know I have a thing for red cars, so it wasn’t bad at all that the colour was just laser red! I took it from ANA and headed down to Grästorp and back to Trollhättan before I drive through the ciry centre on the way back to ANA. I was a bit disappointed when I parked the car at ANA, for the first I thought the 220hp engine didn’t had enough power in combination with the XWD, and the standard comfort seats in textile/leather didn’t suit me at all, the seats was far to flat so my legs didn’t have the support I wanted.
So after this I change my plans a bit and start searching for a M08-> 9-3 SC – 2.8T Aero or a TurboX. 2.8T because I know the 2.0T wasn’t a alternative for me, but it was hard to find a car that meet my requirements for equipment and colour. So in spring 2014 I still drove my 9-5 Aero, and was still searching for a suitable 9-3. But during summer 2014 a friend with a 2010 9-5 Aero XWD introduced me to the 260hp software update from Hirsch, and that can I tell you – it is a HUGE difference from the standard 220hp program. Suddenly the 9-5 was the hottest candidate to a new car, and I start the search for a suitable car. But what about the car from ANA? A few weeks later from I had my test drive it was sold to a local man in Trollhättan, and every-time I saw that car later I sent it admiring glances, and from time to time took a picture… So it was decided, I was now official looking for a new 9-5 Aero, 2.0T BioPower in laser-red. Unfortunately isn’t laser-red the most common colour for 9-5, so we wrote December before a car came up for sale. This was a FWD that not have so mush extra equipment over standard, but I decided to give it a chance. Unfortunately was the seller that was a dealer with just used cars not serious at all, he didn’t pick up the phone or answer my emails. So after a short time that car was sold, so I continued my search. So after a few weeks a red Linear came up for sale, but that was not a alternative – so in March this year I found a new red 9-5, this time a Vector. But there is something that says “history repeats itself”, and that was what happen this time. Got respond on my first email, after that it was silent on mail and phone… The car was removed from the classifieds after a short while, but it is still registered to the same owner as it was – and on the used car dealers website it’s still out for sale, they even adjusted the price a few weeks ago… 😉
But at the same time there came a other red 9-5 up for sale – and this time it was “my” car, or more correct the car I test drove. OK, it was not a Aero, but it had the Hirsch software upgrade and was great equipped with a “Active” package and some extras over that as HUD, lane departure warning (LDW), Traffic Sign Reading (TSR), key-less go and Bluetooth. So after some emails with the seller (that was absolutely a serious seller) I decided to go for it. Got a friend of me in Trollhättan-area to inspect the car since I live in Norway, and to make a long story short it ended up with that I make a agreement to buy the car. So last Friday I travel to Trollhättan by plane and train to pick up the car and close the deal, and that was for sure a great feeling! The only thing what is better then a used Saab is a new Saab, and since the things are as it is a the moment we have to manage ourself with the used ones… My new Saab is a two owner Saab, ANA Trollhättan had it first as a company-car for one of their employees, and the second owner was the man I bought it from. So this one is absolute a Sab that can be called a Trollhättan-Saab! So this weekend I drove about 11-1200km in my new Saab, and the only thing that disappoint me is the “comfort”-seats.
That was something I know about, and one of the most important upgrades will be to get the sport-seats that Aero have as standard fitted. On the other side was as I already mentioned the Hirsch program something that impress me, the car itself is also handling like a Saab. It feels secure and it handels very well both on minor roads and on the highway.
At this moment I’m not allowed to drive it since it not registered in Norway, I have to wait for a time at the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, so they can approve the car for Norwegian roads. Then I’m “allowed” to pay duty for it, and when that is OK I can go back to the Norwegian Public Roads Administration to collect my plates.
Further plans for the car is to add some Hirsch details, and the front and seats from Aero. Maybe will there be something more later, but time will show.
Finally, some pictures from Trollhättan, and the way back home. As you see we stil have snow in Norway!
July 13, 2015 in Fan Stuff
In the days before the festival I was walking around in Trollhättan, and on one of my trips to the popular Spikön in the central Trollhättan, in the middle of the channel I saw some interesting. The city of Trollhättan has during the last years done a great job to make Spikön a nice place to be. A refurbished marina for leisure boats with new service facilities replaced the old marina, and where the service facilities was built there was a outdoor restaurant earlier. Next to the new marina has they built a new playground for the kids, and this was the thing that make me pay attention. Inside the building fences I saw something I recognize immediately – something with a Saab-grille. Later I found out that the playground had a grand opening a few days after, on Saturday 6th of June – the same weekend as the Saab-festival. The day after my first visit I visited Spikön again, this time while there was people working there. I get a better look of the ting with a Saab-grille, and that was a hybrid between a car and a plane!
So this weekend did I visit Trollhättan again, just over the night (more about that visit later!), and I went over to Spikön for a closer look at this hybrid. The thing was a plane with a cabin and front inspired from a Saab 96, and it was placed in front of a hangar named “Flygmotor” after the old company “Nohab Flygmotor” (Nohab Aircraft Engine) I belive. Nohab was a company that mainly produced steam locomotives and diesel electric locomotives, but water turbines and Aircraft Engines was some of the other products. The Aircraft Engine was later sold to Volvo and get the name Volvo Aero, and after about 60 years Volvo sold it to the GKN-group. The GKN factory is the neighbour to the Saab-factory at Stallbacka. Another Saab-Nohab link is that in the Nohab buildings (that now is named the Innovatum area), is the Saab Car Museum located, and it is actually located in one of the old Nohab workshops.
So the fact that kids in Trollhättan get used to Saab in early age is well known, and this is one more thing that prove that!
And if you visit Trollhättan, I highly recommend a walk to Spikön if you have time over for that. If you live in the city center of Trollhättan it takes approximatelya half an hour to go around Spikön from the hotels and back. And are you are a little too old to use the playground, you can always play some mini-golf in the evenings, eat some ice-cream or just enjoy the silence and a nice view over the channel!
As the most of you know, we got the sad message on Wednesday 27th of May that Erik Carlsson had driven his last mile. Erik is the true “Mr. Saab”, and in all respect for other that do and have done a great job for Saab, Erik is probably is the greatest. Erik promoted Saab very well in the years he was challenging with a Saab, and maybe even better after he started working with public relations for Saab (at that time I’m not sure “public relations” was a position – but that was what Erik do). I had the honour to meet Erik a few times, and two things impressed me very much. The one thing was how patient he was, everybody that wanted a autograph or a picture together with Erik get it – the other thing was a remarkable memory regarding people he had meet earlier. It was like “where are you from” the first time we met, “you was from Norway, right” the second time, and after that like “how is it going in Norway”….
At the Saab-festival 2015 in Trollhättan last month, there was a ceremony commemorating Erik Carlsson. Instead of a a moment of silence, there was a few two-stoke Saabs that was started up to honour Erik. Later, Peter Bäckström from the Saab Car Museum had Gunnar Palm, one of Eriks co-drivers, at the stage and shared some memories from his time with Erik. I captured this with my pocket camera without a tripod, so I’m sorry for the motions – it was a bit difficult to hold the camera in the exact same position over my head for half an hour or so… 😉 I also have a clip of the two-stokes, that I will share with you later. But here is Gunnar and Peter with some great stories – ENJOY. (English language)
Rest in peace Erik, you will never be forgotten.
edit: I got some reports that there was some problems with the sound on the YouTube-clip, that is now fixed.
It is now almost a week ago the great festival weekend in Trollhättan, and what a weekend! Many great cars and people as usual, the only thing that could be better is if the festival could be for a few more days…. 😉
As usual I had a plan to take many photos, and this time was no exception, but things have a tend to go wrong. This time was no exception, there was too many people to talk with or cars to look at so I simply forgot to take so many pictures that I have planed… 😉 This year the cars was sorted by model, the organizers had plans to place 800 exhibition cars inside the area, an I think they reached that number of cars, in the morning there was pretty full at the parking. There was also a lot of cars outside the exhibition area, so there was many Saab-fans at the museum-area this Sunday! At Friday the highlights was the parts outlet at Bildelslagret Trollhättan (former ANA Used Parts dept.) and the seminars at the museum. Nevs also have a open day on Friday, that was pretty interesting and well visited. At Saturday there was a day at the Kinnekulle race track, but the weather was rather bay that day, so many people that not had plans to take the car out on the track spent the day in Trollhättan at the museum-area, and some people (like me) took a trip to a smaller scrapyard a few miles outside Trollhättan before returning to the museum.
Here are some of the pictures I took during the weekend. I’m sorry that I not have posted them earlier this week, but I was not at home before 04.30 Monday morning, and straight on to 4 days travelling at work after a few hours sleep…
But here they are, hope you will enjoy them, and thanks you all for a great weekend – a special thank to the organizers that make this happening possible! =)
Till is sitting at the port in Gothenburg waiting for the ferry right now, and as he’s doing that, I got asked to post his pictures taken at the Saab Festival in Trollhättan. Here’s his message and pictures!
While I am sitting at Gothenburg port waiting to bord the ferry back to Germany I’d like to share some pics I took over the weekend. More about the festival days will come later. Enjoy! – Till Drescher
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.
This week three Swedish car-magazines has visited Trollhätttan for a test-drive of the 2014 9-3 Aero. As we all already know it’s basically a 2012 9-3 Griffin Aero with the two-litre Turbo4 220hp petrol-engine, but with some changes by NEVS. All the three magazines had put a little sneak peek from the test-drive on their websites, and I will here sum up the most important from the sneak peeks.
First out was the magazine “Vi Bilägare“, one of Sweden’s biggest car-magazine. Their tester Calle Carlquist drove a car with the automatic transmission, and he thinks the driving experience is completely modern and he also think NEVS has succeed with their idea that the car should feel sporty but still be comfortable. So he has a positive first impression and think it’s a good car that don’t feel ready for retirement, but the drawback is that it’s missing some of the latest techology.
Next up is “Teknikens Värld“, maybe most known for their “moose test”. I don’t know if they set the 9-3 up for a moose test, but their testers Hans Hedberg and Glenn Lindberg think it’s noticeable that the 2014 9-3 is older than the competitors, but it’s cope pretty well anyway. The chassis is comfortable and resilient, but not “Aero-resilient”, and the 220hp engine is pleasant to drive as always (Täknikens Värld tested a car with manual transmission). They also think the long-distance comfort feels as good as in the old seats, and a tip from them if you don’t want to wait for the new infotainment-system from NEVS you can simply change the headunit to a more fancy aftermarked headunit at your nearest SAAB-garage.
Left is “Auto Motor & Sport“, a magazine well known over all Europe. They sent Thomas Berggren and Pär Brandt, and they think “it feels very much SAAB”. As Teknikens Värld they think the chassis is convenient and comfortable rather sporty. It don’t feels bumpy, it eats bumps in the road very nice and the the chassis will get a high score. It’s is great for Swedish roads! The engine is strong at low revs and have a nice torque, but it’s not the most fuel-efficient car on the market. AMS think the car have a old infotainment system, and it’s missing the latest safety systems as brake-assist, sleep-warning, lane-warning and so on.
So if we sum up what the Swedish car-magazines think about the 2014 9-3;
The 9-3 still have a great chassis and a very nice engine. The stuff that is not so good is the lack of a better infotainment (rumors says a new one is on it’s way), and the fact it’s not a new car so it’s missing some of the latest safety systems.