The following is a record from Swedish Day UK 2009, sent in by the organiser, our very own unofficial Saab ambassador for the UK, Robin M.
I’ve been pleased to help promote this event for the last couple of years and it’s great to see the growth it’s enjoyed in that time.
Swedish Day 2009 turned into a bit of a weekend this year with many people arriving on the Saturday evening, staying in different guest houses and camp sites around the area. Most of them met up at the Sparkford Inn for food and drinks and generated a mini Saab show of their own in their car park. Luckily for us, the English language was known by everyone.
The day of the show saw Alex and myself and our families turn up at 8am to get things organised, the car park was readied, the gazebo was erected and flags were put up to fly. The stars of the show, the Volvos and Saabs started to arrive around 9.30 and turned into a steady stream of Swedish vehicles driving through the gates. By 10.30 the car park was getting quite full and made for a good display for all to see. We had decided to continue with last years arrangements where everybody parked together no matter which make or model you arrived in.
During the day the local Saab group, South West Saabs, held a photo shoot for the classic 900 which celebrates 30 years since it went on sale in this country. They did not quite get 30 cars into the picture but I can confirm that over the day 30 classics did come to the show. A card was signed and a cake, made by Sarah Jennings, was cut and quickly eaten.
By the end of the day we had had a total of 104½ different Swedish cars turned up plus a Saabo caravan. A Swedish lady and her husband arrived in their Volvo as visitors to the museum so were invited to park with us. It was great to talk to so many enthusiasts and to see so many people smiling all day.
The variety of Swedish cars was brilliant. The older cars were there, a Volvo PV444 and a couple of Amazons, a Saab Sonett 2 and a Saab 93b, which had only been completed the night before, as well as lots of 96s and 99s. The half car? Well that was a trailer made out of an old Saab 900 convertible towed behind a full Saab 900 convertible.
The Saabs and Volvos came from many places in the UK and main land Europe. Too many English counties to mention but they included Scotland, Cornwall and Kent. We had two cars from Belgium, three from France and the furthest travelled came from the mountains in Switzerland.
The other attraction of being at Haynes was the Museum. Everybody who signed their car in received a couple of tickets to get in the museum at a reduced rate. Almost everybody took a visit to enjoy the great cars in the Museum. The children had the play park, go-karts, diggers as well as the wooden fort/climbing frame and the play bus. None of them looked bored.
During the day there were five judging competitions going on. One was named “The Most Admired Volvo and Saab” and was sponsored by Chris Knott Insurance. Each entrant was given the task of choosing their Most Admired Volvo & Saab at the show. A second was “Best in Show”, sponsored by Peter Swann from “The GB Motor Book Company” As Pete said it was very difficult to choose one as there were a great many “Best” cars, so he decided to ask himself, Which car would I like to travel home in? Both the local Swedish garages were there to choose their favourite models connected to their brand.
The Chris Knott “Most Admired Volvo” chosen by the people at Swedish Day was presented by Paul Channer to Colin Tatlow and his Volvo PV444.
The Chris Knott “Most Admired Saab” chosen by the people at Swedish Day was presented by Paul Channer to Dimitri & Frédéric from Switzerland and their Saab 900 Turbo 8.
Yeovil Motor Company’s Favourite Volvo was presented by Mark Gooch to Peter Lloyd and his Volvo 480 Celebration.
Astley Saabs Favourite Saab was presented by Linda Blackwell to Alan Courtenay and his Saab 99 Turbo.
Peter Swann of the GB Motor Book Company’s Best in Show or later re-tagged as “Car I would most like to drive home in” was presented to Michael Barnes and his Saab 96 Souvenir.
There was another small quiz taking place and that was to “Guess the Mileage of Alex’s GM 900” and Ellie Wilson got closest. The answer; only 37,936 miles from new.
If you have internet access you can find a few pictures at Flickr
There are also four short videos on You Tube the first link being here.
All the links can be found at www.swedishday.co.uk
I would like to thank everybody for supporting this event, the helpers, the four sponsors mentioned above, Tim and Haynes Museum for the location, my friends Pete, Paul, Alex & Isabel for the constant support, the internet forums and blogs, including Saabsunited.com and Saabhuy.net and of course, my wife Kerry and daughter Azabeth.
But the biggest thank you goes to all the owners of those lovely Saabs and Volvos that came along on the day.
Next years show will be held in the field at the rear of the Museum on Sunday the 9th May.