You’re going to have to pardon the introspection here……but sometimes one has to just write what’s on one’s mind in order to clear it. I guess you could say this post follows on from one I wrote a few days ago.
This year has taken a number of unexpected twists and turns. I mean, who would have thought on January 1 that Saab would be where they are now: on the verge of being a Swedish car company once again, tied in with Koenigsegg?
On a personal level, this year has already seen me selling two cars I really loved and buying another two that I’ve always been curious about.
Sometimes things just don’t go the way you expect.
Hold that thought…..
I have three vivid Saab memories.
I have a whole library of Saab memories from the last 10 years or so, but I have three primary remembrances that are instantaneous. Perhaps some explanation is in order.
Our whole lives are made up of various memories. Some of them we share with other people and some of them happen when we are alone. The most important ones stand out. They’re kind of like index points in your memory’s filing system. Other memories are measured against these. They’re like the reference point for all the things that come after.
My wife and I have had a lot of good times over the 7 years we’ve been married, but one of the clearest memories I have of her is the thrill of holding her hand for the first time. It’s a little strange, I know, but I can remember the feelings from that day more clearly than I can remember our wedding.
I have two nephews. I was only 10 years old when the older one was born and I used to stay at (his mother) my sister’s place a lot when I was young. By the time he was about two years old, I used to stay there every Friday night. I can remember how, on Saturday mornings, this little two year old kid would wander into the lounge room, where I was sleeping, and climb into bed with me and we’d watch the Saturday morning cartoons together.
Today, that kid’s a 29 year old policeman and he’s bigger than me, but he’s still that little kid in my eyes. It’s funny how we look at things through our own prism and rarely do we manage to change those heartfelt perceptions.
This is a car blog, right? I hear you saying….
I guess what I’m getting at here is that some things are fixed in our minds to the point where you can’t change them, no matter how hard you try. To any one given person, these memories are Legend.
They are moments that are pure. They represent the essence of your relationship with that person, that car, that place. They are spontaneous.
I mentioned before that I have three vivid Saab memories. I can pull millions of different memories from my mental filing cabinet, but these three are the index points for everything I think about Saabs. These are the things I don’t have to think about – they just appear without reason.
The first of these is my Damascus Road Saab drive, my first real experience of what a Saab could do. Many of the details are vague now, but the impact is clear.
The second of these memories is a short burst of acceleration not more than one kilometer from where I’m sitting as I write this. The day was significant as it was the day I got the turbocharger on my first 99Turbo replaced. It was the first time I’d felt that rush of power in a car of my own.
The third of these memories was on the way to a gig (I used to play in a band) and again, it was an acceleration moment in my 99. I don’t know why it stands out, really. Maybe it was the occasion (it was a good gig) but for some reason, the car was purring like a kitten that night and when I planted the right foot as I approached the Bridgewater bridge, the car just took off like a cut cat and even though I’d owned it for a while by then, it truly blew me away at that particular moment.
I’ve owned (and crashed) a Viggen. I’ve been sideways in a 9-3 with one of the Saab Performance Team drivers on a closed course. I’ve been at 170 km/h in a Turbo X on dirt. I’ve driven over a bridge in Trollhattan with the top down and my hands in the air. I’ve been in a Ferrari driven by one of the greatest men the Saab company has ever known (Bob Sinclair).
All of these were great Saab moments and many of them seem more specatcular than the three I’ve listed. It’s strange how none of them are instantaneous memories to me.
I mentioned a few days ago that I’m working on a couple of projects in the background that I’ll be able to cover here at SU in the near future.
Without saying too much about it, one of them involves a Saab 99 Turbo. I guess that’s what has got me thinking about all this.
Saab is such a big part of my life now, and the last week has had me reflecting on how much the 99Turbo is responsible for that. It has always been my favourite Saab and I think it always will be.
Right now I own a Saab 9-3 Monte Carlo and a Mazda MX-5 (that’s a Miata to some). The MX-5 purchase was part of something I refer to as my “toy car” program – fulfilling my wish to own and drive as many of my old favourites as I can whilst I have the opportunity.
I think my involvement in this latest project with the 99 Turbo has quite possibly brought the toy car program to an end. I’ll keep the Mazda for the coming summer, but I can well imagine it going on sale early in the new year as I look to get back into one of my all-time favourite cars.
For me, the 99Turbo is Legend. It’s the foundation on which all of my Saab associations, including the words you’re reading right now, are built.
I’m just glad I’ve had the chance to realise this again, and am even more pleased that I might get the opportunity to do something about it.