Saabs lost to Aussie bushfire

Earlier this year, a few of us Aussies were having what was supposed to be some light-hearted, fun comparing the temperature readouts on our SIDs. There were a few entries, called Temp Wars, that were posted here on the site.
The last of those entries was on February 7th, showing the temperature in a BMW that my mate in Sydney, Richo, was driving at a track day. The tempertature on that one was 48 degrees Celsius.
February 7th 2009 will forever be remembered here in Australia as “Black Saturday” because of the fires that swept across parts of Victoria that day. 173 people lost their lives in the fires and over 2,000 homes were destroyed.
One of those homes belonged to a Saab fanatic and mechanic named Steve White. Steve’s home was in a town called Kinglake, one of the towns that was hardest hit by the fires with 38 fatalities (more than any other locality that day). Thankfully, Steve was not there and was unharmed, though he did lose his home and the fleet of Saabs that were kept there.
Steve’s given me permission to post some images from the aftermath of that day here on the site. You can also view a full album of images on Facebook.
A Saab 9000 on the left and a restored two-stroke Saab 95 wagon on the right.
A stream of molten alloy from the heat of the fire.

A burned out red 1993 Saab 900 convertible.
Steve also lost his magnificent Saab 99EMS rally car in the fire.
The rally car in full flight. This car was the 2008 Victorian rally championship Classic winning car and Victorian club rally championship seniors cup winner as well.
Another shot of the restored two-stroker that was lost to the fires.
And another shot of the 9000.
Steve’s home was reduced to rubble covered by a burned out roof. Plans have been drawn up for a new home, but there’s a lot of work to be done up there and work progresses slowly.
This photo, for me at least, is the cruellest of them all. You can see the burned out 900 and 99 in the foreground, and just 10 feet away there’s unburned grass. Just over the fence, the neighbor’s home was left standing. It shows both the fickle and totally destructive nature of these fires all in one shot.
As I mentioned, Steve was unhurt and is still living in the Kinglake area while he waits for a new home to be built. He’s even got a couple of replacement Saabs and is working on a new rally car, too.
I mentioned he’s a Saab mechanic, right? Well, all of this takes money, so if you’re in Melbourne and you need some work done, feel free to get in touch with him. Email me if you don’t know his number and I’ll put you in touch.
He tells me he’s working over Christmas this year.
My thanks to Steve for allowing me to share these images.

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