Folks, I am proud today to be a Saab enthusiast. I’m proud because of the way that people really showed their pride and love of the Saab marque. What a weekend it was.
Some of my observations after the jump.
– Our overall numbers were amazing. According to Todd Agostini in the Philadelphia Enquirer, with about 5,000 vehicles in attendance across the globe, we Saabisti posted about 5,000 cars more than Pontiac, Saturn and Oldsmobile combined. Of course, in their defense, two of the other brands were never even offered to others for extended life, they just died.
Still, after having a look at most of the photos in the Saab Convoy Flickr Pool, I can safely say that there were more dogs supporting Saab than there were people supporting the aforementioned three brands. That’s saying something. Really.
– We comported ourselves well. There were no reports of hooliganism, which can certainly happen with testosterone-charged men with performance cars. I dare say that one could not have such a rally in the United States for Ford, Chevrolet, etc. without at least a few knuckleheads burning out in the Ikea parking lot and generally putting everyone on edge. Kudos to all.
– We have brothers and sisters that I (we?) didn’t know that we had. Shanghai, Beijing, Ningbo, Ekaterinburg, Minsk, etc. Our numbers in some places were astounding — Taiwan, Poland, Russia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Latvia and Estonia, I salute you! Very uplifting.
– We hold our icons dear, and they are loyal to our brand. Erik Carlsson doesn’t have to come to an event like this. But he does. Southwest Saabs made sure that he was a center of attention. Ditto Mr. Lance Cole’s appearance. He’s a man of import; these hours are his own. He chooses Saab. Those kinds of relationships are not common. I dare say that Bob Sinclair would have had a front seat in the Southern California gathering, too, had he not passed.
Yes, there’s the occasional such link in the automotive world, but Saab is different. Very different.
– In our brand, there is room for all on equal footing. I love the fact that the Viggens are alongside the 96 two-strokers and the 900 convertibles are parked beside the Hirsched 9-5 sedans. There is no pretense about who has the “perfect” 1964 Mustang or the pedigreed Mercedes-Benz gullwing or an M7 that ran the Autobahn at 200 kph along the way. We are enthusiasts with passion for Saabs, even the more pedestrian models. In fact, in some ways that’s a source of pride for us. That makes us different.
Here’s to hoping that this week bodes well for all of us. No matter how it goes, we will have done as much as we could. Feel good about that.