I love getting emails like this. They make my day.
My name is Bertil S and I live in Varberg, Sweden.
I’m a regular reader of your daily blog which I find most interesting. On November 21 there was an article with the title “24 years of family Saabs” about Mr Harry Wilks, whose family had been driving SAAB cars for 24 years.
Because of the article mentioned, I felt that I had to tell you about my relationship concerning the brand.
The story begins 1947 when I happened to get sight of a test-car – the very first SAAB model, a 92, which was parked in a street in my neighbourhood. I found the shape of the car to be so very different from other cars on the market. I became so fond of what I saw that I said to myself that such a car must be mine as soon as I was allowed to drive and I could afford to buy one. I was only 14 years old at the time.
Time went by and 1954 was the first year when my dream to drive a SAAB 92 came true. The local SAAB dealer needed people to drive home sold cars from Trollhättan, about 150 kilometers away. He asked me if I was interested and of course I was. This “sidejob” – I had earlier the same year been employed as a police officer – lasted until my desire to buy a SAAB became reality.
On October 21 1957 my wife and I became proud owners of a brand new SAAB 93B.
Ever since then we have been faithful to the brand and have had the great pleasure to be owners to several 96 two-stroke and V4, 99, 900, 9000, 9-5 and finally 9-3, all new. Besides them we have had a number of used cars, SAAB 92, 93 as well as 96 two-stroke and V4. We have still a 93B from 1959 which we bought 34 years ago, still going strong.
It woud be interesting to know if we are unique being SAAB-owners for 53 long years.
I enclose two pictures where I’m appearing together with our very first SAAB 93B and the one we still have. 52 years passed between the pictures. The first is taken in February 1958 and the second in August this year.
Now that’s Saab spirit.
Enjoyment. Longevity. Sensational.
57 thoughts on “Long term Saab Pride”
indeed it is. Hopefully one day I will be able to tell my grandchildren about my first (of many) Saab.
And wow that 93 in brilliant condition
Thank you benrp.
I´ll here take the opportunity to thank all the people commenting my story. I must say that I´m overwhelmed by all kind words expressed concerning the matter.
Kindest regards from Bertil
The 93 is one of my favorites! You’re so lucky to have had all those Saabs!
Somehow just like owning a Patek Phillipe: from one generation to another and another..
That is sensational Bertil!
And what fantastic shape your car is in.
Cheers/Tom (Born i Linköping and proud)
Thank you for sharing your wonderful story with us. I have yet to buy my own Saab or visit Sweden, but stories like yours make me want to do both sooner rather than later 🙂
Kind regards from Ireland,
Once you get your Saab, you”ll be hooked. Believe me. Hope you dont have to wait too long.
J Fan, you are most welcome both to buy a SAAB and to come over to Sweden. I was in Ireland 10 years ago having a very good time together with Irish friends.
Kind regards from Bertil
First of all: Brilliant! I am very impressed.
“(…)with our very first SAAB 93B and the one we still have” — I did not quite understand. Is it the same identical 93B, or another one? If not the same, what happened to the first one?
I would also love to read Bertil S’ thoughts on the new 9-5. Is it a real Saab? 🙂
No the cars are not identical. The first was a 93B model 1958 and the other one, which I bought 1976 and still have, is from 1959. The first one was exchanged in April 1960 for the very first SAAB 96.
I have tested the new SAAB 9-5 and in my opinion it´s a fantastic car and very “saabish”.
Hälsningar från Bertil
Bdritil you are a legend Mate !!! I hope we’ll meet one day. God bless you.
Impressive/imponerande Bertil! My father has driven Saabs since 1971 but that’s not even close. And I have owned nothing but Saabs and I intend to keep it that way (my first was a brown 99 X7 -74 and now I have a 9-3 SC 2.0T 2007). 🙂
Swade, I love this type of story too, I bet there are lots of Swedes that have always had Saabs. Love to hear about them.
If only most modern marriages lasted so long and be so dedicated! Very impressive and yet ANOTHER example of how Saab leaves a lasting impression on some people. Cheers!
Sad but true re: marriages.
Saab 93 is indeed a very goodlooking car.
Mine is not quite as goolooking though. It needs a new coat of paint (and an engine), but the bodyshape is still there. It’s a yellow (sand beige) 93B from 1958. Dented but quite free from rust. And the interior is in almost perfect condition.
That’s absolutely fantastic. Love to hear these stories.
Dear Bertil many thanks for story. Happy wisches for Xmas!
1989 My first ride in a SAAB
1996 Considered buying a 900
2001 Bought our first 900
Now that’s a great story. Bought my first of (hopefully) many Saabs during those dark months when Saab’s fate was unclear. Still very glad I pushed through and proves all those critics -you won’t be able to get spare parts, tsss- wrong. I happily passed all those BMWs, Audis and Mercs on the snow-covered highway this morning! 🙂
Respect Bertil! 🙂
Wow! What a great story Bertil and your 93 is absolutely gorgeous 🙂
Thanks for sharing your Saab Story with us.
Such a heartwarming story! I am 20 years old and have had my Saab for 1 year now, about as long as I visit this site. Hopefully I’ll keep on Saabing and Saabsuniteding for a looong time to come!
By the way: Dutch november sales data are in and it’s not very spectacular at all:
They sold 522 cars in november 2010 as opposed to 516 in november 2009. This represents a growth of 1,2%. Overall car sales have gone up so their marketshare has gone down from 0,14% to 0,11%, a decline of 18,8%. Come on Saab of Holland!
You’re wrong Red. It’s 522 cars from 01 january until the end of November
Whoops yeah, you’re absolutely right. Must have misread, my bad. Doesn’t make the numbers look better though…
Actually, I think it does. Remember that Saab were producing very few cars during the first 3-4 months of this year. If they can keep the same level of sales compared to ’09, it’s not that bad, though the market share numbers could be better.
Absolutely great, Bertil S! 🙂
When I was 10 years, in 1968, my father bought a 1968 96 2 stroke. In the summer we drove from Bergen to Holmestrand (5 persons), and in Holmestand my aunt drowe with us from there to north of Narvik, more than 1600km, 6 persons in that small car! It was legal then!
I wast sitting between my mother legs or hanging over the back rest of the front seats. Then I had a good view over the road and I did’t get car sick. 🙂
I remember that the petrol cost NOK 1.10 then, and that we mixed Gulf 2 stroke oil in it..
Since then it has always been some SAABs in our family. My first own SAAB was a 1975 96 V4.
I liked the free wheel very much. I did all the needed service work my self. 🙂
Since then I’ve had:
1980 900 GL Combi Coupe, 1976 99GL Combi Coupe, 1992 9000 CSI 2.3 and now a black 2002 900 SE Aut.
This year my brother bougt a 2008 9-3 TID, and my yougest son still drives a blue 2001 9-6 Vagon Vector 2.3 turbo. My oldest son have had some Saabs too. 🙂
…and my youngest son still drives a blue 2001 9-5 Vagon Vector 2.3 turbo..
When I was 10 years, in 1968, my father bought a grey 1966 SAAB 96 2 stroke.
Mr Bertil, Swade, after I read this story I took my keys, got in my 9-5 OG, started an engine and slowly flew over freezing winter screaming out everything I had at a moment in my lungs and guts.
Bertil, your 93B looks fantastic in both the early photo and the recent one! You have obviously taken very good care of it. It would be interesting to hear if you have done any restoration work on it, or just general maintenance.
I feel emotion & respect when I read that kind of story . It was a very good idea to write to Steven .
Is it just me or is Bertil a dead ringer for JAJ? Great story, great car!
It’s not just you, haha.
Throwing my respect and admiration on the pile with everyone else’s. 🙂
Bra historia Bertil!
So bittersweet watching the passage of time like that. Thanks for sharing.
Okay Swade, in 2017 when both Saabsunited and Saab are still going strong, I’ll send you my 50 year story. 🙂
Thanks for sharing your story Bertil! Beautiful car as well!
It was very exiting to read the story of Bertil S. about the very long time with Saab. I live in Switzerland and I bought my first Saab in 1972 (99E 1850 ccm), ‘burgunderröd’ (some kind of violet!). With this car my wife and I drove to the North Cape in 1973 – it was a very nice journey. After the first Saab there were more, 99, 900, 9000, 9-3 sedan and now 9-3 SC XWD. I was never disappointed and for me Saab is the best car. It was a very hard time a year ago! I hope Saab now will have a bright future with a lot of interesting new cars and I hope JÅJ can further on be so successful. Lycka till!
Lovely story, which I don’t believe I knew before now! I remember pictures of you driving a great black Saab in the 80’s, and I imagined you cruising the countryside, past moose!! It’s because of you that I bought my FIRST Saab in 2007, here in San Luis Obispo, California!!
I still have the video of you starting up the engine in the barn for us. What a treat!
It ws so nice to hear from you. It would be nice if I once in the future got the opportunity to see the video from the barn. I do hope you are satisfied with your 9-5 Aero. I don´t know if the new 9-5 has arrived in California yet. If so, have a look an take a ride. You´ll be surprised!!!
Ya just gotta love a story like this. Made me smile!!! 🙂
Is it the same car in the two pictures but with different registration plates or am I misunderstanding?
He says in the text that the first one is bought in -57 and the second one is a -59 which he bought 34 years ago = 1976.
Both looks great tough, thanks Bertil!
They changed the plates in beginning of 70 ies.
Great guy, great car, great story. Saab pride at its very best.
Can’t get enough of it. RJ, soonsaab
Hmmm… can I break this record?
I am afraid no.
Got my first Saab at the age of 41.
41 + 52 = 93
Ha! This is a sign! I will be 93 and will be driving a 9.3-IX or something like that 🙂
Did it take that long for the snow to melt? 😉
Well, he’s got 20 years on me. Got my first SAAB in 1978 (99 Turbo)…currently own three.
Lovely car! Lovely story.
A great story. I bought my first Saab, a 1976 4 door 99 GL in 1980 from the same dealer that sold and services my 2009 9-3 Aero SC XWD. I’ve had many, many Saabs in between. I wish I had held onto some of them like Bertil S did…like that ’62 bullnose Stroker, ’69 V4 and two ’80 99GLis.
My dad has also never owned any other brand than SAAB. My mums latest 2005 9.3 is their approx. SAAB number 20. It all started with a long line of 95’s some time in the early 70s. Then an endless line of 99s in different shades of brown and some blue ones. The car I was allowed to use when i got my license was a brown 1976 (nice year! The year I was born) 99GL. Together with that car my father had a long line of 900. My father being a country copper he used his own cars in the line of duty. So there was always a cop radio, Kojac lamp and stop sign in his car. I still remember standing by the side of the road at my grandparent when the SAAB 900 on different occasions came flying down the road, as fast as the SAAB would go, with the Kojac lamp on the roof and my father going some where to catch some bad gays 🙂 Such things that make a lasting impression on little boy 🙂 My father has owned all modern SAAB models, except for a 9000. Which for him never was a real SAAB. Since it didn’t have the ignition between the seats, and probably some other reason to but I cant remember if he have told me any…
So since SAABs run thick in our family blood I am now on my 4th SAAB and will continue to drive them as long as I can bye one.
What a great story!! Exceeded only by the photos of those fantastic 93’s. Classic in every way.
Dear Bertil , you are certainly unique in being a SAAB-owner for 53 long years. Great story.
It is true that from the time you drive a Saab you stick to the brand.
Saabs are not ordinary cars. They have some sort of brilliance and sparkling spirit in them.
+1, SAAB is indeed a car wirh spirit/soul! Far from the cold desinfected feel of german cars.
Bertil S: Thank you for sharing this story, and happy Saabing for many years to come!
Thank you for story! Bless you, and may you enjoy many more Saab models to come…
Thank you for posting Bertil’s story. We need to hear these stories; they are the true heart and soul of the Saab experience. Bertil’s story transcends all of the banality, snobbery, and cynicism we sometimes concern ourselves with. What strikes me is that Bertil never gave up on Saab, he never drew a line in his mind that said “Saabs built after a certain model or under a certain corporate structure are not real Saabs.” Those who have drawn these lines do not have nearly the experience that Bertil has.
Wow Bertil your dedication to the Saab spirit is inspiring!
Thank you for sharing your story with us
I have the fortune to have Bertil as my grandpa and the 93´s as our family car. It is so great that the car has got all this attention from all of you. I can assure it is in that good shape as it appeares to be!
As a SAAB owner my grandpa is truly dedicated. I remember when I turned 16 and where able to take drivinglessons. I kindly asked him if he would help me drive (he is a retired policeofficer!) and he gave me the keys to his 9000. He didn’t say much during the drive- just hold the handbreak… As I came home and told my father about the lesson he yelled out; “Was he really letting you drive his car?!!”.
Maybe there was times when we all thought that the cars was grandpas first priority- but this proved the opposite!
… though i still have not drived the 93’s… 🙂
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