Helping the Saab Museum

I’m proud of the contribution that Saabs United has made to the company over the years. I’m proud to have been a part of establishing that tradition and very pleased to see it carry on in the hands of Tim, Till, the rest of the SU team and the readership.

Every member of the SU community has a part to play in keeping the spirit of this company alive. Of course, our hope is that the administrators find a suitable buyer to keep the company itself alive. It’s important not just as a matter continuing a heritage that we’re all proud of, but also in continuing to provide an automotive alternative that we all love. I’ve lost count of the number of people who have written to me saying they just can’t imagine buying another type of car. For some of us – for better or for worse – there are few, if any, viable alternatives to Saab when it comes to interesting and engaging motoring.

Saabs United is currently running what I think is a pretty important fund-raiser to purchase and preserve the last Saab 9-3 in the Saab Museum. For sixty-plus years, prominent cars from Saab’s history have rolled off the production line and into the Saab Museum. I think we can all agree that there has been no more critical a period in the company’s history than the bankruptcy of December 19. For a Saab fan, it’s almost essential that the final car from this period in the company’s history be preserved in the Saab Museum, like the notable cars that went before it.

This fund raiser is unprecedented in Saab circles for its ambition, scope and the importance of its mission. We can’t save the company itself as a one-off effort (that will require consistent sales for a re-started Saab) but I believe that we can – and should – do this.

Consequently, I just want to add my voice to the appeal. If you’ve contributed to this fund already, then thanks very much. If you’re planning to contribute, I’d urge you to let Tim or Till know your commitment and the timing of it. If you’re still on the fence, I’d appeal to you to consider what you can give.

If you’ve never visited the Saab Museum, I can assure you that it’s well worth the time and trouble it might cost you to get there. It’s a wondrous place for a Saab fan, a reminder of everything this company has achieved, much of it against the odds over a number of decades. It’ll remind you as to what we all gave so much of our time for and make you appreciate the drive home even more. That building houses some of the most wonderful memories of my life and some great friends, too.

Imagine visiting there and knowing that you contributed to one of it’s more significant exhibits.

Please click here to make your contribution and help preserve the last Saab 9-3.

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I’d like to raise another point while I’m here. In fairness, I should have discussed this with Peter Backstrom before posting as it might be a non-issue, but I’ll put it out there anyway.

Is there some scheme, some way that we Saab enthusiasts can contribute regularly to the upkeep of the museum? A trust or a friends-of-the-museum type setup? I know that I’d be willing to contribute to such a trust with a regular annual contribution and I’m sure that others would, too.

IntSaab 2012 is coming up soon. It would be a great opportunity to promote such an arrangement and get clubs involved in preserving something that is surely in their interests to keep alive, and strong.

If something is already established, that’s great. If not, I hope it’s something the new owners of the museum would consider. The Saab Museum has been saved once already. I hope it’s never in a position where it has to be saved again.

Crossing the Norwegian mountains in style

Hardangervidda last weekend
Our 9-5 has been in our care for about a year and a half now. So far we have carried out only two road trips, and we were long overdue for a third; Time to visit my relatives out west!

As I live in Sweden and work in Oslo, the road trip became a two stage affair. My dad lives not far away from me, but logistically it was easier for us to simply join up in Oslo. On Friday we pooled together in my car, four people in total.

What was different this time around is that I was mostly a passenger. My dad wished to take the helm as we approached the stomping ground of his youth. I was fine with that as the rear seat is comfy and the ample leg space makes it easy to relax and just enjoy the trip.

Lærdalstunnelen - the longest road tunnel in the world
In some ways, it took me back to some of the family trips back when I was a child. The roads were a lot different back then. Instead of long and wide tunnels with ample space for my 9-5 meeting a big truck, my dad’s 96 would balance precariously on narrow roads glued to the side of a steep mountain. Back then, looking out the rear side window of my dad’s 96, there was nothing but a 200m (if not four times that) drop straight down into a fjord or a small mountain creek.

Read moreCrossing the Norwegian mountains in style

Reading Saab hold a Gigantic Extravaganza

Below is a poster from Reading Saab in the UK advertising their “Gigantic Extravaganza” that is being held this Saturday at their Saab Garage in Reading.
Please go along if you have a few spare moments during  the day. Ian, who has worked for Saab since 1979, tells me there is lots to see and do during the day.

Bosse Hellberg has passed away

Bosse Hellberg who was the Saab Rally Team manager from 1962-1980 has passed away at an an age of 80.

He created a very professional team for Saab rallying at a previously unheard of level. With drivers like Erik Carlsson, Pat Moss, Calle Orrenius, Ove Andersson, Tom Trana, Simo Lampinen, Per Eklund and Stig Blomquist he managed to do miracles with limited funds. Making world class rally cars out of standard production vehicles that was mildly transformed into winners.

Bosse was one of the founders of the Swedish Rally Drivers Club and was active in KAK Royal Automobile Club of Sweden.
I had the pleasure to meet him a year ago when he started the swedish cars in Stockholm bound to Monte Carlo and the Monte Carlo Rally.
Saab and the Saab world has lost a friend who made Saab well known around the globe through the rally cars and victories.

Our deepest condolences and prayers goes out to Bosse´s family, his son Mikael and daughter Helena.

Why It All Matters?

With the recent events of the We Are Many, We Are Saab, some people may reflect on things and wonder, can I make a difference by attending something like that? After receiving an email over the weekend from Michel Theriault, I would say yes and that all we do matters. Michel organized the We Are Many event in Montreal, Canada and from that has decided to take things to the next level.

Montreal has not had an active Saab club for some time now and at the urging of some of the participants, Michel has started a webpage with a forum to connect with Saab fan’s and an ultimate goal of restarting the Montreal Saab club. Judging by the photo below, there are plenty of Saab fan’s in Montreal and I am sure the re-launch of the Saab Club will be a success.

Saab clubs are a very cool thing to be a part of and witnessing some of these clubs come together is something in itself. We have a club out here in BC and when they have met at our dealership in the past, it has been like watching family arrive for a celebration. Everyone getting out of their Saab’s with grins on their faces being met by other members happy to see each other again. I don’t think there is a better way to explain it other then a family coming together.

I wish all the success in the world to Michel and the soon to be relaunched Saab Club from Montreal. If you are in the Montreal area, please visit the website link and show your support.

Saab Parts UK stock availability improves even further

Press Release from SaabPartsUK

■Parts production restarts at Trollhättan plant
■Fully assembled car parts and other components purchased from Saab Automobile’s bankruptcy estate
■New contracts signed with key suppliers
■Further reassurance for UK Saab owners and authorised repairers

Saab Parts UK welcomes the news that parts production will restart at Saab Automobile’s press and body plant in Trollhättan.

Saab Automobile Parts AB recently signed an agreement with the administrators of Saab Automobile AB allowing them the use of Saab’s press and body shop plant, including the specialist tooling, for the manufacture and assembly of body parts. A second agreement was also signed to acquire a large number of fully assembled parts and other components.

Lennart Stahl, CEO of Saab Automobile Parts AB, said: “These agreements, together with recently signed new contracts with key suppliers, are part of a comprehensive program to ensure a consistent supply of parts for Saab vehicles, both short and long term.”

Saab Parts UK has been successfully trading for almost four months, whilst growing its network of authorised repairers and welcoming customers back to the brand.

Alan Cowan, Sales Director at Saab Parts UK, said: “This is great news for Saab customers and our network of authorised repairers in the UK.

“Now that the press and bodyshop plant have restarted production and new agreements have been signed with key suppliers, we should see parts availability back to the levels they were at before Saab Automobile stopped production.

“UK customers can continue to be confident that their Saab will be serviced and maintained by a team of highly skilled and qualified technicians who have the product knowledge and technical training to keep their cars in the best condition possible. Only Original Saab parts are fitted and are backed by a two years’ manufacturer warranty.”

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