Classic Saabists Gather for UK Meet
Our old Saabs United friend Lance Cole – author of ‘Saab 99 & 900’, and the new ‘Saab Cars The Complete Story (Crowood Press)’ which debuts in a few weeks, (pre-orderable now on Amazon), pitched up at the UK national meet with Richard Gunn from Classic Wars Weekly (CCW). Richard arrived in his 900 Classic Turbo and will run a feature on the event in CCW shortly – keep your eyes peeled at your newstands next week or so.
Meanwhile Lance has sent us some of his photos and takes up the story:
‘What a set of Saab contrasts – Bond Street Saab and their dedicated team of Saabists under M.D. David Barre, had a great stand with a lovely, new, white 9-3 TTID with a unique black roof treatment and Aero X alloys, as it centre piece. This is a unique Saab and at under £15,000 is cheaper, safer, and more stylish than one of those horrid little hatchbacks made in other places thatt some people might strangely want to spend their money upon…
Facing this 9-3 TTId – last incarnation of a Saab, were a selection of Sonetts – II, V4, and III. Throw in a 92B, a fantastic spread of 96s, 900s, 9000s and newer Saabs, and a certain retired Red Arrows pilot in his interestingly painted 96V4, and you had a day of quality and contrast.
If that was not enough, enter Saab tuning guru- and ex-Saab GB legend (he would hate such descriptions, but he is!) Chris Partington in his Le Mans –spec LHD 93B – with which he entered in the Le Mans Classic. Saab’s previous ‘works’ appearance at Le Mans was with a 93B in 1959 driven by Sture Nottrup / Gunnar Bengston– complemented by Brits Sydney Hurrell / Roy North in a privately entered Saab 93B. (Syd later founded SAH Tuning- the firm even ‘tweaked’ an early 99 to go faster).
Chris showed us all his amazing creation and then stunned the arena with its sound – a sort of manic two-stroke sort of supersonic exhaust speed mixture of ‘ring-ding-ring -ding bee-buzz – brrrp’ sky shattering noise that was just wonderful to drink in.
So, two days of sun and two-days of pure Saabism – from Sonett to new 9-5. There are too many names to mention here – but all concerned proved that whilst Saab as we knew it may be gone, the spirit of Saab ‘den anda av Saab’ lives on. And I drove home in a GM-generation 9-3 TID – before you all shout at me for being a pre-1994 Saab snob! As some of you have previously done…
All photos Lance Cole Copyright (c) 2012. All Rights Reserved. I have added a few more of Lance’s picture to my flickr site here
Lance would like to thank Mike, his wife, and the Saab Owners Club team for the kind help and hospitality.