Pilots Wanted 2016

From Friday evening dinner, at Schwedenkai

The first weekend in June (3-4th of June), the second edition of the event “Pilots Wanted” took place in Kiel, Germany. Like the first time back in 2014 it was the guys at Autohaus Lafrentz and Saabblog.net that organized this event. Some of our readers may know about Autohaus Lafrentz and I’m sure some of you think that you had heard that name before – and if you are in to the new generation 9-5, I’m sure you heard it before. The guys at Lafrentz is in my opinion specialists in the new generation 9-5, and the fact that they organizes a 9-5 meeting also tells me that they are enthusiasts. Many will also remember that they played a major part in the process with get the NG9-5 SportCombi street legal. So there is no doubt the team at Lafrentz is “a bit” more interested in Saab than the average Saab-delar, which is evident as you enter the shop… 🙂

Autohaus Lafrentz showroom/customer reception
Turbine-team ready for takeoff Trollhättan

This was a event exclusive for NG9-5 owners, and if you wanted to attend it was necessary to register early, as you can see if you browse the pictures there are limited space at the Autohaus Lafrentz shop so I guess that had something to do with it. I forgot to count properly but I guess we were around 35 cars and 50-60 pilots/co-pilots during the weekend from much of Europe, there was cars from Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and Norway.
I was attending without co-pilot, but traveled in company with some other Swedish 9-5 pilots. We took the ferry from Göteborg Wednesday evening, and roll off the ferry in Kiel Thursday morning. The event didn’t start before Friday at noon, so we had a day extra in Germany before the rest of the pilots arrived. For me personally the extra day was used in the Lafrentz workshop, it was time to install some interior upgrades in my car. So I went from pilot to co-pilot for some hours when we “explored” Autobahn and the area around… Later in the evening there was more pilots arriving to our hotel, so it was for sure “Saab-talk” this evening too, before some of us went to an Italian restaurant for some dinner together.


Friday morning, and there was some work to do… Me and some of the members in the “Turbine-team” feel that we can’t go to a car meeting with a dirty car, so there was some cars that needed a bath… Not that the cars were dirty, but around the hotel there were a lot of trees – and from trees we get pollens, so we had a job to do. We had some minor issues to find a place where we could hand-wash our cars, it seems like the Germans love to wash their cars in washing machines, but after a while we found a gas-station with two manual stations we were satisfied with. At noon we where on site at Autohaus Lafrentz, and now the other pilots also was arriving too. This day hadn’t a tight schedule, so we was mingling in the workshop and had some delicious fika in the workshop while we shared experiences or just look at all the cars. Later this evening all participants was gathered at the restaurant in the Stena Line “Schwedenkai” ferry terminal for some dinner in good company.

Waiting for the cable-ferry crossing the Kiel channel

Saturday the guys at Lafrentz had planned a nice tour for us, so supplied with a detailed road-book we drove a route in the Kiel-area with a mix of minor back-roads, some great german country-roads and a few kilometers of motorway. At the end we had a stop with some cakes and cold or hot refreshments before some of us went back to the workshop and other started on their way back home. For me and the rest of Turbine-team the fun was over when we was back at Autohaus Lafrentz, we had planned to take the ferry back to Sweden Saturday evening. Some of the guys had planned to participate at the Saab/Volvo-event on the Swedish national day (6th of June), and others like me had to head back home for work…

Welcome to Autohaus Lafrentz GmbH
Almost home, just waiting for next takeoff!

At this event there was as I mentioned earlier approximately 35 cars and 50-60 pilots/co-pilots.
There was five combis attending at this event, where three(!!!) was in the color Javabrown. As we speak about colors I think almost all colors was represented, as far as I know we where missing the solid Black and the Granite Gray metallic (please correct me if I’m wrong!) paint.

This was the very first model specific gathering I’ve attended to, and I must say it gave the event a extra dimension. It was for sure a really nice event, and I hope the that this will be a regularly event, and we will see a “Pilots Wanted 2018” too!
In the end I would like to thank my fellow pilots for an enjoyable flight, and last but not least the team a Autohaus Lafrentz and the guys at Saabblog for a wonderful weekend in Kiel!
If circumstances permit it, I’m for sure back on the next flight! 😉






9 thoughts on “Pilots Wanted 2016”

  1. 35 cars! I haven’t seen anywhere near 35 NG9-5s over all the years since they were introduced – and I live in an area where SAABs are popular.

  2. Used to pilot 88 900 Turbo through Appalachian Mountains and Shenandoah Valley in W-VA / VA USA. Glorious memories of dancing with curves and arriving rejuvenated instead of drained after near 800 miles (Va. Beach to Detroit). 9-5 Aero also a great traveler but black 900T as a driving elixir resides here still as treasured family member. Saab deserved better – Long live Saab.

    • I had a 1988 Peugeot 505 that I sometimes drove from Northern, VA to northeastern Pennsylvania or more often from Maryland/DC to PA. The drives were about 230 miles or so—-and I often arrived fresher than when I left. The correct seating position and the right seats, as well as a great driver’s car can do that for you. My Saab 9-5 has been on some longer trips as well and I feel the same way with that car. I haven’t had the Peugeot since the late 1990s but I still have the Saab—-two orphan manufacturers—-Peugeot no longer in the U.S. and Saab no longer.

  3. I really love the Laser red – I wish it was available in 2010 because I would have selected it over Diamond Silver. Maybe I’ll wrap my car in laser red?

    Note the day time running lights on the red car – they are orange. Was that unique for the European market or an aftermarket product?

    • dcpattie orange day light not allowed in eec. Car lights follow specific country rules.The french on their national country roads had their famous coloured lights. US was different on their blinking and odos. Anyway saab did a lot on road lights to see these large animals in time including the crash test to survive . You must be seen but do not blind your opponent with too much leds whats so ever. The pop up lights to warn your opponent are under discussion. We have already too much disturbing lights. New generations will come to find the balance.

  4. Nice overview you made, Trond Arve. Also the pictures do give a good impression of these fine days.
    I just want to add that we all got a shirt, offered by Orio Germany.
    The text on that shirt is perfect; “Saab, more than a car”.
    This sentence even gets more meaning now we know that no new Saab cars will be manufactured anymore. So we only will have these nice cars, the fine people who drive these cars, and the gatherings these enthusiasts organize so we can meet. So more than just a car; it is a way of live !!!

    • Absolutely, and thanks for the company! We got a nice Kiel “starter pack”, a very nice T-shirt, a bottle of water, a rally-plate, the road-book and a Kiel info-folder! 🙂
      The shirt was super nice, but the sunny days in Kiel did not invite to use dark clothes if you ask me… But that is a luxury-problem 😉

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