The death of Saab as
a car brand has taken its toll on Saabs United. Many readers and writers have
moved on to other brands. News about Saab is more and more scarce and it is
harder to find anything interesting to report about. I have had a quite hectic
year and have not written anything in a long time. I’ve had a couple of ideas
in mind, but I never realized any of them.
Then something happened, I discovered Saab Cars Magazine and got inspired to write again. I’m not really qualified to do this at all. I am not a very good writer, I do not know many facts about Saab, and I’m a lousy photographer. But I do love the brand and have decided to contribute to Saabs United from time to time.
I miss many of the
old writers and stewards of Saabs United. Swade has moved back to Australia and
started to work for Brabham
Automotive. I don’t know what Tim do these days.
Swade, Tim, Rune,
RedJ, Trued and everyone else who used to write for Saabs United, it would be
really nice if you occasionally would like to write a line or two again! I think
all of us readers would appreciate that a lot. (log-in and comment if you agree)
Like myself, all readers
can contribute to Saabs United. Press the contribute button if you have
anything to share! That’s what I did a few years back when I wrote my first post
proofing. I encourage everyone to do the same.
I would also like to reach out to Claes Johansson at Saab Cars Magazine. Perhaps you would like to contribute to Saabs United? It may raise more international readers for the Saab Car Magazine!
After listening to
the podcast to Studio Klassiker Saab-special I got all
hooked. I have now almost listened to all of the episodes and they are equally
interesting and fun to listen to.
I have never
considered myself a car enthusiast, because I have always connected that
concept with classic cars. I like Saabs; modern, practical cars which do not
break down every now and then. But wait…… Didn’t I buy a car a couple of years
ago which just turned 10 years old from a brand which is extinct? A model made
in only 11’300 units during less than two years time. A model with scarce
availability of parts as well as workshops with knowledge and tools. Who would
buy such a car……? Well, an enthusiast, I guess.
In podcast #39 Studio Klassiker discuss how you
can show that you are a car enthusiast during Swedish winter. Most enthusiasts
keep their cars tucked away in winter storage to keep the cold and salt off the
brittle metal of old and precious cars. But if you still want your car to be
noticed at the gas station during winter, what would you drive?
A number of cars were
discussed which still have good handling in winter conditions as well as insulation,
rust proofing, heating, etc. The Saab manufactured Cadillac
BLS was mentioned as well as Alfa
Romeo 159. I do not consider myself very knowledgeable in cars in
general, but I could not help myself from thinking, Alfa Romeo 159, wasn’t that
the model built on the GM/Fiat/Alfa Premium Platform partly developed in Saabs
office in Pixbo? Am I starting to sound like one of those car enthusiasts?
The members of the
podcast wondered if all Saabs are or will be enthusiast cars? There are still
too many daily drivers around in Sweden, but soon enough… I start thinking
about my own NG 9-5 again. NG 9-5s were already at the beginning a rare sight,
even more today. When I drive my car to the gas station, people actually look
at my car. Some make positive comments, and from time to time, people come up
to me to compliment my car. This may happen at the shops, in public parking
lots or queues. One time a car drove up next to me and stopped just to say what
a great car I have. I guess that’s part of the everyday life of an enthusiast
And, yes, I drive my
enthusiast car during winter. It’s a very good winter car as all Saabs are. I
have conserved it with Dinitrol as my previous 9-5. So, it’s not a problem for me to
show my role as car enthusiast during winter.
What defines a car
enthusiast? I guess the age of the car is not very important. The main thing is
that you buy your car mainly with your heart, not your head. A car enthusiast
can tolerate heaps of smaller deficiencies for the love of the specific car or
brand. I had several semi-rational arguments for buying my last Saab. I could
get engine insurance up to 10-years (and I had over two years left). I could
drive an environment friendly car with Bio-ethanol until I could afford an
electric car, etc., etc. But when it all came down to facts, I just wanted to
drive this beautiful last model of Saab no matter what. And who could blame me?
At least not another car enthusiast…
So, at the bottom
line, am I a car enthusiast? I think one of the common definitions of an enthusiast
car is that you don’t use it as a daily driver. The enthusiast car is just for
fun. I must admit that my Saab sits tight in the garage since last autumn, but
that is all because of Corona. I work from home and we do not need two cars at
the moment. So, our second smaller car is quite sufficient to drive my smallest
son to school and do the shopping. Still I would not surrender and say that my
Saab is an enthusiast car….yet. I will continue to drive it to work until it
is not practical anymore or I get hold of a fair replacement with an electric
driveline. Maybe then a true enthusiast will buy it and nurse it for the last
years until it will be parked forever in car heaven. Time will tell.
As mentioned in my last post, Saab Cars Magazine is made by the Swedish Magazine Klassiker (Classics) together with the Saab Car Museum. Klassiker has an excellent podcast with focus on cars from the 20th century. From time to time, they diverge from their normal path and discuss both earlier and later cars. In connection with the Saabs Cars Magazine issue #5, Claes Johansson and Joakim Bergqvist from Klassiker met no other than Peter Bäckström, Curator at the Saab Cars Museum.
To my great surprise I found this fantastic magazine in my supermarket just before Christmas!
ashamed that this fantastic piece of literature has slipped past my attention
until quite recently. So, in case someone else is equally ignorant, I would
like to promote Saab Cars Magazine to you all. There is both a Swedish and an international version available.
Magazine is a cooperation between the Swedish Car Magazine Klassiker (Classics) and the Saab Car Museum. The Magazine is offered both
in print and in digital format. You can buy the Magazine in shops in Sweden or
order directly from Saab Cars Magazine or from the Saab
Museum Webshop. The editor-in-chief is Claes Johansson and he has managed
to create a perfect blend of older and newer Saab stories. There is something
for both two-strokers and turbo-lovers.
The frontpage of issue #5 shows an NG 9-5 wagon, right? I must admit that I did see this car on the 2019 Saab Car Museum Festival without understanding what it was or the greatness behind it. There was something about it, but I could not pin it down properly at the time. With so much else to see, I moved on without reading the signs.
This is not an “ordinary” NG 9-5 wagon. It is built from an NG 9-5 sedan with donated parts from an Opel Insignia with oceans of work and love. If you can´t buy one, build one! The bold decision to make a homegrown wagon paid of very well. The hatch looks even better than the original build. To make this car even more special, a set of unreleased features from the coming 2012 model was installed. Read all about it in the Saab Cars Magazine #5!
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