From our friend Mioh I’ve recived this great pictures and report from CabrioChallenge 2015, and this years adventure went from Vetlanda to Västervik. Enjoy!
This years Saab CabrioChallenge took place in a brilliant sunshine in darkest Småland, Saturdag, August 15th. This event has been arranged annually since 2008, and this years attracted a large number of cheerful and pleasant Saab enthusiasts from Sweeden, Norway, UK and Australia. The event had a soft start on Friday night at Wallby Säteri in Vetlanda with a snack and a dinner, for those who were there the day before the start.
On Saturday morning we all were gathered at Wallby Säteri. After a welcome greeting and the distribution of the roadbook the roofless Saabs roll in to the forests of Småland. On the roads through Småland against Västervik and the sea in east we passed trees, churches, lakes, trees, ice cream shops and several well-known places from Astrid Lindgren’s World. At noon we came to Frödinge dairy, and here we take a light lunch on the grass in best picnic style. After lunch we drove through Smålands tree dense landscape to the spot for the now obligatory group photo. Our final destination for the day was Västervik, where it was arranged a “Sportcar Day” this weekend. Saturday evenings activity at this event was a motorcade through cental Västervik and out to Gränsö Castle. Of course our sporty Saabs was attending in this motorcade, together with other sporty cars such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Koenigsegg, Porsche and others. When the motorcade was finished we went to our hotel, where a fancy dinner was ready for us. Here we enjoyed the entire evening of great food and a nice atmosphere in true Saab spirit.
Tuesday it was time to head for Loen to meet the “real” IntSaab participants. After a late night on Monday, it was nice to have a day with a shorter distance – to Loen was it about one and a half hour to drive. We arrived to Stryn, and after a quick wash we roll into Loen. As a local – I have driven through Loen hundreds, maybe thousands of times – I thought it should be easy to find the site for the event. First we drive trough the city on the main road, then through the city on a smaller road, but nothing that could look like a place for a Saab-convention. OK, we where early but to not see anything I thought seems little fishy. So after a little phone-call, we found it, at the combined school and community center, the exit from the main road was about 50 meter after where we choose the smaller road back to the city… All those times I had driven by the exit from the main road, I’d always thought that area belong to the nearby camping site. :p So this was todays lesson, I learn a new thing every day!
Monday was the big day for the Swedish guys, one of the biggest highlights for every tourist in Norway – Trollstigen. The journey through the eleven famous hairpin bends that takes you up to 850 meter over sea at the roads highest point. This road is one of Norways biggest tourist attractions, in 2014 approximately 850 000 people visited Trollstigen. But we had to drive a few hours before we get there. To get to Trollstigen we decided to go via Stryn and Geiranger, and in that way we got the chance to visit another spectacular place. Some of you maybe remember the picture I shoot of my “new” 9-5 about a month ago, and to my big surprise was the lake now ice free, and not much snow left in that area. But we headed forward on that road, an afer a few kilometers we came to our first target of the day, the road up to Dalsnibba. Dalsnibba is a viewing point 1500 meter over sea level and has a great view down to the more famous village Geiranger. From Dalsnibba and down to Geiranger it is approximately 21 kilometer if you follow the road, and since Geiranger is at sea level we climb in an average of ~7%, but in reality it is much steeper because there is parts of the road that is pretty flat also. Up to Dalsnibba we had to pay 110 NOK since is it a toll road, the road it is not a part of the public road system, it is just open during the spring/summer and the only purpose is to bring tourists up to enjoy the great view. We also stopped at Flydalsjuvet, to get the classical Gerianger-view. If you ever have seen a advertisement from “Visit Norway”, the chance is pretty big you have seen that view.
Luckily we was at the Dalsnibba early, on the way down to Geiranger we met about 10 buses with passengers from the cruise ship you see in the picture, so I guess there was pretty full up there when all that people arrived. Down in Geiranger there was as usual heavy traffic and much people running around, that was not the place to be if you are afraid for your car… We had only a short stop in Geiranger, so we continued our journey up Ørnevegen with the famous Ørnesvingen, another road with nine hairpin bends. That road is road you see in the background on the pictures with view over Geiranger. This area has for sure many main-roads with hairpin bends, if I have counted right we travel 5 distances this day with spectacular hairpin bends. So if you have a thing for this type of roads, I can highly recommend you to go from Stryn, up to Langvatn and take road 63 via Geiranger – Eidsdal – Trollstigen and you will end up near Åndalsnes. We came just in time to Eidsdal for the ferry departure over the fjord, if we had missed it it hadn’t been the worse thing since there was two ferrys shuttling over the fjord, but for a native it always is a good feeling and maybe almost a sport to wait as little as possible for the ferry 😉
So, after a quick dinner and some tart since one of my travel companions had his birthday, we were off to Trollstigen. Since we came from the “Geiranger-side” we was already at the top, so we stopped at the visitor center for a quick walk to the viewing point in the mountain side. The two pictures above is taken from that viewing point, and as you can see you have a first class view to the traffic up and down Trollstigen. As you can this is not a motorway exactly, the road varies from 4-6 meters wide. So when two buses, motorhomes or cars with caravans meet in heavy traffic, it is quite interesting to see how drivers behave. Call me wired, but I can look at this for a quite long time… So we drive Trollstigen a few times, while we wait for some company. A other Norwegian with a Hirsch-equipped 2011 2.0T Aero (9-5 of course, but I guess you already had guessed that) got scent of that we was in the area (OK, he had heard some rumors on Facebook), and of course we want to take a look at his car and shoot some pictures! So after admiring each others cars and a trip down Trollstigen, all three cars drove in a convoy to Ålesund quite satisfied.
In the beginning of August IntSaab 2015 took place, and this time it was Norway and the club for classic Saabs in Norway “Gammal Saabens Venner” (GSV) that host the event. For those of you that has attended on a IntSaab event you know that usually the event starts with different pre-tours, most common is to have pre-tours from different border-crossings to the country that go to the place where the event is located. Then the main event is arranged during the weekend, most often the second weekend in August. This year the committee from GSV wanted to do something different, they want to show people what a beautiful country Norway is, so they decided to put together a “rolling” IntSaab.
The plan was to start in Bergen, but with no traditional pre-tours. There was organized pre-tours from Kristiansand and Kongsberg to Bergen, but compared to earlier years this was a pure transport distance. From Bergen there was put together a program with different daily stages based on how long distanced and how much/what you wanted to see, but still with time for be a tourist and having a good time with the other that attended on the tour. The first day the program said driving from Bergen to Flåm, second day from Flåm to Skjolden, third day from Skjolden to Loen. Fourth day was a restday in Loen, before the fifth day from Loen to Åndalsnes, via the famous Trollstigen. From Åndalsnes there was arranged a post-tour all way to Trollhättan for those who wanted to drive in company out of Norway. Now you all probably think this is a giant event to admin, book accommodations and so on. But with so many people on tour and so many preferences and budgets for the accommodation it was up to each individual to book accommodation, the organizers provided a list over possible sites to stay overnight at – with all from tenting via cabins to hotels. And there for sure was the whole specter, I saw those who slept in their cars (not so bad as it sounds like, just look under what you can do if you own a 96!), those who had a Topola on their Saab, those tho bring a tent, caravan or a combicamp, and those who chose to stay in a cabin or at a hotel.
But I must admit, I was a bit skeptical about this since I’ve grown up on the West Coast of Norway, and know what weather we have during the summer (a lot of rain), and I thought that maybe would be some problems with the logistic … But I must said right now, I was wrong about this. What I have heard and observed, there was only happy faces! Of course I guess there was some minor problems, but as long as things gets solved people are happy…
As I mentioned I was a bit skeptical about this, and when I personally don’t are a big fan of camping in a tent (especially if there is rain in the air) and had seen all the places before I was not so very tagged about this. Some Swedish friends had also plans to attend, but was not so super-enthusiastic about the IntSaab route. There was also some issues with the time-frame, it look like we don’t could make Trollstigen because lack of time. So we decided to take a different route with some longer daily stages, so I met the guys in Bergen Friday evening in their 2011 9-5 2.0T before we at Saturday morning drove up the cost on small country-roads to the Ålesund-area where we had our base for the next days. The only plan we had was to go to Geiranger and Trollstigen, and catch up with the rest of the IntSaab people in Loen Tuesday and their rest-day Wednesday.
So after checking the forecast (important stuff i Norway) Saturday evening we decided to wait with the Trollstigen trip until Monday because bad weather in the area Sunday. So what to do Sunday? I had a plan, and that was to go to Vestkapp, 496 meter over sea-level, the most westerly mountain plateau in Norway. The weather in this area can change extremely fast, but just this day it was truly amazing with sun and almost so wind, so if you like us go there a clear day with no fog you get a magnificent view. (Panorama view over) After been up to the viewing point we go to the surfer paradise Hoddevik, famous for just surfers, and scenery for some advertises for one of the other Swedish based car-brand, you know the things from Torslanda. This day we also got some great company, a friend of mine that also have several Saabs – and this day he and his family took the 2011 9-5 TiD 160 out for a spin, so we were three 2011 9-5’s in a convoy. 🙂 I can tell you, new 9-5 is not a common car in Norway, and especially not if there come three in a row… When first car passed people, you could notice that people turn around, and when car two and three passed people turned completely with a expression that is unbelievable… In Hoddevika it was time for some food, and after finally we find a place it was possible to park and fire up the grill, it was time for some sausages and meat. We sat in the shore with a beautiful view, and after everyone were well satisfied we headed back home via inspiring roads, if you ask me nothing that stood back for the roads we was going to drive the next day…
We get from time to time some invites and tips on different Saab-events in our crew mailbox. We will try our very best to put them in the event-calendar, but to make this easy and with correct info, we need the info in English. What we need is basically WHAT it is, WHERE it is and WHO is organizing the event. If you write a few words ABOUT the event and if it COST something is also a good thing. This info I may ask you to send in English, so everybody here at SU can read it. If you have a link to a event-site (local forum or Facebook-event) or a flyer for the event this can be in a foreign language, and interested can use for example Google Translate if their not fluent with the local language.
But keep up sending us tips, and check the event calendar – maybe there will be a meeting in your area! I’m sure there will be a lot of nice Saab-events in the coming mounts! 🙂
Quite a while since last SOTW, but earlier this week we got a few pics of this beauty in the crew mailbox. Like it or hate it – it is great that someone wants to stand out and try a different color! Thanks for sharing Dave, and to you other, send us a picture of your car and a few words, an maybe YOURS car is featured next time!
Good day Saab fans,
I would like to share my new Saab 9-3 with you guys.
My name is Dave from the Netherlands. My mom and dad have a Saab car company (www.autobedrijfvandongen.nl). I often go to the company, I have been doing this since I was born. And the Saab virus has got me haha. After a long time when I was finally 18 years old, a special 9-3 2000 “Viggen White” was ready to ride after a lot of work (picture will follow in this post). I was always in love with the new generation 9-3, but when I saw the 9-3 in the orange color on Saabsunited, I knew enough that I also want something like that. After a few months we got a perfect 9-3 to make this possible .
About 4 months ago I have bought a 9-3 2.0T (2008) with my father to make something special that we both wanted.
Then there were a few questions:
Which Color? Which Wheels? Which Options?
There were a few colors that we maybe wanted like: Orange, Green, Polar Blue, Yellow or White. After a long discussion and consideration we have picked the color Lamborghini Green. Because it’s a special color, we made many black accents like the roof, mirrors, fog lights and the grill. I also ride a Kawasaki dirt bike, which is also green haha.
We wanted to keep original Saab wheels and because I liked the Independence Edition Wheels it was an easy choice. And off course 19” :D.
Then the question which options. Because you got so many different options, it was hard to choose. I liked the NEVS bumper very because the new fog lights. And with of course the Hirsch grille, what a beautiful grill :D. Then I saw a leather Hirsch dashboard and thought I must have that too. Also we have chosen a TurboX rear spoiler.
After 4 months of hard work with my dad this is the final result! The White 9-3 Cabrio is the car of my mom, and I also got the 2000 9-3 “Viggen style” in white.
I am so happy with the result and will ride my Saab with a smile, every single day. And maybe you will see me at the Saab festival in 2016 with this green monster :). Unfortunately I couldn’t join this year.
Hope you liked this post 🙂 And the engine tuning will come in the future if you ask.
As I promised you a couple of weeks ago, I have a clip of the Saab-peoples way to honour Erik Carlsson. Not one minute silence – we do it the Saab-way and honour Erik with three minutes of two stroke music.
I want share a story and some pictures with you. Since I have vented the interest for my old Saab some people had wondered what I’m up to, here is the answer…
Five years ago I bought a M04 9-5 Aero sedan (actually I got it just in time for Saab festival 2010), and thought I was going to have this car for 3 to 5 years, and by then trade it in for a newer, but a used Saab. The original plan that came to me after a year or so was to buy the new 9-3, that from rumours was going to be about M98-M09(M10 SC) 9-5 in size, and my hope was of course that Saab decided to do a 3 door variant. I was at this time not considering the new 9-5, because of its size and a preview during the winter there I didn’t like the interior – or more specific the quality of it. But the time went on, and the 9-5 was growing on me at the same time a new 9-3 getting longer away from production. At this time we have summer 2012, and at this time ANA Trollhättan had a lot of used Saabs, so one day I decided to drop by them. I was not looking for anything special, but a test drive in a 9-5 was “the mission”, since I only had tested the 2.0 TiD 160hp at this time. So after a talk with one of the salespersons, he said he had the right car for me. That was a 2011 220hp 2.0T BioPower XWD, and I took it out for a spin. As some of you guys know I have a thing for red cars, so it wasn’t bad at all that the colour was just laser red! I took it from ANA and headed down to Grästorp and back to Trollhättan before I drive through the ciry centre on the way back to ANA. I was a bit disappointed when I parked the car at ANA, for the first I thought the 220hp engine didn’t had enough power in combination with the XWD, and the standard comfort seats in textile/leather didn’t suit me at all, the seats was far to flat so my legs didn’t have the support I wanted.
So after this I change my plans a bit and start searching for a M08-> 9-3 SC – 2.8T Aero or a TurboX. 2.8T because I know the 2.0T wasn’t a alternative for me, but it was hard to find a car that meet my requirements for equipment and colour. So in spring 2014 I still drove my 9-5 Aero, and was still searching for a suitable 9-3. But during summer 2014 a friend with a 2010 9-5 Aero XWD introduced me to the 260hp software update from Hirsch, and that can I tell you – it is a HUGE difference from the standard 220hp program. Suddenly the 9-5 was the hottest candidate to a new car, and I start the search for a suitable car. But what about the car from ANA? A few weeks later from I had my test drive it was sold to a local man in Trollhättan, and every-time I saw that car later I sent it admiring glances, and from time to time took a picture… So it was decided, I was now official looking for a new 9-5 Aero, 2.0T BioPower in laser-red. Unfortunately isn’t laser-red the most common colour for 9-5, so we wrote December before a car came up for sale. This was a FWD that not have so mush extra equipment over standard, but I decided to give it a chance. Unfortunately was the seller that was a dealer with just used cars not serious at all, he didn’t pick up the phone or answer my emails. So after a short time that car was sold, so I continued my search. So after a few weeks a red Linear came up for sale, but that was not a alternative – so in March this year I found a new red 9-5, this time a Vector. But there is something that says “history repeats itself”, and that was what happen this time. Got respond on my first email, after that it was silent on mail and phone… The car was removed from the classifieds after a short while, but it is still registered to the same owner as it was – and on the used car dealers website it’s still out for sale, they even adjusted the price a few weeks ago… 😉
But at the same time there came a other red 9-5 up for sale – and this time it was “my” car, or more correct the car I test drove. OK, it was not a Aero, but it had the Hirsch software upgrade and was great equipped with a “Active” package and some extras over that as HUD, lane departure warning (LDW), Traffic Sign Reading (TSR), key-less go and Bluetooth. So after some emails with the seller (that was absolutely a serious seller) I decided to go for it. Got a friend of me in Trollhättan-area to inspect the car since I live in Norway, and to make a long story short it ended up with that I make a agreement to buy the car. So last Friday I travel to Trollhättan by plane and train to pick up the car and close the deal, and that was for sure a great feeling! The only thing what is better then a used Saab is a new Saab, and since the things are as it is a the moment we have to manage ourself with the used ones… My new Saab is a two owner Saab, ANA Trollhättan had it first as a company-car for one of their employees, and the second owner was the man I bought it from. So this one is absolute a Sab that can be called a Trollhättan-Saab! So this weekend I drove about 11-1200km in my new Saab, and the only thing that disappoint me is the “comfort”-seats. That was something I know about, and one of the most important upgrades will be to get the sport-seats that Aero have as standard fitted. On the other side was as I already mentioned the Hirsch program something that impress me, the car itself is also handling like a Saab. It feels secure and it handels very well both on minor roads and on the highway. At this moment I’m not allowed to drive it since it not registered in Norway, I have to wait for a time at the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, so they can approve the car for Norwegian roads. Then I’m “allowed” to pay duty for it, and when that is OK I can go back to the Norwegian Public Roads Administration to collect my plates.
Further plans for the car is to add some Hirsch details, and the front and seats from Aero. Maybe will there be something more later, but time will show. Finally, some pictures from Trollhättan, and the way back home. As you see we stil have snow in Norway!
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