A new low flying Saab…

DSC00571In the days before the festival I was walking around in Trollhättan, and on one of my trips to the popular Spikön in the central Trollhättan, in the middle of the channel I saw some interesting. The city of Trollhättan has during the last years done a great job to make Spikön a nice place to be. A refurbished marina for leisure boats with new service facilities replaced the old marina, and where the service facilities was built there was a outdoor restaurant earlier. Next to the new marina has they built a new playground for the kids, and this was the thing that make me pay attention. Inside the building fences I saw something I recognize immediately – something with a Saab-grille. Later I found out that the playground  had a grand opening a few days after, on Saturday 6th of June – the same weekend as the Saab-festival. The day after my first visit I visited Spikön again, this time while there was people working there. I get a better look of the ting with a Saab-grille, and that was a hybrid between a car and a plane!

So this weekend did I visit Trollhättan again, just over the night (more about that visit later!), and I went over to Spikön for a closer look at this hybrid. The thing was a plane with a cabin and front inspired from a Saab 96, and it was placed in front of a hangar named “Flygmotor” after the old company “Nohab Flygmotor” (Nohab Aircraft Engine) I belive. Nohab was a company that mainly produced steam locomotives and diesel electric locomotives, but water turbines and Aircraft Engines was some of the other products. The Aircraft Engine was later sold to Volvo and get the name Volvo Aero, and after about 60 years Volvo sold it to the GKN-group. The GKN factory is the neighbour to the Saab-factory at Stallbacka. Another Saab-Nohab link is that in the Nohab buildings (that now is named the Innovatum area), is the Saab Car Museum located, and it is actually located in one of the old Nohab workshops.

So the fact that kids in Trollhättan get used to Saab in early age is well known, and this is one more thing that prove that!
And if you visit Trollhättan, I highly recommend a walk to Spikön if you have time over for that. If you live in the city center of Trollhättan it takes approximatelya half an hour to go around Spikön from the hotels and back. And are you are a little too old to use the playground, you can always play some mini-golf in the evenings, eat some ice-cream or just enjoy the silence and a nice view over the channel!

Saabfestival 2015: In memory of Erik Carlsson

Mille Miglia 189, Erik and codriver Torsten Åman. Photocredit: Saab
Mille Miglia 1989, Erik and co-driver Torsten Åman. Photo credit: Saab

As the most of you know, we got the sad message on Wednesday 27th of May that Erik Carlsson had driven his last mile. Erik is the true “Mr. Saab”, and in all respect for other that do and have done a great job for Saab, Erik is probably is the greatest. Erik promoted Saab very well in the years he was challenging with a Saab, and maybe even better after he started working with public relations for Saab (at that time I’m not sure “public relations” was a position – but that was what Erik do). I had the honour to meet Erik a few times, and two things impressed me very much. The one thing was how patient he was, everybody that wanted a autograph or a picture together with Erik get it – the other thing was a remarkable memory regarding people he had meet earlier. It was like “where are you from” the first time we met, “you was from Norway, right” the second time, and after that like “how is it going in Norway”….

At the Saab-festival 2015 in Trollhättan last month, there was a ceremony commemorating Erik Carlsson. Instead of a a moment of silence, there was a few two-stoke Saabs that was started up to honour Erik. Later, Peter Bäckström from the Saab Car Museum had Gunnar Palm, one of Eriks co-drivers, at the stage and shared some memories from his time with Erik. I captured this with my pocket camera without a tripod, so I’m sorry for the motions – it was a bit difficult to hold the camera in the exact same position over my head for half an hour or so… 😉 I also have a clip of the two-stokes, that I will share with you later. But here is Gunnar and Peter with some great stories – ENJOY. (English language)

Rest in peace Erik, you will never be forgotten.

edit: I got some reports that there was some problems with the sound on the YouTube-clip, that is now fixed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Af4e3ddQQHw

Press Release: Nevs celebrates ground breaking ceremony for Production and R&D in Tianjin, China

Kai-Johan-Jiang-Tianjin20150628
Nevs’ Chairman Kai Johan Jiang at the ground breaking ceremony in Tianjin June 28 // Photo-credit: Nevs

Like the news from last Wednesday said, Nevs celebrated the ground breaking yesterday in Tianjin, China, There will they build facilitates for production and R&D,  with a capacity for 200 000 units/year.

Chairman Kai Johan Jiang was on site together with president Mattias Bergman, and they even had more news to come with; a new partner. This new partner is Teamsun, a it-company based in Beijing. Together with State Research Information Technology (SRIT), Teamsun and Nevs has registered two new joint ventures, one for production and one for R&D. The investments in the joint venture will be initially 1 billion RMB/CNY (~161 million USD) respectively 200 millions RMB/CNY (~32.2 million USD). At the same time, Nevs announces a agreement with Bank of China that grants Nevs a credit of 10 billion RMB/CNY (~1.61 billion USD) to support Nevs business in China.

So what now? Nevs is as we see on their way back in business, but this is only a small step. There will be many more small (and of course some big) steps before we all can breathe out, and the Stallbacka factory again produce cars again. We can only cross our fingers, if the good news continues as it has done so far this spring I hope it not will be the last positive news we hear from the guys at Nevs this summer!

Read the full press release under the picture!

The ground breaking ceremony in Tianjin June 28 Photo-credit: Nevs
The ground breaking ceremony in Tianjin June 28 // Photo-credit: Nevs

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My pictures from Saabfestival 2015

festival15_bannerIt is now almost a week ago the great festival weekend in Trollhättan, and what a weekend! Many great cars and people as usual, the only thing that could be better is if  the festival could be for a few more days…. 😉

As usual I had a plan to take many photos, and this time was no exception, but things have a tend to go wrong. This time was no exception, there was too many people to talk with or cars to look at so I simply forgot to take so many pictures that I have planed… 😉 This year the cars was sorted by model, the organizers had plans to place 800 exhibition cars inside the area, an I think they reached that number of cars, in the morning there was pretty full at the parking. There was also a lot of cars outside the exhibition area, so there was many Saab-fans at the museum-area this Sunday! At Friday the highlights was the parts outlet at Bildelslagret Trollhättan (former ANA Used Parts dept.) and the seminars at the museum. Nevs also have a open day on Friday, that was pretty interesting and well visited. At Saturday there was a day at the Kinnekulle race track, but the weather was rather bay that day, so many people that not had plans to take the car out on the track spent the day in Trollhättan at the museum-area, and some people (like me) took a trip to a smaller scrapyard a few miles outside Trollhättan before returning to the museum.

Here are some of the pictures I took during the weekend. I’m sorry that I not have posted them earlier this week, but I was not at home before 04.30 Monday morning, and straight on to 4 days travelling at work after a few hours sleep…
But here they are, hope you will enjoy them, and thanks you all for a great weekend – a special thank to the organizers that make this happening possible! =)

Saabfestival 2015 – Official programe

thnThe festival is only one day away, and I already start to see enthusiasts from abroad in the streets of Trollhättan. Just today I have seen Saabers from Denmark, Finland, Norway, Poland and the Netherlands. The weather is also significant better then yesterday as you see in the picture from the Trollhättan channel, and I hope it minimum lasts until Sunday evening! I also hope I see many of you guys during the weekend!

I’m sure many of you have noticed that Saab Car Museum has updated their website with a detailed program (downloadable PDF), with instructions and addresses to the different locations. You will also find some practical info that is good to know in this flyer.
There is also some important info that you have to read and sign if you have plans to take your car out on the Kinnekulle racetrack.

The main page for the Saabfestival is here, with all info you need about the event: EN | SE
Direct link to the PDF with detailed program: EN | SE
Important info if you have plans to drive at Kinnekulle racetrack, please read and sign them before arrival and hand them over to the officials at arrival.

Open day at Nevs in Trollhättan, Friday 5th June

SAAB Factory March 2013As earlier announced Nevs is going to have open day at the Technical Decelopment Center on Friday (June the 5th) this weekend during the Saabfestival, and we got this from Nevs today:

Nevs is going to offer different activities from 10:00 to 16:00, included a guided tour at the lab, there they will show how they develop and verify cars. There will also be info about the electric car by the program director of the electric cars, and the possibility to go with one of Nevs’s professional test drivers on a tour around the factory test track with a 2014 9-3 Aero.

Nevs offers continuously transport from Saab Car Museum and back, starting at 09:45

Program:

10.00/11.00/12.00/13.00/14.00/15.00
Lab-tour. 20min guided tour, introduction to Nevs technical facilities.

10.30/12.30/13.30/14.30/15.30
Seminar, 30 minutes. “From sketch to complete product”

11.30
Nevs future, presentation by Nevs CEO Mattias Bergman

10.00-16.00
Go with the professional test drivers on the factory test track with a 2014 9-3 Aero

Staff from Nevs will be available at the front desk shows you the way to the different activites.

Lunch can be eaten at Resturant Saltes, open 11:00 to 15:00

WHAT: Open day at Nevs, Trollhättan
WHERE: Nevs, Technical gate, Flygfältsvägen, Trollhättan
WHEN: Friday 5th June, 10.00-16:00, First transport from Saab Car Museum, 09:45

Some of us are bigger collector then others…

Many of my friends that drive a Saab often says to me; “Once you have bought one you have two, and so on”. In may cases this is true, I have during the past 10 years owned 2 Saabs at the same time, one enthusiast-car that I only drive during the summer (actually owned my 900T16 for 13 years now), and different cars as a daily-driver during the years, but only one at the time. OK, I must admit – that is not true, at a period of a few months I actually had two daily drivers, I bought daily-driver #2 from my brother who planed to send it to the scrapyard. So I bought the car and fix it so it passed the inspection, and before I had made any plans for it it was sold to another Saab-nut…

But back to the subject – some of us is bigger collector then the rest of us. Many that I know have 3 or 4 Saabs, and some of them over 10…
But I have my doubt if someone beat this guy – he have 247 of them!
As you will se in the video below many of the cars is in a bad shape, and most likely will many of them never come back on the road, but the collection is pretty impressive. I see many Saab-models, from 93 to a 9-5, but mainly is is 96, 99/90 and classic 900’s. The description on YouTube says “The most significant collections of Classic SAABs on the planet. Located in a secret place somewhere on the planet. He’s collection is built on deep love of SAABs” But if I should guess the collection is located somewhere in Finland, based on some registration plates and the amount of Saab 90 in the film. I have never seen so many Saab 90 in one place before! 😉

The clip is about 13 minutes long, and you will see many common and many uncommon Saabs. My highlights from the first time I saw the clip is there three cars:
– about 3:00, 9000 Limo; Not everyday we see a limo based on a 9000. 5 seats in the rear with a TV in the middle row. Guess that was just as unusual in the 80s that it is today… Maybe built at  Uusikaupunki factory?
– about 4:30, 90 Lumikko; A unusual model based on the Saab 90, built by the Finnish Saab dealer Scan-Auto. The 90 was fitted with a Airflow kit and 15″ Aero wheels, all painted in white and they where equipped with sunroof, better audio-system and extra instruments. A small number Lumikko was made by the dealer, but I don’t know if the one in the film is a genuine Lumikko, because the spoiler on the trunk is black, that should be white.
– about 9:00, 99 Finlandia;  A “limo” version based on 5d 99 GLE, 25cm longer then the regular 99. This is the first year (’77) Finlandina, because of  the car has a middle window between the front and rear door. The cars was built at the Saab factory in Uusikaupunki in Finland. The year after (’78) they made the front and rear door 10cm longer each, so the car was 20cm longer then the regular 99. In ’79 and ’80 the Finlandia was based on the 900, and in ’81 the new 900 CD (based on the sedan) came. In total I think they built around 150 cars from ’77-’81, and about 500 900 CD from ’81-’86.

edit: the YouTube video is unfortunately removed by the user who uploaded it.

Time for Saab Festival 2015!

festival15_bannerOn the day today is it just one month until weekend me and many of you have looked forward to the last half year – the Saab Festival 2015 in Trollhättan. As you now have sorted out (or remember) does the festival start Friday 5th of June and end on the afternoon Sunday 7th of June, and will be a weekend full with Saab-activity.

The program for the weekend is well known for those of you that had attended on a Saab festival before, but this year the program Saturday is different from the latest festivals.
But if we start with Friday first; this day will there be activities in and around Saab Car Museum, the exhibition will be open and there will also be Saab-relates seminars. At Trollhättan Art Gallery (about 200m from the museum) there will be premier for the Ronny Lutz (yes, the guy who make the amazing Saab X-ray paintings) exhibition, and some other work he has done. At the evening there is no official program, so that will be a great opportunity to meet new and old friends!

This year Saturday gives us a track day on the program again, this year at Kinnekulle Ring in Götene, about 1h 15min from Trollhättan! (see driving directions below) Take your Saab to Kinnekulle, and you will get the opportunity to test it at the Racetrack. If you don’t have experience in track days, but still want to test there will be a possibility for those that want to drive slower too. The day on the track is organized by Saab Turbo Club of Sweden, with help from the Swedish Saabclub and Club Sonett Sweden. If not the track day tempts you, what about a drive around Kinnekulle-area?
Later, on Saturday evening there will be something to eat in Trollhättan Folkets Park, and I guess there will be some Saab-related talk that evening 😉 This year there will not be possible to buy tickets online, tickets will be to buy at Saab Car Museum.

From the awards ceremony 2013

Sunday is pretty traditional, with activities around Saab Car Museum, like car exhibition with rewards for most beautiful car in different categories, Saab Flea Market, Saab seminars, an the best thing (which apply to all weekend), great company with Saab-people!

For many of you guys the festival isn’t complete without a visit at ANA Used parts dept., and they will also be a part of the festival – I guess they also will have some great deals as usual.

I guess many of you have made arrangements about the accommodations, if you don’t have its about time to do it. I know some of the hotels in Trollhättan are near to full-booked, but there is still hotel-rooms and camping availabe in Trollhättan and area around. If you don’t know where to stay, check out Trollhättans tourist agency to get a overview.

Some practical info, this is a preliminary program as it is today, 5th of May; the latest changes and a detailed program will you find at Saab Car Museums website (här på svenska), or at the official Facebook event

WHAT: Saab Festival 2015
WHEN: 5th-7th June 2015
WHERE: Saab Car Museum, Trollhättan (daytime Saturday; Kinnekulle Ring, Götene)

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