One of our technicians, Liam Telfer, who emigrated from the UK (where he was already a Saab master tech) more than a decade ago has had a number interesting cars since coming to the States, including Saabs. Perhaps enjoying the “American Dream,” some of his vehicles have been quintessentially American. Currently, he is one of the few here who isn’t driving a Saab. His latest dalliance is with a Dodge Challenger! It is certainly a car with much presence, and is much more masculine and handsome than the cartoonish Camaro or ubiquitous and ordinary Mustang. Still, Liam’s choice of car seemed a bit unusual, but in light of Swade’s revelation, perhaps not!
One of the best stories ever recounted to me by a customer was in late 1985 by an owner of 1986 9000T, when the 9000 was new to the American market. He told me how he was on his way from Boston to New York, and somewhere between the Massachusetts border and Hartford, Connecticut, on Interstate 84, he decided to see how fast the 9000 would go. Not a wise decision. Then, as now, I always regarded that stretch of highway as one massive speed trap.
Nevertheless, that is what this customer did. Pedal to the floor in 5th gear, he crested a hill and on the far side, radar gun aimed, was a state trooper. Our customer glanced down at the speedometer at that moment and noted that he was a tad past an indicated 135 mph. The speed limit was 55. Figuring he was doomed, and not wanting to add to the troopers rage, he wound the speed down, pulled safely off the roadway and awaited the trooper’s arrival. His registration and driver’s license were ready.
When the trooper arrived, he was animated. Rather than berating our customer, however, he wanted to know, “What the hell kind of car is that? Do you know how fast you were going?” Our customer then treated the trooper to a roadside walk-around. He explained about the turbocharging, had the trooper sit behind the wheel, peek under the hood, look in the back seat and then in the trunk. The trooper was impressed! So impressed that he let our intrepid customer walk away with nothing but a verbal warning, and an admonishment to never try such a thing again in Connecticut.
I was reminded of that story today when I received this email from an old customer who had taken a 9-5 for a loaner car today, and got himself in a bit of trouble with it.
So I got to check out the 2010 9-5 again as a loaner car, and I was impressed. But this thing is less a car, and more like a projectile on the open interstate, yeesh! I got pulled over twice on Route 3 in New Hampshire yesterday, but managed to talk my way out of a ticket in both cases as they could see the car was new, and not mine. Wow!
It is a really good and solid feeling ride, I must admit, but I want the turbo four, for certain now, because that’s just too much freakin’ power for a dufus like me!
Perhaps I should program the Speed Warning in all our loaner cars.
Today Saab Cars North America issued a release listing their “Top Ten” US dealers for 2010. Those with some math acumen will note a dozen names on the list due to ties, as indicated with a T. What struck me as I looked the list is where these dealers are from. The traditional hotbed of Saab activity in the US has been the northeast, yet only two dealers were from New England. Two dealers from New Jersey, one in Virginia and one from Pennsylvania sounds about right, but none from New York? None from Connecticut, their former headquarters location? The Michigan dealers have been strong since the GM days, so no surprise there.
To me, the big surprise was to see THREE dealers from Ohio. Great job, Ohio! Also, to see a Florida dealer gives me hope that Saab need not be an automotive colloquialism.
And the winners are……
TOP 10 IN THE U.S
Charles River Saab, Watertown, MA
Saab of Troy, Troy, MI
JMK Saab Inc. Springfield, NJ
Saab of North Olmsted, North Olmsted, OH
General Sales Saab, West Chester, PA
Saab of Bedford, Bedford, OH T
Herb Chambers Saab, Boston, MA T
Saab of Tampa, Tampa, Fl
Glassman Saab, Southfield, MI
International Motors Ltd, Falls Church, VA T
Reinertsen Motors, Denville,NJ T
Just Saab Cincinnati, OH
Hi all. Swade here.
I just want to take a moment to welcome Pierre into the SU family. Anyone who’s had anything to do with Swedish Day in Boston, or Charles River Saab, has probably come across Pierre at some stage.
After reading a number of his excellent posts at the CRS blog, I just had to invite him to share his thoughts here on SU when the urge takes him.
Please make him feel welcome.