A Saab Short Film and a Long Story

Sabotage, french sounding for “Saab otage” or Saab hostage is a short film that has been travelling to festivals for almost two years now. The idea for this film came to me while I was swapping pieces from a scrap 900 I bought to the one I was driving. Looking at the two cars, I realized they where so similar that I began reflecting on the duality of the material world. Little I knew that the duality would catch me for real sometime later.

As of living in Montréal, it is a common practice to store away your convertible for winter, as I did after shooting my film. The main reason is to keep rust away. Only this time, I would never had the chance to take the beauty out again. In the spring of 2014, my Saab got vandalized by strangers, ruining all the work I had done in the fall just before shooting my film. The car was a wreck and had to go for pieces. In essence, it was a Sabotage. Since this date, I haven’t owned another Saab and don’t know if I will ever have the chance to, but at least, I will always have these images of my 900 to look at. Just a glance at this car gives me the shivers, as if feeling the sensation of driving one.

Today, my little film Sabotage becomes public, where it really belongs because sharing what we love helps to relieve our pain. I wish you all the best and for those of you who still drive 900’s I say thank you because seeing one makes me grin like no other car. Meanwhile, I have the thinking on the idea of making a Saab documentary.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvOJiETXWXI&feature=youtu.be

 

500.000 viewers of my Saab films

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You might be one of that half-a-million viewers who has found me on YouTube as Trued1, could be a pleasant change after having seen Tim´s BMW posting.

https://www.youtube.com/user/trued1

YouTube is something of the best of internet. So easy to upload movies and clips and instant the whole world can see it. I have been uploading mostly Saab related movies for the last 5 years now. A few weeks ago I passed the half million viewer marker. For me it feels goofd to have pleased, so many Saab fans around the world. There has been movies of the struggle of building historic 99 Turbo Rally cars, one of then that Vladimir Antonov drove in The rally to the midnight sun. Other movies has been interviews with notable Saab personalities, guided tours of the Saab Car Museum as well as the Swedish AirForce Museum in Linköping. Tests of Saabs, various Saab meetings and conventions. Well just about anything involving Saab and the culture surrounding it.

http://youtu.be/WpTc3UszxCM

The mostly viewed clip is when I pass a Saab 9-5 NG Police car (one of the test cars that Saab/ANA Trollhättan built for the National Police Board RPS). It is not one of the most technical advanced movies I have shot but it is unique. It was filmed from inside a Volvo C70 Convertible, yes You read it right, but I just drove it down to Kungälv south of Trollhättan to trade it in for the guy who bought my TurboX. I then traded in his Volvo for a 9-5NG AERO 2010 that used to be owned by Saab Automobile.

Other well viewed clips is various how-to-do stuff and products like the electrical harness providing MP3 connectivity to older Saab Stereo Systems. That boosted the sales for that company I can tell. Videos have great impact.

http://youtu.be/dEA_8A9TBGM

In the sequence above from SONY Corporation make sure to adjust the resolution to MAX to see what the future looks like in terms if resolution and definition

SaabUnited can now through me and the cameras I have take on virtually any advanced movie production. Not only professional SONY 24megapixel SLT cameras but also a handful of GoPro and the new Garmin Virb Elite HD with great GPS features. Next step is of course 4K and so far I can do 2160p with my Sony Z2. Hopefully there will be a full out 4K camera system in the near future if the economy allows. Everything for our international audience. 4K is possible to watch on YouTube of You have a computer screen that can show it. I was surprised that my iMac 27″ screens from 2009 can handle 4K. Anyone willing to support my 4K efforts at SaabsUnited are welcome. We have an obligation at SaabsUnited to document not only in writing and in news postings but just as well filming and interviewing significant events, people, cars etc. We at SU Crew has talked about a BIG project documenting Saabs history with modern technologies. We will most probably need support from our readers/viewers, but more on that later.

 

Lightness and Aerodynamics – Saabs Future?

Skärmavbild 2014-06-05 kl. 18.48.28

With the last news coming to our ears in the recent days what I write below is something anyone making cars in Trollhättan in the future should consider not once but twice.

Weight-loss as a method to increase performance in the daily life is known to most of us with a few or more centimeters around the belly or thighs. The same goes for our cars. I was inspired to write this post after having seen the new FORD Lightweight Concept Car in american motor press. It is amazing what can be done today with new production techniques and new materials. Who would have thought about hollow springs or aluminium brake calipers, carbon fiber in seats and wheels. Carbon fiber wheels will finally make them lightweight. Unsprung weight is also good for the chassis performance.

Here is my bold idea for Saab Cars. Hold on to the chairs now boys and girls. Saab´s heritage IS aerospace it is just a fact and right after the second world war soon 70 years ago Saab embarked on a path of making cars with aerospace technology, and brave new concepts like front wheel drive, aerodynamic design by Sixten Sason and others, even if Gunnar Ljungström Chief engineer told me he was not satisfied with the front wheel houses as he called massive air brakes. Various safety concept Saab also pioneered like standard issue seat belts and dual circuit brake systems. Just like in airplanes redundant systems.

The Saab of the future should be constructed with lightweight constructions in focus, just like airplanes, that would bring back the “core” to the brand. Add to that class leading aerodynamics and a for the pilot/driver optimized workplace/cockpit. That environment must be free from “modern” styling cues that seams to be ordered from most of the automotive worlds marketing departments instead of the human factors man machine interaction engineers/psychologists. My professional recipe for this is to look back to the 9000 model some 30 years ago now. Time flies folks but good design does not. Get rid of everything that is shiny and blinds. As an owner of a 9-5 NG Aero I curse the silver chrome ring around the Color Central Instrument and the piece of shiny metal over the colvebox/compartment. I just realize I start to spin in my own area of expertise. This posting is primarily on weight and new materials.

So to conclude this and how Saab Cars could attract the small minority of prospective Saab buyers is to stand out and be truly unique. The majority of car buyers would not even consider a SAAB but that is fine because there are enough buyers with an acquired taste for the unique and special.

– Build the next SAAB from bottom up in lightweight material aluminum and carbon fiber. Lower displacement engine and BHP but with the same driving experience

Skärmavbild 2014-06-11 kl. 10.04.15

– Make the car beat the current class leading car in terms of aerodynamic drag, the Opel Calibra with a Drag Coefficient (Cd) 0,26 number, if Opel could do it 25 years ago what could not be achieved today with better computers for design and fluid dynamics calculations.

– Ride (fly) on the aircraft heritage and set Saab apart from other manufacturers as an engineering driven company. name some of the top-of-the-line cars with distinctive names of famous SAAB planes just like the halo-Model VIGGEN some 15 years ago. A name is so much better for understanding and memorization for most people compared to a silly 9-5 or 9-3..

– Saab is not and will never be for the faint-hearted, put the brand in the same “category” as Alfa Romeo and Citroen. Swedish avant-garde. In this work do not hesitate to look back at old designs that never made it into production from Saabs DesignCenter. Make the Swedish touch from people who lives and breath the clean air here on the top of Europe. Talk to Eduard Gray, Björn Envall, Ola Granlund, Einar Hareide…..(Old Saab designers)  Build competent focus groups. SaabsUnited with our extensive international network must be valuable in this work. Our network of dealers, buyers, drivers, enthusiast, and collectors is G R E A T!

DSC_0479

Above is a drawing by Björn Envall, it is close t 20 years ago he did this but it encapsulate so much that is SAAB, new thinking, bright colors, extreme aerodynamics, low slung, and above all convertible.

DSC_0480 kopia

And here is something family oriented. With this post I just want to energize the whole Saab  community do not let the recent negativism let You down there will be a summer with bright light and blinding colors.

SAAB Art And Passion

Over the weekend there was a nice meet of SAAB enthusiasts at Suchomel Auto. If you recall, back in January we had a post of where some of the auction vehicles had ended up and were introduced to Suchomel Auto who had purchased six of these cars including if I recall correctly Victor’s 9-5.

The meeting this past weekend brought a lot of enthusiasts together where they enjoyed each others company and were able to celebrate the 60th birthday of the General Manager Zdenek Suchomel.

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I found out about this event from an old friend of ours here Marek Maest who is an incredible artist and profiled on SAABSUNITED in the past. I am fortunate enough to have a black on black TurboX on my wall at home which was masterfully painted by him and he was nice enough to share the step by step process of that painting with all of us here. Marek describes Zdenek Suchomel as a legend in the SAAB community which is much like I feel of Marek and his body of work.

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The realism in this body of work continues to blow me away. The Sonnett in particular with all the shine points looking as if it will just drive off the canvas. The event also had an auction where some of the paintings were sold through a bidding process. Some of the other paintings that were on display are listed below as well as some photos from the event itself. He has never asked for me to send anyone his way but if anyone would like to get in touch with Marek for a painting of your own, feel free to email him at [email protected] for a quote. Next on the list for the this group of SAAB fans is their annual SAAB Sessions where Marek will once again be setup with his live painting on site and I look forward to seeing all the photos and paintings from Slovakia.

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More photos from this event can be found here and if you are on Facebook, feel free to look at the public album of Marek’s here or look through his many other albums and paintings.

Marek Maest-Step By Step Masterpiece

For most Saab fans, little compares to the joy you get when you are expecting a gift for your car or something for yourself that has anything to do with Saab. This past week for most was one they would sooner forget. So for myself to receive one of the nicest gifts ever, it reminded me of the people that make Saab what it is to me and made me feel very fortunate.

Back in December I wrote about an artist that caught my eye because his work was simply too good to only be known by the Slovakia Saab Club. The artist was Marek Maest and through the post we have connected and he continues to amaze me.

This past week while being glued to the media of the day, a pleasant surprise showed up to my door that was a great distraction. A few months back Marek had asked me what my favourite Saab was saying he wanted to possibly do a little piece for me. As most may guess I told him the Turbo X. Fast forward a few more months and I saw him post the following pictures to his facebook page which quickly caught my interest when looking at the first one. So on Wednesday this past week, my wife told me a big box had shown up for me and told me the return address and I couldn’t wait to come home.

Below is the step by step process of this painting provided by Marek. Not sure what my wife thinks about it but the painting now is sitting by my night table in my bedroom, it helps to keep me dreaming.

Marek Maest-1 Marek Maest-2

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Saab is Still Hot

Proving once again that Saabs will always be prep icons, Vampire Weekend’s first single Diane Young from their highly anticipated new album Modern Vampires of the City recently dropped, and features two 80s Saabs that are literally on fire. While some may find it sad and distasteful to waste such great cars (and I’ll admit I’m in that camp), I’d hope that their artistic death may actually reach a younger generation of car fans who can appreciate how freaking beautiful they are. Ah, who am I kidding? I’m reaching for an excuse because I like the band, I’m still sore that they killed them. Still, I don’t think it deserves the fanatic ranting its received on social media. My hope is that the outrage prompts them to do something awesome with other Saabs in the future. I’m not sure yet if the video is about someone who actually torched the lead singer’s car (see the lyrics), or if its a metaphor to Sweden killing Saab, but at the very least it proves Saabs are still relevant. In any event, a lot more cars die for far worse causes than a good band’s music.

Filmed in Brooklyn looking towards the Williamsburg and Brooklyn bridges towards Lower Manhattan, the video is a good reminder that the New York Auto Show is this week. I’ll be there with Jason Castriota for an SU exclusive interview with much more insight into what was to come for the 9-3. If you’re a Vampire Weekend fan, click past the break for their other new single, Step.

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Saab Art That Is Simply Amazing-Marek Maest

Yesterday I was looking through Facebook a little and came across a painter by the name of Marek Maest. Marek had shared some Saab paintings he had done with us in email on Facebook. I don’t check Facebook email for SU very often, but man was I glad I did.

Marek specializes in equestrian and pet paintings/portraits and cars.He is a Saab fan and you can see it in his work. Saab is not the only cars he has painted and has even done so work for Mercedes but for some reason, his Saab paintings are to me the best. You can see his public album on Facebook here. Truly amazing work and I am glad I came across it. I have spent some of today speaking back and forth with him and he is a great guy with unimaginable talents.

      

As you can see, the quality of work is some of the very best examples around. They are also all one of a kind oil paintings and most were paintings requested by clients from the Saab Club in Slovakia.

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