On a weekend excursion and took a small detour to check on a great old local Saab Dealer!
It was 10 AM on a Saturday morning (September 6th, 2014 to be exact), at the center of a usual quiet weekend in the Santa Clara high-tech office park that was not even disturbed by the newly constructed football stadium. Yes, it was a quiet morning indeed. But, that was about to change: more on that later. The first item on our itinerary was a visit to the European Auto Factory. We observed various models: including 9-3s, 900s and of course the venerable Sonett. After nearly an hour of mingling, the quite air was filled with pistons firing and Turbochargers whistling: the 2014 San Francisco Bay Area Saab Club Meet and Drive was now on the move!
Before the Saab Owners Convention even started I had received an email from Christopher Wiseman from Saab Parts North America asking if it would be alright for Saab Parts to do a post on the event to let everyone know all about it. To say that SPNA were excited about being a part of this event and to meet everyone there would be an understatement. Since the event, I have received a number of emails from Christopher with photos from and today this write up that was done by himself and Jeff Gorenflo. Enjoy, this is a great read.
While checking for what Saab news I could come across this morning, I came across a completion to the almost year and a half bankruptcy process of Saab Cars North America. The article was posted yesterday at 7:58PM and stated that Saab’s US unit gets nod for ch. 11 liquidation.
Some of the important points from the Law360 post are below:
The estate of Saab Cars North America Inc. is expected to have a liquidating trust of about $20 million to use for disbursements that will see administrative, priority and secured claims paid in full, attorneys for the company said in court.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher S. Sontchi said “good lawyering” helped navigate what began as a rancorous case into the home stretch of a seemingly peaceful close.
“This is certainly a much better result than it looked like it would be in the beginning,” Judge Sontchi said from the bench. “I’m happy to sign the [confirmation] order.”
Under the plan, all classes of creditors except those holding unsecured and equity claims are expected to receive a full recovery.
Unsecured creditors owed $77 million are expected to receive anywhere between a 25- to 82-percent recovery depending on the success of certain estate causes of action and whether Saab AB and Saab Parts AB eliminate or substantially reduce each of their intercompany claims against SCNA, according to the disclosure statement.
Equity holders are expected to receive nothing.
Ally Financials claim of 18.5 million will be listed as satisfied after reaching a settlement in May, according to the court records.
Under the settlement agreement, Ally will see about 3.8 million from the sale of vehicles that had been in port with the rest, about 13.6 million going back to the SCNA estate.
I had reached out to Tim Colbeck to ask for his thoughts on yesterdays decision and his response was that “Yesterday was bittersweet, in that it represented the final disposition of SCNA, but also the result was as good as it could have been given the circumstances.”
Yes, this really does seem to be as good as it could get given all the circumstances surrounding it and it feels good to see that a large number of creditors are expected to receive a full recovery. This chapter is nice to finally see come to a close.
[email protected] has come and gone for 2013 and it appears to have been a great success once again. I would really love to attend this event at some point in my life as it really seems to be a place where the community of SAAB comes together to enjoy a weekend together. Whenever this event takes place I am blown away with the stories of enthusiasts helping and sharing with one another. It often looks like a workshop with people showing their cars and working on others. I am reminded of how the first year Jim McGuire went to Carlisle and met Julie Gardner and the amazing story of service like never before.
Not being there myself, I asked my friend Jim McGuire to write about the event and tell the story so I could visualize actually being there with the help of some photos. Jim took it a step further and printed one of my Facebook photos and brought me along. If you know Jim at all, you will know that one thing he is not short on is humor. Here is his take on Carlisle 2013.
Despite the not so great weather for most of the weekend, [email protected] was another great effort by the SAAB community. As always the official event “Imports at Carlisle” was overrun by cars that sport the SAAB name. My “flight” got me to Carlisle around 4:30pm Friday afternoon and to a show field bustling with many cars.
Once the post flight check was complete I turned off the engine and got out of my SportCombi to see Julie Gardner at the registration tent. Right away I braced myself for the traditional hugs and smiles that she openly gives. I also was happy to see her and her mate Jerry. Jerry along with Julie have become very great friends of mine and are just really good people. Once the “catching up” was done I proceeded to make my way around to see what was happening.
Since I had arrived alone and this being only my third year I was expecting to keep it somewhat low key. This thought quickly went away as I walked around. I kept running into people I knew and we shared simple conversations and story after story. I think one of the great things is that not only did the stories revolve around SAAB, but oftentimes it’s about work, trips overseas, kids, raising chickens (you know who you are), favorite beers we have found, all sorts of topics.
Dinner is always fun with cooking your own stuff on the grill. By special request this year I had made a Vegetable Lasagna to share with all who dared. Myself, Julie and Jerry sat enjoyed the feast while my newer friends Jeff and his better half Brittany enjoyed some as a side dish to their wonderful looking steaks fresh off the grill. Jeff is the proud owner of a rather unique car, a 1986 9000Turbo covered in a lovely Edwardian Grey. The story of this car was that it was originally purchased by a rather well known “rocket scientist” with some documents to back it up. This will be a story for another article I imagine.
One of my better Saab friends, Ross Bagwell and I spent a good bit of time talking over his 2004 9-5 Arc. This is a beast which has a 2.3T mill running Maptun stage 4. It has several big modifications such as a ETS intercooler, Genuine Saab Cobra, JT 3″ exhaust and other engine goodies too numerous to list. To better handle the grip on the road it also has several suspension mods such Powerflex bushings, SAS sway bars, MOOG tie rods and sway links He’s owned it since 2006 and it only had 15k miles when he bought it. I can certainly say based on what has been done and what will be done to this car, it will be a Grim Reaper to many unsuspecting threats on the street!
I was missing some of my other Saab friends who were at other important events such as the twins having a soccer game, settling into a new area or a relative’s birthday celebration. I’ll see you guys next year!
As Friday evening settled in we all scattered into our little groups and said goodbye to the first day of the show. From the turnout of Friday, I could tell this was going to be a great show!
Saturday I woke up and crawled out from my little tent to see people already washing cars and getting ready for the show. The weather was forecasted to be sunny and clear but a low base of cloud cover kept us in the shade most of the day.
My earlier thoughts of Saturday going to be a great day were right, it was. There was no shortage of nice cars to be seen as the show grounds got filled. I pulled the Combi into its “spot” on the parking ramp and was flanked with a clean TurboX SportCombi and a Smoke Beige 9-3 Aero. Across from me were 9-5’s for as far as the eye could see, far more than I remember seeing in the past. I’m not saying there were not plenty of 9-3’s, there were just as many! The 9-7x and 9-4x showing was a small scene but still a very proud showing. Viggens, yeah, plenty of those along with a nice scattering of 9000’s
Another highlight of the show was the appearance of Saab Parts North America. SPNA had a nice display booth and in my opinion gave a good showing to let us all know they are here for the long run. Mr. Tim Colbeck and I got to shake hands once again as he remembered me from many other occasions where we’ve met. I believe SPNA is in VERY good hands with Mr. Colbeck at the controls and I’m always thrilled to see him out in the community with us.
People often ask “Which Saab would you want to take home the most?” Damn, that’s a hard question because they all have certain style that makes each one unique. Personally, I like the one I have, my 2006 SC Aero but if I had to choose, it would be Bill and Joanne Clarks 2006 Anniversary Convertible Aero in Electric Blue (#236).
Those who know me well know how close I was to buying a 1990 900 that was being offered there. Oh it was tempting and I had taken money out to do so, but in the end, I know I don’t need yet another toy car. I need a daily driver and this one would not fit the bill as needed but boy it was nice and it ran like a charm. Thanks to the seller for the test drive and the time spent discussing the car!
The vehicle awards were handed out just before dinner time. Some of the classes were pretty easy to predict such as the Sonett and the 9-7x/9-4x which only had a few examples of each. All total we had 251 cars in attendance, not quite the 300 we all had hoped for but not a bad showing. There is always next year! Central Penn Saab Club put on an extreme effort for the show and as always deserves kudos for a job well done! Special thanks as well go out to all of the sponsors of the show. Without your support we could not enjoy a world class event!
Congrats to all who placed in their classes, job well done! However everyone should walk away with the satisfaction of being part of a great community, which to me, is the best prize of all.
Recently we read about NEVS contacting select Saab dealers across Europe. What we hadn’t heard and were immediately being asked about was, what about North America?
Well, I can now tell you that as of Friday morning all US and Canadian dealers who have information on file with SPNA have received the same letter. This had been in the works for a while with European dealers first followed by all of North America and was discussed at NADA last week.
I’m sure this won’t ease everyones worries about wether or not NEVS/SAAB has plans for North America but I can tell you that I have seen the letter and believe that this is yet another good sign to things to come.
We are heading in the right direction and things just keep coming into place.
February 23, 2013 – March 17, 2013
Saab is as I have always said, more than just a car. If you are like me, you may find yourself a little addicted to all things Saab. Personally I find myself constantly searching for Saab news and trying to stay connected to as many people like me as I can all over the world.
We are fortunate enough to be connected through the internet and to be able to reach out to one another when needed and to have friendships that wouldn’t be otherwise possible.
Today I want to touch on an area that is dear to me when it comes to Saab and the people of Saab. That brings me to the people like myself who are still here and willing to help. We have all gotten to know Julie Gardner from Kelly Saab in the comments here and she has proven to me time and time again that she is 100% about helping people and keeping them informed.
I believe that good service is something we all deserve but not what we always get.
On my Facebook account I follow as many Saab Clubs as I find and I came across a post that made me smile. The Saab Club Of SanDiego has a member name Zachary Rehfeld. A while back he had posted a photo of some clips he needed for his 900NG but was having trouble finding. Enter Julie Gardner who seems to follow a lot of the same things as I do. She had commented that she thought they may have some in stock and would check when she got back to work.
So, here is what I saw yesterday when I was thumbing through Facebook with a note saying I got the clips in the mail thank you Julie they work and fit in my 900ng.
Yes this is not a news related post, this is a post that just speaks of the level of commitment of the people involved with Saab. This is what makes me smile when I think of what we are. We are so much more than a car and people like Julie need to be celebrated for what they do. Julie, you rock.