Parking a Saab

If you love Saabs, you cannot just go and buy a new car when it starts to look scruffy. You need to nurse it with care and keep it out of harm’s way if you want it to stay in good shape.

There are many hazards for you and your Saab to get by when you are out driving. One of the worst may be public parking. Parking slots are quite narrow in Sweden. They have been optimized many years ago for small sized European cars. Cars keep growing in size and especially the SUVs fill up the parking spaces to the very limit. This means that you inevitably will get dents in your doors if you’re not very careful. And the car next to you may not be…

One way of keeping your Saab in good condition is to be anal about parking ?. To illustrate this, I have created a number of scenarios. The examples are based on right-hand traffic. The mission is to park your Saab safely and get to the supermarket entrance. Where would you park?

Scenario #1

Scenario #1. Two slots are empty. Slot A is next to two other cars near the supermarket entrance. Slot B is far away in a delimited corner.

This is an obvious choice. Slot A is near the entrance so that’s where all the lazy people park. Lazy people tend to be sloppy. People in a hurry will also choose slot A. People in a hurry tend to be less careful. Both categories of drivers will slam their doors against your Saab and you will end up with dents. In space A you can get dented from both sides. Never park with a car next to you if you can avoid it. Space B is the place to choose! Why?

  • There is no way to get a dented door.
  • The car in front cannot back up and push a tow-bar in your front bumper.
  • You get extra exercise walking to the shop entrance.
  • You can feel relaxed inside the store, knowing your Saab is perfectly safe

Scenario #2

Scenario #2. Two slots are empty. Slot A is next to two other cars near the supermarket entrance. Slot C is far away in a corner with a car in front of the slot.

This one is easy too. A is out of the question for the same reasons as in scenario #1. C is also a good spot. Not as good as B, because the car in front of you can back into your car with a tow-bar. Bad drivers tend to forget that they have something sticking out at the end of the car. In this case, the place in front is already occupied and that car will just drive away. If you are away for a long time, the space may change car and someone may back up……..

Scenario #3

Scenario #3. Two slots are empty. Slot A and D are in opposite corners of a row. E is to the left of a car. D is to the right of a car.

Both D and E are corners spots which is a good thing. If you park as far out as you can in the spot, you may get far away enough from your neighbor to get out of reach. But which one is to prefer? I would choose spot D. It is quite common that there are no passengers. The driver next to you in slot D will exit the car on the left side keeping your Saab safe.

There are hazards in this space as well. The neighbor may have passengers. Someone may park the other way around in parallel with your Saab. And finally, If you park far out, the spot next to you will get very roomy of your neighbor leave before you. The next car may park very close to your side-line and you will end up getting quite close after all. You can never be too sure…..

Scenario #4

Scenario #4. The entire parking lot is empty. A and B are marked in the same places as in scenario #1.

What a beautiful sight! Not a car in an any spot. Surely it would be safe to park in slot A? Never! I have done this many times and I have always been amazed that the second car arriving at the parking lot will park next to me, even if there are hundreds of places to chose from. Don’t ask my why, I have not the slightest clue. Always go for the safest spot which is B.

Scenario #5

Scenario #5. Slot A is empty and all other slots are full. Slot A is next to two badly parked cars which intrude on the empty slot.

Oh, oh, the parking lot is almost entirely full. The cars next to slot A are badly parked. But I could still slip through, could I? Never!

This is the time to know a defeat. It’s not worth the risk. Find another shop or drive to a car park in the vicinity and walk a few extra steps. I would even consider parking between the trees in the corner if the ground is good enough. Never risk your Saab if the stakes are too high.

Things to look out for

  • Very narrow parking slots
  • Dented and scruffy cars
  • Family cars with small children (A responsible driver use child-locks on the back doors, but many don’t)
  • Two-door four seaters, they tend to have very long doors
  • Cars with tow-bars, especially parked in front of you, up-hill

Things to look for

  • Slots where no one can park next to you (preferably not in front or in the rear either)
  • Slots with pillars next to you, blocking the neighbors doors
  • Oversized slots
  • Slots very far away from everyone else
  • Slots in corners

If you don’t care much about parking I hope you still found this post amusing ?. Do you have any advice, please put your thoughts in the comments!

Park safely!

Should old acquaintance be forgot?

The death of Saab as a car brand has taken its toll on Saabs United. Many readers and writers have moved on to other brands. News about Saab is more and more scarce and it is harder to find anything interesting to report about. I have had a quite hectic year and have not written anything in a long time. I’ve had a couple of ideas in mind, but I never realized any of them.

Then something happened, I discovered Saab Cars Magazine and got inspired to write again. I’m not really qualified to do this at all. I am not a very good writer, I do not know many facts about Saab, and I’m a lousy photographer. But I do love the brand and have decided to contribute to Saabs United from time to time.

I miss many of the old writers and stewards of Saabs United. Swade has moved back to Australia and started to work for Brabham Automotive. I don’t know what Tim do these days.

Swade, Tim, Rune, RedJ, Trued and everyone else who used to write for Saabs United, it would be really nice if you occasionally would like to write a line or two again! I think all of us readers would appreciate that a lot. (log-in and comment if you agree)

Like myself, all readers can contribute to Saabs United. Press the contribute button if you have anything to share! That’s what I did a few years back when I wrote my first post about rust proofing. I encourage everyone to do the same.

I would also like to reach out to Claes Johansson at Saab Cars Magazine. Perhaps you would like to contribute to Saabs United? It may raise more international readers for the Saab Car Magazine!

“For auld lang syne”

Robert Burns, Scottish Poet

What defines a Car Enthusiast?

After listening to the podcast to Studio Klassiker Saab-special I got all hooked. I have now almost listened to all of the episodes and they are equally interesting and fun to listen to.

I have never considered myself a car enthusiast, because I have always connected that concept with classic cars. I like Saabs; modern, practical cars which do not break down every now and then. But wait…… Didn’t I buy a car a couple of years ago which just turned 10 years old from a brand which is extinct? A model made in only 11’300 units during less than two years time. A model with scarce availability of parts as well as workshops with knowledge and tools. Who would buy such a car……? Well, an enthusiast, I guess.

In podcast #39 Studio Klassiker discuss how you can show that you are a car enthusiast during Swedish winter. Most enthusiasts keep their cars tucked away in winter storage to keep the cold and salt off the brittle metal of old and precious cars. But if you still want your car to be noticed at the gas station during winter, what would you drive?

A Saab in winter Storage
A Saab in Winter Storage

A number of cars were discussed which still have good handling in winter conditions as well as insulation, rust proofing, heating, etc. The Saab manufactured Cadillac BLS was mentioned as well as Alfa Romeo 159. I do not consider myself very knowledgeable in cars in general, but I could not help myself from thinking, Alfa Romeo 159, wasn’t that the model built on the GM/Fiat/Alfa Premium Platform partly developed in Saabs office in Pixbo? Am I starting to sound like one of those car enthusiasts?

The members of the podcast wondered if all Saabs are or will be enthusiast cars? There are still too many daily drivers around in Sweden, but soon enough… I start thinking about my own NG 9-5 again. NG 9-5s were already at the beginning a rare sight, even more today. When I drive my car to the gas station, people actually look at my car. Some make positive comments, and from time to time, people come up to me to compliment my car. This may happen at the shops, in public parking lots or queues. One time a car drove up next to me and stopped just to say what a great car I have. I guess that’s part of the everyday life of an enthusiast car owner?

And, yes, I drive my enthusiast car during winter. It’s a very good winter car as all Saabs are. I have conserved it with Dinitrol as my previous 9-5. So, it’s not a problem for me to show my role as car enthusiast during winter.

What defines a car enthusiast? I guess the age of the car is not very important. The main thing is that you buy your car mainly with your heart, not your head. A car enthusiast can tolerate heaps of smaller deficiencies for the love of the specific car or brand. I had several semi-rational arguments for buying my last Saab. I could get engine insurance up to 10-years (and I had over two years left). I could drive an environment friendly car with Bio-ethanol until I could afford an electric car, etc., etc. But when it all came down to facts, I just wanted to drive this beautiful last model of Saab no matter what. And who could blame me? At least not another car enthusiast…

So, at the bottom line, am I a car enthusiast? I think one of the common definitions of an enthusiast car is that you don’t use it as a daily driver. The enthusiast car is just for fun. I must admit that my Saab sits tight in the garage since last autumn, but that is all because of Corona. I work from home and we do not need two cars at the moment. So, our second smaller car is quite sufficient to drive my smallest son to school and do the shopping. Still I would not surrender and say that my Saab is an enthusiast car….yet. I will continue to drive it to work until it is not practical anymore or I get hold of a fair replacement with an electric driveline. Maybe then a true enthusiast will buy it and nurse it for the last years until it will be parked forever in car heaven. Time will tell.

Four white Saab 9-5
My “enthusiast car” together with some friends

Studio Klassiker Podcast, Saab-Special

As mentioned in my last post, Saab Cars Magazine is made by the Swedish Magazine Klassiker (Classics) together with the Saab Car Museum. Klassiker has an excellent podcast with focus on cars from the 20th century. From time to time, they diverge from their normal path and discuss both earlier and later cars. In connection with the Saabs Cars Magazine issue #5, Claes Johansson and Joakim Bergqvist from Klassiker met no other than Peter Bäckström, Curator at the Saab Cars Museum.

For those of you who understand Swedish I would strongly like to recommend to listen to Studio Klassiker Saab-special.

Saab-special i Studio Klassiker!

In this episode you will among other things learn more about the custom-made NG 9-5 wagon and why Porsche 911 is a reversed Saab 900 Aero.

Saab Cars Magazine

To my great surprise I found this fantastic magazine in my supermarket just before Christmas!

Saab Cars Magazine issue #5

I feel ashamed that this fantastic piece of literature has slipped past my attention until quite recently. So, in case someone else is equally ignorant, I would like to promote Saab Cars Magazine to you all. There is both a Swedish and an international version available.

Saab Cars Magazine is a cooperation between the Swedish Car Magazine Klassiker (Classics) and the Saab Car Museum. The Magazine is offered both in print and in digital format. You can buy the Magazine in shops in Sweden or order directly from Saab Cars Magazine or from the Saab Museum Webshop. The editor-in-chief is Claes Johansson and he has managed to create a perfect blend of older and newer Saab stories. There is something for both two-strokers and turbo-lovers.

The frontpage of issue #5 shows an NG 9-5 wagon, right? I must admit that I did see this car on the 2019 Saab Car Museum Festival without understanding what it was or the greatness behind it. There was something about it, but I could not pin it down properly at the time. With so much else to see, I moved on without reading the signs.

This is not an “ordinary” NG 9-5 wagon. It is built from an NG 9-5 sedan with donated parts from an Opel Insignia with oceans of work and love. If you can´t buy one, build one! The bold decision to make a homegrown wagon paid of very well. The hatch looks even better than the original build. To make this car even more special, a set of unreleased features from the coming 2012 model was installed. Read all about it in the Saab Cars Magazine #5!

Saab CabrioChallenge 2019 – from the plains to the metropolitan, from sweet to salt, from Skaraborg to Gothenburg…

The 2019 edition Saab CabrioChallenge was driven for the 12th time in a row, and even this year we got a report and great photos from our old friend Mioh! Thanks for sharing this with us! ?
(And yes it’s 2019 edition, the 2020 “Covid-19”-edition were held for a week or so ago)

Saab CabrioChallenge 2019 – from the plains to the metropolitan, from sweet to salt, from Skaraborg to Gothenburg…

The 2019 edition of Saab CabrioChallenge took place 16th-18th of August. This event has been driven annually since 2008 and even this year it attracted a large number of happy and pleasant Saab-enthusiasts. The meeting started lightly on Friday evening på “Lumber & Karle” with a common summerbuffet for those who were in place the day before the start of the rally. Saturday morning we all gathered at breakfast, followed by welcome greeting and distribution of roadbooks. Afterwards the roofless Saabs rolled out for the roads of the pains.
Along the roads for desination Gothenburg/”Nya varvet”/Dockyard hotel we vere passing trees, churches, meadows, tractors, fields, ice cream-shops, waterways and cider manufacturers. After many lovely miles, our final destination Dockyard hotel was reached. In the evening we all gathered in the hotel’s large hall where dinner was served to us. Here we enjoyed the whole evening of good food and a nice atmosphere in a true “Saabanda”. Sunday morning started with a hearty breakfast before checkout. Sundays activity consisted of a visit to the swedish ship Götheborg.

We was all very happy and thanked eachother for a nice weekend and the organizers welcomed us all to the Saab CabrioChallenge 2020! Finding a good starting point, a nice coffee place, a good lunch place, reasonably large dinner and overnight accommodation is not entirely easy. Especially when these should preferably be connected by nice and pleasant roads. So once again, many thanks to the organizers of SCC2019! ?

Click on the thumbnails for full size and text.

Swedish Police Museum

As you may have seen in the last post, me and my family made a road trip through Sweden this summer. One of the stops was Stockholm and the Swedish Police Museum.

The Swedish Police started quite early with Volvos and also a variety of foreign cars. In a small showcase we could see a selection of cars and how the paint/patterns had evolved. Two of the cars caught my eye.

Werden vermehrt Bindegewebsfasern mit den Herzmuskel eingelagert, möglicherweise auch die passive Füllung des Herzmuskels gestört dies. Die normale Füllung jener Herzkammer kann dann nur noch durch einen erhöhten Bürde in Vorhof und Kammer erreicht werden. Das führt dazu, dass sich, besonders bei Belastung, Blut mit die Lungenstrombahn zurück staut.

First, of course, a Saab 9-5 in the current standard European paint/pattern, also known as the Battenburg pattern.

Secondly, a Porsche 911 in classic black and white, which was the standard paint in Sweden from 1958 to 1984. The Porsches were used to monitor traffic/speed on the most used highways in the 60-ties and 70-ties. No one would dare escaping from a Porsche, would they? The Porsche crews were hand picked and had special training.

Later on, the Porsches were retired when Saab introduced cars which were as quick as the Porsches. Now, how cool is that?


Summer Vacation Greetings

I still have a few pictures to publish from the Saab Museum Festival, but they need some more work. In the meantime, I have a couple of posts from my road trip through Sweden. My family and I have traveled from Gothenburg to Skellefteå, some 1300 km. We have made a couple of stops along the way. Not very far from Kolmården Zoo in Norrköping, we just had to make a quick stop to take a photo.

Three white 9-5 sedans parked in a row! Two of them, very similar to my own Saab in the foreground.

Happy vacation!

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