Monday Night Snippets – Juddy Edition!!!

Thanks for your patience today – it’s been a heck of a busy day. Heaps of work, a funeral, the re-commencement of Bootcamp and the biggest award in Australian Football – the Brownlow Medal.

Vale Jans van Goor – grandmother to one of my best friends, graceful and courageous matriarch and maker of the best Dutch almond cakes you’d ever taste.

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Speaking of Dutchies……

Some car clubs just get together for dinner and chardonnay, others do car stuff. You need both, I guess.

Saab Club Nederland did one of those activities that makes active Saab Clubs great. They organised a testing and inspection day for members. Dutch cars, like many others in Europe, have to undergo an annual inspection. This wasn’t an official inspection. Actually, it was much tougher.

I enjoyed the Tweet about it from yesterday:

Saabclub inspection day has come and gone. Weeping men everywhere. The master technicians were relentless seeing every wrong detail.

There’s some video of it below, which you should watch if only to hear the 900 exhaust at 1:10.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxgtljmRhRE

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The guy who gave me the distinct pleasure of attending Swedish Car Day in Boston last month is Pierre Belperron. His son Pascal likes to drive cars quickly on roads where most of us would exercise quite a bit of caution – rallying.

And of course, he likes to get his rally on in a Saab.

Pascal rallying in Saab 9000

That’s Pascal racing in a hill climb in Ascutney, Vermont, last Saturday. It’s an excellent photo, which you can view in full here. He’s only just bought the car and on his first run, he completed the course a full 3 seconds faster than he’d ever achieved in the 9000 and 900 he’d raced there before.

Unfortunately, on his second run, his header pipe broke off at the turbo, and in the time it took him to get the car off the circuit and stopped, the blow-torch effect coming out of the turbo melted everything in the right front of the engine bay, including the main wiring harness.

Pascal employed a little ingenuity and rigged up a temporary harness with the hope of getting the car back home to New Hampshire. Unfortunately, he didn’t make the full 100 mile journey home, falling short of the garage by 100 feet!

Fast and clever – a winning combination.

Pascal – we hope the car’s back out there soon!

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OK, to the Brownlow Medal. I can’t miss out on commemorating this occasion (if only just for you, Mr Bitmead!!).

The Brownlow is the highest individual honor that a player can receive in the Australian Football League. The hot favourite for the medal was a thuggish goon player named Dane Swan, from the most hated club in the country, the Collingwood Football Club.

Instead, the surprise winner – one of only 13 men in around 80 years who has won it more than once in his career – was the Captain of the magnificent Carlton Football Club – a warrior by the name of Chris Judd.

The fact that he has the most attractive girlfriend in the AFL doesn’t hurt, either.

chris-judd-10920246a

Congratulations, Juddy!!!!

I was so happy I did a SnoopyDance!

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRfmzPZ3Yoc

And if that’s given you a little taste for the greatest game on the entire planet, then watch this.

Tips – a goal is kicked when the ball goes untouched through the two center posts. A ‘mark’ (what you guys would call a catch) allows a player to take a kick without the pressure of being tackled. And remember, there’s no padding on these guys πŸ™‚

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIReSJhQor0

Sunday Night Snippets – stoopid edition

I can handle people having a crack and making mistakes under pressure. What I can’t handle is stupid. Relentless, repetitive and boringly consistent Capital-S-Stupid.

My football team’s season is over and I just hate it.

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On to more enjoyable things…..

Victor Muller did an interview piece on Dutch radio recently. It’s more of a background piece about the man and his career. Not so much about Saab.

Wulf has translated the highlights from the interview and has written them up over at Saabworld. It’s well worth a read.

He bought his first car before he got his driver’s license in 1978. It was a ’72 Lancia 2000 Berlina and his dad had to go pick it up. After that, he bought a Lancia Flaminia convertible which he describes as a chick magnet. He still has this Lancia Flaminia and is using it in a rally in The Netherlands this week.

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The Saabs United Historic Rally Team has a new 99Turbo. This car in this particular color is apparently quite rare, so I’m not sure whether it’ll get the rally treatment. But if not, then why?

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhdxUXRCCyc

Bring back blue interiors!

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As well as hating stupid, I also hate this guy.

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This weekend is the 12 Heures De Huy, which will see two entries from Saab Belgium, as well as everyone’s favourite enthusiast, Etienne at Saabhuy.

Thursday Snippets – The year finally begins edition

2010 finally starts for real.
Football season starts tonight πŸ™‚
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Victor Muller has reduced his shareholding in Spyker in accordance with plans laid out a week or so ago, so as to maintain a direct ownership stake at less than 30%. A holding over 30% would have triggered a mandatory buy-out offer.
The excess shares have been sold to “a Cyprus-registered special purpose company” and thus, his holding is now just under 27%.
It all sounds reasonably creative to me, but within the law.
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The interesting process of student clay modelling continues…..
SaabstudentModelling.jpg
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Deutsche Welle get all negative:

Swedish carmaker Saab is back in business, making cars again under new management. But some experts worry its reincarnation may end as just another “sob” story…..Last year, Saab sold just under 40,000 cars – less than half of what it sold in 2008. In February, only 97 cars left dealers’ lots in the US, a key market.

Add DW to the list of people/media that we’ll have to write to when Saab start hitting their targets.
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Victor Muller counters the negative stuff, via Reuters:

“Nobody sees us as a threat so everybody wants to talk with us,” Muller said. “And there are good chances that we will be supplying our technology to third parties, we’re not going to be just on the demand side of things,” he added.

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I was in Melbourne last weekend. I wish I could have stayed for the week and watched the 100 years of Alfa Romeo celebrations in the lead up to the Melbourne Grand Prix……
alfa-romeo-club-day-carlton-3-625x468.jpg
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And on another personal note, the other thing that begins tonight is the Hobart screening season for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
Will hopefully get to that in the next week.

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