Saaby Christmas Snippets

Greeting all. I hope you had a nice Christmas hiatus from SU.

I’m not sure I’ve ever gone a full two days without writing in the last few years, but it was a refreshing break (apart from the dismal day 1 of the Boxing Day Test – Englishmen may feel free to gloat now).

So…. did you have a Saaby Christmas? Any Saaby gifts given or received?

Personally, I didn’t receive any Saaby gifts from the family. The only car-related gift was a copy of the new book by Ben Collins (aka the-driver-formerly-known-as The Stig), which at first reading, looks as if might have been co-authored by Troy Queef.

I did, however, receive a fantastic 2011 calendar from a friend in Skåne, Sweden. It’s a home-composed job, photo-printed and featuring photos that Bengt had taken at various events in 2010.

It’s taking pride of place in our kitchen.


I’ve got a couple of other things to be thankful for this Christmas, too.

We had a wonderful pre-Christmas visit earlier this month from a couple of Finns who were touring around Tasmania as part of a longer Australian trip. Eirik and Eeva will be well known to Finnish Saab Club members and we had a great time meeting them and chatting over a BBQ dinner.

Eirik’s got a fleet of Saabs, a few of which he’s handed down to his children, but he still does all the maintenance for the whole collection.

The red Saab 95 is a particular favourite. The black treatment around the windows is a tribute to the support cars that used to follow the Saab rally teams around, cars that also had this similar paintwork applied.

Eirik does the vast majority of the restoration work on these cars himself, which must be incredibly satisfying. He only recently completed work on this early Saab 96….

….and he also has a quite rare Saabo caravan in his collection, too. Fantastic!

It was wonderful to meet Eirik and Eeva and we hope to meet them again on their home soil at the 2011 IntSaab meeting, which will be held in Finland.


Another event from earlier in the month that I’m thankful involves a friend’s daughter.

Bill and Jane live in southern New South Wales and I met Bill when I bought my 900 a few years ago (and subsequently down here in Tas when they were on holiday).

Bill’s daughter Camilla was recently forced into some emergency evasion maneuvers when someone pulled out in front of her near their home. Thankfully, her Saab 900 stood up to the situation and did its job, protecting her whilst taking the brunt of a troubling impact.


So – did you have a Saaby Christmas?

IntSaab 2011 – Sastamala, Finland

The new website for IntSaab 2011 is up and running and all you EuroSaabers – heck, all Saabers – ought to consider getting along to the biggest annual Saab gathering in Europe.

intsaab 2011

Here are some of the details, as sent through by Tommi J:

Saab Club of Finland celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2011 and invites Saab enthusiasts from all over the world to join the celebration in Finland on August 5–7, 2011.

The main activities are centered at Hotel Ellivuori in Sastamala, a scenic part of county Häme. The Ellivuori has ample accommodation possibilities both in the hotel and the adjacent camping area.

Guest of honor will be Mr. Simo R. Lampinen an internationally recognized 1960s Finnish rally driver. After his active competition career he has been busy with various rallies and automobile races as an acting manager and advisor of various races including The Neste Rally in Jyväskylä.

Binding registration can be done on the net at (registration will open in January 2011).

Separately before the weekend we will especially for our foreign guests arrange a pre tour called “Yesterday Finland Today”.

Registration closing date is 16.05.2011.

See you in Ellivuori!

Previous entries on IntSaab:

Note: IntSaab is traditionally held every second year, alternating with the Saab Festival in Trollhattan. The hardship Saab faced in 2009, when the Saab Festival was expected but not held, meant that IntSaab has been held more frequently.

Impressions of IntSaab – Part 2

It’s been a massive couple of months for Saab gatherings. There’s been the Saab Festival, the SOC in the US, the annual SOC gathering in Bath and now this Internation Meeting of Saab Clubs – IntSaab.

This second look at IntSaab comes from of our SU regulars, a bloke by the name of “Me”.


Yes I had my second SAAB festival this year. And I can only say one thing, and let me use the words of Sister Sledge: We are FAMILY !!!

I met Robin as well as some Aussies (see photo) and saw the car from Svizzera. In Interlaken was also an Orange 99 from Russia.

This is my IntSAAB, in pictures:

Yes a 96 still looks good on the street.

But it also did look good in the past 🙂

In Trollhättan the colour was yellow, in Interlaken it is green. Those belong to René Hirsch, but I don’t know if they are original or replicas.


OK, Swade here….

The green Sonett is actually Saab Sonett #4 and it has been through one heck of a wild ride over the years. It was purchased from Saab by an engineer named Sigvard Sorennsson (for 3,000 crowns). He didn’t like the green Sonett body so much, so he removed it and sold it. Over the original Sonett chassis, he built a fibreglass body that was more to his liking, and called it the Facett. It was originally white, then ended up red. It was sold on again and driven for another 22 years, eventually ending up as a garden ornament for the kids to play in, before resting finally in a basement garage.

In the mid 1990’s a German doctor by the name of Klaus Muller-Ott heard about the car and set about buying it and rebuilding it. He even tracked down the original body and eventually restored the entire car.

Today, it belongs to Rene Hirsch, from Hirsch Performance, and they own the Facett body as well. What you see in that picture is both cars together.


Seems like you can meet an Australian everywhere in the world. But he didn’t bring none of his SAAB’s from Oz. 😉

OK, Swade here again.

This is one of those episodes where you realise how small the world can be. The guy in the photo is indeed an Aussie. He lives in Sydney, his name is Simon A and back in 2007, I bought a silver 1985 Saab 900 Aero from him. Simon has one of the sweetest 99Turbo’s you’ll ever see.

Chocolate is the other reason to visit Switzerland. And best of all, you have to drive a curvy road up to the mountain and down to the next valley to get there, and a second time to get back.

Modern cars don’t have bumpers. I’m wondering haw can you attach such a plate on a modern e-car without grill 😉

The encounter of the generations. I like those three faces 🙂

Yes there where also some classic 900 on exposition. And I must admit, this car even looks good as a pick-up.

Back to the more modern cars. The new 9-5 IS a big car, even in comparison with the old one.

Yes, it seems like people where parking besides similar cars.

These two are like Laurel and Hardy (it’s actually Backstrom and Carlsson). They are so funny, and you can listen and listen and listen …..

The Saturday evening has been quite wet, but just before the Meeting ended on Sunday the sun came out. And good looking SAAB’s looked even better.

Well that was my IntSAAB in Pictures. I don’t think I will be travelling to Finland next year. But anybody will find me in Spa, Belgium on the 3rd, 4th and 5th of August 2012. 😉

Have a nice week.

Impressions of IntSaab – part 1

IntSaab was held over the weekend and I’ve received a few photos already, which I’ll split over two different entries.

These first photos are from Christoph Bleile, the PR Manager for Saab Automobile in Switzerland. As you’ll see, the Saab Spirit was alive and well at IntSaab this year.

But first, a quick look around at the scenery, which was …… big.

Some Saab 99’s

OK, to the spirited bit, which is quite nice to hear.

Saab Switzerland decided to raise some money at the event, to donate to a charity that organises holidays for disabled children.

They cleaned out the cellars and sold some old exclusive promotional material to aid the cause. They also sold off this toy Saab, shown here with Saab Switzerland manager, Mario Klaus.

All told, they raised around 4,300CHF, which is just over US$4,000!!

Well done Saab Switzerland and IntSaabers!!

Monday Snippets – IntSaab edition

A few photos have popped up on Flickr from IntSaab, in Switzerland. Check these babies out!

There’s no caption with the photo, but my (not difficult) guess is this 16V has been converted over to ethanol use.

And the guys from doesn’t just sell classic old Saabs (in 1:43 scale), they also own some classic old Saabs (in 1:1 scale). It looks like they took out the award for best Saab 99 at the show.


We have already covered the issue of Saab owners losing their keys and having to get them replaced. If you lose both keys, it can be a very expensive proposition (SU article).

One of our Australian motoring publications, Drive, did a little digging and found that Saab were not the only ones to have expensive key replacement. Having said that, though, the process seems to be much cheaper here than in other countries.

From comments to that article:

My drive is a 2004 Saab, I recently wanted new keys, both electronic fobs had disintergrated over time revealing the electronic guts of the fobs. Cost in Aust $250 per key + $90 programming each. I purchased two new key fobs on ebay from a Saab overseas cost A$35 each including postage + $90 to program both here.

The SU article linked above quotes a cost of around $1,000 or more for what I assume is the same service quoted at around $680 in the comment above. It’s not necessarilty the same service, as this guy already had existing keys with the CIM included, just in very shabby condition, hence the lower cost.


Gasgoo is reporting that there could be some Saab bargains coming in China….

The price of the 9-3, which only came in gasoline 2.0T and 2.8 V6 form, ranged from the 340,000rmb to 529,000rmb in its hey day but recent news articles indicate that in a bid to get rid of the 9-3′s before the introduction of BAIC made 9-3′s (although the 9-5 is set to come first) Shanghai Saab dealerships have dropped the 9-3′s pricing by 80,000rmb. So a Saab 9-3 Vector 2.0TS that once cost 429,000rmb is now only 340,900rmb.

That doesn’t seem to bode well for Saab’s reintroduction to China, does it? Not for the 9-3, at least.

Thanks to AH!


It’s nice to know that the “last car guy in Congress” is a Saab guy. Or a partial Saab guy, at least.


The Saab 9-5 in good company at Monterey over the weekend…..

Thanks to Dick L!


And finally, a bit at GM Inside News covering a new turbocharged application for the 3-litre 6-cylinder, which is reportedly going to be used in the Saab 9-4x’s sister vehicle, the Caddy SRX in 2013.

Saab do have options to continue to use GM engines and architectures for some time, but it’s unknown if that covers just existing engines, or new engines as well. It’s also unknown whether Saab would be bothered with this. The figures for it are unknown, there’s no indication as to the source and I don’t know the people at GMI well enough to know if this is reliable or not.

Images from Switzerland – IntSaab and Hirsch

Ok, so I don’t really have anything from IntSaab itself yet, but here’s a nice image overlooking Interlaken, from Radu.

I hope those travelling to Interlaken took it easy on the roads. The police and judiciary tend to be pretty brutal in terms of dishing out speeding fines in Switzerland.


The big event on the way to IntSaab was the Hirsch Performance open day. Our man on the scene was Till72 and he’s sent through some teaser images. He’ll have some more to share with us later on.

One view from inside the Hirsch building…

Some rather special looking Saabs in the parking lot….

And some more parking lot action. Looks like they had a goodly number turn up…..

A little of the Hirsch vehicle collection….

Special guests #1 – that’s Robin M’s complimentary 9-5 in the carpark…..

And special guests #2 – Saab Museum Director, Peter Backstrom enjoying a brew….

IntSaab road trip in a Saab 9-3 SportCombi

I love this sort of stuff 🙂

Valeriy S is just one of the Saabnuts heading to Interlaken, Switzerland, for the 2010 IntSaab meeting this weekend.

There are a lot of people doing to some serious road trips to attend IntSaab and Valeriy is one them, driving from Moscow to Interlaken and then back to Moscow, but with the following destinations in between – via Minsk, Krakow, Vienna, Zurich, Luxemburg, Brugge, Bremen, Stockholm, Helsinki, StPetersburg.

That’s a total of around 7,000kms and one serious road trip.

What’s his chariot for such a trip? A very nicely prepared Saab 9-3 SportCombi, complete with some IntSaab decals for good measure.

Click to enlarge, and to all of you attending IntSaab this year: safe travels!

Reminder – IntSaab 2010 at Interlaken

I received an email from one of the guys organising IntSaab 2010 – the International meeting of Saab Clubs – which is going to be taking place in Interlaken, Switzerland.
The event is on from the 13th to the 15th August and prospective attendees should note there’s also a pre-IntSaab event from the 10th to the 13th in Black Forest, Germany. If you’re going to travel, you may as well make a week of it.
Registration for IntSaab is open until May 15th.
Those of you with websites might want to make use of this code to place some banner love for IntSaab on your site, too.

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