IntSaab 2010 – Interlaken, Switzerland

Wow, what a gathering this one will be!!
IntSaab – the international Saab Club Meeting, will be on this year at Interlaken, Switzerland, site of the recent Interlaken Saab Support Convoy. Hopefully the weather will be a bit more accommodating for this event 🙂
IntSaab 2010 is on from August 13-15.

IntSaab 2010The last time an international SAAB Club Meeting took place in Switzerland, was in the year 2000 in Luzern. Ten years later, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Swiss SAAB Club, we would like to invite all our SAAB friends again to the 28th International SAAB Club meeting which will be held in Interlaken in the heart of Switzerland.
The Interlaken region is surrounded by some of the most beatiful and impressive peaks of the Alps. In the middle of it, two of the famous Alpine lakes, the Lake of Thun and the Lake of Brienz, fed with mountain water tumbling down the many falls. Where the nature has composed such an attractive combination of mountains and lakes, there are numerous possibilities for sightseeing.
The meeting will take place on a former military air field with a camping ground at the doorstep.
We are looking forward to welcoming you in large numbers.

For all your IntSaab details, including the programme of events and registration details, please go along and visit the IntSaab 2010 Website.

Tuesday Snippets – Time edition

Here is a very impassioned plea from one Saab fan to other Saab fans:

This is the hour to make a decision for our beloved little brand. To be or not to be – that is the question. We all know, the SAAB is a brand like NO OTHER. From a professional standpoint I wouldn’t give a dime for any other car company in a similar situation. But against all odds – there is ONE BIG CHANCE for SAAB. That’s why I wrote this letter to you:

Read the full text at SoonSaab. The author, named Radulf, is a regular here at SU.
I declined printing the full letter here as I can’t ask people to do something that I’m not in a position to do myself, but I hope there’s some more passionate people like him out there.
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I know the Swedish press are being conservative about the news, but the international press are all consistently reporting that Koenigsegg Group have the money and will be issuing news to this effect later in the week:

Koenigsegg Automotive, the high-performance sportscar maker, is poised to announce additional funding behind its purchase of Saab Automobile after weeks of uncertainty over the deal.
…..Officials at Saab and the Swedish government said Koenigsegg planned to announce a new financial plan in coming days that would plug the roughly €300m shortfall, without needing further government aid. “The remaining part of the financing problem has been solved,” said a Saab spokesman.

Yes, I’m keeping my ear to the ground. In classic Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon style, I will not think, just feeeeeeeeeel the news coming.
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I really like Time Magazine. I actually subscribed for a few years some time ago, but nowadays I only catch up with old editions in medical waiting rooms a few times a year.
Autoblog are covering a rather strange automotive list at Time Magazine. Their 10 most exciting cars of 2010.
No, the 2010 Saab 9-5 is not on the list. And it’s possibly a good thing. There’s some very average cars on there that might be good quality, but they’re hardly exciting and that makes for a list that’s wide open to mockery and disdain (which is exactly what’s happened).
The prime case in point – The Toyota Venza. Yes, it’s basically a Camry wagon.
New for 2010, but hardly exciting.
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Some great shots from the IntSaab meeting in the Netherlands last month……start here
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It seems the Dutch police force are having some problems with Volvo V50 police cars. The original article is from Autoweek.nl but I have a summary article in English, with thanks to Jeroen:

Volvo has every confidence in the brakes of the V50. The KLPD national police department, however, will temporarily stop using the car for chases and other fast driving.
Yesterday, various media reported that the National Police Agency has set the new Volvo V50 aside after a chase where burning brake pads were encountered.
“On the highway A20 the police went in pursuit with a V50 in which they had to brake frequently for regular drivers who [had not moved aside fully]. After the car had stopped on the right lane and the cooling of the brakes disappeared, there was a flame. The flame then disappeared and the brakes functioned normally again,”said the spokesman of the National Police Agency.
According to Volvo during the ride there was very extreme circumstances. Following this incident, the police decided not to work with the V50 for high speed chases and trips to attend accidents. It should not be driven faster than 140 km / h. The so-called Prion-1 rounds, where the heavy work to be performed are provisionally reserved for the V70’s.
“We had the V50 D5’s with their 185 horsepower diesel just purchased to take over the functions of the V70. Fortunately we have forty V70’s ride, “said the National Police Agency.
Only when a solution is found, the V50 gets back its original functions.

Capturing the Saab Sonett at IntSaab 2009

There was a comment from “Marc” in an IntSaab entry about an hour ago and Marc has since sent some photos through via email to accompany the story.
This is typical of some of the magic that accompanies Saab events like this – those little moments you can get involved in, either actively or just as an observer.
Remember as you read this, that there are only six of these Sonetts in existence. Saab could be forgiven for mothballing them but here they are, out on the track, doing what they were made to do.

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We were making some photos of the Sonett on the oval.
First we were driving in front in a Saab 95 me sitting backwards in the little backseat. Later we were driving behind it, again to make pictures.
JP, one of the organizers had the priveledge to be the passenger in the Sonett I. But he is quite a big bloke so he rose above the little windscreen like too big a mast on a little boat. The driver didn’t particulately like it as he thought JP was fauling the aerodynamics. So, to squeeze the last rpm out of the Sonett JP was ordered to get his head down but as he was already cramped in, all he could do was bent it down a little.
It must have helped. When we came on one of the straights, I told our driver to give the 95 the berries to get closer to the Sonett but he already had the pedal to the metal and as we were crawling to 150kph I could see the Sonett getting away from us….
JP told me later they were nodging 7000rpm backshifting.
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My thanks to Marc for the photos and one of those special little insights from IntSaab 2009.
If you ever get the chance to go to one of these big Saab events – whether it be in the US, greater Europe or in Sweden itself – I’d encourage you to take the opportunity.
It’s well worth it.

Saab gatherings online

There were two significant Saab gatherings in the last few weeks.
IntSaab 2009
IntSaab 2009 was held in The Netherlands and by all reports was an outstanding success. There were around 500 cars in attendance all up, including one of the six original Saab Sonett Super Sports, which got a full throttle run on the test track (the sound was quite the thing to behold, I’m told).
The IntSaab organisers have put two galleries of photos online.

Here’s a small selection. My congratulations to the organisers of IntSaab in the Netherlands this year.
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Saab Owners Convention 2009
The SOC for 2009 was held at Copper Mountain, Colorado. Everything I’ve heard so far indicates it was also a great event.
Congratulations to the Rocky Mountain Saab Club on hosting this year’s event.
Ryan over at Saab History has a good review of what went on, complete with video.
In addition to that, you should check out the incredible gallery put up by the New York Saab Owner’s Club. They have over 700 photos there!!! It’s definitely worth checking out.
Again, a sample, but please do make sure you check them out for yourself.
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IntSaab 2009 photos are online

Our mate Etienne, who runs the Saabhuy weblog from Belgium, has posted some great shots from IntSaab 2009, which was held over the weekend in Doesberg, Netherlands.
I’m sure there will be some IntSaab stories come online from various sources in the next week or so.
There are snaps at both his Flickr and Picasa accounts.
Here’s a sample, from Flickr….
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And one from Picasa. The Sonett is well known for it’s varied color palette, however I think you’ll agree they also look quite fetching in basic black!
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Etienne wasn’t there alone, of course. His partner-in-blogging and owner of the most elegant Saab convertible of all time, Golfhunter, was there as well.
Being French, he has an eye for the ladies, as long as they’re wearing distinctive clips in their hair.
Golfhunter has some excellent shots, here.
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Who’s doing what in the next month or so?

The next six weeks offer some big events for Saab fans in different parts of the world.
IntSaab 2009
It’s a little late to ask who’s going to IntSaab, as the people attending are either already there, or in transit. IntSaab is on from August 7 to 9 (i.e. this weekend).
IntSaab will not only bring Saab nuts from Europe together to celebrate their common automotive interests, it will also serve as a 50th birthday bash for the Saab Club Nederland, which is the oldest Saab Club in the world. Organisers are expecting over 400 cars and around 700 people to attend.
I’ve got a few friends that I know are on their way to IntSaab, and probably a few more that I don’t know about. Hopefully we’ll get some photos filtering through after the weekend.
NOTE: If you didn’t register for IntSaab but you’re nearby and want to visit, you can get a day-pass for some Saturday events. Entry to the parts sale and vehicle show on Sunday is free and open to all. See the IntSaab website for details.
Saab Owners Convention 2009
In the US, the 2009 SOC is almost here. It’s on from August 13-16 and is being hosted by the Rocky Mountain Saab Club at Copper Mountain, Colorado.
Saab History tells us that the deadline for registrations is on August 8 – this Saturday. There will be 47 pallets of spare parts being shipped in from various parts of the US, so it could be a bonanza for restorers.
And don’t forget the live auction that will be held during the SOC. Items up for sale are actually online for you to bid on now, including several very tidy vintage Saabs (I’ll take the Sonett II, thanks).
2009 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA)
As big as those two event will be, perhaps this is the Big Daddy of the lot. The IAA will be open to the press on September 15th and 16th, to industry on the 17th and 18th, and then it throws the doors open to the public until the 27th September.
Saab and Koenigsegg together? Maybe.
The 2010 Saab 9-5 on display – definitely.
The Frankfurt Motor Show will be significant in that it will mark a new beginning for Saab with an all-new flagship vehicle to lead the way. Sure, the road after this will be long, but the starting line is a place to celebrate.
So who’s going?
I know we have a lot of Europeans visiting here. Surely a few of you must be considering making the trip?

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