Thursday night snippets – auto-merry-go-round edition

Greetings all – had your fill of 9-5 stuff yet?
Not to worry, as there’s a good comprehensive summary coming later.
If you’re looking to see more from the Saab Days celebrations held in Trollhattan last weekend, out mate Etienne has 100+ photos over at his Saabhuy blog.
Check this out – Saab 95 with a 92 nose!
I guess BAIC can kiss their Opel dreams goodbye once and for all.
From the GM Social Media Newsroom:

“We had a good and thoughtful discussion around the key operating metrics and key issues associated with the three final offers we received on Monday evening”, said John Smith, GM’s chief negotiator for the sale of Opel. “We have agreed to continue detailed talks with both Magna and RHJI to secure Opel’s future.”

That’s three final offers and negotiations with two parties.
The long-running (family) fued between Porsche and VW seems to be coming to a conclusion, with the head of Porsche, Wendelin Wiedeking, taking his keys and heading home.

Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking and finance chief Holger Haerter will leave the company immediately, the German sports car maker has announced…..
Mr Wiedeking, who lead the charge in Porsche’s ill-fated takeover attempt of Volkswagen AG, has accepted compensation of 50 million euros, the company said in a statement.

There wss a time when many advocated Porsche taking over Saab, including me.
Count your blessings, I guess.
Another familiar name on the move is GM Designer, Brian Nesbitt, and this one’s quite intriguing.
Nesbitt is moving from being the VP of GM North American Design to being the head of Cadillac.
Not the head of Cadillac design, but the #1 chief head honcho and grand poobah of the entire Cadillac operation.
He’ll report directly to Bob Lutz and in taking the position, he makes Steve Hill and (former Saab head) Steve Shannon a little redundant. It’s not known where these guys will fit in now.
Anyone in or near Indiana feel like looking into a Saab 9000 Aero, painted in what it’s owner thinks is Lightning Blue?
Clicky Clicky
Needs a fuel pump, but could be worth a look.

Tuesday Nights Snippets – things you’ve got to see

I apologise for the lack of content today, but I’ve had several obstacles to posting pop up today.
The first was real life, as my real job is catching up with me at the moment and demanding a lot of time. The second is our migration to a new ISP at home, which has gone well thankyou very much.
Hopefully we can all get back to normal soon.
Welcome back, Eggs!!
I’ll take this opportunity to once again remind people of the comments policy at the site. Disagreeing with a post or a comment is fine, but trying to bring the writer down a peg or two just discourages people from contributing.
Respect is the key.
The Dude speak thus:
Today, XXXXX could respond with flexibly to high and lows in sales. “This flexibility can’t exist in a Giga-Corporation like YYYYY,” says Dudenhöffer. Moreover, the entire production at YYYYY is based on modular systems that are standardized and leave no space for individuality. And in this chain should now be incorporated XXXXX says the expert. “In the long run”, says Dudenhöffer “the success of XXXXX will be lost, and their income will fall.”
So who are X and Y?
Saab and GM?
No. But some would see the situation as kinda similar.
It’s Porsche and Volkswagen.
Thanks to Joan!
Now, something the car enthusiasts amongst you must see: a gallery of many of the cars – not just Saabs – that participated in the Midnight Sun rally last weekend.
It’s huge! Click the images below to enlarge and then view the entire gallery.
That last photo is of our mate Jorgen and his Saab 96.
I must email him straight after this to see how he finished up.
My thanks the Bengt for the gallery above, and the one below as well!
It seems the rain might have put a dampener on proceedings all last weekend in Trollhattan.
The Saab Days festival carried on, however, and it looks like a great collection of a cars and a good time being had by all.
Thanks to Bengt once again. I wish I could have been there as well to collect some stories. Actually, I just wish I was in Trollhattan, period.
If anyone knows some details about the car below, please fill us in via comments. It was at Saab Days so one would assume there’s a relationship there, but I’m struggling to see it at this point.
I’ve had a full weekend a few days with my Monte Carlo since I did the upgrades last week.
I’ve got to say it: this car is now incredibly pleasurable to drive. The power boost, the increased responsiveness, the increased stability with the improved suspension – it’s just absolutely brilliant.
I wish I’d done these upgrades before buying the MX-5. I don’t regret that purchase at all, but I’m sure I would’ve thought about it a bit longer. The Monte is that good now.
I had around a 40km commute to work this morning through along some beautiful country roads and it was a blast to drive.
To anyone contemplating a similar upgrade: it gets a big double thumbs-up from me.

More of that custom Saab 92

Martin F photographed this customised Saab 92 at the Saab Days gathering over the weekend.
Custom Saab 93
The car aroused a reasonable amount of interest in comments, and Martin has been kind enough to chip in a link to some more photos on Garaget (thanks!!)
Click to enlarge!
According to the Garaget page, the car has the original two cylinder, to-stroke engine and the original gearbox.
Of course, as you can see here it’s got a completely restored and customised exterior and interior. Those are 18-inch wheels you see there, though the car retains it’s original drum brakes.
The car was purchased less than a year ago, so if they’ve done all this restoration work in that time then it’s a job well done already.
It sounds like the owner might not be finished yet, too, with audio still to go in and the “Future Plans” section if the Garaget page simply saying Be ready.

More from Saab Days and the Midnight Sun Rally

It’s all happening this weekend in Sweden.
We’ve got the Midnight Sun rally going on as well as the Saab Days festival and some SU regulars are involved with both.
Midnight Sun Rally
First to the rally, where our mate Jörgen T is driving his Saab 96 and doing pretty well. He was in 4th place after 2 legs of the rally. One leg to go.
This is the field at the 2nd nightly stopover at Årjäng. As you can see, the weather is not being kind – not much midnight sun going on here…..
This is Jörgen with Elizabeth Nyström, who was an occasional co-driver with Pat Moss (who apparently, did not like green cars – consider yourself a little more educated now)
Jörgen also called into the Saab museum on day 1, and photographed what is apparently a new car to the museum, a replica of Per Eklund’s Saab 96 from 1973, a car in which he nearly killed himself in an accident in Jyväskylö, Finland.
Here’s hoping Jörgen has another great day on the final day of the rally. My thanks to him for keeping us updated and sending in some great photos.
Saab Days
The Saab Days celebrations are also on in Trollhattan and I’ve received some great photos from Martin F.
You can see more of these here. Thanks Martin!!
A nice Saab 99 in orange…..
And a cutaway Saab, very nicely photographed in the Saab museum….
The number of custom Saabs at these events, and the quality and degree of the work, is always jaw-dropping. We just don’t see Saabs like this outside Sweden.
Or this rather extreme Saab 93 from the 1950s…..
Another shot from the museum.
Another regular who’s at Saab Days is Dippen, and he’s shot some videos, which I’ve embedded after the jump.
Some people have trouble viewing video on this site. If that’s you, or if you’re using Internet Explorer, then click here to see Dippen’s videos.
If video’s OK for you, then click through to watch just a few of them.

Read moreMore from Saab Days and the Midnight Sun Rally

Images from Saab Days and the Midnight Sun rally

Etienne from Belgium, who runs the Saabhuy blog, is currently in Trollhattan for Saab Days and has started depositing photos on to his Flickr account.
Of course, the Midnight Sun rally competitors took a stop in Trollhattan as well last night, so it’s no surprise that his latest photos have a distinct motorsport feel.
There’s more photos at his Flickr account if you’d like to check them out.
And on motorsport, one of our own is actually running his car quite successfully in this Midnight Sun rally. Jörgen T is driving his Saab 96 in the event and actually came second in the regularity section of the rally yesterday!
Here he is with the car….
And the V4 under the hood……
Jörgen with former Saab factory driver Simo Lampinen after a day’s driving.

Saabs gathering – Midnight Sun Rally

There are Saabs gathering all over the place in this northern Summer and tonight I’ll be bringing a few pictorials from these gatherings.
The first is a picture I just received in my inbox from Jörgen T, who organises the Saab Convertible Challenge in Sweden and whom I’m subsequently used to seeing in convertibles.
I’m not sure if he’s a passenger in this Saab 96 or accompanying it in the Porsche, but it seems he’s off to the Rally of the Midnight Sun event, which will coincide with the Saab Days celebration in Trollhattan this weekend. The competitors in the rally will have a stop/go at the Saab Museum on Friday night.
I sooooo wish I could be there. Have fun, Etienne!
Check the sponsorship on the door – way cool. IBM, Microsoft and Intel, eat your hearts out!
Have fun on the drive there, lads, and say hello to Trollhattan for me if you get the chance!

Saab motorhome restored to former glory

Can you imagine this coming down the road toward you?
We’ve seen some pretty strange modified Saabs over the years and we’ve even taken a good look around the Saabo caravan, but this is something even rarer than that Saabo.
I first saw one of these in pictures a few years ago but didn’t know much about it. Back in 2007 there was one parked on the side of the Kinekulle racetrack during the Saab Festival but I never took the time to go and have a closer look.
Now I wish I had.
This motorhome has just been restored by a group of Swedes. It’s referred to as a “92h” and is built completely on top of the running gear of a Saab 92.
This particular vehicle (if I’m reading the translation correctly) was abandoned as a vehicle and for a while was parked in the woods, being used as a cabin. A group of enthusiasts got hold of it and have now restored it back to prime condition.
The running gear is still completely original Saab 92 stuff but the entire body appears to have been replaced, but with original materials available at the time and using original methods.
They must have done a first class job fixing this baby up because the 92h passed its vehicle inspection and will be showing this coming weekend at a classic car show in Ramsele, which is where many of the restoration group live.
After that, the group will make their way to Trollhattan on the weekend of the 17th and 18th for the Saab Days celebration.
Thanks to Tim R for the story. The original article in Swedish (with a few more photos, too) is here.

No Saab Festival for 2009 – but ‘Saab Days’ go ahead in July!!!

Further to my initial entry on the subject, I’ve received some more information about Saabens Dagar, which will be held from July 17-19th.
For obvious reasons, the official, company-sponsored Saab Festival cannot happen this year. Saab’s reorganisation and the general economic situation dictate that the company cannot do this in 2009. Hopefully a healthier Saab will be able to host a Saab Festival at the next scheduled date, in 2011.
For 2009, though, three of the main Saab car clubs in Sweden – Swedish Saab Club, Saab Turbo Club of Sweden and Club Sonett Sweden – are going to combine their resources and organise Saabens Dagar, or Saab Days.
Here is the info that I’ve received so far:

We will grab the opportunity to work together with the organisers of the Midnight Sun Rally that will have a stop & go overnight at the Saab Car Museum between Friday Saturday and the local motorclub SMK Trollhättan will organize 2 specialstages around Trollhättan where the rallycars will compete. We expect around 180 rallycars, and of them 35-40 Saabs from Twostrokers to V4 and 99 turbos.
Driven flat out. The way they should be driven. A unique opportunity!!!!! See for more info.
Without being able to reveal the detailed Saabrelated programme yet for the weekend, the Trollhättans city will be in party mood during the annual Festival Fallens Dagar (“waterfalldays”).

More information will eventually be made available through the various club websites and I’ll do my best to share it here as it comes to hand.
Whilst not a traditional Saab Festival, I’m sure that this time is going to have plenty to offer the Saab enthusiast and I’m sure Saab will play a part through the museum and factory tours, etc.
If you’re anywhere nearby, then book a room, a campsite, whatever you can. Trollhattan in the summer is a beautiful, beautiful place. With a fleet of Saabs screaming around on a rally circuit, could it get any better?

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