Saab Car Museum Festival 2017 (June 9th)

Next generation Saab fan in front of previous generation Saabs. “Black Saab rules!”
As most of you already know (judging by the scarcity of available hotel rooms in the area), the bi-annual festival is starting on June 9th. For three whole days Trollhättan will be filled with Saab aficionados and fans.
This year’s highlights:

  • Saab cars – 70 years
  • 40 years of turbo
  • A tribute to Per Gillbrand
  • Saab 9-5 – 20 years during the weekend

I thought it would be the 9000 Talladega run in focus this year, but I guess I was wrong.

If you have not attended before, what you can expect is thousands of fans gathered in and around the museum (the main hub of this event). At other locations in Trollhättan spare parts can be found (and/or harvested for more vintage models). Tip: Get there early! There are even some professional vendors trying to get in on the action so they can sell you the same parts at a significant markup later. I.e. good bargains can be struck.

Various Saab veterans are milling about the event as well. Lots of great stories straight from the horse’s mouth! Incidentally, the museum usually staffs a veteran outside these events as well, but it is rare to get so many in the same spot. The festival’s biggest “problem” is that some events take place simultaneously so it is difficult to cover it all. There is usually something of interest for everyone.

Easter Snippets

Anna and I often get a kick out of spotting Saabs in contemporary TV shows. The Big Bang Theory is one of the shows we never miss, and one of the main characters (Leonard – the most normal one of the bunch) drives a sleek-looking 9-5. Usually they only show a glimpse of his 9-5, I guess to make it less obvious that most of the time they use a green screen to provide the background.

However, this week’s episode was filmed on location, and several great shots of Leonard’s 9-5 was shown. The 9-5’s Saab logo on the hood nearly burned a hole in my screen.

Visiting the Skywalker ranch
Visiting the Skywalker ranch

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interceptorsPeople not driving Saabs every day are more likely to punch you in the face. However, they can also provide a great source of entertainment. Three guys who used to run a popular car show have formed their own facebook group.

(And in case any of you missed it, make sure you check out Top Gear’s Saab Tribute)

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A good friend and allround decent chap, Johan Bohlin (yes, the Saab ice cream guy) wanted to show his support for the factory and started a new facebook event: We Support Saab. It is a virtual event (and at the moment very low key), so no need to go anywhere physically, but maybe it will be a good idea to find a nice place to visit (in your Saab of course) and just enjoy the day? It can also serve as a mental preparation for this year’s Saab festival. We will be attending the festival and look forward to seeing you all in Trollhättan.

Four 9-5 II SportCombis meeting in Kiel, Germany

Bild 6

One has to say that these are historic shots. Four 9-5 II Sport Combis in one place will remain a rare view. The reason for the meeting was to get those cars street legal. An issue that Saab Service Lafrentz has earned a lot of experience in recently. On that day the three visiting Combis (from Sweden, Switzerland and the Baltic region) got all approvals to get registered for road use.

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UPDATED – Saab Festival in 2011?…….NO.

UPDATE

I’ve checked with Peter at the Saab Museum and can pass on to you all that there will not be a Saab Festival in 2011.

It seems someone on the Facebook team might have jumped the gun a little, which is fine. A good excuse to show the video 🙂

Festivaliers should therefore keep their eye on the 2011 IntSaab gathering in Finland, where registrations are now open.

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I only came to know about the Saab Festival in 2007, when I attended my first one. As I understood things then (and I could well be wrong on this), the Saab Festival is held every second year.

If that’s the case, then the possibility of a Saab Festival in 2011 is an interesting one. Why?

The 2007 festival should have been followed by one in 2009. In 2009, however, Saab were being held up against a wall with a knife at their throat. Money was tight and there was seemingly little to celebrate, so the 2009 festival was cancelled and replaced by a smaller “Saab Days” event, which was more of a local gig.

With Saab reborn, a Saab Festival was held in July 2010.

I think you can do the math here. If they retain what I understood to be their normal pattern, we could expect a Saab Festival again in 2012.

Then there’s this, from Saab’s Facebook page today:

Here are some video highlights from the celebration of last year Saab festival. Who’s planning to visit the Saab festival in Trollhättan, Sweden this summer?

My emphasis added.

This is fantastic news, obviously, just a little bit surprising.

There’s nothing on the Saab Festival website yet. If I find out anything further, I’ll update you all here.

The Facebook entry linked to this video from the 2010 Festival. It’s worth watching if you’ve got a minute…..

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xolX40joY3E

Press release: The Saabs United Award

Hey, what can I say? I’m blushing again.

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Saab Automobile Inaugurates Saabs United Award

Trollhättan, Sweden: Saab Automobile, now moving forward as an independent premium carmaker, is to present an annual achievement award to any individual who makes the most outstanding contribution to the success of the brand.

The first winner is Tasmanian Saab enthusiast Steven Wade, who received the award in Trollhättan from Saab Automobile CEO Jan Åke Jonsson and Chairman Victor Muller. Steven, a 40 year old auditor, founded the SaabsUnited website and played a lead role earlier this year in rallying global public support for the company during negotiations for its sale by General Motors.

In recognizing Steven’s enthusiasm for the brand, Jonsson said the annual accolade would be known as the Saabs United Award. It will be open to any individual, a customer, member of staff or anyone who makes a special contribution to the Swedish brand’s success. Each year, Jonsson will lead a small judging panel of Saab executives to decide the winner.

The Saabs United Trophy consists of a model of Saab’s first car, Ursaab, mounted on a plinth together with an unlikely partner – a boomerang. This was presented to Jonsson by Wade when protracted discussions for the sale of Saab were successfully concluded. “It is people like Steven and many thousands of Saab fans around the world who really deserve such an award,” said Jonsson. “In a way, you could say I am returning it, which seems quite appropriate.

“The Saabs United award will be made annually as the company’s way of expressing its gratitude to people like Steven and others who continue to show us such great support.”

Video: Dinner presentation from the 2010 Saab Festival

The following videos have been published on YouTube, on Saab’s official channel. It’s the full “Top Notch” presentation made by Peter Backstrom and Christopher McKinnon. It was modelled (loosely) on the BBC program Top Gear, using that show as an inspiration for the setting and atmosphere.

This year’s Saab Festival recognised the 50 years that have passed since the inception of the Saab 96, hence the focus on that model in early parts of the video. Other segments include a look at the Mille Miglia, an interview with Mr Saab, Erik Carlsson, a little bit with yours truly and Claes Robertsson about the Saab Support Convoys and a few other bits with Vladimir Antonov and myself at the end.

I hope you enjoy the show. Personally speaking, it was a pretty special evening, but then any evening at a Saab Festival is just that – special.

There are 16 episodes in all.

Part 1 – Introduction by Jan-Ake Jonsson

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTWmrzW1IKY

Part 2 – Intro of Peter Backstrom, Christopher McKinnon and the Mayor of Trollhattan, Paul Akerlund, who delivers a very gracious and heartfelt message of thanks.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q85gO9XHFGQ

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Wednesday Night Snippets – SOC2010 Edition

Greetings all from Dulwich, in London, where I’ll be for most of the next week except for when I pop on over to Bath for the Saab Owners Club GB gathering.

Geez, this is a big city. We are still trying to find our bearings after a full day, but hopefully we’ll get busy tomorrow.

Lots of Saabs around here. I saw my first within two minutes of leaving Heathrow and have seen more than a dozen in my brief wanderings today. Lots of potential here, too.

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The big event – starting tomorrow in the US, in fact, is the Saab Owners Convention for 2010. It’s being held in Aurora, Ohio and with VM and JAJ attending, it’s sure to be a great meeting for all you US Saabers.

Please do hit me up with some emails as things progress as I’d love to post on how it’s going. I wish I could be there.

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I posted a few entries full of photos from the Saab Festival car show (part one and two), but for those who would like a fuller view of the whole event, check out these galleries on Flickr.

Golfhunter’s gallery…….

And Robin M’s gallery……

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Candidates for the 2011 European Car of the Year have been announced and there’s a Saab in the running!

The full list of candidates is as follows:

Alfa Romeo Giulietta
Audi A1
Audi A8
BMW 5-serie
BMW X3
Chevrolet Spark
Citroën C3
Citroën DS3
Citroën C4
Dacia Duster
Fiat Doblò
Ford C-Max/Grand C-Max
Honda CR-Z
Hyundai ix35
Jaguar XJ
Kia Sportage
Kia Venga
Lexus CT200h
Mazda 5
Mini Countryman
Mitsubishi ASX
Nissan Juke
Nissan Micra
Opel Meriva
Renault Wind
Saab 9-5
Seat Alhambra
Suzuki Kizashi
Suzuki Swift
Volkswagen Touareg
Volkswagen Sharan
Volvo S60
Volvo V60

Whilst I’d naturally prefer that the Saab wins the award, my bet is that it’s either the Jaguar XJ or the Alfa Romeo Giulietta that takes home the chocolates.

Voting is done by journalists from the seven organising magazines, which are from seven different countries in Europe.

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Whilst history will teach that I most likely will, there’s no use pretending that Saab Talk doesn’t exist. Another year, another Saab blog.

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One of the guys I met and chatted quite a bit with at the Saab Festival last week was Jim Smart, a Saab tech who runs an indy Saab shop called Smart Motors in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

And check out one of his cars!

Safe travels, Jim! It was a pleasure.

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