Sonett Awarded

I received this email from Dave Dalimore of GWS fame about the great weekend they had just had at a Classic Car Show in the West of England. In Dave’s words:  (Also new link to photos)

Great Western Saabs were once again on display at this years Classic Vehicle Restoration Show in the UK which attracted 6,000 classic and vintage car enthusiasts plus displays and demonstrations from the professional restorers and from clubs.orangesonett.

GWS had two SAABs on their stand, a ‘pink’ 96 which was to be detailed and returned to it’s original Toreador Red and a MkIII Sonett in bright orange. The Sonnet attracted much interest as many had never seen one before. In fact it attracted so much interest it won an award! ‘The Most Interesting Car of the Show’.

Owner Howard Bennett says ‘I am still shocked – quite how I managed “Most Interesting Vehicle” in front of an ex-Roger Moore P1800 and a Superleggera Aston (amongst all the other terrific cars there) was a real surprise! Huge thanks to all who helped organise the stand, those who helped me out logistically and of course those who have helped me get the car into the state it is now. I had the best of weekends and the award was indeed the cherry on top of the cake.’
It has been a great year for GWS as they also won two awards at the Classic Car Show back in April of this year and ‘Most Admired SAAB’ at the very popular Swedish Day organised by our very own Robin Morley.

Read moreSonett Awarded

Tom Donney’s Saab Sonett at Bonneville Nationals 2013

Tom Donney’s Saab Sonett 750cc runs new record of 122.03 mph at Bonneville Nationals 2013

Our old friend, Saab author Lance Cole has been following Tom Donney’s story of his latest Sonett sensation on the salt flats at Bonneville’s 2013 Speedweek and has dropped us these super images and speed details from Tom for us to saviour.

Tom runs Tom Donney Motors and has a wonderful collection of Saabs old and new – he is well known and not just on the American Saab scene and is a regular at Bonneville with his modded 1968 Sonett. This year’s first timed run on 8th September run beat last year’s run of 115.619 mph with an one-way of 118.082 mph and a return run of 117.235 mph – a new record set, and then the little Sonett went on to break that record with runs of 119.231 mph and then a return one-way sector run of 122.033mph. The temperature was 72.8 degrees F and the wind was 5mph from the SSE.

Tom says: ” The 122.033 mph was our fastest speed and it even exceeded the next engine class size record for engines up to 1000cc! That is rare to see. They however would not let us run as an “I” class car because our engine was “too small”,

“We ran in the GT body class again this year (2 seat sports car). Our engine is a “J” class (501cc-750cc) up to 46CID) take the avg of 2 runs over 2 day (down & back runs to set a record)”.

Read moreTom Donney’s Saab Sonett at Bonneville Nationals 2013

Tuesday Moose Season Snippets

First up is a quote from Eric Mayne’s article Saab is Supernatural.

Adds Scott Hutchings: “Great event! … Iowa next year!!!”

Next year? Saab is headed for the history books and he’s talking about the future?

And then it hit me. These people know Saab’s secret. The brand is possessed of an unholy power.

The signs have always been there. Consider that Saab is based in Sweden, which is part of Scandinavia, which is home to fairies and trolls and changelings and all things supernatural.

Thanks ThomasJ for the tip

Read moreTuesday Moose Season Snippets

Friday Snippets – distracted driving edition

I’m not normally given to promoting government policies/initiatives on this website, but today’s an exception.

The US Secretary for Transportation, Ray La Hood, has used Autoblog to publish and promote a message about distracted driving, which will be the subject of a national summit in DC, on September 21.

Distracted driving is an important issue, responsible for thousands of injuries and deaths each year (an estimated 6,000 deaths in 2008).

It’s one that’s taken pretty seriously where I live, too. For example, if you’re caught using your phone whilst behind the wheel here in Tassie, you lose three points off your licence (a 12-point system) and pay a $300 fine.

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And speaking of politically driven writings….

This is a reasonable, albeit brief look at Sweden through the years, from a fiscal/political point of view. Unfortunately, the writer doesn’t finish the Saab story, stopping at how the government was happy to “let Saab fail”.

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Some of you might now that my recent travels to Sweden, England and the US have given me Sonett fever. I’ve been fortunate enough to ride in – and drive – some very special Sonetts over the last few months.

Sonett fever means that I’m always looking up Sonett stuff on the web. Exisiting Sonett owners might be curious to know that the doyen of all things V4, Jack Ashcraft, has recently completed a book on working with fibreglass.

When Jack’s not working on old Saabs, he’s doing technical automotive drawings. Needless to say, there’s plenty of illustrations inside this 112 page book (over 280 illustrations, in fact!) to show you all the details of the things he’s telling you about.

Looks good! Lots of other V4 and Sonett related books on his regular website, too (you’ll need to download the catalog, the bookstore link isn’t working).

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Seen on Flickr, a Polish Finnish vintage police car.

Polish Police Saab 99

Why do I think I’ve seen it before? Convoy? I searched, but couldn’t find it.

Anyway, a beautiful example.

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And spotted by Olav (who always takes the long road home)…..

The Norwegian National Guard doing some training:

Norwegian Nat Guard shoot up a Saab

Poor Saab.

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More strange Saabs for sale, and more Brown Saabs – coming up!

Thursday Quick Snippets – Industry edition

These snippets aren’t so much about what’s happening in Saab-land, more like what’s happening around it.
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Are BMW showing another hatchback concept in Frankfurt?
concept2-630.jpg
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And more from BMW – plans to introduce another nameplate specifially for electric vehicles.

The company will stick with its existing BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce marques, but Reithofer revealed that the board has voted to create a sub-brand for electric vehicles. This new sub-brand will be similar to BMW’s seperate marketing of the “M” line of vehicle, will be targeted at urban drivers and include a two wheeler. The first of these new vehicles will likely start appearing sometime around 2012-13.

This is of interest to Saabers because you might remember from the Auto Motor and Sport article last week, that Saab may be looking to partner with BMW on what would be the Saab 9-1. The 2013 timeframe sits well with that plan, too.
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Speaking of 2013, the head of Toyota in South Africa predicts that 2013 will be a pretty good year for the car industry.
All companies have to do now is survive that long!
This is a really good read for the hardcore industry watchers out there, going into reasons for the current crisis, responses to it, and what’s going to have to happen in the future.
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Andy Rupert finds out why the rear-facing seats in Volvo wagons are just for kids….
And as an aside, have you ever ridden in one of those rear facing seats? I had a ride in friend’s Saab 95 with a rear facing seat once, and it’s a wonder kids don’t end up throwing up all over the place.
It’s not a good place to be.
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Jerry Flint from Forbes takes a look at some of the brands at risk of withdrawing from the US market.

Two others on the endangered list are Swedish Saab and Volvo, which is particularly sad. Saab sales were down to 5,000 in the first half. Personally, I love Saabs. Consumer Reports recommends both cars (the 9-3 and 9-5). But Saab was bought by GM, probably the worst thing that can happen to a car company–except to be bought by Ford, which is even worse. Saab has been sold to a Swedish carmaker but survival still is a question.

It’s frustrating at the moment, but I think we’ll be OK, Jerry.
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And finally, some culture.
A band from the US called Goes Cube with their song called “Saab Sonett”.
It’s heavy, it has a moody filmclip that doesn’t relate to the song at all, and there’s definitely no Sonetts to be seen.
Not recommended, but feel free if you wish. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Sunday Snippets – the kitchen sink edition

Here’s something I didn’t know:
The Saab factory team still holds the Pikes Peak Open Class hillclimb record.
I’m not sure which run it was, but the 2002 run by Per Eklund in a 9-3 Viggen was pretty darn good. You can see the video here. Wait until about 3:20 when you get to the in-car camera so you can see just how scary-fast that car actually was.
Yes, PT, you should buy that Viggen.
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One of our Aussie Saabnuts and former Chairman of the Saab Car Club of Australia – AlAero – is in Sweden at the moment and is loving it.
“Sleds everywhere!” was the email I got.
He hits Trollhattan on Monday so if you’re there and you see a dark haired bloke with a funny accent at the Saab Museum, go up and say G’day.
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One of European mates, Z!, whipped up a pretty good sketch of the 2010 Saab 9-5 wagon back when the spyshots came online.
He’s now turned his hand to the sedan, which is once again, looking good.
Z-2010-Saab9-5-1.jpg
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I’m not sure we’ll get the Nesbitt-nose on this one (the U-shaped swoop on the hood a-la the 9-3) but these do look really good.
And isn’t the look of pencil on paper somewhat akin to the warmth of music on vinyl?
More of Z’s work is available on Flickr – and in bigger sizes, too.
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Ezra Dyer is a young automotive writer who’s already established a considerable reputation. I love his work and don’t get to see enough of it.
His latest print work is in Automobile Magazine, where he’s written a piece from the point of view of a sad General Motors that has to get rid of it’s favourite Swedish project car because the wife says it’s taking up too much room and he’s never going to finish it, yada yada yada.
If your local news stand sells Automobile, look for the August edition.
Click to enlarge this snippet. The last line’s a doozy.
EzraDyerSaab.jpg
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It looks like there’s a new magazine in Germany with a feature on the Saab Sonett.
The webpage is here, though the online preview doesn’t show the Saab.
SonettMagasin.jpg
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Who’s seen Transformers 2?
Did you spot an Aero-X in there? I didn’t think so.
There were several websites last year that were adamant that there was going to be a Saab Aero-X in Transformers 2, despite evidence to the contrary. I won’t mention them here but this is a small, subtle reminder that linkbaiting false stories is a no-no and the results will be noticed.
Big daddy swadediddly is watching…..
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EnG Snippets Monday Edition

There’s still plenty to write about which I’m sure is frustrating to Swade, given that he’s not got internet access.
In this post:
– One of the better summations of the past week from the Saab perspective comes from the AP wire photo of Jan-Ake Jonsson.
– Jalopnik’s Project Car Hell has some fun at GM Europe’s expense.
– Continued reports of interested buyers for Saab.

Read moreEnG Snippets Monday Edition

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