Free Shipping at State of Nine until January 31

Just a quick note…..

Site sponsor, State of Nine, is running a Free Shipping offer from now until January 31st.

The offer is available to all Continental US orders over $50 and International orders over $499 (and if you’ve priced international shipping on some stuff, you’ll know that’s a pretty decent offer).

My own personal winter recommendation would be the custom floor mats they offer – a huge range of custom options that will protect your interior in the winter months.

They also do a great range of Thule accessories, clothing, books, car covers and more.

My thanks to Dan for his continued support of SU through State of Nine.

Away snippets

The Mrs and I are having a getaway this weekend. No computers are being taken. Can I survive?

Obviously, no emails will be answered.

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State of Nine, an SU sponsor, has a good page full of Saaby Christmas gift ideas, many of which can be shipped prior to Christmas (and some that are shipped for free!) for your last-minute gift needs.

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Just this morning I received the final judges votes for the Saab ad competition. I’ll tally the votes when I get back and will have a poll up for your vote as soon as possible.

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How to run your travel logistics if you run a car company….

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Haldex have sold their traction systems business to BorgWarner. Looks like we’ll have BW XWD systems from the near future onwards.

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The Autoblog.nl Car of the Year 2010 poll (otherwise known as Which Car Company has the Bigger and More Mobilised Fanbase for 2010) has been run and won…

by the Saab 9-5!!

Yes, we did vote in numbers, but so did fans of the other top contenders. We just voted in bigger numbers 🙂

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Old vs New.

Next time someone says that older cars have more steel in them and are safer, just show them this.

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

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Seeya in a few days. But don’t miss the next two “December 18” entries that’ll be coming on site while I’m away.

State of Nine – custom made cut-off dates for Christmas

State of Nine is a sponsor of Saabs United (and Dan’s a top notch guy, too).

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If you’ve given the tip to some family members about Christmas gifts for your Saab, then you might need to know that gifts requiring some custom tailoring will need to be ordered this weekend to have best chance of delivery in time for Christmas.

Custom-made Cut-Off Dates
OK, now. For those Saab shoppers out there… We have some big cut-off dates coming up. We need to have all our custom-made floor mat and custom-made car cover orders in production by Friday (12/10/10) in order to get your item delivered by 12/24/10 via normal ground shipping. Please keep this in mind when shopping. If you select our best method shipping option, we will upgrade you to UPS or FedEx Ground at No Charge between now and 12/10/10.

OK, that’s a day old now, but I know Dan will do his level best for you if you get your order in superquick.

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Some other gift ideas from State of Nine:

Dan also has 4 web pages dedicated solely to gift ideas for Saab owners. Bookmark the page and send it to your significant others as a big fat hint 🙂

Cyber Monday at Saabs United

RE-POSTED and UPDATED

Please note the following from Fredrik at Maptun (there were some early problems with the code being accepted).

The coupon code is now fixed. It’s valid until 23:59 Tuesday November 30th Swedish time.

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The internet has few real traditions, but one of the recent ones is Cyber Monday.

Cyber Monday is the Monday after the US Thanksgiving holiday and over the last five years, it’s become a day for online shoppers receiving discounts and special deals.

So be it. Please pay attention to the applicable dates as they vary from offer to offer.

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State of Nine invite you to take advantage of a free shipping offer. All purchases over $25 in the US will receive free shipping and any international buyers will receive the same for purchases over $550.

State of Nine sell all manner of Saab accessories, including accessories from Hirsch Performance. While you’re visiting, complete their winter survey and you’ll automatically go into their weekly prize draw.

The offer is open right now and continues through until 12:01am on Tuesday, November 30.

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Maptun are offering 15% off all Maptuner software upgrades. Maptuner is a plug-n-play upgrade solution that can boost the power and torque of your Saab (T7 and up).

This is a Monday-only offer, and it’s available as long as it’s Monday 29th November somewhere in the world.

Please use the code CM2010 when you place your order.

If you haven’t seen it already, I shot some video earlier this year of my friend John tuning his Saab 9-3 using a maptuner, in less than four minutes!

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SaabUSA Parts have a number of different parts on sale from (Black) Friday 26th November through to Cyber Monday. All of these will be available at special prices for the full four days.

Click here for all the details.

Specials included cover roofracks, smartslot items, cargo nets, jumper cables, genuine Saab car care products, plate covers, rear spoilers, car covers and MORE!

Check the specials page for appropriate model details.

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UPDATE

The Saabs United T-Shirt Shop also has a Cyber Monday discount happening. Note that this is for the US-based shop only (links below).

Shoppers can get a 25% discount on all orders over $40 from now until November 30th.

To claim the discount, US shoppers should use the code CYBER2010 during checkout. Canadian shoppers should use CADCYBER2010.

Click to visit….

New custom car covers at State of Nine – lifetime guarantee

Note: State of Nine is a sponsor of Saabs United.

With Halloween coming along, Dan’s opted for a suitably themed ad for his brand new range of custom car covers.

They’re called Microbead and there’s a couple of very good features with these babies:

  • They’re custom made for your particular model Saab, complete with mirror pockets on the side.
  • They’re made from a microbead fabric that repels water but still allows your car to breathe
  • They come with a lifetime guarantee – never buy another cover for that model car again

The cover itself is made from a silver colored, woven polyester fabric that keeps the weather off your car but still allows airflow, helping to keep the car dry and rust free if stored in adverse conditions.

The kit costs $259 and comes with all of the following:

  • A custom-made Saab cover,
  • Storage bag
  • a locking cable with lock and two keys, and…..
  • the all-important Lifetime Replacement Warranty!

Custom Microbead Saab Car Covers at State of Nine.

Hanging out with State of Nine

I’m fortunate to have a group of great, long-term sponsors with this website. They’ve all been with me for a number of years now, which is a great show of support and more importantly, a show of their commitment to Saab and the people who drive them.

It’s a double-blessing for me when I get to visit them and meet them in person. Such was the case back at Swedish Car Day, when I got to meet Dan De Vlieger from State of Nine and spend a bit of time getting to know him and his business.

Dan at SOC 2010 Dan sweating it out at SOC 2010 (photo by Eggs).

For those who are unfamiliar with State of Nine, it’s a small business run by Dan out of his base in Boston, MA. SoN specialises in supplying aftermarket accessories specifically tailored to be two things – (1) perfect for the Saab model they’re designed for, and (2) the best products in the field.

On a personal level, Dan is one of the most pleasant blokes you’d ever meet. We had a couple of lunches together, along with Pierre from Charles River Saab, and had a great time getting to know one another.

Dan is in his late 30s. He lives in Boston with his wife and two young children and maintains his SoN office as a single-room sublet in a grand old house that once hosted some of Boston’s social elite, with rooms in the house now converted into individual offices. Dan has a beautiful Saab 900 convertible that doubles not only as magnificent transport, but also as a test rig for many of the products he sells.

DanD Saab 900The SoN warehouse is located about an hour or so out of town, maintained as part of a larger logistics operation. When you place an order at SoN’s website, it’s sent to Dan. He checks it and sends it on to the warehouse, where the goods are selected from stock, carefully packaged and prepared for postage.

I think what impressed me most about meeting Dan and getting to know SoN’s operations was the sheer commitment that it takes to do what he does. He sells great stuff and asks a higher price than some people expect for it. He’s taken a bit of flack for that from some people, but when all’s said and done, he knows two things.

First, his business does supply the best products he can get his hands on. Whether it be wind-screens for convertibles, rubber mats for those northern winters or the best Saab clothing, his stuff is specifically sourced because it’s premium quality. I got one of his Classic White Saab Lands’ End Dress Shirts and it’s without doubt, the most comfortable shirt I own.

SoN warehouseSecond, if Dan’s going to keep serving his client base and feeding his young family, he’s got to stay in business. That means he has to earn a living. To do that, he needs to sell the best stuff he can find, which is exactly what he does.

Like his customers, Dan’s a Saab enthusiast who happens to also make a living serving the needs of other Saab enthusiasts. Thankfully, there’s enough people out there, especially in the north-eastern US, who agree with him when it comes to providing the best Saab official and aftermarket accessories you can find.

I’m proud to call Dan a friend, and especially grateful that State of Nine is a long term Saabs United supporter and sponsor.

Day 1 in Boston

Howdy all,

Just a quick update on my travels here in Boston.

First thing – I absolutely love this town. After doing the morning updates here on the site, I took a quick driving tour with Pierre from Charles River Saab and I’m now really hoping to get a good look around on foot on Monday. I don’t know what it is about this city, but it has a very nice way of making a stranger feel at home. It’s classy without being big and brassy. My kind of place.

And there’s Saabs by the bucketload here, too. People had told me that before but it’s amazing once you get here. It’s a bit like driving around in Stockholm, actually, in terms of Saaby presence.

Here’s one example – four Saabs in the one photo….(click)

The 900 on the far left is actually Pierre’s and it’s superb! Goes like a train, but faster.

We stopped in town and met up for lunch with Dan De Vlieger from State of Nine. Dan has a warehouse out of town but actually runs the site from an office downtown. The building is an old stately home that’s been turned into office space and it’d be a very cool place to work – big entry rooms and common spaces before it peels off into a rabbit warren of corridors and stairways leading to the various offices. There is some magnificent timber panelling and leadlight windows in the main areas of the old home and you can only imagine the social engagements that must have been held there a century ago.

Apparently the original owners made their money selling shovels to the railroad companies when they were expanding. That’s a pretty humble way to amass the kind of fortune you’d have needed to build that place. I think this is the point where I’m supposed to say “only in America”.

Speaking of which…..

This doesn’t happen just in America, but it seems to be so prevalent here that I’m wondering if it isn’t enshrined in one of those amendments to the constitution that get quoted sometimes (I’ve checked, but it’s not there. I’d like to propose it as the 28th amendment and see if it can take longer than the 27th to get ratified (which took 203 years!!)). It feels like there’s an unofficial casual business uniform consisting of light tan pants and blue shirt. Blue sport jacket is optional, depending on weather. The adventurous ones might substitute a blue stripe shirt for the standard blue shirt. The appropriate shoe color for the uniform is brown.

OK, I’ll stop this, lest someone jump on my back about my own (distinct lack of) fashion sense once again.

Back to Dan…..

The three of us enjoyed a fantastic lunch and yes, waitress, the rib meat did fall off the bone. Tasty.

Being so far away, it’s always a rare treat to meet site sponsors face to face, and it was fantastic to spend some time talking with Dan about his business. There’s an abundant spirit of entrepreneurship all around the US. Much more so than in Australia, or at least in my Australia. Talking with Dan and hearing all the war stories from what’s been a pretty tough few years was quite inspiring and his company – like all the companies that sponsor SU – is one that I’m proud to have forged a relationship with.

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From there, Pierre and I headed back to his workplace and I got to meet a bunch of the guys and girls at Charles River Saab.

CRS is one of the oldest Saab dealerships in the United States and the people who work there are really proud of where they work. If you ever meet Pierre, ask him what time he gets into the office and what time he leaves. Talk about passion and pride in your work.

They had one new Saab 9-5 in the yard but as you might expect, it had already been sold. They were waiting for four more to come in and I got the distinct impression that they wouldn’t mind having them there….. like…. yesterday.

I also had a good chat with Peter M, a looooong term Saab technician who’s spent plenty of time in Sweden over the years when he was a field engineer for Saab USA. He was working today on a clutch that had had a tougher life than Hunter S Thompson and about as enigmatic an ending, too.

I love the banners they’ve had made up at CRS, too. Nice work.

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Tomorrow’s going to be a great day.

It’s kind of like Day 1 of Swedish Car Day, but by necessity it’s a limited event to begin with.

We start very early tomorrow morning with a drive to a track, where we’ll be doing a driver training session with a group of professional instructors from In Control.

……we will partner with In Control Advanced Driver Training to host a day of intense crash prevention instruction, highlighted by the use of Saab and Volvo cars. Besides the excellent In Control half-day course, which features instruction in ABS technique, steering (slalom), tailgating and emergency lane change maneuvers (think moose avoidance), we will also provide cornering technique instruction and an autocross.

The good parts – I not only get to drive in this one, but Eggs will be there as well!!!!

The track day is fully booked, with 16 participants attending.

After that, we head back to Charles River Saab for a casual reception – an open house meet and greet type thing. CRS will be firing up the BBQ to fill the spaces and everyone’s welcome to come on down, have a look around and say G’day.

The open house will be between 5pm and 7pm. If you’re in the area, then do please drop in. Personally, I want to say Hi to as many people as I can because I may not be back in these surrounds for a while and Sunday’s going to be crazy busy (we have record pre-registrations!!).

Monday Morning Snippets

Site sponsor, STATE OF NINE, have their annual July 4th outlet sale on right now.

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Z! has elongated the rear window of his 9-5 Combi Coupe:

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What’s going on in England?

Saab 9-5 wheels on a Viggen……

…and then a 9-5 wagon with Viggen-like 5-spokes (Hi Robin!)

Those photos were taken at a local motor show in England, where one Saab dealer rolled out a new Saab 9-5 for show n tell…..

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Because sometimes the regular Bugatti Veyron just isn’t fast enough……

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My one World Cup gripe:

Shamed Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez received a one-match ban on Saturday for his handball against Ghana, meaning he could still play in the World Cup final if his countrymen can see off Holland in the semi-final.

He should have been shipped home. Doing it was bad enough, gloating about it afterwards was criminal. The guy is a dog and a one game penalty just goes to show how much this game needs to be cleaned up at the official level.

It was a very sad weekend for World Cup tipping. Being the superficial soccer watcher that I am, I was cheering for both Brazil and Argentina.

I’m not sure what the Dutch win says about them, but the Germans were incredible. If they can beat Spain……

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