Swedish Car Day 2013


On Sunday 25 August 2013, Charles River Saab and Boston Volvo Village will present the fourteenth annual Swedish Car Day at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, Massachusetts (just outside Boston).  One of the largest lawn events hosted at the Larz Anderson, over 200 Volvos and Saabs are expected of every vintage and will be displayed on the beautiful grounds of the museum.


Beyond the cars, which are always the stars at Swedish Car Day, there will be three additional attractions. Dean Shaw, Vice President of Corporate Communications for Volvo North America (and former Brand Strategy Manager at Volvo) will speak on a variety of Volvo topics, and has promised to share some secrets about the new safety systems and the hybrid power train in the next generation XC90. Next, Swedish Car Day welcomes Saab Parts North America President Tim Colbeck. Tim follows a number of other Saab presidents who have made appearances at Swedish Car Day over the years. Finally, an old friend of Swedish Car Day–Seth Wonkka–himself a multiple Saab and Volvo owner and former Village Auto Group employee who has attended many a Swedish Car Day, returns with his band to entertain the assembled.

As always, there will be judging of the displayed cars by attendees, a raffle with many prizes and the parts tents will be in full swing.

The official opening of the event is at 10am with and Swedish Car Day finishes at 2pm. However, the lawn will open to attendees starting at 8am (not before!). Admission is $20 per vehicle. Information regarding fees for walk-on attendance, address and so on is available at the Larz Anderon website. A registration form can be found at www.swedishcarday.com which can be printed and completed for presentation upon arrival (there is no online registration) to speed check-in. Updates on Swedish Car Day, plus many photos of prior events, can be found at the SCD Facebook page.

Volunteers willing to help with registration, traffic direction on the lawn and ballot counting are requested. If you’d be willing to help, or have questions about Swedish Car Day, please contact Pierre Belperron at [email protected]

UPDATE: Irene Postpones Swedish Car Day

That may be the weirdest headline I’ve ever written. No, she’s not some fat angry lady causing trouble, she’s a big fat hurricane causing serious havoc on millions of Americans’ lives this weekend. Because of the impending hurricane (after the east coast’s first earthquake in as long as anyone can remember, my house shook…), Pierre from Charles River Saab let us know that Swedish Car Day will be postponed one week. From Pierre:

The change is official.

Swedish Car Day has been rescheduled. I am announcing this earlier than previously stated. The museum needed to know today so as to arrange their staffing, and it did not look like there would be any significant news regarding the weather pattern. If anything, the forecast for 2-10” of rain in the northeast corridor preceding the hurricane made the change inevitable. Therefore:

Swedish Car Day 2011 will take place on September 4, 2011

Read moreUPDATE: Irene Postpones Swedish Car Day

Saab 95 – “Ol Blue” with Saabo in tow

It’s with great pleasure that I’m showing you these images today. These are from Swedish Car Day, which I was fortunate enough to attend a few weeks ago in Boston.

As with the Saab Sonett V4 that I showed last week, the Saab 95 below is owned by one of the technicians at Charles River Saab. His name is Peter Maitland, and once again, it’s nice to know your tech loves the brands as much (or more) than you do!

And just like Ralph’s V4, this Saab 95 and Saabo won an award at SCD – Best in Show! You’ll see why below.


Ol’ Blue is a 1968 Saab 95 purchased by Peter Maitland in 2002 in Butler PA, while Peter was working for Saab Cars USA. The previous owner had the car nine years and had only driven it 100 miles! Prior to that, it was owned by Jack Ashcraft in Oregon, where it had been driven since new. Under Ashcraft’s ownership, the 95 had been repainted once, the original Husar Blue, and the interior had been reupholstered.

1968 Saab 95

Improvements that Peter has made include installation of a Jack Lawrence high output motor and induction system (good for 120 bhp), Deluxe model dash and gauges, new wiring harness, wheels, rebuilt Sonett transmission (selected for its taller gearing), striping and decals on its flanks, front air dam and an XM radio tucked away in the glove box. Peter has driven the car 50,000 miles (true total mileage on the car is unknown), including to the 2004 Saab Owners Convention in Washington state. It was on the return trip east from that SOC that Peter stopped in Iowa to purchase his Saabo.

Read moreSaab 95 – “Ol Blue” with Saabo in tow

Swedish Car Day – Saab Sonett V4

I’m going to feature a couple of the award winners from Swedish Car Day, held last weekend in Boston.

If you were getting your Saab serviced, wouldn’t you feel a little reassured knowing that your mechanic is as big a Saab nut as you? Or maybe even a bigger one? Such is the case at Charles River Saab, where a couple of the mechanics took away prizes in various classes.

And don’t make the mistake of thinking the awards were an inside job – one look at these cars and you’ll see the quality. There were plenty of great cars at Swedish Car Day, but the two that I’ll show you over the next day or so were worthy winners.

The first of the two cars I’ll show you belongs to Ralph Bockoven, one of the techs at CRS. It’s a 1968 Saab Sonett II V4 and whilst it looks sweet in virginal white, this car is far from innocent.

Ralph bought the car in 1989. It was far from the showpiece you see today and despite the low 58,000 miles on the clock, Ralph got it for a bargain $1,000 from a very sick owner who hadn’t had the time to restore it (the owner actually passed away the day before Ralph came to pick it up).

Read moreSwedish Car Day – Saab Sonett V4

Photo Mysteries from Swedish Car Day XI

A quick post with some brain teasers from the Swedish Car Day XI. The idea is to answer the questions in comments. No cheating! If you’ve already been “in on” the secret, please defer.

First up, a license plate brain teaser.  This is Steve in NJ’s beautiful Saab 900 convertible.  His license plate is a personalized or vanity plate, but at first glance doesn’t seem to be.  What does it say or what does it stand for?


Second, here is a great example of Erik Carlsson’s generosity — he’s signed this Saab for the owner!  Upon which model Saab does this signature appear?  (Absolutely no answers from any New England residents, you have seen this most likely.)


Third, this is a photograph of Swade speaking in the upper room of the Larz Anderson Auto Museum.  What make and model is the car is parked in the middle of the room that everyone seems to be standing around?  Hint:  it is not a Saab.


Bonus question:  As I mentioned in my previous post, we were impressed with In Control driver training.   With four cars employed for a full-day course (about four hours of driving given the amount of classroom time), how many classes does it typically take for In Control to wear through a set of H-rated tires on each of the cars?

SCD photos please

In every piece of satire, there’s some reality. Such is the case with Eggs’ rib tickler from earlier today.

I’m certainly no rockstar. But one of the great things about being able to come to events like Swedish Car Day is that I get to meet a bucketload of people that I would otherwise not be able to touch base with.

One of the ever-so-slight downsides of that is that I don’t get to see as many cars up close as I’d like to, and my photo count from the day is way lower than what I’d ideally like it to be. I do have some stuff to share, but it is of a limited number of vehicles.

I know there are some comments coming through where people have taken photos from SCD and posted them online. I thought it might be good to have an entry where people can have access to those links in one place.

So…… if you’ve got some photos from SCD that you’ve loaded up to the web, please leave the link in comments here. Please keep it to one link per comment (link to the album, not to each individual photo) and that way, the comment won’t get caught up by the spam filter).

I’m off home. See you all soon.

Saab Press Release: Swade Officially a “Rockstar”


BROOKLINE, MASSACHUSETTS, USA:  Saab officially acknowledged today that Steven Wade, aka Swade, proprietor of the Saab automotive enthusiast website SaabsUnited.com, is a true Saab rockstar, only without the drugs and groupies.  With this new-found public affection Steven has been inundated with admirers for a good 25 minutes, maybe 30.

“It’s been a long time coming,” observed Parveen Batish, marketing guru of Saab Cars North America.  “He’s was ‘starving artist’, ‘up-and-comer’ and ‘well-known authority’ in succession.  And how can you forget the lengthy stint as ‘media darling’?  None of us thought he’d ever make it beyond that, but here we are.  Quite stunning, actually.”

With such lofty public status and affection comes the attention of the masses, and today’s crowd at Swedish Car Day 2010 is no exception.  Crowds thronged to see the antipodean pundit, who was obviously in his element among Saab and Volvo enthusiasts.  “I read the blog every day,” said one Saab enthusiast, who asked not to be named.  “However, that may change since he referred to Pierre [Belperron, the organizer of Swedish Car Day] as ‘that little guy’ during his presentation.”   Speaking to tens of Saab enthusiasts after his speaking engagement, Steven regaled the eager attendees with tales of his life as a “man with a lot of time on his hands.”

Indeed, out on the grounds amongst the fabulous display of Swedish iron, Steven seemed to barely notice the cars on display, preferring to greet complete strangers as they approached him for autographs, handshakes and locks of his hair.  “I touched him!!!” one excited young woman shrieked, running towards  her car with her hands held high.  Later, she was seen habitually re-applying hand sanitizer as she walked through the museum muttering something about “inoculations”.

Victor Muller, CEO of Spyker Cars NA, parent company of Saab Automobile, and Jan Ake Jonsson, President of Saab Automobile, released a joint statement, saying, “Steven Wade is truly a rockstar that helped to save our brand.  We couldn’t have done it without him, yet we are currently seeking a replacement.  You know how temperamental rockstars can be.  Before long Swade will be asking for top billing, vegetarian meals and sorted M&M’s.”

Of course, this is satire.  I’ve got a real post about Swade’s rock star status in my head that will come in about a day.  Swade really is a rockstar, of course.

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