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


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)


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.

Top Gear (US) episode featuring the Viggen

Last week’s episode (season 3 episode 10) of Top Gear (US) featured a 150 mph challenge: Get to 150 mph in the cheapest vehicle possible.

A ’95 Trans-Am ($2600), ’94 Infiniti Q45 ($1700 + $700 nitro conversion…) and Tanner picked a 9-3 Viggen ($3500).

A Viggen, an Infinity and a Trans-Am
A Viggen, an Infiniti and a Trans-Am

“You and I both have V8s rear-wheel drive, Tanner has a front wheel drive four cylinder…” teased one of the two guys who (*Spoiler*).
Racing an arrow
Racing an arrow

If you own a Viggen, used to own a Viggen, has sat in a Viggen or just stalked one in the museum, this Top Gear (US) episode is for you.

Update from maanders in the comments section: Looks like this episode will be repeated here in the U.S. on the History channel at 11pm EST on Tuesday

Saab and 007

Top Gear (UK) had a great programme on the TV tonight which featured 50 years of “Bond Cars”

Richard was the host and he mentioned cars from both the books and the films, sadly he missed one out, well more than one, but one that is special to us here at SU.

The Saab 900 Turbo stared in three novels and was a personal car of Bonds and not one from the brilliant Q.
In 1982 Saab constructed a  real version of the 900 Turbo with the gadgets exactly as described in License Renewed. This 900 included a specially developed turbo changed engine with water injection, increasing the power to 240 BHP from 2000cc and the car launched from 0 – 60 Mph in less than 7 seconds. Martin Lyons from Cardif remembers having it at a dealership he once worked in and remembers the inch thick glass windows.

Read moreSaab and 007

SOCGB on Top Gear Tonight

Those of you who are fans of Top Gear should tune into BBC2 (if you can) this Sunday at 8pm.
Top Gear will present a nice part of their show to the history of Saab.
The Saab Owners Club of Great Britain were invited to help put the show together by supplying cars, images and information.
Mike, Chairman of the SOC, said “We are proud to have been part of it and I think that we have done a good job for the Saab community”
Please visit www.saabclub.co.uk for more chat about the making of the show.

Swade has some tips for non GB viewers at http://www.swadeology.com/

Top Gear: Now and then

November 14th another Top Gear DVD was released. “Top Gear at the Movies”. Basically, Richard and James discuss various action movies and attempt to recreate some of the scenes with varying luck. At one point they try to make a car bulletproof, but could only afford to fit one side with steel plates. The result was that the car was severely leaning towards one side and almost impossible to drive.

All in good fun, but in the end they put their ‘hero car’ through the ultimate test: Being chased by various baddies in budget baddies cars. The final baddie… A Saab NG900! (or is it an OG9-3?)

Read moreTop Gear: Now and then

Fat Lady news snippets (What are GM and SweGov up to now?)

Top Gear on Friday featured an article about Saab’s current predicament. Saab now only days from disappearing?.

It mentions what we have heard elsewhere, that the Swedish Government say they will try persuading GM to allow Saab continued access to GM technology and parts.

That’s big of them. The Swedish Government has been fantastically unhelpful to Saab ever since its funding crisis started almost a year ago. It has turned down various foreign investors and chucked several administrative spokes in the wheels.

It might be too late now for it to make sympathetic noises.

— Paul Horrell, Top Gear

Read moreFat Lady news snippets (What are GM and SweGov up to now?)

Monday Snippets – Buzz Aldrin edition

It’s good to hear Saab had another big ad in the Wall Street Journal last week.

From page A5 (take that, Audi!)

Thanks to Mark T for the pic


One of the original moon-landing astronauts, Buzz Aldrin, once owned a Saab Sonett!!

He was a guest on the inaugural edition of Top Gear USA tonight and Quijote was kind enough to record the interview and post part of it on Youtube…


Of course, the Sonett didn’t need Buzz’s endorsement to be cool, but Buzz himself just got a whole lot of cool to join his moon-landing awesomeness 🙂


I’ve had more than one question asked in comments as to why Saab don’t stock more models – the new 9-5 in particular – with manual transmissions.

This post from Jalopnik might go some way to explaining why:

Even though manual transmissions have been in decline for decades, a new EPA report shows that 6.7% of new vehicles sold this year are equipped with a stick. Sadly, it’s the highest percentage in the last five years .

The good news is that that number actually represents a rise of about 1% on the previous year. That’s not enough to be a trend, but it gives some hope.

My understanding is that Saab have to have each model combination they sell in the US tested and certified before they can offer it for sale. The cost in dollars and time, combined with the low uptake of manual tranmissions, is probably a good indicator as to why some models don’t get a stickshift.

I know that’s not going to make some people happy, but it does provide a bit of an explanation.


The New York Times – a lazy, fat-assed publication that’s happy to pick some low-hanging fruit when it comes to Saab.

It’s crap like this – which is fundamentally untrue, by the way – that Saab is fighting against almost as much as anything else. I’m going to process some video tonight of one of the guys who developed the Saab 9-4x, the latest work in his 35-year career with Saab.


The Saab 9-3 SportCombi features in an AOL Autos list of Best 10 used wagons you can buy under $20,000.

In fact, go through that list and you’ll see the Saab offers the absolute best combination of age, power and low mileage – not to mention the Saab appeal.

Thanks Tal!


A friend of Ray K, Andy P, has been playing around with ideas for a new Saab logo and Ray thought we might like to see it….

People keep using the griffon logo that’s a holdover from the days when Scania was merged with SAAB . I decided that it’s time to retire it, since Scania is still using it.

Saturday Morning MADNESS snippets

Another day, another sponsor for the Saab (unofficial) ad competition!

With prizes hitting the $1,000 mark, I think we’re going to have to move from a winner-take-all stance to a 1st-2nd-3rd.

More prizes means more winners, so get your entries in!


It’s going to be a MAD weekend here due to the preparations I’ve got to make prior to the LA trip next week. Posting will be slower as a result and this snippets entry will be link with minimal filler because of it.


The Saab 9-5 didn’t make the cut in the European Car of the Year finalists. I still think that award was sewn up by the Alfa Giulietta some time ago.


The Saab 9-5 has been listed as a finalist in the Motor Trend Car of The Year awards, which is a great achievement and good publicity for the company.


I might have to buy a PS3 on November 24. Gran Turismo 5 finally has a date.

Unfortunately, there are no Saabs in the lineup.


The lads over at Saablog-in have found a truly unique Saab 9000 for sale in Sweden.

9000 Wagon, anyone?


Top Gear pose the Saab 9-5 against an Infiniti something-or-other and decide that you should buy a 5-series.

They like the Saab, by the way.

It’s probably a good read if you’ve got time, but I don’t.


Thanks for your questions prior to the LA Auto Show. A number of them have already been answered in these pages over recent weeks, so I’ll probably skip those.

To answer a few:

– there’ll be no 9-4x diesel at launch and Saab won’t identify who they might be talking to about a bigger diesel, either, but I believe they’re working on it (quite earnestly) but these things take time.

– detailed customisation options for any vehicle aren’t likely to be around in the next year or so. You’ve got to bed down the basics before you can move to this stuff.

– I will be asking about global website development, but one should note a comment by Seth on this issue as I believe he’s “in the know”

– I believe we’ll see the 9-5 wagon at Geneva prior to it going on sale Q3 of next year.

– We won’t see the successor to the Saab 9-3 until just before it’s scheduled release (end of 2012). Saab will show a concept car at Geneva next year, but it’s more of a ‘dreamscape’ concept that will point to Saab’s future design language.


From Flickr, Hirsch get all dreamy in Zurich….

Hirsch Saab 9-5 Zurich

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