1985Gripen met Kyu Kwon at the Saab 60th Anniversary event a few weeks ago. Kyu’s a Korean guy living in LA and working freelance as a motoring writer, among other things. Kyu’s a talented guy, as you’ll see.
Unlike many at the event, Kyu actually knew his Saabology pretty well and Gripen even remarked that Kyu’s smile at times rivaled his own.
I can only recall my own situation and tell you that I had no recollection whatsoever of Saab prior to the late 1980s. Apart from glances of Saab 900s, which I probably wouldn’t have recognised the name of in my late teens, my first up close experience with a Saab was a lime green 99 owned by the cousin of an old girlfriend.
Kyu, however, has obviously been a car guy and a Saab guy since a very early age. Here’s a picture of a young Kyu. I don’t have the date of the picture to hand but I think we could safely say Erik Carlsson’s aged around 15 years since then….
This photo was taken in Korea at a Saab Performance Team event. Kyu’s holding one of his early illustrations of Erik Carlsson’s red, rally winning Saab 96.
And that’s quite likely the reason for Kyu’s big smile in San Diego.
Not only did Kyu get to re-live his meeting with Erik Carlsson, he even got to see the RAC winning 96 in the metal. Moreover he also got to ride in the car with Mr Saab at the wheel and shoot some film of the experience.
Kyu’s website is in Korean but you should be able to make your way around it sufficiently to enjoy some of his photos from the day. In addition, he’s also given permission for me to reproduce this illustration he did of the 96 – illustrating and animation is his other strong suit and I think you’ll agree he’s pretty good at it!
Click to enlarge.