Open Entry

After several night in a row of collating, editing and posting articles by 1985Gripen from the anniversary event in San Diego, as well as a very busy day job (yeah, I have one) – I now have brain cramp.

I’m getting an early night.

If you’ve emailed me in the last few days and I haven’t got back to you then please accept my apologies, but it’s been like a mad house around here.


So it’s over to you. It’s a comments free-for-all with the subject being anything Saaby. Ideas for Saab or ideas for subjects on the website are welcome. Your favourite Saab memory in 25 words or less.

Whatever. Go for it.


If you’re feeling bored and a little too cashed up the go visit the Trollhattan T-shirt Shop, where there’s now a new charcoal colored T-Shirt with the Viggen silouhette in white. Looks cool. I’ve just ordered one myself.

Send Swade to Sweden.


I’m still looking for a reputable T-Shirt producer in the UK or Europe so you Euro types don’t have to pay freight from the US. I was going to use Spreadshirt, but I don’t have a European bank account.




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  1. I’m 18. My license is 2 weeks old. I have only driven Volvo (240 & 360) and VW (Golf). Now I get to drive my friends parents 99 EMS. Holy cow!

  2. /rant on

    why is the hatchback hated (by automakers) but the stationwagon revered? stationwagons are too boxy; but they look good for new parents and seniors; bad for everyone else.

    /rant off

  3. Nah, wasn’t urgent but I like waking people up for nothing… (being a baby parent I’ll take my vengence out on anyone in any way I can) ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. saab9x: from what I’ve read it’s not the automakers who “hate” hatchbacks, it’s the American car-buying public. The automakers simply make what the consumers will purchase.

    All of what I’m writing is just what I’ve read so don’t blame me if it’s factually false or if you don’t agree with this.

    The word “hatchback” is a bad word in the psyche of the American car-buying public (much like diesel) due to the poor-quality “econo-boxes” marketed during the oil crises of the 70’s and 80’s. That’s why they called them “3-door” or “5-door”. To refer to the hatch as a “door” is of course ridiculous, but that’s what you gotta’ do to sell hatches in the U.S.

    SAAB wants to sell more cars in its biggest market, the U.S. Their perceived competitors only offer “notchback” models with a trunk instead of a hatch (the exception I can think of is Mercedes). SAAB sales sagged and some marketing genius decided it was because of the “quirky” SAAB hatchback. Therefore pressure was put on SAAB to exclusively sell only “notchback” models in the U.S. market (and 4-doors, with no coupe or two-door offering except the ‘vert) to compete. I would argue that the dumping of the hatchback hasn’t really affected SAAB’s U.S. sales numbers in such a way that an increase could be directly pointed to as being attributable to offering only sedan and “combi” versions of their cars. The increases seem to have to do with 9-7X and formerly 9-2X sales than anything.

    Since the U.S. is the biggest market it doesn’t make sense for SAAB to make hatchbacks simply for the ROW. There is precendent for a model being Europe-only (the SAAB 90), but I don’t think it really sold like hotcakes.

    Due to all the whining from the SAAB community a few years later (when they saved enough money after blowing it all on the development of the 9-3 Sport Sedan) SAAB finally introduced the Combi model (which had been on the drawing board along with the development of the sedan but they ran out of money to be able to introduce it concurrently with the sedan), which is really a “station wagon”, not a true “combi” (a “combi” being short for “combi coupe”, or a cross between a sedan and a wagon: a hatchback. See this link for more:

    Another advantage of a wagon (or “estate” or “combi” as SAAB calls their station wagons) is that it has increased structural ridgidity over a hatchback.

    Apparently American soccer moms are more liable to buy a station wagon (like Volvo offers in their “V” and “XC” series, AUDI offers as their “Avant” and “Allroad”, and Mercedes and BMW also offer) than a hatchback.

    The only thing that gives me hope that SAAB still plans to re-introduce a hatchback is the shape of the Aero-X. That thing is positively perfect to be a hatchback. If they want to design the “design language” of the Aero-X into future SAABs, they should start with that “fastback”-style roofline, IMHO.

    Also, Bob Lutz was asked to draw his idea of the quintessential SAAB. He only drew a roofline, but it was quite obviously the iconic roofline of the SAAB C900 hatchback.

    Also, a SAAB engineer told me that SAAB intends to double their available model variations within three years. So there’s GOT to be a hatch planned in there somewhere, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Since this is “Open Entry” time: let’s play a trivia game.

    Erik Carlsson reminded me of something I’d long forgotten during a discussion about the SAAB/Lancia/FIAT partnership on the SAAB 9000.

    What is the name of the car Lancia made and SAAB rebadged for sale in Sweden-only?

    Here’s a hint: it’s one of the few non-“9” SAABs.

    No cheating by looking it up on a Google search or anything (it does have its own wikipedia listing)! No answers from Swedes will be accepted (that means YOU, ctm). ;-P

  6. I got beef…

    First a disclaimer: I really am an optimist- I like a lot of things that are happening now with Saab, and too much criticism tires me. Gotta vent somewhere though. Ready?

    Saab should do way more to oversee the friendliness and helpfulness of their dealerships. Read in business terms: Efficiency. If GM doesn’t give you much, make the most of what you have! Many times have I stood in the middle of the lot of the local Saab dealership, and never once has any employee ever approached me. I spent a half-hour once staring into the new 9-3s. No help whatsoever. I mean, I think I was dressed okay…how conspicuous do I have to look before someone will greet me? Should I literally count 100’s on the hood of the new car I’m looking at? Is the car going to sell itself when most people know nothing about the brand, let alone haven’t even seen a Saab commercial in a couple years? How will you sell cars if you sit at your desk all day long? It can’t hurt for Saab to create some better goals and reports for the salespersons to submit back to HQ. Talking to people, and actually being friendly. What a friggin’ concept! Doesn’t take the VP of sales and marketing to figure out it would 1)sell more cars, 2)lower the number of bad experiences, and 3)keep those who have had bad experiences from thinking it’s the norm. Can you PLEASE increase the efficiency of your current operations?!

    Also, while I’m on this tangent, I think Saab should market their inventions and accomplishments. Imagine being a regular person who knows nothing of Saabs. A commercial starts listing off these things… Who’s the first company:
    Diagonal brake circuits, asbestos-free brake pads, CFC-free AC, heated seats, cooled seats, cooled glove box? Who sells turbos as standard, who has a revolutionary dynamic head restraint system reducing whiplash? Nearly steal-proof cars? The safest cars on the market? The possibilities for material go on and on…

    99% would have no clue. “BMW? Mercedes? Hmm.” No, guess again. Saab!

    Something like that would be different from every other car commercial on TV. I don’t know about you, but I tune out (with the mind or with the remote) when I see the same old crap commercial with some car being filmed from behind, or above, or the side, or in front, driving on the seemingly same country road or city street while some dude yaks on about leasing for blah-blah per month with yada-yada due at signing. Sorry, don’t care! It may not be the slogan here in the US, but it’s still applicable: Move Your Mind!

    Ahhh…I feel so much better now.

  7. In that GM interiors link I noticed that apparently the conceptual artist believes that the Dave Matthiews Band is “Jazz and Blues”. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Anyone else spot the Aero-X steering wheel?

    That Buick keyfob looks nice. Looks like some stitched leather on there too.

    Lastly, whomever is driving the car with the rear view camera image projected onto the rear view mirror (this was a no-brainer I though of years ago) apparently just drove off the top level of a multi-story parking garage downtown to get that image in his rearview mirror!!! ;-P

  8. Robin: not just you. CafePress is apparently having some problems with their site.

    Trust me, as the resident treehugger (Trollhattan Treehugger?) you want the non-bleached, non-dyed, natural-color organic cotton shirt. You don’t need to see the pics!

    Come on everyone, send Swade to Swaden!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. RJ: I think your commercial idea “Who’s the first…” is genious. Hope someone at Saab is reading it.

    Mats: Being that Swade is in the wrong time zone, I think we should urge him to install a web-controlled alarm so we can wake him from anywhere in the world when we think something big is happening;-)

  10. Ref : Saab dealers

    If anyone is in living in the west of the UK or coming down Wiltshire way, check out Causeway Saab in Chippenham.

    There is a reason why this place has been voted Saab dealer of the year over and over again.

    They talk Saab, and the owner flies microlights too. It’s a smart spotless Saab hall.

    The place is heaving with Saabs new- and some old classics are often out the back.

    The service is great. I rocked up in a pristine 25 year old clasic 900 and they sorted me out on the spot – and it was free!

    What a Saaab dealer should be. And not far East is Reading and Newbury Saab (Hirsch dealers) who will also talk Saab and give you a coffee.

  11. Swade mate,

    Can you get people to stop using the Honda word on this site. Too many recent references to Honda and Acura in comments.

    I don’t come here to read about Honda sh.t.

    And if anyone wants an arguement, e mail me and I will tell you how many dead, and paralysed people there are out there – who owe it to a certain non- Swedish car maker’s cars from the 1980s and early 90s that were ultra reliable and ultra crap in any form of crash – allegedly…

  12. Lance,

    I’m sure there are some good dealerships as well, and you’re lucky to have one you can go to.

    Also, maybe it’s just me- but you aren’t too happy about the H-word, are ya? ๐Ÿ™‚

    HEY! YOU! Reading this! Have you bought your T-shirt yet? No, really. Check them out. I really like the Trollhattan Darkness shirt (hard choice between the charcoal and the military green-ultimately chose green). Let’s suppose you saw a Trollhattan Saab shirt (or a shirt with a Saab on it) at your local mall. Wouldn’t you get excited and buy one? So why the reluctance to buy one online? Go to CafePress and get it done! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Swade deserves a vacation.

  13. I don’t know if anyone saw it, but in the commercial for part three of the Future Car mini-series on the Discovery channel, there was clearly a shot of a polished door sill with “BIOPOWER” engraved in it.


    Finally found out what snabbar means. After seeing it on this SAAB 92 brochure.

    “SAAB 92: Snabb, Smidig, Elegant.”

    Put it through a Swedish/English translator and got this;

    prompt, quick, swift, swiftly, rapid, hasty, nimble

    So next time we read they need to “snabbar up the process”.

    Smidig: agile.

    Still stands today, my Sportcombi is both snabb and smidig as well as elegant.

  15. I’m a little rankled that I’m an early TS T-shirt adopter because I got the only one available at the time. However, it did come today. Sweeeet!!

    Croma — NO (repeat) NO structural safety elements were retained from the Saab design when the Croma was built. Awful. Italians apparently are OK with auto crash deaths. Puzzling.

    About the comments re: white paint in the previous post, that’s why the eggsngrits Saab is Cirrus White. Lookin’ good! Hides oxidation well, too, thankfully.

    The ultimate Saab ‘trunk monkey’ — can replace a DI cassette in under 30 minutes in any weather conditions. Secondary talent: can translate a scrambled 9-3 display in less than 30 seconds. Can be trained to polish Inca wheels or to hold up a sagging headliner.

    About hatchback vs. notchback above: The odd thing is that the C900 2-door was available in the UK and other Euro markets but we only got the 2-door for the 1986 model year. Hmmm…. something is wrong there. Several times I’ve wished for the 5-door option for the little omlete to cart around our yolks and all of their stuff. We ended up with the Toyota RAV4. We would have bought a 9-3 5-door, but none were available, obviously.

  16. Re: Saab dealers. YES! Ours is in the same shop with Porsche, Jaguar, BMW and Ferrari. If you say taht you want to look at a Saab, it’s almost as if you’ve insulted them.

    If I were to buy a new Saab, I would likely shop at the dealership in a neighboring city. I’d try to have it delivered through them just to piss them off.

  17. Hi, All;
    I, too, received my organic t-shirt today. It’s a beautiful buff color and the quality of the print job is outstanding. Very, very nice shirt. Everyone should buy a few.

    Hey Swade…how about a hat?

  18. Greatest Saab moment: Finally driving my 99T for the first (ever) time after getting the gearbox and turbo replaced. That was the best.

    A hat? Shall look into it.

    I ordered a charcoal T-shirt with a Viggen in white on it yesterday.

    I hope someone’s TiVoing that Discovery Series. It’d be interesting.

    Thanks all for the many and varied comments while I slept. interesting stuff. And I feel a lot better.

  19. Swade, YOU’RE not supposed to buy a shirt! That pretty much cancels-out the profit from MY organic cotton TS shirt! BTW, Kraig, wait ’til you wear it for the first time. It’s so soft (“jersey knit”)! I don’t have mine yet (it should be here any time – maybe tomorrow), but I have one from the same manufacturer with the SoCal SAAB Club logo on it. So comfy! And you can feel good knowing that they used no dyes or bleach in its manufacture. Green, like SAABs. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Swade: I’m TiVo’ing the “Futurecar” series on Discovery. Please anyone let me know how I can get copies to Swade! VHS won’t work (NTSC versus PAL) and I don’t have a DVD burner (not that that would work due to regional coding anyway). Is there any freeware product that might let me somehow output from the TiVo’s ethernet port to my Mac Mini and encode it in Flash format, or something? I know I’m grasping here…

  20. Top 9 things I’m going to do in the first week that I’m CEO of General Motors:

    1) Sell off all peripheral brands and non-core businesses. Chevy, Cadillac, Opel, Holden etc.
    2) Announce new investment strategy in Core Business: Saab.
    3) Buy back Scania & make real trucks.
    4)Re-launch the corvette with a turbo biopower engine, AWD, wraparound screen and call it Sonnet.
    5) Do a joint venture with BMW to do a share on the X5 and build a SAAB 4Wd to be proud of.
    6) Commission the 91, 93 & 95 hatchback coupes.
    7)Move global HQ to Trollhattan and the PR department to Tasmania.
    8) Change the business name from General Motors to Specific Motors. Or maybe Turbo Motors.
    9) Launch the Saab WRC and F1 race teams with their Biopower engines.
    10) Buy back the Saab jet business and convert them all to ethanol then launch a new all-ethanol airline with Richard Branson.

  21. Living in this bundus and the middle of nowhere, I would wish that GM Southern Africa would consider to bring the still-flawed but vastly improved 9-7X to this part of the world. The picture I saw the other day belonging to someone in Switzerland was mouth-watering indeed …

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