Greetings from Stockholm!

Well, after countless hours in airports and airplanes, it gives me great pleasure to be writing this from my wondowless hotel room right here in Stockholm, Sweden.

I arrived about three hours ago after a gruelling 12 hour flight from Kuala Lumpur, where I resisted the urge to by a can of Mecca Cola but did pay $8 for a block of Cadbury’s chocolate that was made in the factory 25 minutes away from own home in Tasmania!! It sells for around $4 at home.

I’ve got to be brief with this post as I’m meeting a guy for dinner (Par B from Auto Motor and Sport magazine) in around an hour. But here’s a few brief observartions from the coalface:

1) If you ever needed some rock hard evidence about why the 9-3 SportCombi is so important to Saab, then spend some time in Sweden. At least half of the cars I’ve seen on the road so far – and this is no exaggeration, I promise – are either wagons or hatchbacks.

The fact that the 9-3 sold pretty well in its home market prior to the SportCombi coming along shows just how good car the sedan is. But this is a wagon country and I’ve already seen a number of them here on the road.

2) Volvos outnumber Saabs on the Stockholm streets I’ve seen by an order of about two to one. If not more. It’s box-city.

3) I saw my first Viggen within 20 minutes of leaving the airport. Woohoo!

4) There’s a lot more Mercs Audis and Beamers here than I expected. A lot more. Saab and Volvo consistenly kick butt in Swedish sales data, but make no mistake the Germans are here in high numbers. But that’s just an observation from my viewpoint here in the city.

5) I’ve probably spent the sum total of an hour (out my three in the country) car-watching. I’ve seen every model Saab from the 96 onwards except for a 99. By far the highest proportion of them have been 9-3s and 9-5s. There’s heaps of 9-5 taxis here but also a lot of 9-5 SportWagons in private hands.

Here’s a few pics taken during a brief 10 minute stroll a few blocks from my hotel. I’ll be back with more later, and I’m on the train to Trollhattan tomorrow!!

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StockholmSaab1.jpg

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StockholmSaab2.jpg

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StockholmSaab3.jpg

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After wandering around for 10 minutes or so looking for Saabs in the quite light city traffic, this 9-3 SS was sitting parked right outside of my hotel.

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StockholmSaab4.jpg

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25 Comments

  1. Nice to hear about your safe arrival! Soon word will spread about that guy running around in downtown Stockholm taking photos of Saabs. 😉

    Enjoy your dinner!

  2. Awesome! Happy to hear of your safe and Saab-filled arrival.

    Have a fantastic trip and remember….easy on that viagra. 😉

  3. Did anyone else notice the 1st gen 9-5 wagon with the 2nd gen taxi 9-5 wagon in the bakground? I thought that was kinda clever…

  4. Welcome ! Your reactions and impressions of Sweden is what I look forward the most too. Always fun to get a foreigners view on things we Swedes take for granted. If you think you’ve seen alot of Saab’s in Stockholm…”you just aint seen nuthin yet…” Down here you cant throw a stone without hitting one…

  5. Windowless hotel room? I guess I should have donated more money 😉 That’s just motivation for you to get out of the room. Just don’t forget to set your alarm clock and hope the power doesn’t go out.

  6. glad you arrived ok, good thind is the saabs come to you, you dont need to go looking for them. love the yellow on the 9-5SW. have a quick peak at the ice bar in the nordic, just through the door to the right.

  7. Swade, let me know if you dont have any plans for tomorrow (sunday)afternoon/evening. I could pick you up at the hotell and we’ll do a bit of sighseeing. 🙂

  8. Ivan, one thing is for sure, with Swade there everyone will get a good taste of the festival, o and sweden too.

  9. Great that you got there safe, and ensure to focus on having a great time.

    The important thing is that you enjoy it. Focus on that, and if you do a few blogs that is a bonus.

    Think all of us that visit this site on a regular basis share the same view.

    Enjoy Sweden, and if you can, take a boat out in the archipelago, its rather unique.

    CJ

  10. Welcome to Swedens Swade! I think it’s funny that you are so surprised by the amount of Saabs you see =) just wait til you get to THN, u cant drive for 1 minute without seein one 😉

    About point number 2: not here 😉

    ps. I worked today, (I know saturday)getting some Saabs out to Statoil, it was actually a combination of one hundred 95/93 but this is not the most important thing, the important thing is that the road between the testtrack and “hagen”, the big parking lot there were 4 Saab MY08 obviusly testing something and on the rear a badge saying “Aero TID” ?!?! what’s up with that, anyone?

  11. Hope you have a good time! Are you planning to meet up with Steve Bunton and Brendan Burdon while you’re there? It’s unfortunate that more of us couldn’t make the trip over from Australia but I think the cost-factor was a big sting in the tail that swayed a few people from comitting… Look forward to reading your reports here and in SaabMissions when Steve prepares the next issue! Craig.

  12. Congrats on having a safe trip swade, please post as many pictures as you can of your trip.. looking forward to updates!

  13. I noticed the wagon taxi, too. I wonder if they cost less in Sweden. I heard a fellow from Germany say Mercedes was like the Ford of America. I’m not sure that’s a good comparison, but the point is that in Sweden a Swedish car is not unusual. But are they cheaper?

  14. I’ll be looking for a guy with a TS-shirt speaking english (or australian 😉

    I’m travelling with a group from the west coast of Norway on wednesday!

  15. I’m a happily married man, Richo, so no such antics would be entertained.

    If you had have been in my seat, though, perhaps you would have joined. The young Swedish nurse who sat next to me was returning home after six months (and several tattoos) in Thailand. Nice girl. She downed around six scotches on the 12 hour flight and a red wine. Quite the party girl when she wasn’t asleep.

    The flight took us over Pakistan and Afghanistan, literally flying right over Kabul according to the route map on the plane. I kept wondering about the range of surface to air missiles should some crazy Afghans decide to have some high-altitude target practice.

    It’s 4.45 in the morning here. Do you think I’m jetlagged?

  16. Swade,
    Great to hear you made it to the promised land safely! Stay safe, and have a blast!

    I imagine seeing Saab’s in Sweden is like seeing Chevy’s in America, or Holden’s Down Under.

    Also, where was the chrome-plastic strip on the back of that 9-3 Combi? Was it black or not present? And why couldn’t I get that option on mine? Heh…

    And do yourself a favor. Make sure you tell anyone that looks suspicious that you are an Aussie and not an American, just in case they want to take out some hostility on you for “US”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a proud American, but who did the Aussie’s ever piss off?? No one!!!

    Cheers Swade!

    P.S. I’d love for you to randomly tell a Swede that you are Paul Hogan, and then drop a Crocodile Dundee reference. That’d be great, IMO, see if you can trip them up. Good times!

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