Hangin with Bjorn

Please forgive me, but I’m going to indulge in not only a little bit of name-dropping, but also some trumpet blowing as well in the same post.

This happened. What can I do?

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Today was perhaps the most prolific day in my Saab-life. It was only a short meeting that made it so, but it was quite special nonetheless.

Today I met Bjorn Envall just outside the Saab museum. I was standing around talking with Brendan and saw Saab Sweden’s Christer Nilsson chatting with a guy about 6 feet away. As they moved closer to us on their way inside, Christer introduced him to us.

Needless to say my jaw nearly hit the floor. I was totally unprepared. I knew Bjorn worked in the design area for Saab years ago but my head was racing – which cars did he do? Was it him or him and someone else? How recently? Don’t make a dickhead of yourself!!!!

In the end I just came out and asked him. My suspicion was that he had crafted the 99 and indeed he had under the wing of Sixten Sason. His last assignment was the NG900. So in effect he had a hand in the design of both my current car, the 9-3 Viggen, and my old favourite car, the Saab 99 Turbo.

We had a good chat. He sort of recognised me from the article that was in this morning’s newspaper (most. unphotogenic. ever.). That was nice, but what really floored me was when he said that he liked to check in on the website and hear the gossip about what was going on here in Trollhattan!!

What the?

His exact words elude me as I write this, but he basically said that he liked the spirit of the site, that it’s committed to Saab and Saab alone.

I was absolutely stunned, to say the least.

We had a good, albeit short chat. I got the impression that he still keeps his finger on the pulse at Saab and comes in to cast an eye over things. He was quite reassuring about the future, saying that as he sees it, GM is of a mind to have it’s freedom a little more after the recent exercise of cost control etc. He raised his arms, flexing them like a pre-Governator and said that Saab will be getting strong again and the designs and cars in two to three years will be great.

Bjorn Envall has been retired for a little while now, but still puts pen to paper and he’s recently done some sketching which was copied and will be given away to people at the Festival. I got a few of these and I also got him to sign one of my color-sample 96s.

An incredible experience that I’ll never forget.

Bjorn%20signature.jpg

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9 Comments

  1. Awesome. Simply awesome!

    I’m grinning as I type…all your posts just make me grin all day. I wonder how it must be actually being there! Lovin’ the content and the humor.

    You and Bjorn…you’re real tight (crossing fingers)!

  2. Lucky dog! For a second there, I thought you had met Björn Borg, but this is even better. I think Björn Borg is living in Stockholm, maybe you’ll meet him too. He did that “Super Swedes” video with Stig Blomqvist. Heck, the way things are going, you’ll meet Stig too.
    Any significance to the word “Aerospace” in the drawings?

  3. I’m just sitting here smiling. You deserve this Trollhättan journey very much, Swade. As always; I start every day with a visit on Trollhattansaab.net, and now when you are in my neighbourhood I’m very focused on checking your site :/). SAAB rules! Besides; Trollhättan is placed in some really nice surroundings. Enjoy your stay, Swade!

  4. Swade: Again, I am envious! You, above all, worked like a slave to make this happen. Enjoy the fruits of your work!

    Priceless mementos AND you’ve made a Swedish newspaper!

    Additionally, you don’t look so bad, and the young graduates certainly bring the average ‘look’ factor on that page up!

    Think about this: You’ll be a keepsake for several proud Swedish parents!

  5. bjorn drew my favorite wheel–the 3-spoke.

    and if he’s giving his approval for the next-gen saabs, that’s a good indication of what’s to come.

    great day, indeed!

  6. You make me want to get back in a Saab again, Swade. Has any thought been given to larger cars — perhaps something with room for five adults to fit in comfortably?

    P.S. Did Bjorn develop the Speed Racer cartoon?

  7. There’s going to be a Speed Racer movie, and it’s gonna suck so hard and still be great.

    Anyway, that’s a cute sleeping kitty in the car.

    Bjorn, if you read this site, you should reply to posts here once in a while!

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