Travel Notes – Day 6

Today the Saab Festival officially began and it’s been well worth the visit already with three days more to come.

I started the day with a post on this site that stated that I was going to try and attend several seminars and events.

Fuggedaboutit!!

There’s just too much to see and too many cars to look at and too many people to talk to about these rather amazing machines that constantly pop up.

Here’s how the day went:

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10.00am – SDCC

The SDCC sale is the first major event at the Saab Festival. This is where they sell out a bunch of new-old stock and some of it is at quite rediculous prices. I shot a bunch of video at this sale, which I’ll edit tomorrow night and post as soon as possible afterwards.

But as a taster – how about an interior door panel for a Saab 99, in red, for just 100SEK. That works out to under $20 Australian. They had the rear interior panels for 99s in the same color at the same price, and that includes the ashtray. Incredible!

There was an entire 5-door Viggen interior for sale – door panels AND seats. That one didn’t last very long at all.

Given that I can’t cart big stuff back to Australia, I only purchased a few 1:43 models (around $4 Australian each) but there was an incredible amount of stuff there for sale.

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11.00am (or thereabouts) – Trollspeed

This was disappointing. You’d think that if they’re advertised as part of the Festival that they’d make sure there was something there worth looking at. Not so. There was an old 99 racer that was about to be dynoed, but nothing spectucular there.

From a company that’s prepared Per Eklund’s race cars and helped out with the mighty 800hp 9-3 of P A Johansson, you’d think there was something to show.

The best part about this section of the day is that on the way there I got to drive David R’s 1984 Saab 99. David’s from the UK and his 99 is in superb condition. It was great to get back behind the wheel of one again.

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Brendan and I then shot away for some lunch. After that we went hunting for MY08 9-3’s which was partially successful (the convertible shots posted earlier). I also ran into Ryan from Saabhistory whilst we were looking around.

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1.00pm – Went to a presentation on the aforementioned 800hp Saab 9-3. It really was an incredible build job and the car is very impressive in its level of detail. This one was also shot on video, so no photos at this stage – sorry.

During the question time I asked if the car was going to be driven at any stage over the weekend. PAJ replied that due to transmission problems, it wouldn’t. A further question about starting the car (so we could hear it run) revealed that the engine in the car was only dropped in the previous evening so there’d be something in the engine bay today. It didn’t even have any pistons in it!

Still, it’s an incredible piece of machinery and the build quality looks first rate.

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2.00pm – I did an interview with the local newspaper, TTELA. They were fascinated that a person in Tasmania would be writing so much about Saabs and travelling halfway around the world to come to Trollhattan.

Look for embarrasing photos tomorrow.

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3.00pm – Duty calls. I came back to post what we’d learned about the XWD 9-3 being shown this Sunday and the set of photos that Brendan had taken during the day, which were absolutely brilliant.

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4.00pm – we went back up to the Saab museum. The idea was to take in a little of the story of the Saab Pearl team from LaCarrera Panamerica.

No chance.

There’s just so many nice cars habging around there at this point that it was impossible to draw oneself away. We also ran into the other Aussies and decided to try for a group photo with Erik Carlsson. It took some time, but eventually we all stood behind him while he sat in his car for the photo.

I will get a copy of the shot to post here in the next day or so (was taken with someone else’s camera) but here’s the shot I took.

Erikshead.jpg

As I stood there, I became totally fascinated with this dent Mr Saab has in his cranium. It moves! It must be when he speaks or something. It was totally unbecoming of the moment we were having as a group of Aussies with a motoring legend, but I couldn’t help it so I snapped the photo.

He’s a great bloke and he took off right after the photo as it was near the end of the day and I think he tired of everyone chewing his ear off with questions, which I’m sure will happen again tomorrow.

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5.45pm – All this stuff took my mind off the fact that I was supposed to head back to ANA for the presentation by Swede Team Motor. I got there with a mere 15 minutes to spare. As everone in the audience was Swedish, Bo Lindman did the presentation in Swedish so I couldn’t understand any of the last part that I heard.

STMdiesel.jpg

I had a chat with him afterwards and it was great to finally meet him. The car looked great, too. It’ll be running at Kinekulle on Saturday and I asked him if I could ride shotgun and bring my camera. He had no problem with that, but said that safety regulations set by the Festival organisers prohibited it.

Darn Swedes and their safety obsession.

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As mentioned earlier, it’s the sheer volume of cars here that makes being here so good.

Here’s just two of the incredible machines that I saw today:

9-3Cab6spd.jpg

The photo above is of a magnificent 9-3 cabriolet. The owner, a Swedish guy who’s name I didn’t get, has done an incredible job on it. The detail is just fantastic and the work he’s put in must be incredible.

The first thing we noticed when looking inside was the extra number on the gear shift – he’s installed a six speed out of a 9-3SS into it!!

The interior’s got some great extras too, from the Nav screen to the suede insters in the seats and the carbon fibre grab handles in the doors. This was an immaculately presented 9-3.

9-3Cab6spdint.jpg

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Last night, at the impromptu show of cars down at the locks, I saw a Saab 96 in white that had a strange badge on the back with “96tt” made out of badging for a modern 9-3 2.0t (they used two nines, one inverted to make a six, and the t’s from the badging).

That car was brilliant and this one was just as great, but what’s more it also featured the same badging on the back.

Saab96TT2.jpg

Saab96TT2badge.jpg

It turns out the “tt” refers to the words “tva takt” (boy, I hope I got that right), which means “two stroke” in Swedish.

So now you know!!

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As great as the Saab museum is, it’s also notable for what’s missing at the moment. Saab 9000 owners here at the festival must be spitting chips as there’s no 9000s in there at all, save for a cutaway version to show off the construction and the safety features.

The museum owns over 100 cars and around 50 are shown at any given time. There’s gaps in the showroom floor, though, and surely a 9000 Aero in pristine condition (one of Erik Carlsson’s Greatest Saabs of the last 60 years) would be of interest.

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I also got to meet a few visitors to this website today, which was fantastic. Thanks a bunch for coming up and saying G’day!

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12 Comments

  1. I believe Mr. SAAB told me the dent was from a motorcycle crash. You could ask him if you’d like. He’s not at all shy.

    Any sign at the museum of the “Silver Beast”?

    Glad to read you’re having so much fun. Hey, get me some of those little toy cars while you’re there (I’m joking. Shipping cost would be excessive)!

  2. yep, that’s the place to be. thx, swade.

    (anyone else notice erik chatting up a lady during the mayhem when the aero-x was being pushed in? priceless.)

  3. By the looks of the photo, Steve’s hasn’t been going hungry in Stockholm. Either that or he’s had his head squashed!

    Drew

  4. Ref: http://www.ttela.se/?article=30649

    // rough translation, missgrammars and misspells included the “service”… //

    Steven loves Saab (same as the actual title of the Swedish article)
    Published 8 june 4.20 o’clock

    He is often first to hit the latest (Saab) news and papers like New York Times have used him as a source.
    The Saab-blog:er Steve Wade is at the moment In Trollhättan to pay a visit for the dream factory.

    Steven Wad’s blog trollhattansaab.net is well attended (holds a high readership) from as well branch representatives as media. He is quick with the latest news and has connections often making him the first. And all of it is about Saab. But if one is to believe Swade, as he calls himself, there was never a self-evident point that his blog should be about just Saab.
    -I like to write, more than I like Saab, but quickly add:
    -I love Saab.
    From the beginning he namely started a political site but it became all to boring.
    -I understood that the best thing would be to find something else to write about, something that I am interested of, says Wade.
    So it became Saab. But, how come a bloke from Aussie gets so rapt of a car make that he ends up spending several hours a day for the cause?
    Wade turns his eyes giving me a steady looks and answers me:
    -Have you driven the car?

    His interest for Saab began in his 20-ies. His friend had a Saab 9000 they drove around in. Wade, whom was in general sceptical against European cars, became converted.
    -We were headed towards Philips Islands and when passing a straight stretch we reached 200 km/h and had a BMW (Beamer) behind us, says Wade.
    Wade was completely sold, but it took some years before he bought himself his first Saab. It became a Saab 99E from 1972.
    Being able to visit Saabs hometown Wade describes as “important”, but that it would turn out to happen as quickly as it did he had never believed to.
    -It is like coming to “Mecca”, but I did want to come here sometime, he says.

    For being able to carry through the trip Wade started, who is an accountant (/auditor?) in ordinary days life, to sell t-shirts with his own logotypes. But that never carried though any large amount of income, witch made him change strategy.
    -I started up a campaign on my blog for enabling me to come her, and many have donated me money. That way proved to be much quicker. It also turned Saabs spotlight towards him and his wish and made him receive a personal letter from the car manufacturers head of press relations, Christer Nilsson. Now in situ here at Trollhättan among other things Saab have provided him with a 9-3 cab and a 4 hours of factory session tour.
    -That was totally outstanding, he says.
    The trip will last for a good week or so. But the days are heavily booked and there is few but other things than Saab related covering his schedule.
    -It feels really good to write about my experiences at my blog. I regard this more than a holiday because of all the people whom generously donated money making it possible for me to perform the trip, he says.

    And, the other day he got to experience the purpose of his journey – to meet with Erik Carlsson.
    -He greeted but we spoke very briefly. I don’t believe he reads that much into Internet and so.

  5. There is a Saab 9000 CC Aero -91 here in Sweden that had 37 000 km on it a couple of years ago. The tyres was the original from factory and even the window washer fluid was from the factory. The car had never been driven in rain. Needles to say that the car was (where is it now?) in mint condition. The members on STCS forum talked about collecting some money and by the car and then give it to the Saab Museum since they don’t have any 9000 CC Aero. After contact with the museum the answer was that they did not want the car since they did not have any room for it!?!? Are they kidding with me? Nuts…

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