Travel Notes – Day 4

Most video will be held off until Friday evening as I’ll be getting the use of a Mac at that time. I can process video on the laptop as long as it’s all in one take. If I have to edit stuff out then it’s too frustrating on this machine. Please be patient, it’ll be worth it.


Whilst it’s been fun watching all the guesswork, let’s stop the speculation, shall we. The blue one’s mine for the week. It was provided by Saab Sweden, to whom I am eternally grateful as my feet were getting quite sore after one day walking around Stockholm earlier in my trip.


I’ll try and get some better pictures of it, probably tomorrow as it’s a public holiday here and everything (except the museum) is closed.


Speaking of cars and driving, I’m starting to feel a little more comfortable and confident on the wrong side of the road. So confident in fact, that I even put the top down for a little bit today and cruised.

I may have to buy a CD though, as Swedish radio is terrible! If it’s not some talk show it’s sugar-coated pop stuff. I bought my iPod, but forgot my charger cable, so once it runs out it’s dead until I get home.


Saab USA brand guardian Steve Shannon won’t be attending the festival this weekend. I got some mail in from SaabUSA telling me that he has a provate commitment that was booked a long way prior to the commencement of his duties at Saab


There’s a lot of 9-3 sightings to be had here, but most have been on the road and if you think I’m going to be thinking of photographing them whilst driving on the wrong side of the car on the wrong side of the road then you’re sadly mistaken.

I saw two myself today on my brief in-car travels. There was one filling up with fuel at a station near the ANA dealership this morning, and a red SportCombi on the road this afternoon. The light pipes along the top of the headlamps are very subtle during the day, but they look great.

As mentioned, I didn’t photograph them, but I did have these pictures passed on to me, which were taken in the last day or so, I believe.



As mentioned yesterday, and as you can see here, the new 9-3 is easily spotted now in Trollhattan. If there’s a lack of urgency about posting more pictures, here’s the likely reason why: there’s nothing more to find out.

The interior is largely the same as the previous model, with the only changes being leather color and the option of a higher grade of leather. The other interior changes are non-cosmetic and relate to the quietness and fit of the interior. By all reports this will be a much quieter and smoother car.

Exterior-wise we’ve found out all the cosmetic changes and perhaps the only mystery remaining is the three little LEDs atop each of the side indicator lenses. These I haven’t seen in operation yet. If I do I’ll let you know, but it may be something worth waiting for.


Tonight I caught up with a few locals and one of my fellow Aussie travellers (Brendan B) over dinner and we chatted until just after midnight.

The locals were Tim, Johanna and Rikard and later on, Patrick. There’s lots to cover here, so let’s start with the vehicles.


Tim and Johanna (please forgive me if I’ve misspelled your name, J) have matching 9-3s that have been fully done up to Viggen spec. The end result is very nice indeed and both cars have some special bits-n-pieces that make them quite unique.

I’ll publish the pictures when Tim sends them, but he’s got some one-off woodgrain pieces on the forward upper door trims. Apparently they were Saab designed as prototypes but never got produced. He managed to sweet-talk some out of a contact there and installed them on his car. They look pretty smart and I was left wondering why they weren’t made as standard.

Johanna’s 9-3 has a dash cover that’s made from Teflon and it has a very distinct shimmer to it in the light. It’s very hard to detect when you’re not in motion – it looks almost like a standard grey. Get up close and you can see that it’s different, but it’s when the light hits it that it really shines – literally.

As well as those, check out the matching his and hers engine treatments:



Look again – event the coolant is color matched!!!


Rikard’s car is something I don’t think I’ve seen before – it’s a 9-5 Griffin. I’ve come across my fair share of 9000 Griffins, but a 9-5 Griffin was new to me.


Aside from the lack of a sunroof, this one’s fully loaded and it’s one sweet riding 9-5. It’s not lacking in speed either. This one’s a V6 and it was my first ride in a car with this engine. Very smooth and Rikard neede little encouragement to show that it went as good as it looks.


After dinner and a long time talking about most things Saab, we decided to make a quick trip up to the museum to see if there was a late-night session going on to repair whatever happened when the Aero-X went bang earlier today.

It was all closed up with no-one working inside. We did manage a photo and it shows that the Aero-X is still listing to one side. Here’s a static shot and as you can see, the wheel well is sitting right on top of the tyre.


You may also like


  1. …these are nice swade. I especially like the nose shot of the new 9-3.

    The prospect is looking better and better….

    My only wish is that the top of the bonnet wasn’t so flat.

  2. Nice to read about your journey in my hometown. Hope to see you on the road, look for a Lime Yellow Aero MY2005 Vert with a blue top. 😉

    Have fun!

  3. Swade,

    Have you seen a standard spec 08 9-3, thats what we have not seen yet, what the non-aero models will look like?

  4. Wow! You’re driving an anniversary edition model:)

    I’m liking how the 08 looks, and it looks stunning in Black. I’m normally not a fan of black, but in this case it looks great!

  5. Swade, you are one lucky guy! Saab provides you with a 9-3 Vert for your stay (I hope the weather is nice enough to keep the roof down), you get a tour round the factory and took your own pic of the 9-3SC and I must say that front end is bloody gorgeous!!

    Having said that I think the city of Trollhattan should give you the key to the city as you do so much to promote the place and those fab cars that are built there.

    I can honestly say, you rock!!!

    zippy 🙂

  6. 1. this is the first i’ve heard about led’s in the side indicators. i’m interested to see what that’s all about, as it doesn’t sound like they replace the side indicators;

    2. it’s too bad about mr. shannon’s absence. a few weeks ago, he did say that he plans to be at the saab convention in the u.s. …donno, probably would look better if he or saab usa could’ve mentioned sooner than the week of sweden’s celebration that he won’t be attending (due to a scheduling conflict before he even got the job?). sorry for the irony tangent–let’s get back to enjoying swade’s adventure;

    3. saab sweden is really a class act with the use of a new vert. if you get the time when you get back, i’d like to how it handled, your driving experiences in it, and a comparo to your viggen;

    4. i know nothing of the cost of cd’s in sweden, but if they’re priced like in the u.s., it may be cheaper to buy an ipod power cord than 2 or 3 cd’s. luck;

    5. so the black outline around the taillights is a go? it’s not masking anything? (if you can’t divulge that information, yet, i understand; but if it’s de-classified, and you want to confirm whatever it is, i’d be interested to hear about it); and

    5. good stuff.

  7. Hey Swade!
    Great work you´re doing. Very nice pics! Did you recognise the ventilated leather seats in the 95 Griffin? That´s the only SAAB that´s got them.


  8. Hey Swade!
    Great work you´re doing. Very nice pics! Did you recognise the ventilated leather seats in the 95 Griffin? That´s the only SAAB that´s got them.


  9. Swade,
    CD’s in sweden cost something like 180 kronor = 20 € = 25 $
    so you’re probably better of bying ipod power cord.


  10. Or, put the top down nad tune into SR P2 (that’s the public service radio channel 2 with mostly classical music). That way, you attract the more sophisticated ladies when crusing around in Trollhättan.

  11. Please indeed post more pics of Tim and Johanna’s 9-3s! I love it when the 9-3 & 9-3 SE are “Viggenized”!
    The engine treatments are very impressive, visually!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *