I’m not normally given to this sort of thing, but this little excerpt was too good not to share.
I’m currently reading Rolf Bleeker’s The Spirit of Saab and as I read this part last night, I couldn’t help but think to myself how little had changed in 40 years….
During the introduction of the 99, 900 and 9000 in the USA, Saab had the same problem as with all Saabs right back to the Saab 96. Nobody believed the newest model was a true Saab. Above all there were complaints from the dealers. Just six months after the release of the 99, pleading letters with the following requests were arriving at Saab’s US headquarters: “Please tell the Swedes to send us the 96 again! Our customers want the 96 and not the 99.” Saab drivers believed in faithfulness and monogamy. Their love of ‘their’ car was strong, so strong in fact, that even the attractions of a new beauty could not persuade them otherwise. To this day the tradition still exists, and will no doubt carry forth with future Saabs to come.
You got that right!
Bleeker’s book is a collection of stories like this. Stories from both Sweden and the US that document what you’d best describe as the human side of Saab’s growth as a car company.
The Spirit of Saab is pretty expensive to pick up, as Eggs noted in a post here not so long ago. At that time it was $800 for a new copy. I’m pleased to report that Amazon have 7 used ones as I write this starting at a comparatively bargain-basement price of $314.
It’s a good read, but any price comprising three figures is more than a little excessive, I think. But a great read, nonetheless.