This is the sort of stuff that makes all the hours of writing worthwhile for a Saabnut like me. Today, I’m employed by Saab to write about their affairs and help connect with you, their customers. For six years, however, I did it in my own free time and it’s meeting people like Ryan and getting to share their stories that makes it all so fascinating and worthwhile.
This is the passion that inspires the Saab community, whether it be long-term owners or new Saabers alike.
Ryan credits me with some of the inspiration for his purchase, which is very kind of him. It’s people like Ryan and his wife, Caroline, however, who inspire me. Whether you’re purchasing your dream convertible from yesteryear or a brand new 9-4x or 9-5, your stories are always worth the telling.
I’d like to thank Ryan for sharing his story. This was received by email yesterday (Thursday)……
We (my wife Caroline and myself) are really enjoying reading Inside Saab! Great work and what a dream come true to land a job with Saab!
As I’m sitting on a plane en route to LA from Boston, I just wanted to share with you the reason I’m on this flight in the first place (your work with TrollhattanSaab and SaabsUnited…and now Inside Saab are all major contributing factors for this little vacation).
Over the winter in Boston, as we started to wish for warmer days we decided to begin a search for a classic 900 convertible. After seeing pictures upon pictures online during the snow days, I started talking about the idea to Pierre, Peter Maitland and Seth at Charles River Saab. Their advice was to expand the search outside of New England, to lands where rust is a lesser known issue. So, after a few months of searching into the spring, Caroline had the suggestion to make a bigger trip out of it- “let’s get something out West and spend a week camping and driving it back to Boston.”
I got to search and used the google chrome/craigslist extension that was featured on SaabsUnited to dig through many cities at once, targeting everywhere west of Colorado. I finally came across a 1994 900 S owned by a lady from Switzerland who lives in the Hollywood area. 133,000 miles, manual transmission, black.
After explaining our idea to her over the phone, she thought it sounded like an exciting trip and we began working out the details of getting this done. First thing on the list was to have a Saab mechanic look at the car – enter Walter Wong & Drew Price over at Right Solution in LA. The shop went through the car and give me their inspection report over the phone. Everything checked out, and next thing I knew I was sending the Massachusetts license plates out to LA to finish the transfer of ownership and prepare for a trip back!
Walter has been working on the car over the past few weeks to prep it for the long journey through the desert, from brake pads to thermostats/cooling fan switches. Talk about dedication here- I received a call from Walter around 10pm Boston time (7pm LA time) on the Friday before July 4th weekend. Walter was just calling to chat about a few options/recommendation for the alternator work and to talk me through what he was doing that day. I don’t know anyone else who would have stayed a minute after 5pm to continue work on a holiday weekend. Needless to say, we’re excited to meet him in person today.
Our route takes us from LA into Costa Mesa, on to Zion Nation Park via Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Mesa Verde, Durango, the Great Sand Dunes, Kansas, St. Louis, Columbus, Niagara Falls, and finally home to Boston. After we had planned our trip, we were excited to see the coverage of the Rand McNally Best of the Road journey – perhaps we might run into them in LA today!
We plan to take plenty of photos, and will upload a few onto facebook/google+ along the way.
Here’s a rough map of our route:
We’re looking forward to having this back in Boston and at the upcoming Swedish Car Day, among other events. Coggs gave me a “Black Saabs Rule, So Long Jackass” – Jerry Seinfeld sticker to end up somewhere on/in the car.
Keep up the great work on Inside Saab and beyond, we’ll keep Saabin on and I can’t wait to purchase our next Saab (hopefully a brand new one this time, in any color as long as it’s black, to match the 9000, the TurboX and now the c900 cv).
And here’s a first image, received today, of Ryan and Caroline with their new 900 Convertible. We’ll catch up with them a bit more and track some of their journey from LA back home to Boston.