Saab Festival 2017

Everyone’s Saab Festival is different. Some people go for the cars. Some people go to dream. Some people go for their once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to Trollhattan. Some people go just to catch up with their mates.

I last went to the Saab Festival in 2015 and I don’t think I wrote anything here about it. I was winding down from my previous job and about to start a new job at Koenigsegg and I just wanted to be there and enjoy the moment. It was great.

At previous Saab Festivals, I’ve worked feverishly to get all the news and pictures from the event into your news feed as quickly as possible. Those Festivals were exhausting.

This year, it’s a combination. I spent quite a bit of time chatting to old friends and colleagues from Saab. I also spent a lot of time at Saturday’s car show, admiring the cars on display and dreaming of ticking a few cars off my list.

These are those cars. I didn’t photograph everything this year. I mainly spent time around the cars I’d really like to own examples of, one day. Those are the V4’s and the 99’s. You won’t see much else in the gallery below, so if you’re looking for 9-3’s or 900’s, today’s not your lucky day.

The Cars

As mentioned, it’s mostly about V4s and 99s this year. I feel like I’m closer to getting a V4 (in fact, in the month leading up to the Festival, I came very close to buying a Saab 95 that’s been converted into a ute). It’s just a matter of when. It would have to be my 2nd or 3rd car, though, and right now, I only have one car space. All in good time.

Being around the V4’s just makes you feel good. I think it’s a lot to do with colour. The 9-3 area of the exhibition was a monochromatic sea of black/grey/silver. But have a look at the V4/2-stroke area:

Doesn’t that make you smile?

The beauty of these cars is that you can do nearly anything with them. You can paint them whatever colour you like. You can put the craziest stickers or decals on them. Whatever you do, people still love them.

A few notables from the wider display, then…..

This Saab 99 Turbo caught my eye straight away. It’s a 2-door in Marble White, the same colour as my first Saab 99 Turbo from all those years ago. Of course, it also had the green velour interior, too. Delicious!

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This Saab 9-5 SportCombi was interesting. Not only is it one of only a handful of NG 9-5 SportCombis in existence, it also started out life as a sedan!

The info I received is that the owner (who also has a uniquely modified 9-5 sedan badged as 9-5x) did the work himself, using a combination of the original 9-5 sedan trunk lid and the rear door from an Opel Insignia wagon. The workmanship was first class – a very impressive result.

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While the over-all numbers present were very impressive – the Saab Spirit is well and truly alive! – there were not many Sonetts on show this year. I hope that changes in the future.

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This Saab 96 was probably my favourite car from the weekend. The photo isn’t a 100% accurate reproduction of the colour. It was a tiny bit more blue than what you can see here. The whole car was very elegant. I’m not always a fan of modern wheels on old cars but again, these modern wheels are simple enough to enhance the car and improve the stance without screaming “look at me!”

Very nicely done, sir.

Enjoy the full gallery, below. Click to enlarge.

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The Details

This is pretty much what the Saab Festival should be about, right? You get your car out, open it up and invite the world in for a nice cup of tea 🙂

I see images like that and I can’t help but smile. Part of that is the beautiful spirit present and part of it is the old classic V4 and the pictures you can paint with a car of such significant character.

As I wandered around the display on Saturday, I was taken in by the ways people lent their own personal touch to their cars. The stickers on the windows, the decals on the body, the props on the parcel shelf. They all added something human to what is already a very animated, ‘alive’ type of car.

Please feel free to indulge with me as we look over some of the details on show…..

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What was the last thing to go through this fly’s mind before he hit the Sonett badge? 😛

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20 Comments

  1. Wonderful array of beautiful cars and details! You were right, as a 900 buff, I missed them, but you did a fine job of expanding my horizons, thank you!

  2. I too am loving the 99s, especially those with the headlamp wipers. So charming. Great pics, Swade- tack för att du delar!

  3. Nice article, Swade, and great photos too; as someone else said: “nice to have you back”. We decided not to make the trip this year (we last visited in 2015), even though it’s a significant Saab year, but I expect it won’t be too long before we venture over again. There’s always something good to see.

  4. Nice to see you back. So happy that you are still linked to the Swedish car industry albeit with their premier kick-ass car company. Saab seems like such a long time ago and you were there til the end. Driving an 08 9-3 Aero 2.0T now and still loving everything Saab although may have to get myself a Volvo when he goes to Valhalla as I can’t afford a Koenigsegg.

    All the very best

    Zippy ☺️

  5. Happy to see a post again! Thanks for the great pics!

    Not only did GM kill Saab, but they’ve just committed suicide in South Africa, by withdrawing from the African continent completely. It’d be interesting to see what the new Opel/PSA partnership would bring and if Isuzu could do a better job.

  6. I’m still trying to figure out who has captured the old Saab spirit in their modern cars. Very few have the elegant lines or thought as these old Saabs. Kia?

  7. Swade, it was a pleasure talking to you. Excellent write up of the Festival and great pictures!

    Enjoy your time at Koenigsegg!!

    1. Still have both of my 9-3s and was able to get the recalled airbags replaced. I order most of my replacement parts myself now and do minor repairs also, light bulbs. Trouble is Lubbock is down to one Saab mechanic and they never have Saab parts in stock. (Texas Saab) I have a lot of confidence in Swede Central (Orlando, FL), but they are a 50 mile drive from Daytona Beach. (Florida Saab) Your thoughts on the new Alfa Romeo’s? The Daytona Alfa dealership is 1 mile away.

  8. Thanks for the post! Swade at his best. You can really set the scene and you always have a keen eye for details. Wasn’t it 10 years ago you were there for the first time and was woken up by students roaming the streets outside the hotel in the morning? 🙂

  9. I would have loved to be there but I have become too disabled to fly and I am driving to Pomona for this year’s SOC. My brother is coming over from England to co-drive with me.

    At the beginning of Steve’s posting he writes about the Saab V-4 which was just about the only model I never owned, together with the Sonett. However, one year at the Iola Car Show, in Wisconsin I met the man who designed the V-4 engine and it was really an American engine that was to be used for a fwd Ford project that was canceled, so the design ended up at Ford, in Cologne. The rest is history. Is there anyone near Wisconsin who would like to donate a V-4 engine to the Wisconsin Auto Museum because this is where it truly belongs?

  10. A V4 makes you smile because its not aggressive. Its beautiful to. There is a lot of the V4 in the ng 9-5 i think.

  11. It was great to catch up with you again Swade. I always love going to Trollhattan and enjoy the walks along the river and city too. But the cars on the Saturday had me smiling all day, from the morning convoy in from McDonalds with Marcus and his friends in their mainly, modernised Saabs, to the 100’s of Saabs on display.
    Seeing friends from all over the world is another pleasure of The Festival and we look forward to travelling back in 2019.

  12. Hi all Saab Enthusiasts.
    I am a proud owner of a Saab 9.3 Monte Carlo Turbo and I am interested to know if there are people out there wishing to purchase what I call the most comfortable, sensational and driving delight… yes it’s yellow.
    It will be soon classified as a vintage so I can only imagine what sought of pricing it will achieve.
    Anyone interested please contact me on my email… johnf56@hotmail.com

  13. Can anyone tell me where I an purchase the front and side spoiler kit on the baby blue 2011 SAAB 9-5 NG? Or the kit on the white sport combi with the rear spoiler on the bumper and the one on the front.
    Love them and would really like to get one for my 9-5.

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