A few Saab stories to warm you up

Greetings from Hong Kong! I’m on my way back to Australia for a week or so. It’ll be great to be home again.

We had a cold snap in Trollhattan just before I left. I had to walk to the bus stop amongst falling snow a few days ago. Snow!! In May!!?? I guess we’re not in Kansas anymore….

Anyhow, given that I’m now slightly out of touch with what’s going on there in Trollywood (until I get home, at least), I thought I’d share a few stories I’ve heard over the last week or so. Being in Saab’s home town, you get to meet a few people who have been around the company for a long, long time. Even if they don’t work there, they still seem to be part of the Saab family simply because they’ve got so much shared history with the company and its people.

I’ve met a few people like that recently. One of them I’d like to meet again, with my camera, so that I can take a few photos and share his story properly.

Others have shared a few short stories, which I’d like to pass on here because they made me laugh, made me smile, just made me feel good.

The first one comes from taxi driver yesterday. He’s been doing the corporate run between Trollhattan and Landvetter airport for too many years to remember and he told me a bunch of stories yesterday. The one I’d like to share is more like a quote than a story.

We were talking about the recent troubles at Saab and he said

“I tend to see Saab the same as I see my grandson. He never knew that he couldn’t swim, so he just went in and started swimming. Saab are the same. They can’t imagine that they can’t survive, so they just do.”

How true.

The second is another short snippet about the Saab 99 and the effects it had on people back in its day. I was at dinner a few nights ago and talking with a guy who I’d guess would be in his early-mid 50s now. He was a youngster in the late 1960s when the Saab 99 was released and his father was choosing between that and something new that Volvo had released at the time.

He chose the Saab and ended up getting a new one most years from the early 1970s onwards.

Around 1972, the family had their new 99 and they went on a trip from Sweden down to Austria and Germany. When they pulled into a service area in Germany to fill up the car and stretch their legs, everyone – everyone – in the service area came over to look at the Saab. They were particularly curious about one item. Everyone wanted to see…….

……..those fantastic new headlamp washers and wipers in action!

The car was a hit everywhere they went and I guess it cemented the Saab-buying habit in the family. A few years later, they bought a 99EMS and my friend had just got his driver’s licence. Naturally, he tried to borrow his father’s car whenever he could.

“It became very easy to offer the girls a lift in that car and have them accept……”


Saab – inspiring people and easing them into relationships since 1947………

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  1. Funny that when I was a kid the thing that drew my attention to Saab were those headlamp washers… 🙂

    1. +1 on headlamp washers. I also loved them as a kid and still do.

      Have a safe trip back home Swade and keep up the great work – I am enjoying Inside Saab immensely.

    2. I also remember being interested in the good old headlamp washers! It would be fun if Saab started using them again instead of the high pressure washers that everyone else has. 😉

  2. Nice read in the morning. Thanks. I hope the weather is good while you’re kayaking the Pacific. 🙂

  3. Happy landings, mate. Make sure you send our regards to the Mrs. Good to hear you are on your way back for a short period. Being away from home is difficult, I have been there as well. Get some rest and recharges them batteries, you will need all you can muster up when that brilliant factory starts chugging out those cars again.

  4. Funny thing about the headlamp washers, they certainly seem to be more regional. Here in the Southern US they’re pretty useless by my standards. I finally got tired of them and removed the entire wiper assembly and motors from my ’99 9-3 SE a month ago. Given the weather conditions in the more northern part of the hemisphere I can see how they would be much more valuable there.

  5. Aha. Yeah You got snow late at year you think? We will have snow up here in Stockholm on Södermalm (south of the Old Town) this weekend! 120% guaranteed! 😉
    The reason is that Sony is filming some sequences for one of the Millennium movies right outside my office and they started to prepare a couple of cobblestoned streets today with fake snow. 🙂
    The North part of the Bellmansgatan at Mariahissen to be specific.
    Pity I didn´t park my 9-3X there before the sealed off the streets. Would have been a nice picture.

  6. Any news on the batch of the electric 9-3 SportCombi test cars? I wish I could buy one of those testers..