A very personal "Best of the Road" journey

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)……


Hi Swade,

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.

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  1. +1 (Swade, that doesn’t work here)

    Enjoy the trip and the car. But you will i guess 😉

    1. Sounds like a great trip in a wonderful car.  I did a cross country trip from 

      Rhode Island to Seattle, down to San Diego and back to RI in 1963…..what a trip.  We had a 1960 Chevy convertible.  [also had a 93b at home]
      Walter Wong is the best! PERIOD!!  I spent a couple of hours with him yesterday going over plans to build a special engine for my old 95 Aero.  He has been servicing our Saabs for a while and he is the best!!  I cannot say enough for his dedication, his love of Saabs and his crew’s expertise.  You can call his cell on a weekend and he will help you out.  My wife has him on speed dial and will call him before the AAA when she has a problem.

      I am sure that Walter will check out and prep you car well.

      Have a great trip!!


      1. Yarmouth MA to Huntington Beach CA, 1970 in a 1941 Ford “Woodie” 2 surfboards on the roof and few hundred dollars between the 2 of us. Sold the car in Cali and bought a couple of plane tix back to Boston. Spent the summer surfing and just having fun(Coors was only sold west of the Mississippi at that time). I went on to college and my friend to Viet Nam, thankfully we both survived.


  2. Outstanding! Look forward to hearing about the trip. Enjoy your “new to you” vert. I love my 1992 900S ‘vert.

  3. a great story from great people about a great trip because of a great car!
    thanks for let us be with you by reading and i wish you the best for this trip and the best for you with the car in future.
    greetings from germany


  4. This sounds like a very fun trip.  I hope the air conditioning works well.  The first part of the trip goes through some very hot country this time of year!

    1. It is HOT and we’re definitely running top up + AC on full for some stretches

  5. “Black Saabs Rule, So Long Jackass” that takes me back.  The Puerto Rican Day is my all time favourite Seinfeld episode.  Has the prominence of Saab in the series ever been explained by Jerry?  It helped introduce me and I’m sure many others to the brand.  I bought my first in 1999.

  6. What a great way to pick up a new-to-you car! Turn it into a road trip across the country!! Someday when I can afford classic 900 I will be looking everywhere but locally so I can do the same. Look forward to seeing them/the vert at SCD!

      1. HA! Yes, I work in the pharmaceutical industry but hadn’t seen the 900 in Royal Pains…Swade’s numerous posts on the 25th anniversary of the vert were enough to put us over the edge :p

  7. Reading this makes me want my dream Saab more than ever.  I found it on the Vintage Saab Club of North America website, a modified 1968 model 96 Deluxe (http://vintagesaabclub.org/classifieds.html#cars_s).  Given how well the owner has restored and lightly modified the car, I would gladly pay his price if my finances were more orderly, but at least I know it’s out there.  A trip to New England to drive it home to North Carolina would be the icing on the cake.

  8. (For some reason I could not post this from my Nokia smartphone?!)

    Another great story that shows the difference a Saab makes.
    And that shows it is the people driving Saab – and of course those people building Saabs – that are the root of this very special Saab feeling.

  9. Ryan and Caroline, can’t wait to see your new addition to your Saab family at SCD. Steve thanks for sharing. Congrats:) Have a great trip. Always something I have wanted to do is drive across the country. Jealous!!!

  10. Ryan & Caroline are the only ones I know who could make purchasing an automobile such and adventure. Got to Love It (the Saab,too!)! – Gary Gaulin (friend from Clemson University)