For some questions in life one looks for answers for a long time. Other things answer by themselves. For example the question about the Saab Spirit. In Germany, he is very lively and enjoys good health. The proof of this was provided last Thursday by the fans of the Swedish cult brand in Kiel.
Saab vehicles, ranging from the two-stroke to the ultra-modern 9-5 II, met on the premises of Saab Service Kiel to set off for Sweden together. Our event was supposed to start at 15.00 p.m., but the first teams were there much earlier. At the planned time the yard was full, a little later in Kiel “land was under”. More Saabs than announced, from several European countries, were there. There were also fans who didn't want to miss the spectacle.
The team from the Car dealership Lafrentz, in uniform Saab shirts, ensured that everything went smoothly. Participants were able to receive their “Welcome Packages” at the counter. Coffee production in the dealership reached new highs, and the cake was selling well. An interesting, colorful audience, fans of all ages, and only happy, satisfied faces. Saab is fun!
As a representative of the German branch of the Saab Parts AB Jens Ehrke came on behalf of managing director Jan-Philipp Schuhmacher. Bound by an appointment in Sweden, he could not take part in the tour, but he could attend the festival on the following days. After a short speech with a lot of Saab spirit - a few words came from my side - the vehicles rolled towards Schwedenkai. Two-stroke sound and turbo sound mixed in the Kiel rush hour. The Rennsaab from Nico Gasparatos had by far the best sound and reinforced the felt Saab presence. The decks of the Stenaline Germanica filled with Saabs. Which - not for the last time on the trip - aroused interest among Swedish travelers. And every now and then there was even a "thumbs up".
Which brings us to the other Swedish side: the bureaucracy. Unfortunately, the ferry company was not able to make a dinner reservation for 70 guests despite the list of booking numbers. This could not prevent our fun on board. Because at 20.30 p.m., a large part of the Saab travel group met in the buffet restaurant, was placed nicely in order to then form special Saab groups over time. Some of us then continued partying, a party mile formed on deck, and the rude awakening came the next morning. By the men in black.
Sweden is a peaceful, cultivated country. Normally, I travel in and out without anyone taking any special notice of me. The next morning everything was different. The entry was slow. The fault was the friendly, black-clad men with their alcohol testers. The Swedish government showed presence and called for control. With luck, our convoy came over this hurdle, which made for absolute amusement in retrospect. Because we had a right-steered Saab in the team. What was obvious at first glance did not really interest me. The alcohol test was taken by the passenger.
20 kilometers outside of Gothenburg, at the newly built, but not completely finished E45, we met together to drive the last 50 kilometers to Trollhättan. Bringing such a big Saab convoy through Volvo City proved impossible. While around 40 Saabs gathered in a large parking lot, the Swedes slowly rolled past us in their German cars. Twisted heads, excited, pointing at us. To then disappear in their Audi, VW or Mercedes in the surrounding area. Yes, understand this nation.
Saabsunited made a short film about our journey to Trollhättan. With the title "the german invasion". You have to add that it was, if at all, a very peaceful and friendly group that rolled through Sweden. Our vanguard, to stick to this usage, had already arrived at work when the film was made, but inexplicably we had lost the American allies traveling with us. But otherwise we were complete.
All of Sweden's trolls had ensured good weather, and very slowly, dictated by our accompanying two-stroke engines, we approached Saab town. The security service at the plant was not enthusiastic about our presence at the main portal and said "... you are so many". Since we are many, but peaceful, there was a picture of the whole tour crew in front of the Saab plant. Before the fans spread out in the city and at the festival, a question arose: “Do we do this every year now?” The answer is not yet certain. But if circumstances permit - why not?