A Saab Festival in Trollhättan is always a special event. The small town on Göta Älv has its own flair, and when Saabs from all countries are guests, then it unfolds a lot of charm. At the traffic lights, souped-up Saab two-stroke engines stand next to a bubbling 900 Turbo 16S. Then, when the ride is free, they storm away with loud, excited screeching and show the turbo what a classic car can do. The Saab heart is happy and thinks about the good old days.
However, the days are over when - as in 2010 with my friend Marco - I could stroll through Trollhättan in peace. Yes, and besides, everything was different this time anyway. Because there have been many premieres. The first festival, mainly organized by clubs and the Saab Museum. For the first time without the support of the manufacturer and at the same time the first big Saab event in Trollhättan, where the Swedes were in the minority. It goes without saying that not everything went 100% smoothly and that sometimes there was a crunch in the beams.
As always, the hub of all activities was the museum grounds, which magically attracted fans. Sponsors showed their presence there, and Nico Gasparatos from Hamburg was in a prominent position with his vehicles. Triboron, an innovative Swedish company, whose German branch is run by Saab fans, also had a booth there. The stars of 2013 were the many 9-5 II sports suits, which in the last few months with a lot of expertise in Kiel ready for approval. With Saab Parts Germany Chef Jan-Philipp Schuhmacher I was on the road, visited the bloggers of Saabsunited and held many discussions with German fans of our cult brand. In summery temperatures and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere a real pleasure!
ANA in Trollhättan had a special sale, and many fans lined up with rims and other parts for their Saab. In front of the Saab factory, in the bright blue sky and waving flags of Sweden, a dexterity course took place. Saab two-stroke and turbos could show what works, and whoever wanted, could prove his driving skills.
A party of fans for fans, at least at first sight. The Saab Dinner on Saturday, which took place in an almost adorable nostalgic 60er atmosphere, reinforced this impression. Peter Bäckström of the Saab Museum did not give his lectures in the native language, but switched to English due to the circumstances. Saab legend Erik Carlsson, who was honored with a prize, held it the same way. But the impression was deceptive.
In the audience were listeners from China, unobtrusively placed in a corner, with interpreters. The former Saab Powertrain boss, now at NEVS, is back in the same position, and the new production chief was also among the fans. From Germany the managing director of the Saab Parts AB daughter Jan-Philipp Schuhmacher arrived, to it press representative and German Saab partner. The importance of the fans and the event is high and should not be underestimated.
There was no breaking news on Sunday. The surprise announced, a converted Saab 96, was, well, at least aesthetically questionable. One can argue about taste, the friends of Saabsunited have reported about it. Then came the lecture from NEVS manager Mattias Bergman. At least some facts, but less than expected, came on the table. NEVS is committed to Saab DNA, will build vehicles with turbo engines and plans in realistic dimensions. The majority of electric cars go to China. We primarily get vehicles with conventional drives. The schedule for starting production this year is still there. In autumn it should be ready, there is no really binding date yet. NEVS is obviously stonewalling. More on this in one of the following articles.
The festival was over far too quickly. Only three days and only every two years - who is going to keep this up? On Sunday after a visit to the Maxi ICA in Trollhättan we went back to Germany. It won't be two years before I'm back in Trollhättan. See you again in autumn!
Pictures: Stine and Richard for saabblog.net