SAAB photos. Saab in Chicago.

The United States of America was once the most important market for Saab. It could also be said that Saab would not have existed for a long time had the company not been so successful in the US. What less Swedish management owed. That Saab was there to become a successful import brand, owed the brand primarily Robert J. Sinclair.

Chicago Saab 9-5 II on the way.
Chicago Saab 9-5 II on the way.

Known in Saab circles as Bob Sinclair, he was the driving force behind Saab North America and the initiator of the Saab 900 Cabriolet. With his enthusiasm and ideas, he brought Saab out of the crisis and made the brand desirable. Bob left us in 2009, but his memory lives on. You can read part of his life with Saab in Rolf Bleeker's book “The Spirit of Saab - more than a car”.

North America does not look good for Saab today. NEVS wants to completely ignore the US market in the first step and return to it at a later date. No good prospects for American Saab fans. After looking for us Saab impressions in Argentina Friend Uli was traveling on the American continent and visiting Chicago for a few days.

The first route in the rental car led from the airport to the Saab agency, which Uli had visited before 15 years ago. At that time, a blue sonnet III was at the main entrance. And today? No sonnet, no Saab. For an Aston Martin dealer. Not bad, but not what he was looking for. Compensation came on four wheels in the form of a white Saab 9-5 II.

What a wild pursuit trip triggered, and as a reward, there were pictures of the great Sweden sedan. The next Saab came to meet Uli at a Wal-Mart parking lot. The driver a remnant of the summer-of-love movement, maybe. Long gray hair, intellectual appearance, rather no value on the care state of the Saabs legend. Okay Uli, two Saabs, but still no Saab representation in sight. What's going on there?

The desired result was found 300 meters away from the former Saab base. A service company was located where Saabs were repaired 15 years ago. Business seems to be going well because the workshop is full. Logically at a time when there are hardly any official representations left. Swedish vehicles in front of the door in every condition. Including a Saab 900 Turbo steep-angle user with the distinctive mark “86 SPG”. What is an aero for us was the SPG variant in the USA.

There was an unexpected reunion while walking across the premises of the Saab workshop. She was standing in a corner of the area, aged 15 years. The blue Sonett III, which once greeted customers at the main entrance. In the worst possible condition, probably irretrievably lost. Sad and Shame! A snapshot and arguably a symbol of the brand's condition in the USA. Better times, they are possible. Sometime…

The Saab photo impressions of Uli go into the next round. After Argentina and the USA he is now in Japan. The camera and always keep an eye on Saabs. What he brings us? We will see. Sequel follows.


Pictures: Uli for


9 thoughts on "SAAB photos. Saab in Chicago."

  • Quite simply: Saab has always sold many cars in the US, but unfortunately never really earns money. Therefore, I can already understand NEVS that you are careful with a commitment in the US. There are also easier ways to burn money.

  • If you come to Switzerland, then you can certainly shoot some photos of the 9.5 II. There are a few here. Recently I had crossed on the highway on a route of 100km 3.
    Mine is not quite 3 years old and I've already driven 120km with him - and it's still fun - and people are still turning to him.

  • Is there any reason why Nevs don't want to go to the USA? Does anyone know anything about it? LG

  • The sonnet lost unrettably? I think it's a rumor!
    Looks that on the pictures purely optically much better than the copy in the same color, which I acquired 2006!

    • You can't look under the sheet metal cladding - and if too much of the body is already rusty, restoration will be difficult. At most maybe if someone wants to do the reconstruction as a lover's job.

      • True, pictures can be deceiving. However, the beautiful blue has no sheet metal dress.

        I'm looking forward to the pictures from Japan.

        • Nice observed. The sheet metal cover was meant more figuratively - of course the Sonett III has a fiberglass cover. Nevertheless, there will also be load-bearing parts made of metal here ... and in order to examine them, it is necessary to look under the dress.

          • Uli has a fleet of old Saab steel and is also restoring himself. So I'm afraid that his assessment of the Sonett will be correct ...

    • Servus Ziehmy and all the other Saabists,

      Hardly any car is “irretrievably lost”, but the question arises whether it makes sense to invest thousands of euros in a wreck like this property in Chicago. The effective footwell ventilation of around 30 cm in diameter would have been a tired no-brainer for restoration, but the front and rear axles, brakes, load-bearing parts around the A-pillar and the drive shaft tunnels were completely rotten.
      Those who have the necessary time (and money) could dare, but the cost would far exceed the value. But the real costs do not always have to come first when it comes to restoration; thankfully, ideal value is sometimes more important.'

      In any case, I stood in front of this sonnet for a long time and thought “should I ...?” 🙂

      Best regards,
      Uli Beitel

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