Saab lives, with or without a new car. This is what Thorsten writes in his personal Saab story, and I share his opinion. Each reader article is a statement for the brand from Trollhättan.
Today I am 34 years old and drive a Saab 9-3 1.8t convertible year 2005. Am a member of Saab Friends Erftkreis. And won the last Limburg Tour of the Saab Club Nederland.
Since 2011 I read the SaabBlog. Saab emblems are screwed to my carport. There's a Saab jacket in my dressing room and Saab cups in the kitchen cupboard. Saab fascinates me. I love the brand, the spirit, the cars, the feeling. It is a virus without antidotes.
When my Saab love started, I was 16 and just for the first time in England. To exchange students with a school that does not exist today - but my best friend still exists, I met him then as my exchange partner. And I also met Saab - Saab there.
I was already finished with shoes and jacket behind the front door of my host family when it knocked. It was Charlie, my daily ride to the partner school. Charlie was a geography teacher there. And he drove a car that I liked - at first sight. I had never seen anything like it before. I got in and fell on a very comfortable feel-good leather seat.
This car had something that I could not put into words at that time - today it is not much easier for me. After Charlie had turned the ignition key in a strangely placed ignition, I listened to the engine, whose acoustics impressed my ears. So cultured, so powerful, but at the same time inconspicuous and unobtrusive, he sounded. "What kind of car is this?" I asked Charlie. The bearded driver, an individualist who loved our earth with all the trimmings, answered without hesitation, "Oh, that's old Saab!" Point. The End. No details, that's all. And I did not understand it and asked again. "It'sa Saab brand car, an old one, but it's a good shape," Charlie explained eagerly.
Aha, I thought, and felt like I was sitting in an exotic car without knowing that this was actually the case. During the entire journey, I was a very attentive co-driver who - sitting on the left in England of course - felt like a driver at the age of 16 who was only missing the steering wheel. I admired the road holding, the engine, the interior, the ambience. It all looked and felt so different from the cars of my parents, relatives, neighbors and friends. And when we got out, I first had to walk around the car to look at the brand logo. "S A A B" was written there - I had never heard or read that before. Since this student exchange, the word was branded in my head. I don't even know which model Charlie drove back then. Mainly Saab, I could tell everyone that at home: "I drove in an old Saab!" Unfortunately, nobody shared my enthusiasm. And yet a childhood sweetheart took root there in England, which from then on would grow and later bear fruit.
Many years later, when I had a high school diploma and my technical journalism diploma, I worked for a few years as an editorial manager in a small TV production company. And it produced all sorts of television reports and entire programs exclusively on the subject of automobiles. I planned TV magazines, shot and edited articles, wrote and translated texts ... actually took care of everything. This is the case in editorial offices that consist of only a few people. But the great thing is: If you write about the automotive industry, you have to test the cars. They drive, inspect and put them to the test in everyday life. That is why the manufacturers are so generous out of pure self-interest and provide media representatives with test vehicles on request - usually for 14 days at a time. In my years in television, I drove hundreds of different cars, and there were always others at the door.
Most important to me was the regular provision of a Saab. That's why I always cared personally. So I ordered mostly in January, the 9-3 convertible for the summer months: sometimes an Aero, sometimes a Vector, sometimes automatic, sometimes manual transmission, I had them all. And these were the greatest automotive weeks of the year, even in the rain. My enthusiasm for Saab had remained undimmed over the years. So it was me who always drove voluntarily to the vehicle presentations of Saab, whether they took place in Frankfurt, in Gothenburg or Trollhättan.
It has always been clear to me: One day I would like to own, maintain, drive and enjoy such a vehicle every day. But the price range did not quite fit my budget back then. So it should first be a dream that would hopefully not last until retirement. So I diligently ordered my test cars and enjoyed my own personal Saab weeks. With each test, after every shooting I was more convinced of the brand. And often stood alone because the colleagues were less convinced of Saab and indulged rather various premium manufacturers from southern Germany. But it was a pleasure to put the Swedish manufacturer in the right light again and again.
Only a few years ago, I changed the profession of television maker to that of an administrative officer. 2009, the year of the media crisis, as well as the automotive crisis, all this had not been compatible with a young media maker. There was no room for me there. And so also the so popular vehicle tests came to an end. The "Saab hole" gaped for two years in my CV.
So long, until 2011 my compact car of the Rüsselsheim car manufacturer suffered a major gearbox damage with a huge rat tail. Repair uneconomical, repel vehicle, that was clear. But what then? I was faced with the big decision: again a cheap car that certainly serves its purpose, no question, but that would not have been connected with heart and soul? Or was the time to look for a used Saab now? I quarreled, weighed, slept over it one night at a time, counted my money and thought again. In the end, my heart won and it became a Saab. After a short time, the nearest Saab dealer had a used car for sale, which corresponded exactly to my ideas. Included shopping experience, I acquired him, six years old, just 55.000 kilometers on the clock, top condition, perfectly maintained. And since I had already had such good experiences with LPG, I had my new "Saabine" converted to LPG. Directly from the Saab dealer, who negotiated the price to an acceptable level. And the clean work, everything was great. Because I came across a luminary, a Saab Master Technicianwho knows our Swedish cars inside out. Who owns two turbo Saabs with LPG conversion at home and knows what he is doing.
Indeed, a childhood sweetheart in England actually turned 15 years later into a confident and content Saab future. Today, every morning, when I get into my Saab, I'm looking forward to a very comfortable leather seat in the front left, like 1996 in England, but now with a steering wheel in front of me. A vehicle that you do not drive, but piloted. An "exotic" that brings more community than I would ever have dreamed. I believe the spirit, the involvement of the Saab community has grown significantly since the double Trollhättan bankruptcy. And that's what makes Saab. Saab lives, with or without a new car. This can be experienced almost daily here in the SaabBlog, but also out there in the active and faithful Saab community. For my part, I'm glad to call my model my own. And I look forward to more club meetings, rallies, exits and the IntSaab in Norway next August.
Oh yes ... I've been learning Swedish intensively since September 2014. Because for many years I have been traveling this country with pure enthusiasm. Somehow everything fits together.
Jag önskar he en god continues to på det nya året - naturligtvis med Saab!