1986 - 2016 Glory Days at Sweet Home Alabama

Those of you who, in addition to the passion of SAAB, also know another passion, namely for good music, which hides under the title of two song titles that go well with my SAAB story.

9k Talladega Number 2 at the Saab Bil Museum
9k Talladega Number 2 at the Saab Bil Museum

It's October 1986. A small Swedish car manufacturer has set out in the southern United States with three random picking vehicles to write automotive history and prove the reliability of the turbocharged technology critically considered in the period.

I have just become 10 years old and it takes a moment for the message (we live in a time without internet) to get through to me in the form of printed media and a sticker. SAAB has successfully brought the three 9000 Turbo, 100.000 kilometers at a stretch and under full load, without interruption, to the finish.

From now on, I look after the SAAB 9000 Turbo 16 in the nausea goldmetallic our village doctor again awed later than I did before the knowledge gained with the Talladega world record. I did not know that the whole thing was called The Long Run, but on the sticker, which stuck to my cashbox from the middle of 1987 (in the cashbox were my favorite Corgi, SIKU and Matchbox cars) Talladega was world record. The double-sided advertising from my father's car motor and sports wrote something (at that time there was not so much Anglicisms in the media) about this "long ride", so my dad, but that was trivial for me.

30 years world record
30 years world record

The SAAB 9000 seemed unreachable at that time. Also for my old man it was a dream. However, we always had lots of SAAB leaflets in the house, and also posters, but only from so dumb and boring looking, mostly black SAAB with double headlights and lots of stickers on the whole sheet just somewhere, pretty fast so it seemed to me, racing through coniferous forests. Besides, the driver had written his name on the door. His name was the children's detective from the radio plays on my cassettes: Blomqvist

19 Something - Mark Wills

February 2001

The unwanted cold deformation of my now second VW Golf II GTI 16V at Christmas last year, as well as an unpredictable financial blessing in the form of a work-related stay abroad led to my first SAAB 9000, a B202 CD with automatic transmission and full equipment. Only the color combination (irdium blue metallic and leather in Atlas (blue leather) were not what I had imagined, but the mind was out.) The car was a litter, young 86.000 kilometers and only two previous owners, of which 9 years a retiree of Among other things, a parking aid from BOSCH with lights on the parcel shelf has been retrofitted.He always seemed a little out of place when he parked in front of the local village disco

I spend the year 2001 refurbishing the car and adapting it to the needs of a mid-20s. I can still remember exactly the drive on the way home from Frankfurt airport (as I worked at the time) to Wiesbaden on 11.September 2001. The Becker tuner in root wood optics played "Only Time" by Enya.

From now on, the 9000 CD went downhill. In November I meet my current wife and the CD is neglected criminally. Short distances caused by saying goodbye first of Garrett loader and shortly after the ZF-automaton. In addition, evil people damage the SAAB when it was parked unfavorably in the center of Wiesbaden. A jobsite truck falls in love with the SAAB and perpetuates itself in the (laboriously) painted Bi-Color bumper. Time to say goodbye.

This is followed by ten years of company cars from Wolfsburg.

June 2012th

NEVS joins SAAB Automobile to take over facilities and real estate. The beginning of the end. At the time I did not have that on screen. It is my wife who regularly keeps me informed with reports from the internet and the print media. I fight my own fight at work, after all, I get the operational termination and stand there without a car.

The decision for the upcoming, own car is clear, since 2002 was sold as the CD and I drove emotionless, but reliable cars from Wolfsburg. Again a SAAB 9000, and again a model pre August 1991

And this time it had to be a switch and a CC and a bigger engine. What would the Stones have said? You can not always get what you want.

But. It works.

I find my dream SAAB directly and straight away, a 1991er CC in US equipment with B234L machine and manual transmission. He was admitted to the US state of Maryland on 01.07.1991.

Saab 9000 CC Turbo
Saab 9000 CC Turbo

Back in the High Life - Steve Winwood

In the absence of meaning and reason, following the heart and emotions, endless time and money is invested in the Ami. It's like the blogs write. There are not many CCs left, and even fewer that are not downed or even completely finished. The North American winters have finished the rear wheel arches, the previous owners (unfortunately, there is no history of the SAAB) were probably passionate golfers. After the expansion of the living room similar interior, I find a number of golf balls have nestled next to the control units under the driver's seat. So I have to smile every time I see the digitized promotional videos on the blog here, from the beautiful, white America of the early 90 years. Sailing yachts and golf courses, and next to it a SAAB.

September 2014

The Long Run never really left my memory. Sure, the double-sided advertising was now in a picture frame on the wall and the silver pin which had the same design as the sticker (you remember, on the cashbox) were attached to the dashboard, but I did not go there either really on the screen. Specifically, it was in late summer 2014, on vacation in the southern United States.

Because, on the way from Savannah via Atlanta to Memphis?

Talladega, Alabama

So I came to Talladega, and completely naively I say to my wife. Would not that be cool if they have one of the three 9000 in the attached museum?

Saab 9000 at the Talladega Museum
Saab 9000 at the Talladega Museum

Yes, and what should I write to you. There were actually two SAABs in this museum in Talladega, but somehow the color and also the number of the 9000 did not fit. He was black and had the number 4 on the back, left side window. The 900 looked like the Talladega Challenge knew how to do something unique again for 1996's cloned attempt. Nevertheless, I was excited. The ride on the Talladega Superspeedway would have been more exciting with a SAAB or Nascar touring car, but with a bus it was okay. These steep curves are unimaginable, unfortunately we were not allowed to get off and try to crawl up there. It would have already tumbled down too many tourists, so the bus driver.

Talladega - Eric Church

September 2015 at SAAB Car Museum Trollhättan.

One year to Talladega, and now with a little more knowledge of what's up with the car no. 4 in Talladega, we drive to Sweden. The exchange rate EUR to US $ is pretty greasy and a trip to the US is currently not in it. Also because the SAAB always begins to bum and constantly something needs to be repaired or repaired. It's a bit like Phil Collins's Against All Odds, so against every possibility. It seems that the SAAB does not want to give up its rust, as if it were part of its identity.

You wreck me - Tom Petty

But then everything is forgotten in the SAAB Museum. In September 2015 is the special exhibition 9000, from the project Cecillia on the Eco Sport to the last 9000 of the tape ran everything is issued. And of course, one of the two The Long Run 9000's in the archives of the museum. I meet car number 2.

Can the circle be unbroken -Carter Family

Let's get it on - Marvin Gaye

Early October 2016

The SAAB is ready to take off and awaits the journey back to his homeland. It feels a bit like the salmon that at the end of their lives return to spawn in their home rivers (and die after laying the spawn).

The itinerary envisages, via Hamburg and Copenhagen, through the central southern part of Sweden, finally on the 17. October 2016 in Trollhättan. I would like to share my 40 with my wife. The 30 Anniversary of the Long Run, which is currently being celebrated at the SAAB Car Museum in Trollhättan with a special exhibition.

The circle closes, let's start (with the journey)

The SAAB 9000 and The Log Run. Sequel follows.

3 thoughts on "1986 - 2016 Glory Days at Sweet Home Alabama"

  • Really nice story and well written! I wish you a good trip - and a safe return! Just don't take the salmon as an example 😉

  • Yes these music artists mentioned also happened in my Saabs. Almost all models from! 960.

  • Great start to the journey! That's exciting for more!

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