The driver's seat is beyond the series. It is upholstered with precious velor in iconic Bokhara red, in the seat is the seat for a three-point belt. There is no radio and no air conditioning on board. In addition, someone has glued an adhesive with the number 1 on the Saab-Scania logo of the steering wheel.
The windshield has a long crack, and in front of the Talladega number 1 my Saab 9-5 NG parks.
Welcome to Trollhättan, welcome to the Saab Museum.
That one of the last 9-5 sedans can hit a world record vehicle happens only here. Here, the brand has its home, here everything is possible. When you enter the museum, your gaze quickly lingers on the gallery. There, in a maintenance box, still parks one of the world record vehicles. The box is new, a reproduction after original drawings from the 80er years. The Saab veterans have reconstructed them down to the smallest detail for months.
Scars of a long, fast ride
There is an automotive milestone in the pit. With the scars that you have as a car after 100.000 kilometers so full throttle. The scattered glass of the headlights is littered by countless, small craters. A glass has a hole, the paint is taken, the windshield tells the story of a long, fast journey.
The interior is almost the same as the series. Just a few small modifications, a warning light for overheating, a few more lights whose functions remain unclear to me. Again, a driver's seat with three-point belt, roll bar, a spare parts box. All Talladegas have a drink holder in the footwell of the passenger, none has air conditioning. Without climate, you can save the weight of the air conditioning compressor. Without air conditioning no additional consumption, good for records. Hard for the heroes who were on the long run.
Coincidentally, on the same day, a French television team is visiting. They film Olle Granlund, the inventor of the Talladega story. And they want to drive through Trollhättan with Talldega number 1. We take the opportunity and catch even more Talladega impressions for the readers. The TV team gives us the priority, I may take the world record holder under the microscope before he goes to the filming.
The world record vehicles are amazingly close to the series
Yes, and then you sit unexpectedly in a Saab of automotive history. He sees his own car parked in front of it, and the words are missing. The 9000, that was a big time. The breakthrough of the turbo in the luxury class, pioneering for the whole car industry. It's fascinating, even today, because the cars are the way they came off the track of 1986. You can feel the spirit of Talladega, and it's as if Olle Granlund, Erik Carlsson and the other riders just dropped their helmets yesterday.
No one has removed the remnants of tape from the interior over the past 30 years. No one came up with the idea to restore something, or to exchange. 109.000 Kilometer has the number 1 of the Talladega Long Run today on the clock. Of which 100.000 for the world record, the rest distributed over 30 years.
You could turn the key and just drive away. Which might be a bit sobering. Because the Talladega Saabs correspond to the series. No big show, no riot. Cultivated, as is so common with the 9000, the 9000 Turbo pulls away a little later.
Followed by a sonnet, a hydrogen vehicle, and filmed from an off-road vehicle with Norwegian approval and French crew. Here is Trollhattan. Everything is possible.