A Saab Toppola story

When we went to a SAAB meeting in Huy, Belgium in 2007, we saw 2 SAABs with a toppola structure. Then we got the thought that something would be very practical. But since a caravan was ready, we didn't think about it anymore. Nice that there is such a thing, but we don't need it ... It was our thought.

Toppola with tent

After many years and many vacations with the caravan, we decided to put it on a seasonal pitch and to become "sedentary". But since we go to the Nürburgring once a year, we have to dismantle the caravan, get it, drive to the ring and then bring it back and set it up again.

Then Peter Braun got a toppola at a manageable course. His report, pictures and many conversations inspired us to keep an eye out. It would be practical for the couple of days at the ring and we would not have had such a fuss with the caravan ...

Thanks to tips and our own research, we found what we were looking for in Holland.

Some mails and phone calls (the crucial phone call on the morning of the Troll Rally in Geisa) for the purpose of arranging an appointment had been made. Money and red number plate worried we started on Saturday morning direction Rotterdam.

After crossing some industrial areas, we reached a very contemplative street where cute family houses stand. We were warmly welcomed, with a delicious Kopje Koffie and cookies. After extensive small talk about SAAB, Toppola, etc., we started in a Daimler (!) In a commercial area we reached after 15 minute drive.

There was our dream in a rented garage in front of an 900 I Convertible.

After rollout and appraisal they agreed and the keys changed hands. Now we had to go back again, because we had not taken the number plates. Only then we could drive back to the house with the Toppola to invite the tailgate, as this does not fit into the 9-3 station wagon.

After payment, more small talk and a tasty soup it was back against 19 clock on the way home. The engine purrs as on the first day, the transmission shifts clean and thanks to air bellows support in the springs of the SAAB super on the road. You hardly notice the structure.

Many drivers overtook, braked and gave a thumbs up or even took pictures ...

The next day we brought the car to our workshop and there came the disillusionment. The structure is great, many questions were asked, but also regarding the registration and technology, but the car ...

We were already aware of many defects, the SAAB-typical Rostecken halt: all doors through, both sills on the rear wheel arch, the front fenders and a few smaller places, including a point on the A-pillar which is rusted through unsaved.

The repair would blow up any reasonable frame, so the dream with the Toppola to drive to the Nürburgring has burst for now.

It was still different. we got an equivalent car with less rust at short notice. This was then rebuilt in the workshop, exhaust new, rear brakes, air spring reinforcement and the socket for the power and lighting of the Toppola was rebuilt.

Then, in the workshop with the lift, we put the construction from one car to the other. That took an hour with a lot of peace and storytelling. Then Andi Mondays has made the interior. Then we tested if our winter tent could fit from the caravan and what luck, it fits. Thus, nothing stood in the way of the start on Thursday at the Nürburgring.

Thanks to Hans and Ando for their Saab Story! Do you also have something to tell about Saab?

The story of an unforgettable vacation trip, a restoration? The first contact with the cult brand from Trollhättan or simply why Saab belongs to the automotive life.
Whatever it is, write us. We are looking forward to it!

9 thoughts on "A Saab Toppola story"

  • Unfortunately, our Optimus stove no longer works and a wallas is too expensive. Alternatively, we are currently thinking about a petroleum stove ...

  • Class is also the Optimus kerosene stove, this is also Swedish veteran. I had one in my last boat. I had him overhauled at the company Weihmeister near Hamburg's Landungsbrücken. When I sold the boat, he was 28 years old and worked fine (as did the Danish boat).

  • Very nice, rare cultural asset. Toppolas are just great!

  • Good morning,
    Great report… ..The parts are soooo CLASS
    Many greetings to the Opladener 9-3, from Opladen✌ …… I am the one who jumped in front of your car at the traffic lights the other day
    Have a nice week everyone ...

    • Hello Guido,
      We are the ones who sat in the Saab. Unfortunately, the red phase was too short. If the weather is better again, we will be on the road again with the Toppola, also in Opladen. What is your 900er doing?
      Come next Friday for a relaxed meeting of Saab friends Kerpen (see homepage).
      See you soon at the traffic light.

      @ Hans and Andreas
      Thanks for the great review

      Many greetings and have a wonderful weekend
      Bruno & Ute (Toppola No. 3)

      • Hello you two ... The convertible will be back on the road from March 😉
        Friday I was unfortunately on the road. When will you meet next time?
        Then I would like to come around ...
        A nice WE and best regards

        • Hello Guido,
          Meetings are always on every 1. Friday in the month instead, so again at the 3. March.
          We moved our Toppola again last Saturday, after the winter break.
          Enjoy the warmth, not the stormy days.
          Have a nice weekend
          Toppola No 3

  • Such a Toppola is already a great thing. Have only seen a live at the Saab Session Slovakia 2016 and was fascinated by the part. Great eye-catcher everywhere. Do you actually know how many there are, or if you could copy something like that?

  • Juchuu, I know this Toppola well! Wonderfully preserved and very lovingly developed.

    From my point of view, Toppola is always great. Last year I bought a very well preserved Toppola of the same generation as presented here (built in 1984 with wooden interior fittings). It's the red (middle) 900 on the bottom photo, which has long had a German license plate and yesterday (!) Woke up from hibernation. Bought from inventor Peter Malmberg in Landskrona, Sweden… a very own adventure story, for which I also have great photos. Maybe I'll write them down here soon too?

    Best regards from Toppolaner to Toppolander to Mönchengladbach!

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