Sometimes the look back helps if you want to look ahead. At the Techno Classica there were trends for the future. Although beyond Saab, perhaps still pointing the way for the future of the brand and its vehicles. But at least a food for thought. In addition: a visit to Volvo ends differently than planned. And a frightening confession.
The German manufacturers are leaders when it comes to second, third and fourth recycling. Mercedes dealers have been restoring old star chariots for decades. And Porsche earns really good money with the classic business. An ingenious, sustainable perpetual motion machine, where the same vehicles are always serviced and restored over and over again. An infinite cycle that constantly pours money into the coffers.
Relatively new in the business is Jaguar - Land Rover. The Classic department had a well-made stand in Essen and impressively presented what was possible. Two open E-Types, one restored, one in good used condition, showed what the customer can expect. The second life, as a perfectly made new car from the factory.
The second life as Land Rover interprets it
An interesting subject that best demonstrates a perfect 1955 Series I Land Rover. According to factory specifications - rebuilt with the highest degree of authenticity - as many original parts as possible are preserved. Everything else is new, strictly according to the original specifications. The “Reborn” Landy rolls to the customer with a 12 month factory warranty. Either pure, as it rolled off the production line in 1955, or with additional upgrade options that make driving more pleasant and safer.
The price, from € 85,000.00, should not be a hurdle for the targeted landlords. Style and class have their price. Another, not yet restored Series 1 Land Rover shows the initial state. It is the last “Lights behind the Grille” type and was delivered in Melbourne on May 11, 1950. JLR Classic, on the worldwide search for exciting vehicles, bought it. Now he is waiting for the right customer. His second life is said to cost from € 100,000.00.
The second life of old vehicles could be a business with a lot of future. Digitization is rolling full force onto the new car market this year. Virtual cockpits and displays, with more and more online offers and assistants, are now available for almost all brands and in almost all price ranges. The customer will love it - in the beginning. After a certain time, he may wish to return to his analog comfort zone. Without the cloud, without a legion of assistants, without an unrestricted flow of information.
Anyone who is annoyed, and who can afford it, could sooner or later cherish thoughts of escape. And JLR Classic can fulfill them. An 1950 series 1 Landy gives you, at least for a few hours, the feeling of the Scottish Highlands with freedom, adventure and self-determination.
A model for Saab? Perhaps ! A second life for a brand that should actually be dead - but is still breathing. There is a lot of charm in the idea of a factory restoration. A classic 900 rebuilt according to factory specifications, with a new car (!) Guarantee, that would have something. A 9000 Turbo, with upgrade options as an individual Business Express, why not? The second life for Saab. Strong classics, technically improved and up to date. And then please under the official license of Saab AB.
A model for the Saab future, maybe a blogger craze. But also a food for thought for companies that deal with old cars and with Saab in particular.
A frightening confession
Every visit to Essen also leads to the stand of the other Swedish brand. It plays the map with its historical vehicles quite well, but also shows the latest model. I am actually more interested in the classics than the new release. Actually…
This year Volvo presented some James Bond vehicle, and the reader notices at the latest here that everything was different. Because it was the XC40 that I found exciting. Ironically, an SUV, and that was really unplanned. The beginning: There was this Sweden flag on the hood. A small, nice detail, as I would have always wanted to Saab. A styling gag that aroused curiosity in me for more. For example, on the interior.
And then the Volvo surprised me at the latest. Allegedly, many former Saab designers work at Volvo, and Simon Padian is also on the payroll in Gothenburg. And I find it very difficult to admit: I like little Swede. The XC40 design has an enormous feel-good character, you discover many beautiful details in the material and design. Sit down, feel good immediately, when has this happened to me since 2011?
Never, and that's the frightening thing. Volvo and Saab have always been rivalries. One reason for my decision to keep the Gothenburg brand off the blog. And now this ... How to deal with it?
Perhaps a quick look at the price tag helps to cool the spontaneously awakened love for the Volvo XC40. 58,000.00 € are quoted for the exhibit. A lot of money. Especially because it's not a Saab.