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 leading in terms of second, third and fourth exploitation. Mercedes dealers have been restoring old star cars for decades. And Porsche earns really good money with the classic business. An ingenious, sustainable Perpetuum Mobile, where the same vehicles are always maintained and restored. An endless cycle that permanently flushes money into the coffers.
Relatively new to the business is Jaguar - Land Rover. The Classic department had a well-made stand in Essen and presented impressively, what works. 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 interpreted by Land Rover
An interesting theme that best demonstrates a perfect Series I Land Rover by 1955. 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 an 12 months factory warranty. Either as pure as 1955 came off the line, or with additional upgrade options that make driving more enjoyable and safer.
The price, starting at 85,000.00 €, should not be a hurdle for the envisaged Landlords. Style and class have their price. Another, not yet restored series 1 Land Rover shows the initial state. He is the last "Lights behind the Grille" guy and was on 11. May 1950 delivered in Melbourne. JLR Classic, on the worldwide search for exciting vehicles, bought him. Now he is waiting for the right customer. His second life should cost from 100,000.00 €.
The second life of old vehicles could be a business with a lot of future. Digitization is rolling into the new car market with full force this year. Virtual cockpits and displays, with more and more online offers and assistants are now available at almost all brands and in almost all price ranges. The customer will find that great - in the beginning. After a while, he might wish to return to his analogue feel-good zone. Without a cloud, without a legion of assistants, without an unrestrained 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 still breathing. There is a lot of charm in the idea of a factory restoration. A classic 900 rebuilt to factory specifications, with new car (!) Guarantee, that would have something. An 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 Saab in particular.
A frightening confession
Each visit to Essen also leads to the status of the other Swedish brand. She plays quite well the map with her historic vehicles, but also shows the latest model. Actually, I'm 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 at the latest, the Volvo surprised me. Allegedly, many former Saab designers work at Volvo, and Simon Padian is also on the payroll in Gothenburg. And I find it hard to confess it: I like the little Swede. The XC40 design has an enormous feel-good character, you will discover many beautiful details in terms of material and design. Reinsetzen, immediately feel good, when did this happen to me since 2011?
Never, and that's the scary thing. Volvo and Saab, that has always been rivalry. One reason for my decision to keep the Gothenburg brand off the blog. And now that ... How to deal with it?
Maybe a quick look at the price tag helps to cool off the spontaneous love for the Volvo XC40. 58,000.00 € will be recorded for the exhibit. Pretty much money. Especially because it is not Saab.