Saturday starts the way Friday ended - rainy. What has been indicated in the last few days by weather report, so is slowly becoming reality. The festival is threatening to fall into the water. But no matter whether wind or rain, it is the festival Saturday and thus the highlight of the event. The well-known and popular exhibition day starts in its next round!
Little space for many cars.
Compared to last time, the museum has had to lose space. A large open space, the last time was still available as a parking lot, has fallen victim to a new complex of buildings. If you want to present your Swedish car, you have to arrive early because the seats are limited. We also try our luck, are half an hour before the official start of the event on the grounds of the museum - and are stuck in traffic.
The rush seems to be unbroken, the Erik Carlsson Round About is also 1 ½ hours later still full, from all directions it pulls the Saabs direction museum grounds, At the end of the day Peter Backström will announce a new record. About 1.100 cars were simultaneously on the designated parking lots around the museum. More than ever before since the festival began.
Enjoy the Show - the last model of SAAB!
In the afternoon maybe the highlight of the festival will follow. For 90 minutes, none other than Simon Padian asks for a lecture. Padian was responsible for the design plans from Trollhättan until the very end, and in addition to the Aero X, also drew the final design for the 9-5 NG. No one has shaped the brand's design as much as he has in recent years. So it is not surprising that the hall is completely overcrowded.
The audience is very mixed. Many young but also numerous older listeners and how it turns out in the end, also very many former Saab employees. A short welcome, then Padian also sets off. This is followed by various pictures from bygone days, implemented as well as discarded designs, which are always kept close to the typical Scandinavian elements and the culture. For many it is a completely new focus on the brand. Padian tells things that may have never been noticed by the biggest brand fan. When Padian suddenly speaks of new, never-released designs, it gets a little restless before Padian explains what it's all about.
Shortly before the bankruptcy they gave him and his team a final order. The starting signal for the project 2020 had fallen. A blank sheet, it should finally go from zero. Even though the signs were getting worse and worse, they wondered in Trollhättan how well the model range in 2020 would look like? Even at the lowest point in the company's history, one always looked to the future. Simon Padian and his team did a great job of drawing 5 different cars that could not be more different. In addition to two small cars is also a Combi Coupé here, as well as the planned successor to the 9-3.
Padian closes his talk with the words "enjoy the show", then his little movie starts and the last real Saabs roll over the screen. After 8 minutes, the spook is over, the light goes back on and the short magic disappears.
A late visit to the Saab plant
Late in the evening we drive to the end through Trollhättan. We want to drive past the factory once again and take along a little insider tip on the way there. In recent years it has become a tradition to meet after the award ceremony in the parking lot of a shopping center near the factory premises. There are around 40 cars together, spontaneously and informally. Even a 9-5 NG SC from Mannes Bilservice can be seen. We stay longer than planned, and leave shortly before sunset for the factory.
At the same time, we are not alone with our idea of visiting the factory. NEVS Schild already has a group of young Scandinavians placing their Saabs in front of the sign. We arrive in time, the Swedish and Norwegian cars make way and the two German Saabs are integrated. Photos are taken, the cars crawl around and in the end we ask ourselves why we even drive our cars in front of the NEVS sign. We can not find an answer, say goodbye and start the Swedish night.
Saturday and the festival are coming to an end, and with it the series on the blog. The final part will include the festival Sunday, a separate article on the 2020 project, and the last officially confirmed Saab concepts. And then next to the last secret of the Aero X will be the mysterious Combi Coupé theme.
It remains exciting!