For several years now I have started my Saab season with the trip to the Saab Support Convoy. Many blog readers were there at the big Saab Support Convoy 10 years ago, as I have already written, unfortunately not. This time the Saab Support Convoy took place for the tenth time, ten-year anniversaries are usually a reason to celebrate. Unfortunately not in the case of Saab. But it is still a nice Saab meeting and the public continues to be shown that Saab is alive.
The Saab Support Convoys take place alternately on the Czech and Slovak side and this year it was the Slovaks' turn. On January 11th from 10 a.m. Saab fans from Slovakia, the Czech Republic and four Saabs from Austria came to Skalica in front of the large church and parked in several rows on the square. Since it was a Saab meeting in the winter months, Saabs from the younger years were found. Most of the 9-3II / 9-3III and 9-5I and three 9-5II were found at the meeting. 900, 9000 and even older are all in safe hibernation and are waiting for summer.
However, I would not call any of the vehicles Wintersaab. Since the four-wheel drive combi had a small tire problem at the time of the meeting (meanwhile fixed again) I made my way to Skalica with the Diesel 9-3. With my warm jacket, scarf, hood and Saab bag packed, I drove away from home shortly after 8 a.m. towards Skalica. The journey was quiet and even the sun was still on the Austrian side.
After the Reinthal border crossing, I met Saabfreunde from Vienna in the Czech Republic. I saw the white tail lights of her 9-3 combi from afar. We drove there, got out briefly and were greeted, and then two Saabs drove from Vienna to Skalica. The reason why we went to Slovakia via the Czech Republic is simply explained. Skalica is located in the northernmost west of Slovakia and therefore the route from Vienna via the Czech Republic is faster and shorter. The Slovaks and Czechs, who live in the vicinity of the starting points in Bratislava and Brno, drove to them and from there formed a convoy to Skalica.
The very thick fog around Breclav / Lundenburg slowed us down a bit and so we arrived shortly after 10 a.m. in the main square, where some Saabs were already waiting. During the greetings and congratulations for the new year and the acceptance sticker, a few more Saab drivers arrived and finally about 40 Saabs were on the main square. This time it was a little less Saabs than the last few years because there was a small meeting in Brno a week later.
After everyone had arrived, the participants were divided into two groups and we first visited a museum of the printing press. There, the devices used at that time and their functions were explained to us.
Afterwards we went on foot to the mill of the Pilarik brothers. It is now a museum and you can still see a lot of the technology inside the mill. In 1927 the water powered mill was replaced by an electric one, where wheat and rye from the surrounding fields were ground. The mill was in operation until 1962 and was then closed. On the ground floor we first saw the mill floor where the grain was delivered to and then reached the third floor via conveyor belts. We reached the first floor by a wooden staircase. There are the roller mills with which the barley was crushed and on the next machine it was already ground to flour.
In a small adjoining room across the street there was also a small photo exhibition and the local volunteer fire brigade also exhibits old fire brigade exhibits there. The tube plate where the flour was collected when it came out of the rolling mill is on the second floor. We went down from the third floor and on the ground floor we came into the garage and saw historic vehicles, including a fire engine that was used on the mill's former factory premises.
After visiting the mill, we went back to the cars and most of us drove the approx. 10 km to a good restaurant in Slatnicka Dolina according to the name of the meeting in the convoy. So a convoy formed through the city and over the small country roads to Slatnicka Dolina. We parked in two rows near the restaurant and took the usual group and car photos there. A special menu was then put together for us Saab drivers in the restaurant and the successful meeting came to a close with gasoline talks.
From the restaurant, everyone made their way home. I was happy to meet friends again and start the Saab year 2020 with this meeting. I look forward to the upcoming meetings this year and to the Saab Support Convoy 2021, then again on the Czech side.