We were on the ferry to Denmark shortly before 5 o'clock, on the ferry to Sweden shortly before 8. We had Swedish soil at 8.20 am. And then the journey continued. Always north, to Trollhättan. The adventure had started the evening before in the Frankfurt area. With the 9-5 station wagon, a friend and his son, we started towards Scandinavia.
Sweden for a few days, that's crazy. How could this happen? I've been driving Saab for what feels like an eternity. Precise since 1992 and maybe until the end of my days. If the legislature allows me and if no other crazy idea comes to my mind. But I had never been to Trollhättan. Not because of Saab anyway. I knew the city from traveling through the country, that Saab built cars there didn't interest me.
I drove Saab. Friends infected with the Saab idea until they bought one too. I read Saab literature whatever I could get. But to a festival in Sweden? Seriously? Never in life. I wasn't that crazy after all. That only changed when the crisis came, and it was no longer certain that one would ever be able to buy a Saab again. The motto was at least once in life to Sweden and to the factory. Because who could promise whether the rescue would last?
We drove to Trollhättan, pretty naive and quite crazy. The tension increased with every kilometer and the small town with the many other Saab drivers captivated us. Saab from all sorts of countries, the dominant brand in the street scene. It does something to you. If you only hear the noise of the turbocharger for a day or two. That is accompanied by the singing of the two-stroke engine, which races through Trollhättan day and night in a completely insane and unbelievably fast manner.
As if Erik Carlsson was personally behind the wheel.
Who wasn't driving a 2-stroke Saab at the time. But the best brand ambassador was one you could ask for. He patiently signed autographs for hours, talked to strangers and had a little story ready for everyone. Saab was his family, the bond with the brand gave him the strength.
Yes, the great Erik Carlsson. He is unforgettable. Before we met him, we visited the stable backa. The Saab factory, and thick, gray clouds covered the sky. Threatening, but we didn't see her. Instead, they stuck to the fence that separates the factory premises from the outside world. We were thrilled to see one new car after another roll out of the halls. A dream for those who could and still wanted to dream. And we wanted it.
What 3 days Saab Festival do to you.
These festivals in Trollhättan are a very different world. Back then, in 2010, probably much more than today. The difference to other events can be felt. The atmosphere is relaxed, it is international. People are just different, more relaxed, friendlier. Saab makes everyone the same. The city on the Götaland Canal is not really beautiful. It is neither a Swedish Florence nor a small Paris. But it is the holy grail of fans. Whoever made it here has arrived.
Of course it was the case that the three of us as newcomers missed pretty much everything the program offered. No factory tour, no Saab dinner in the evening. But we had the museum and the original Saab. The festival site, the work and this many people around us. That was enough and made me happy. In exuberance we decided to write a small Saab blog. Because we were so excited about our cars, we both drove a 3-9. Just write about the Saabs so that other people get a taste of it. If someone reads it, it's good.
You can see what has become of it.