Swedish cultural heritage visits Unterseen

Precisely for the Swedish national holiday on Sunday, June 6th, 2021, a one-time exhibition of 30 Saab and 60 Volvo classic cars will take place in the historic “Stedtli” of Unterseen under the motto “Heja Sverige”. The total of 1950 classics represent Swedish cultural assets and automotive art from the era from 2000 to XNUMX.

Swedish duo - Volvo P121 and Saab 96
Swedish duo - Volvo P121 and Saab 96

Special highlights of the presentation are various Saab 93 - 96, the lightweight Saab Sonett sports car, a rare Volvo PV 831 from 1953, a PV 544 that drove from Hamburg to Hong Kong and a P1800 that made the route from Gstaad via Berlin to completely breakdown-free Beijing got under the wheels.

In addition, various historical sports and rally models from both brands enrich the unique presentation.

The exhibition in the middle of the old town of Unterseen is public and free of charge. The popular restaurant Stadthaus provides for the culinary well-being on site with some Swedish delicacies.

"Heja Sverige"

Saab and Volvo enthusiasts show their vintage cars in Unterseen on Sunday, June 6th 2021, the Swedish national holiday.

Volvo and Saab vehicles have always been very important in Switzerland. They are considered innovative, durable and offer a high level of active and passive safety, which is otherwise rather rare in classic cars.

At the attractive “Heja Sverige” presentation in the historic town of Unterseen on Sunday, June 6, 2021, IG Swiss Volvo, in cooperation with Saab enthusiasts, will be showing an exciting cross-section of the history of Swedish automotive culture. 30 models of each brand from the 1950 to 2000 era will be presented.
Particular eye-catchers among the classics from Trollhättan are the Saab models 93 to 96, the innovative Saab 99, the Saab 900 Cabriolet and the lively, lightweight Sonett sports cars.

A very special heavyweight is the oldest model in the exhibition - a rare Volvo PV 831, which went down in history as the legendary large-capacity taxi. Equally worth seeing and popular are the “Buckeli” -Volvo PV 544s - including a model that has withstood the rigors of a 15 km journey from Hamburg to Hong Kong. The fact that Volvo's are extremely robust and at home on long journeys is also demonstrated by a P 000 Coupé, which mastered the journey from Gstaad via Berlin to Beijing without any problems.

A rarity - Volvo PV831
A rarity - Volvo PV831

The presentation of Swedish car culture history is rounded off by the sporty versions of Saab and Volvo, which caused a sensation in motor and rally sport - for example a successful Saab 96 V4 with a whopping 185 hp, tuned Saab Sonett II and III or a Volvo 850 T-5 R with 240 hp, which at its time was one of the fastest station wagons on the market.

In keeping with the motto “Heja Sverige”, the automotive northern lights will be presented on Sunday, June 6th, 2021 - that is, on the Swedish national holiday! The classics can be admired from 11 a.m. to 16 p.m. in the historic Stedtli in Unterseen. A visit is sweetened by Swedish delicacies such as the fine cinnamon rolls "Kanelbullar" and other delicacies offered by the Stadthaus restaurant.

Saab: an aircraft manufacturer builds cars

Saab, short for Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget, was founded in Sweden before World War II to build military aircraft. After the war ended, the vacated production facilities on the Swedish west coast in Trollhättan were used for the manufacture of automobiles. It is therefore not surprising that the first car, the Saab 92, which was built by aircraft engineers and presented in 1947, had a distinctive aerodynamic design and was also the first automobile to have a reinforced passenger cell with side impact protection and rollover protection.

Saab 93
Saab 93

Other innovations that Saab was the first brand to introduce included the diagonal dual-circuit brake system (1963), the headlight wiper and washer system (1970), electrically heated seats, self-repairing bumpers (both in 1971), cabin air filters (1978), and turbocharging for mass-produced vehicles (1977 ), Direct ignition SDI (1985), active headrests to reduce whiplash injuries (1997), ventilated front seats (1997), or the Night Panel (1993), to name just a few.

The Saab 92 has been further developed. The Saab 1956 followed in 93 and the first Saab Kombi 95 two years later. The Saab 1960 was very successful from 96, both in sales and as a rally vehicle. Erik Carlsson won the Monte Carlo Rally twice on a 96 against competitors with a lot more horsepower. From 1967, a V2 engine from Ford was installed instead of the previous three-cylinder 4-stroke engine. The Saab 96 was built until 1980, partly also in the Finnish plant Valmet in Uusikaupunki.

Saab sonnet
Saab sonnet

Thanks to the initiative of energetic development engineers and short decision-making paths, Saab also created exciting projects such as the Sonett sports car. Only six of the first open version were built in 1956. In 1966 the Sonett II sports coupé, weighing just 660 kg (1 units, 890 of which with the three-cylinder 258-stroke engine) followed, and in 2 the somewhat larger Sonett III sports car, of which 1970 units were built.

Innovative Saab 99 and the first with turbocharging.

A completely new development with numerous innovations was the larger Saab 1968 with notchback in 99, which was also available as a practical 1974 L Combi Coupé from 99. And the Saab 99 was the first mass-produced car to be powered by a turbocharger from 1977. A concept that is used today in all internal combustion engines. The successful Saab 99, which was built until 900 in various body and power variants, including a four-seater convertible from 1998 onwards, was further developed from the 1986 series.

Saab 99
Saab 99

In 1984 Saab launched the 9000, an upper mid-range model, which was based on a development concept with the Fiat group, but featured strong, independent technical solutions.

The integration into the GM group

After losses at the end of the 80s and failed cooperation plans with Ford, Saab entered into a cooperation with the US company General Motors. This resulted in the second generation Saab 1993 in 900 and, from 1997, the Saab 9-5, the successor to the Saab 9000. In January 2000, GM took over the other 50% shares and now owned Saab Automobile entirely.

Under the leadership of GM it was not possible to set up Saab Automobile economically. Nevertheless, Saab had to do a lot of development work for the American group. Due to the bankruptcy of GM in 2009, Saab was sold to the small series manufacturer Spyker, who could not raise the necessary funds to reorganize the company. When the latter withdrew, GM refused to give up licenses for existing products to new buyers who were willing to buy, thereby blocking all sales negotiations. As a result, Saab Automobile AB had to be dissolved in 2012.

Volvo - I roll

The name Volvo comes from the Latin and means "I roll". In 1915, Svenska Kullagerfabriken Aktiebolaget SKF patented the Volvo ball bearing and the brand was born. In 1924, AB Volvo was founded as a subsidiary of SKF. The first Volvo model in 1927 was the ÖV4 «Jakob», an open four-cylinder car. The PV4 followed as a closed car (ÖV stands for open car, PV for passenger car).
It was only after World War II and the improved economic situation that Volvo picked up speed.

Volvo Amazon
Volvo Amazon

The twelfth model, the Volvo PV444 (1947) and its successor, the PV544 - also known as the Humpback Volvo (1958), achieved the international breakthrough. The three-point seat belt - a Volvo invention by the way - was first installed in this model.

The next generation was the Volvo P120 / 130 series, also known as Amazon, of which over 1956 vehicles were built from 1970 to 660. It was the world's first vehicle with headrests as standard equipment (000).

Somewhat surprisingly, Volvo presented a sports car in 1961, the Volvo P1800, which remained in the range until 1973 with various engine variants from 90 to 124 hp. The P1800 from the television series "Simon Templar" with Roger Moore in the leading role is known to many. With a view to the 1972 model year, a lifestyle variant was presented as the P1800 ES with a glazed combination rear, which led to the nickname “Snow White's coffin”.

New functional design characterizes Volvo as a "safety car"

With the next generation, the P140 series (1966), Volvo presented a new angular design that also visually drew attention to the high safety features. Another novelty for Volvo was the entry into the luxury class with the luxurious P164 (1968).

Celebrated rally successes - Volvo PV544
Celebrated rally successes - Volvo PV544

In the summer of 1974, Volvo presented the successor series 240/260, which were built for 19 years and around 2,8 million were sold. The model series was supplemented by the Coupé 262 C with a six-cylinder engine (1977) designed by Bertone.

Volvo also expanded its product range downwards and in 1975 acquired the auto division of the Dutch company DAF. The 300 series was produced in the Dutch factory, of which the 340 model was also available with the continuously variable Variomatic transmission.

Bigger, stronger and more diverse

The 240 series introduced in 1982 was a bit larger than the 700 series. Initially, a six-cylinder engine was installed in the 760 model, which was primarily intended to ensure Volvo's success in the US market. The noble Bertone Coupé 780 (1985) was also geared towards America. The 740 (1984) with a four-cylinder engine and various body and engine variants ensured volume in Europe. The angular station wagon versions of the 740/760, the loadmaster par excellence, were particularly well received.

1967 Volvo 1800 S "ST1" from "The Saint" (TV Series)
1967 Volvo 1800 S "ST1" from "The Saint" (TV Series)

In 1986, Volvo presented the 480, a sporty station wagon that featured design elements from the P1800 ES and was the company's first front-wheel drive. From 480 the Volvo 1988 was supplemented by the sedans 440 and 460, which were deliberately aimed at a younger group of buyers. The 400 series was made in the Netherlands.

In June 1991 Volvo presented a completely new automobile: the Volvo 850. With 16 billion Swedish kronor (4 billion Swiss francs) it represented the largest industrial project in the history of the Gothenburg company and was groundbreaking for the company's further development.

The 700 series were replaced by the 1991 and 940 model series in 960. As with the predecessor, many body parts were made of galvanized sheet steel, which, in conjunction with the robust engines, enabled very high mileages. Vehicles with well over half a million kilometers are not uncommon.

In 1999, Volvo was taken over by Ford. In March 2010, Ford sold the Volvo Car Corporation to the Chinese company Geely. Under him, Volvo regained its due independence and was able to develop continuously

6 thoughts on "Swedish cultural heritage visits Unterseen"

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    @ C. Bleile,

    1.000 thanks for this great article & the pictures. It was a very, very great pleasure for me.

    Great. Thanks.

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    Unfortunately I cannot get to Unterseen from Belgium in time. So a request; give us lots of pictures from this nice meeting via this blog so that we can experience everything. Congratulations from now on to the organization of this event.

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    A nice event in Switzerland. Congratulations on this great idea in combination with the Swedish national holiday. And thanks to Tom for the Swedish automobile “Schnelllauf”, which is well worth reading ;-).
    Based on the real registration data, it is already clear what a "dwarf" SAAB was in Trollhättan ...
    … 240/260, which were built for 19 years and sold around 2,8 million times = approx. 147.000 pieces per year! From a model !! However, it also shows that it was possible to hold onto a production series for a long time and still sell volume.
    It could of course also be clear in the first few years. more 240-ziger were sold and at the end only homeopathic doses ...
    It remains an impressively long production cycle. Back then you could sustainably ...

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      @ Aero-9-3

      it's even crazier. As if 19 years of 240 were not enough for sustainability, the series is actually nothing more or less than the continuation and modification of the 140. It had previously rolled off the assembly line for 8 years and from 1966.

      Volvo has installed the same windshields in both series for 27 years (for example). The relationship between the two series and their overlap in design and technology are too diverse to list here ...

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    A glimpse of hope! I'm happy for the Saab friends in Switzerland 🙂

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    Finally a SAAB event can be held again. We're glad!
    See you in Unterseen

    Keep SAABing Daniel

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