Blå Johan flies and a Saab 900 conquers the cinemas

Saab started building cars in 1947. The history of the brand began with an airplane. The roots, the construction of aircraft, had never been forgotten until the very end. Fine quirks, like an artificial horizon, were still found in the last models from Trollhättan. It is these little peculiarities that also made Saab interesting for artists and intellectuals. Otherwise, could you spot a classic 2021 in a Japanese movie in 900? It's not just the cars that are iconic. So are the planes. One is called Blå Johan. Welcome to the weekly press review!

Drive my car - Doraibu mai kā - Japanese movie with Saab 900.
Drive my car - Doraibu mai kā - Japanese movie with Saab 900.

Drive my car - Doraibu mai kā

Saab is considered the brand of intellectuals. The artist, the cool one. These people are interesting, but sometimes not easy either. If all of this is true, then it is clear why Ryusuke Hamaguchi filmed the story of Haruki Murakami in a Saab 900. Three hours of cinema, a demanding narration of an actually quite simple story.

It's about a theater director who is being chauffeured from his rural home to Hiroshima in a Saab to stage Chekhov's “Uncle Vanya”. On the way he spreads the dramas of his life in front of his chauffeur. It's about infidelity, sex and death, the whole program.

The plot, so the review writes, becomes more and more difficult as it progresses and only really flows again towards the end of the film. Heavy stuff, then.

Was premiered "Drive my car”During the 74th Cannes International Film Festival. In France, Ryusuke Hamaguchi's work will be released in theaters in August. A German theatrical release has not yet been determined. We are already looking forward to another Saab pulling across the screens of this world.

Saab B17 - Blå Johan - in the service of Saab AB
Saab B17 - Blå Johan - in the service of Saab AB

Blå Johan - Saab tradition maintenance

Saab's roots go back to the dark period of World War II. Founded as an armory in 1937, Saab AB still earns its money with the production of armaments to this day. The spread, not to the advantage of Saab AB, only finely dosed over the planet. Sweden has the strictest export regulations in the world, the delivery of weapons is only permitted to non-aggressive nations. At least that's how it works in theory.

Saab's debut was the B17 bomber. In 1940 the prototypes flew, a total of 322 copies rolled out of the halls in various versions. Also from the plant in Trollhättan. Ethiopia and Denmark were the export markets, most of which stayed in Sweden.

The Saab B17 was superior to most other makes of its time, such as the Junkers J87 and the Douglas SDB Dauntless. Even if luckily she never had to prove it. Today there are said to be 5 copies of the historically important aircraft around the world.

Saab AB flies one of them, the B17A Blå Johan, with an active tradition. The history of the restoration can be seen on Warbird Digest ...

Griffin without Saab but from Vauxhall. You could get sentimental.
Griffin without Saab but from Vauxhall. You could get sentimental.

Griffin - but without Saab

Griffin stood for the top model of the brand at Saab for a certain time. The Griffin version of the Saab 9000 lured with fine woods and heavy leather. A vehicle on the level of fancy British sedans, but with a lot more understatement than the contributions from the island.

In the last few years of the brand, the Griffin designation marked the departure of a generation of vehicles. The Saab 9-3 Griffin models were the best contribution of the 9-3 II series, unfortunately too few were produced.

Ironically, the former sister brand Vauxhall, another traditional brand that was almost ruined by GM, now uses the Griffin name. The top models of the new Corsa and Astra and the Grandland now wear the Greif. You could get a little sentimental.

With images from Saab AB (1), Vauxhall (1) and Culture Entertainment (2)

11 thoughts on "Blå Johan flies and a Saab 900 conquers the cinemas"

  • 901 LHD in Japan with Jap license plate? Funny, it was probably chosen deliberately for the film!

    • Japanese film 😉

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      LHD is widely used in chauffeured and exclusive cars in Japan.

      The chauffeur is faster at the back door. Drivers, passengers or self-drivers can jump out of the car at any time and independently of the flowing traffic at the edge of the lane or in the 2nd row. LHD is not seen as a savings solution there, but is a deliberate expression of prestige and a sign of the originality of imports - something like our Japanese saw, which is allowed and even should like to work on the train. It wouldn't be a Japanese saw on push ...

      But a 901 LHD is always bizarre as a chauffeured “Limo” in Japan. Just don't think about it! Just enjoy it as soon as it becomes available.

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      PS LHD

      Incidentally, the Swedes themselves were no less peculiar on this point. You can even find pre-war vehicles in the Volvo Museum. Everything LHD ...

      S did not switch to right-hand traffic until 1967. A fact that I keep forgetting because it seems so contradictory, because with the exception of a few British imports, almost all vehicles ever registered in S are LHD. Left-hand traffic with LHD was the norm in S for many years.

      Is it really that contradicting one another?
      Not really. If you consider that until 1967 buses and trucks kept so meticulously to the left and made it easier for cars to overtake on narrow country roads, then LHD was even a sensible concept despite left-hand traffic at the given time with the road and traffic conditions in S.

      I know that, have moved 3 different Swedish LHD in GB. Also a 9K CS ...
      Overtaking maneuvers on country roads were the plague. However, only RHD drove there, which were not oriented towards the edge of the lane but towards the center line. But otherwise?

      In fact, I found the LHd predominantly advantageous in left-hand traffic. I've never parked as precisely and close to the curb as in the UK. And there is not a single turning situation for an LHD in right-hand traffic that is as safe and easy to see as turning left with an LHD in left-hand traffic. It's really fun. You have to have done it once.

      After that, one is never sure again in life that the combination of LHD and right-hand traffic is the only valid solution. The drop is then sucked ...

  • THE 900th! In a row with Jaguar E, Corvette Sting Ray. Historically top.
    The film will hopefully stabilize / drive up prices ...
    Always nice to look at.
    Thank you.

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    Thank you. I have to see the film.

    And somehow I'm also happy that former GM daughters survived a better stepmother and the old one.
    Sad but about Saab - still. If GM had let Opel & Vauxhall out of its clutches earlier, Saab would probably also have been “adopted” and are now in different hands. Tragic how it went ...

    But I wouldn't hang the Saab B17 that high. What for? Saab had a solid debut for her, which they were able to repeat shortly after WW II automobiles.
    For me, this is a Swedish success story that does without exaggeration. The Dauntless, for example, was a concept specifically for the US Navy, not the US Air Force. Her requirement profile had much less to do with the air than with the slightly swaying ground that an aircraft carrier could offer her for take-offs and landings in large ponds.

    To be honest, when the Saab B17 (1942) was commissioned, there were already single-engine machines in the air that could fly higher and faster. What I find decisive is the learning curve on the road and in the air that Saab has laid down. It's so steep and fascinating ...

    The Saab 1943, which is around 200 km / h faster, had its maiden flight as early as 21 and for me it is somehow very typical Saab. It is always unconventional ...

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      Opel and Vauxhall will soon be history under PSA management as things are currently going. It is not for nothing that Lohscheller leaves Opel! French technology is not particularly durable either, except for the Citroen Diesel!
      Even the control of the heart of Opel, the 4000 developers, are no longer under the responsibility of Opel!
      For Opel, GM was clearly the better company! And without GM, Saab would have become history in the early 90s.
      I am very satisfied with my SAABs from the GM era! 9-3 NG and 9-5 OG are great cars!

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        You've got a point …

        First of all, PPE is history again. They have merged with Fiat-Chrysler to form the Stellantis Group ...

        It may be that Saab, Opel & Vauxhall would not have developed well under this roof.
        My only thought was that licenses would not have been a problem if all three had been rightly and simultaneously “adopted” by the same new mother.
        Today we would have quite a few 9-5 NG SC or 9-4X more on the streets. That alone would be appealing and better than the well-known course of events under NEVS.

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        I am aware that the new company is called Stellantis. I wrote extra PSA because the management of Stellantis comes from the former PSA group! Carlos Tavares remained the CEO after all!
        And the PSA client will certainly also be installed on all computers ... Fusion wasn't long ago.

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          I will gladly believe you and I have nothing more to say about the article & topic. That would be beyond my knowledge.

          Beyond what I have already said, I do not allow myself any opinion and from now on I will be happy to follow the comments that may still be collected here under the article.

          Thank you for your input.

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    Beautiful 900 in the movie. I love this rich red. It was only available from Saab.

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