It actually came true. “Drive my car” by Ryusuke Hamaguchi won the award for best international film at the 94th Academy Awards. A road movie in which a car may not play the leading role, but it does have an important part. An old Saab, too, plus a combustion engine, which makes the story particularly unbelievable. "Drive my Car" prevailed against the competition from Denmark, Bhutan, Italy and Norway. And it was pretty strong.
The Saab that took to the world stage
It's of course the emotional story that was being told and the fact that all the ingredients were right. The staging, the actors, the direction and also the choice of the car, which largely sets the scene for the action. The award was not entirely unexpected, there were justified hopes, but also doubts because of the enormous competition.
That the dream came true was also registered with astonishment in Saab's home country. The Swedish press needed a few days to sort itself out. Or rather, to sort things out with the Saab. The Saab that took to the world stage wrote Jonas Fröberg in Dagens Nyheter (DN). One of the best motor journalists in the country and probably the most sensitive. A self-confessed Saab fan and author.
Saab is - 11 years after the departure of the brand in the direction of Nordic Valhalla - cult. Mind you in Sweden, which is quite remarkable. And the 900, the classic, is the most iconic Saab to ever roll out of the halls along Göta Älv. The Swedes have been strangers to their own history for an unbelievably long time. They struggled with the brand in their last few years, which is not necessarily the fault of the Swedes themselves. Because GM did everything it could to make it difficult to own the brand.
"Drive my Car" as a Saab brand ambassador
It's over. The Swedes love again what their brilliant engineers dreamed up. One has noticed the constantly increasing appreciation for some time in the prices that are paid in Saab's homeland for cultural assets with the 4 letters at auctions.
“Drive my Car” and the Oscar add one more thing to the trend, they actually ennoble it. The red Saab 900 Turbo that drives across the world screens in the Japanese film is a brand ambassador. The Saab brand could not dream of a more suitable one.
The best: No marketing department filmed here, no product placement was paid for. That, too, is unusual in a world where it's common for automakers to pay outrageous sums to place products in films. Hoping that the film's brilliance and storyline will reflect on the brand.
It wasn't like that with Ryusuke Hamaguchi. There was no manufacturer who pulled out his check book. Everything is authentic and the Saab was chosen for who it is. Cool, cult and something very special in a world that is overflowing with boring automobiles.