A priceless gift for a Saabist and collector of nice things

svss_9000 Anniversary Coversvss_9000 anniversary seat detail

Earlier this week, a friend said he had something for me; a box full of old Saab Club magazines going right back to the late 80’s. I was a very happy man.

And, as if this wasn’t already enough to make me smile, I discovered a collection of Saab brochures going right back to the late 80’s, I even found a Saab Carlsson Performance Range brochure.

Needless to say, I’ll be doing my very best to scan them all in and share them with everyone over the coming weeks, but one in-particular caught my eye from 1997, the Saab 9000 Anniversary Edition.

It features a stunning black 9000 with a two tone, sand beige leather interior with alpaca inlays, and has a rare aircraft monogram on the backrest cushions of the front and rear seats. I also love the special edition wood and leather steering wheel too.

I can just image how good this Saab must have felt for the lucky few who picked one up, brand spanking new from their Saab showroom.

Enjoy : Saab_9000 Anniversary Edition_Brochure 1997

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There was a time when the Germans feared the Swedes.

svss_New 9-3 Ad from 2003

Flicking through an old magazine from 2003, I spotted this ad for the ‘all new’ second generation Saab 9-3. 10 years on, and I’d still choose it over a number of current executive saloons, the front may not be as sharp as the latest generation 9-3, but it still makes me stare.

‘The vikings gave the whole of Europe a hard time, especially their close neighbours across the Baltic. Now it’s happened again with the launch of the new Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon. With a revolutionary new chassis and refined turbocharged engine, it gives both breathtaking performance and remarkable handling. In fact, it has already caused quite a stir amongst the motoring press. It seems our German competitors have every reason the be worried. And you have every reason to book a test drive’.

Looking forward to seeing some more Saab advertising in the future.

Looking for something unconventional, eccentric? A Saab 9-3 Viggen review from 2002

svss_saab viggensvss_saab viggen badgesvss_saab viggen interior

I happened across this short review of the enigmatic 9-3 Viggen, and being a Saab I’d love to own one day, I thought I’d share it with everyone. I must admit, after reading it, it made me want one even more.

Highs Traditional quirky, offbeat turbo front-drive charm from Saab.
Lows Traditional quirky, offbeat turbo front-drive charm from Saab.

“Looking for something unconventional, eccentric? Here’s a machine that hides its ignition switch in the cup holder. Here’s a machine with a teeny four-cylinder engine hooked up to a turbocharger the size of a Shop-Vac. Here’s a little five-door hatchback that looks like no other car on the road. Here’s the Saab 9-3 Viggen.

We are dealing with the last of the throwbacks–the last mass-produced passenger vehicle on earth that stays the course, refusing to yield to bourgeois fashion and show-off technology. The 9-3 Viggen is the latest hot-rod version of the Saab 900 first introduced in 1994, and it now offers an impressive 230 horsepower from its 140-cubic-inch turbocharged four-banger that has been a part of the Saab inventory since Eric the Red left for Greenland.

Face it, Saabs are an acquired taste, like single-malt Scotch and reggae. Although five-door hatchbacks and front-drivers are not exactly out there, the Saab is one last cry of protest in an increasingly androgynous world.

Slip behind the wheel of a Viggen, and find a chairlike leather seat, a chin-high instrument panel and windowsill, and a shifter and ignition switch located in a pit below your right hip.

Sniff the distinctive odor of buttery-soft Saab leather, and you can be in only one place on the planet.

It goes not exactly like its Swedish-fighter-plane namesake, but it’s plenty quick enough to get it into the high-six-second range from 0 to 60 mph and to tie for first in this group from 0 to 100 mph and to be the winner from 0 to 120 mph (where the wonderful Whoopee Cushion turbo shows its muscle).

Once the rubbery shifter is mastered and the flexy chassis is understood, one can fairly fly in a Viggen. Imprudent throttle punches in slow corners can produce nasty lunges of torque steer, but once straightened out and with the turbocharger in full play, the Viggen is definitely a hoot to drive.

It’s cool that Saab has refused to accede to so-called contemporary styling and such nuances as four-wheel drive, naturally aspirated V-6s, or a swoopier, more aerodynamic body style. In a world of automobiles that only small boys and hard-core automotive writers can tell from one another–think Japanese cars–the Saab steadfastly clings to its roots.

For the unrepentant Saabistas and for those who have not forgotten George McGovern and the plight of the snail darter, this is a source of pride and comfort. For others, it is quaintness that is rapidly descending into obsolescence”.

Amazing picture of the Viggen found here.

In search of a solitary timber barn

A few years ago, SAAB created a series of ads based on the theme Saab vs. When I first saw them, they somehow reflected how I felt about SAAB; stylish, elegant, individual and timeless, they also became the inspiration for naming this blog Saab vs. Scepticism.

There was one superb ad titled Saab vs. the Puritans, this inspired me to buy my very first SAAB convertible, a red 900 HOT, a great car, but soon replaced by a silver Abbott Racing 9-3 HOT, and then a 9-3 Aero in carbon grey, you could say the ad has a lot to answer to.

Not having forgotten the Puritans ad, i’ve been looking for a solitary timber barn in the middle of the English countryside ever since. When I find one, hopefully, i’ll have my trusty Leica with me and I can take a modern version of the image featuring my 9-3 TTiD (albeit not a convertible).

If anyone knows of a barn that looks like the one featured above, let me know the coordinates, i’ll hop in the SAAB and take a drive!

If you haven’t seen them, have a look at the Saab vs. ads on saabsunited.com.