Last of the Summer Drives

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I count each and every day with even a glimpse of blue sky a blessing, as Autumn approaches and the nights draw in, there will be less and less opportunity to get the roof down and go for a drive in the 9-3 convertible. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to shy away from four season topless driving, but let’s face it, you can’t beat a Saab convertible when the sun’s out and warming your soul.

Sunday welcomed us with vast blue skies and soft wispy clouds, so with the roof down we headed out for a drive through the surrounding countryside, it was warm enough to have the side windows down too and gave me the opportunity to appreciate the clean, timeless lines of the 9-3. It might be 15 years old now, but in my eyes, there really hasn’t been many new convertibles that surpass the Saab for it’s beauty, the Aero body kit by Ian Callum and lowered stance help of course, but even in their standard form, these cars have stood the test of time gracefully and are still ridiculously great value if you can find a good one.

Passing endless cornfields towering above our heads, it perfectly expressed what driving a convertible is all about – enjoying every little moment life has to offer.

Saab at heart

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All cars, no matter how extreme, need a beating heart. This amazing rat rod from England just happens to have one of the best hearts around – a Saab B204 Turbo.

It’s the brainchild of Urchfab, a custom designer & fabricator from the depths of Somerset, England. With a minimal budget, he set about acquiring suitable components including a 1953 Ford Anglia shell, Vauxhall gearbox, Volvo 240 rear axle and Ford steering gear, as the creator explains “the car is 75% junk parts, a load of steel and a few shiny bits chucked in the mix”. He also made the grill, radiator and intercooler as one complete, bolt on unit to make removing the Saab engine easier when fast access is required.

“Cruising around the countryside on tight British roads is lots of fun driving a powerful Saab rat rod based on a junkyard Ford, but hitting the track with it takes the build to whole new level”.

Ok, so it doesn’t look like a Saab, but we all know it’s a Saab at heart, fantastic.

Honoured

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I woke up this morning to find one of the coolest emails i’ve ever received about the blog. I have to say, I feel honoured that it’s reached so many likeminded people. We all love Saabs here, and for better or worse, they’ve become part of our lives. I’ll do my best to keep the site going, and if others feel like throwing in the odd gorgeous photo or inspiring Saab story, i’m always grateful – here.

Thanks for the wonderful comment and continued support Marc.

The 11ft Christmas Tree & the Saab Convertible

svss_Saab and the 11ft Tree

This year’s annual festive dash to collect the Christmas Tree was a little late this year; just 5 days before Christmas.

As usual, my son and I drove to a nearby country estate to choose the perfect tree, all the regular sized trees had gone, leaving only 10ft+ trees. After a great conversation with the farmer and some festive bartering, we ended up with a rather lovely 11ft Christmas tree.

It’s part of the tradition to get one a little too tall but we persevered, dropped the hood on the Aero convertible, lowered the passenger seat, and in it went, ok, so it may have been hanging over the boot slightly, but this is England, it’s ok to be eccentric.

Heater and seats on full, we triumphantly returned home, the smell of the pine needles and crisp blue sky adding to the joy of a topless Winter’s drive – perfect.

Happy Christmas everyone.

Saab Feel Good Factor

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Warm mornings, hazy evenings, deep blue skies, 15 mile commute, what better way to spend it than in a Saab convertible.

I must admit, I feel a bit short changed if I don’t go in the convertible on days like this, don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to get back into my 9-3, but the pure, simple pleasures of the convertible are hard to beat.

Watch as the trees fly by overhead, Summer sounds as clear as if they were coming from inside the car, and even when you hit traffic, look up for a moment and enjoy utter freedom – clear skies, fresh air.

All this in a Saab that cost about the same as a night in a luxury London hotel (equally pleasurable, but short lived). The undeniable feel good factor is hard to beat for the money, look after a car like this, treat it well and it will give you years of simple pleasure, and what’s more, it still look stunning.

This is an ongoing project which so far has included new wheels, new bumper, Abbott Racing lowered springs, interior refresh – still lots to do, but for now, it’s time just to enjoy.

Rain, Rain go away

Rain Rain

It seems the entire globe is suffering from freak weather at the moment, not least here in the UK. The rain really hasn’t let up for a while now, terrible floods, high winds, collapsing railway lines, all in all, not good.

Besides finding older photos and great Saab stories to share, I get little chance to take any new photos between the rain drops, but hey, why not just embrace it? So I grabbed to opportunity to take this one yesterday, even left the leaves in the Hirsch grille, real life.

The High Mile Club continues into 2013

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Last June, I set up a page for something called the High Mile Club. As we weren’t going to see new Saabs for a while, I wanted to show how the Saabs we already own and love are in for the long haul, built to last and with stories to tell.

I’ve been thrilled to see so many amazing High Miles Saabs coming in to my Inbox ever since, and from so many global neighbourhoods.

A couple of days ago, I received the very first High Mile Saab of 2013, and it too had a story to tell. Being the first of the year, I thought I’d share it with you, it comes from the neighbourhood of Syracuse, New York.

“Back in 2009, I drove my Father-In-Law’s SportCombi, it made me realise I just had to have a Saab. A week later, my wife and I traveled 350 miles to pick up this 2003 9-5 SportCombi. It had already covered 80,000 miles and since then, we’ve added another 50,000 miles and loved every moment.

We’ve also purchased a brand new 9-3 SportCombi in 2011, and our son purchased a classic 900s, which he loves, It’s currently awaiting a new transmission and has covered 115,000 miles.

My beloved SportCombi is as strong and good looking today as the day we collected her, and I’m looking forward to 200,000 miles and beyond.

We’re hoping to add my Father-In-Law and son’s Saabs to the High Mile Club soon too”

Another fantastic story, and proving, yet again, that Saabs become part of your family, a tradition that passes through generations. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes into my Inbox next.

Join the High Mile Club.

The 8ft Christmas Tree & The Saab Convertible

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It’s an annual tradition in our house; the collecting of the Christmas Tree. My son and I drive over to a local farm who grow the trees, we take our time choosing the best, we say hello to the resident Lamas, grab a mince pie and prepare to squeeze the (always too tall) tree into the car for our journey home.

This year, we could have made the whole thing simple, take the SportCombi, drop the rear seats and an 8ft tree would have fitted in beautifully, but it was such a nice day; fresh, crisp, a bit of sun, perfect for a run in the 900 convertible.

So, with roof down, heater on full, we triumphantly returned home with an 8ft Christmas Tree sticking proudly out of the back of the convertible. The smell of the pine needles and frost on the ground adding to the joy of a topless Winter’s drive, this may very well become a new festive Saab tradition.

What a difference 6570 days make

157,680 little hours.

I’ve been driving the 19 year old 900 classic around for the past few weeks and have really enjoyed it, but this morning I climbed back into my 1 year old 9-3, and it was shear exhilaration, it felt so new, so WOW.

I love the iconic styling of the 900, but the 18 years difference can’t be ignored, the 9-3 just feels so luxurious and exceptionally sorted. When you’re in the same car, day in, day out, you begin to take things for granted, you no longer notice the amazing carbon leather Hirsch dash, the freshness of the reassuringly solid steering wheel or the quality and comfort of the heated seats. You don’t take the time to admire the clarity and simplicity of the dashboard design, the usability of the built in navigation system, or even the unique Saab smell, and it all felt so great.

A sense of joy and sadness seemed to hit me at the same time, here I was, sitting in a car I really believe outshines most others in it’s class, both in style and individuality, but also one that may never have another generation I can look forward too sitting in for the first time.

6570 days make a huge difference, but one thing the 2 cars do have in common, is that they are both Saabs to the core, and I like that, I’m still optimistic that I’ll be able to experience new Saabs again during the next 6570 days too.