Sunday 15th January 2012, SAAB GB HQ, Cranfield, England
An absolutely gorgeous ‘almost Nordic’ morning, deep blue skies, zero degrees, and the promise of a great meeting of mighty SAABs.
We arrived a few minutes past 11, the car park already packed with SAABs and owners, I couldn’t quite hold back a huge grin as a great sense of pride overwhelmed me, what a wonderful sight.
After one of the SAAB Owners Club members directed us to a parking spot, we excitedly hopped out of our 9-3, and were greeted by a row of seriously classic SAABs; an immaculate orange 96 saloon, a Sonett, another 96 and an iconic 900 Turbo convertible, what a great start.
I’d imagine there must have been over 200 SAABs there, and what seemed like every single, conceivable model ever produced. Proud owners happily chatting and showing off cars, families crowding around the rally legend Erik Carlsson and everyone just enjoying the moment, what a stunning tribute to the power of SAAB.
The Neo Brothers über tuned 9-3 was there in all its glory, as was a unique 9-3 convertible with Lambo doors and carbon fibre bonnet, I also spotted yet another 9-3 with some fine Abbott Racing tweaks. There seemed to be a good showing of beautiful 9-5s too, a few with DK plates on which were great to see.
Everyone managed to be drawn away from the cars just long enough to have a group photo taken with guest of honour: Erik Carlsson, then it was back to the serious business of SAABs.
We had to leave before the convoy set off, so possibly didn’t experience the full power of the meet, however, what I can say, is that there is a huge amount of love for SAAB here in the UK – the news of SAAB GB becoming SAAB Parts UK Limited bringing with it the ability to keep our cars of the road, has at least been a small step in the right direction. I still pray that the outstanding warranty is honoured on our new SAAB sometime soon.
Any parties interested in purchasing SAAB should be (gently) slapped around the face and made to read about every single ‘We are many. We are Saab’ event that happened this past weekend. They’ll soon see they have a seriously loyal group of people who believe SAABs are more a way of life than just a car. Go find that in any other brand.
I’ll be adding more images from the Cranfield meeting when I’ve had more time to go through them all.