Archive for May, 2007

Saab 9-3 Convertible Receives Top Crash Test Honors from IIHS

Posted on 31. May, 2007 by .



Photo Credits: Saab Automobile


Saab 9-3 Convertible Receives Top Crash Test Honors from IIHS

top.jpgDETROIT — The Saab 9-3 Convertible has earned the 2007 Top Safety Pick award for open-top models in crash tests conducted by the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The 9-3 Convertible joins the 9-3 Sport Sedan, which has received top honors three-years running, in receiving this top IIHS accolade.

To qualify for ‘Top Safety Pick’ award, a maximum ‘good’ rating must be recorded in each of three demanding tests involving frontal and side impacts and an evaluation of seat/head restraint protection in a simulated rear-end impact. The vehicle must also offer electronic stability control and convertibles must be equipped with roll bars.

“We are delighted that these IIHS findings confirm our own crash test results,” says Per Lenhoff, head of Safety at Saab Automobile AB in Sweden . “This reassures consumers that the 9-3 Convertible is among the very best in its class for crash safety.”

As part of its on-going work with crash safety, Saab has led the automotive industry in pioneering the development of active head restraints to help prevent neck injury in rear-end impacts. Saab Active Head Restraints (SAHR) are standard equipment to the front seats of all its current car models. The 9-3 Convertible is also equipped with Saab Dynacage, which includes pop-up roll bars to help provide protection in the event of a roll-over crash or an impact that could lead to a roll-over.


Photo Credits: Saab Automobile

The IIHS frontal crash test assesses structural performance and potential injury to the driver dummy in a 40 mph (64 kph) impact against a fixed deformable barrier with a 40 percent overlap on the driver’s side.


Photo Credits: Saab Automobile

For the side impact test, a deformable barrier simulating an SUV or light truck is propelled against a stationary vehicle at 31 mph (50 kph) on the driver’s side. Structural performance and potential injuries to a dummy at the wheel and another seated immediately behind are assessed.


Photo Credits: Saab Automobile

In the dynamic seat and head restraint test, a seated dummy is mounted on a sled which is accelerated to 10 mph (16 kph) and stopped within 0.1 seconds, simulating the effect of a 20 mph (32 kph) rear-end impact. The test is designed to assess protection against neck injury.

Saab is a division of General Motors Corp. Saab Automobile USA is the importer and/or distributor of Saab 9-3, 9-5 and 9-7X automobiles for Saab Automobile AB, Sweden . In 2007, Saab celebrates 60 years since first being introduced to the automotive scene as the vision-turned-reality of 16 aircraft engineers. Visit for more information.

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Note to Editors:
IIHS is a non-profit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. The Institute’s research focuses on counter-measures aimed at all three factors in motor vehicle crashes (human, vehicular, and environmental) and on interventions that can occur before, during, and after crashes to reduce losses. Further information about IIHS crash testing is available at:

The Saab 9-5 Sedan, 9-3 Sport Sedan and 9-3 Convertible have also achieved a maximum five star rating in EuroNCAP crash tests. For further details, visit:

Information about the performance of Saab cars in a field study conducted by the Swedish insurance company Folksam: “How Safe is Your Car?” can be viewed at

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Allemansrätten – “The Right of Public Access”

Posted on 30. May, 2007 by .



Photo Credit: Saab History / 2005

With many visitors travelling to Sweden in the next week for the Saab Festival, it is suiting that we all know what our rights and responsibilities are in this country.

The following phrase “Allemansrätten” or in English, the Right of Public Access articulates the rights and responsibilities of both visitors and Swedish citizens.

For more information about this phrase, please visit the website directly at the source Allemansrätten

Welcome to the countryside!

In Sweden, everyone has the right to be out in the countryside– visitors from abroad as well as Swedish citizens. We call this “the right of public access”. It is a benefit not found in a great many other countries. One may also look upon the right of public access as a great freedom. But our freedom in the countryside must not infringe upon the freedom of others.

The right of public access requires consideration, responsibility and good judgement. We must not damage the landscape or animal life, and we must show consideration for both landowners and for others who are out in the countryside.

The essence of the right of public access is concisely expressed by the phrase, “Do not disturb, do not destroy”.

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Saab 9-2x Owners Gather at Wachusett Mountain Resort

Posted on 30. May, 2007 by .



Photo Credit: Saab History

saab9-2xwachusettmountain200.jpgOn June 17th, 2007, Saab 9-2x Owners will be travelling from all over the North East region of the United States to join in on the festivities at one of the largest Subaru Festivals in North America this year that is taking place at Wachusett Mountain in Princeton, Massachusetts.

This event is being sponsored by the New England Subaru Club and will be running a number events throughout the day at this location.

The Saab 9-2x was a joint endeavour between Saab Automobile and Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru) and was offered only in the United States market from 2004 until 2006 and is now considered by this enthusiastic group of individuals who frequent the Saab9-2x forum, a collector’s item.

Here are some of the features of the event:

Parking for over 2000 attendees
Huge vendor midway
Live DJs spinning throughout the day
Thousands in prize give-a-ways
Technical seminars
Kids tent
Car show and awards
Race and rally car expose
Special Subaru celebrities and keynote speaker
And much, much more to be announced….

For more information on the Saab 9-2x, please visit the following posts:

Saab USA Heritage Collection – Saab 9-2x
Saab 9-2x, A Tribute (2004-2006)

For more information on this event, please visit the event website directly here

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Saab Club Winery Tour – New York

Posted on 29. May, 2007 by .



Image Credit: NYSOC

The New York Saab Owners Club (NYSOC) is hosting their annual winery tour again this June 30th, 2007. Here is some information about this interesting event below, so mark your calendars if can make it.

This year, the winery tour will be taking place in Dutchess County, NY. We will be hitting all three wineries along the Dutchess Wine trail.

We will begin the day in the parking lot of Sky Acres Airport in LaGrangeville, NY (click here for directions). If you would like to eat some lunch, they have a small diner on-site. We will be leaving the airport promptly at 12 Noon, so please be there early.

Our first winery stop will be Millbrook Vineyards. After Millbrook, we will head to Alison Wines. From there, we will end the run at Clinton Vineyards.

The tour is scheduled to take all day and you are invited to join us for dinner at the Hyde Park Brewing Company in Hyde Park, NY. While a table has been arranged for us, their entire menu will be available for you to choose from, so you will be responsible for your own portion of the bill.

The total driving time for the tour is about 3-4 hours. Please be sure to have a full tank of fuel prior to arriving at the airport in the morning. There are some parts of this drive that are either poorly paved or unpaved (dirt), but this is only about 1% of the total drive. We will be driving very cautiously along these portions since they are unavoidable. This shouldn’t pose a problem to anyone, but it is best to let you know beforehand.

For more information about this event, please visit the NYSOC website here.

New York Saab Owners Club

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Saab Sighting of the Week – Washington, D.C.

Posted on 29. May, 2007 by .


It is Tuesday and it’s another installment of the “Saab Sighting of the Week“. This week, I managed to spot a Saab 9-5 SportWagon in brilliant red in the downtown Washington, D.C. area. It looks like a possible enthusiast with what looks to be a fresh wash and clean wheels.


Photo Credit: Saab History

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Saab Owners Convention – 1998

Posted on 29. May, 2007 by .




NORCROSS, Ga. – Each year, hundreds of Saab enthusiasts from around the United States and Canada gather for a celebration of Saab spirit, camaraderie and automotive innovation. This year, the national Saab Owners Convention ’98 will be August 19-23 in the beach resort community of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

The 1998 convention commemorates 20 years of Saab turbocharging. Two decades ago, the revolutionary 1978 Saab 99 Turbo took the auto industry by storm by introducing the “exotic” concept of variable-boost turbocharging on a 4-cylinder engine in a practical family sedan. That first Saab 99 Turbo was acclaimed both for its dynamic performance and useful three-door hatchback functionality.

Today, Saab is more committed than ever to its turbo tradition. For the 1999 model year, Saab’s entire new model line is turbocharged, featuring the all-new Saab 9-5 performance sedan and the sporty Saab 9-3 Coupe, Convertible and five-door, all of which go on sale this spring. Examples of each of these new models will be exhibited at the convention.

Throughout the weekend, Saab owners can choose from a fun and informative range of activities, designed to appeal to all levels of driving skill and automotive know-how. On Wednesday, August 19, at historic Roebling Road racetrack near Savannah, a group of Saab owners will have the opportunity for professional racing school instruction. Utilizing turbocharged Saab 9-3s, participants will learn driving techniques that are not only useful for improving one’s times on the race track, but help to sharpen driving skills on public roads. In addition to seaside recreation and relaxation at the Hilton Head Island resort headquarters, participants will take part in driving skill competitions, a scenic road rally, and educational seminars and technical sessions. An annual convention highlight is the Concours d’Saab, where proud owners display hundreds of carefully maintained vintage and current-model Saabs, competing for awards. Convention attendees can also find the latest performance accessories, personal Saab wear, or rare Saab memorabilia at numerous vendor displays and popular swap meet. The Saab festival events include a welcome reception and awards banquet hosted by Saab Cars USA president Joel Manby, plus honored guest, rally legend Erik Carlsson.

Saab Cars USA and the Carolinas Saab Register have chosen the oceanfront Crowne Plaza resort as the headquarters for the national Saab owners convention. Located only 30 miles north of Savannah, Ga., the award-winning resort blends beach-front vistas, championship golf, and the history and gentility of the South Carolina low country, with the amenities of a first-class resort. The resort property features ivory sand beaches and lush landscaping, dotted with tropical palmetto trees and sprawling oaks draped with Spanish moss. An adjacent full-service tennis club and nearby golf courses offer additional recreational opportunities. The combination of setting, resort services, and planned Saab events and activities ensure that every member of the family will have a truly memorable experience.

Hundreds of enthusiastic Saab owners from throughout the United States and Canada have gathered annually to celebrate a car whose unique design and abundant character have brought owners of all types together for more than 40 years. Enthusiastic Saab owners have been gathering annually since 1962. Last year’s Saab Jubilee USA convention in Waterville Valley, N.H., was the biggest to date, with more than 1,300 registered guests celebrating Saab’s 50th anniversary as an automaker.

Interested Saab owners can find out more or request a registration packet from Saab’s website at, or by calling 1-800-438-7222.

This convention is also listed on the Saab Convention Archive here on Saab History.

Here is also the official convention booklet available for download below.


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Saab Rally Driver Profile – Simo Lampinen

Posted on 29. May, 2007 by .



Photo Credit: Saab Automobile

Simo Lampinen, a native of Finland, has had a lengthy history as a SAAB rally driver. His contributions to the SAAB marque have been numerous and it is appropriate to provide a summary of his experiences and collaboration with Saab Automobile over the years. I have provided a writeup and rally history done by the kind folks at the Flying Finns that provides this important information.

Simo Lampinen overcame what was considered a huge obstacle to a rally driver; he contracted polio at a young age. He survived the childhood disease, but it left him with a very pronounced limp. Authorities granted him a driving license at age 17 so he could get to and from school more easily, but he quickly went on to acquire a competition license. He won his first major rally, Finland’s Rally of the 1000 Lakes, in 1963 when he was only 20. He went on to win the Finnish Rally Championship that year. Lampinen repeated that accomplishment in 1964, and won the Ice Racing Championship in 1965.

Lampinen began by driving SAABs, whose front-wheel drive and two-cycle engines were well suited to the winter conditions in Scandinavia. He became part of the Finnish Saab Team, the cars differentiated from the Swedish Saab Team’s red machines by their white and blue paint schemes.

Lampinen was wooed to Lancia in 1970, and won twice that year in the Fulvia HF. He returned to driving for Saab in 1972 and won the 1000 Lakes for the third time.

In recent years, Lampinen has been active as Clerk of Course for the 1000 Lakes Rally, now known as the Rally of Finland. In 1996, he was one of the instructors for the Saab 900 Talladega Challenge, an event at Talladega Speedway in Alabama in which Saab 900s were used to set several International speed records. He also assisted Saab in their assault on Pikes Peak in 2000, when Per Eklund drove to victory in a specially prepared Saab 9-3 Viggen.

Source: Flying Finns

Simo Lampinen – Lifetime Highlights
Year Rally Finish Car Co-driver
1963 1000 Lakes 1st Saab 96 Jyrki Ahava
1963 Finnish Rally ChampionSaab 96  
1964 1000 Lakes 1st Saab 96 Jyrki Ahava
1965 1000 Lakes 4th Saab 96 Jyrki Ahava
1965 Finnish Ice Racing ChampionSaab 96
1966 Swedish 2nd Saab 96  
  1000 Lakes 5th Saab 96 Klaus Sohlberg
1967 Swedish 2nd Saab 96-V4  
  1000 Lakes 2nd Saab 96-V4 Klaus Sohlberg
1968 RAC 1st Saab 96-V4  
  Czech 2nd Saab 96-V4  
  1000 Lakes 2nd Saab 96-V4 Klaus Sohlberg
1969 Swedish 2nd Saab 96-V4  
  Austrian Alpine 4th Saab 96-V4  
  Czech 4th Saab 96-V4  
  1000 Lakes 2nd Saab 96-V4 Klaus Sohlberg
1970 1000 Lakes 3rd Lancia Fulvia John Davenport
  TAP (Portugal) 1st Lancia Fulvia  
  1000 Minutes 1st Lancia Fulvia  
1971 Monte Carlo 6th Lancia Fulvia HF John Davenport
  Acropolis 3rd Lancia Fulvia  
  RAC (Britain) 6th Lancia Fulvia  
  TAP (Portugal) 2nd Lancia Fulvia  
1972 Monte Carlo 4th Lancia Fulvia HF Solve Andreasson
  Maroc 1st Lancia Fulvia  
  Acropolis 2nd Lancia Fulvia  
  1000 Lakes 1st Saab 96-V4 Klaus Sohlberg
  RAC (Britain) 5th Lancia Fulvia  
1973 1000 Lakes 4th Saab 96-V4 John Davenport (GB)
  Zlatni Piassatzi 2nd Lancia Fulvia  
1974 1000 Lakes 5th Saab 96-V4 Juhani Markkanen
  Rideau Lakes (CDN) 2nd Lancia Beta Coupe John Davenport
  P.O.R. (USA) 4th Lancia Beta Coupe John Davenport
1975 Swedish 3rd Lancia Beta Coupe Solve Andreasson (S)
  1000 Lakes 2nd Saab 96-V4 Juhani Markkanen
  Arctic (SF) 1st Saab 96-V4  
  Hanki (SF) 1st Saab 96-V4  
1976 Swedish 4th Lancia Stratos Arne Hertz (S)
  Safari 5th Peugeot 504 Arne Hertz
  1000 Lakes 5th Saab 96-V4 Juhani Markkanen
  Maroc 2nd Peugeot 504 Atso Aho
1977 Swedish 4th Fiat Abarth 131 Rallye Solve Andreasson
  South Pacific 4th Fiat Abarth 131 Rallye Solve Andreasson
  Acropolis 4th Fiat Abarth 131 Rallye Solve Andreasson
1978 Safari 5th Peugeot 504 Coupe V6 Henry Liddon (GB)
  1000 Lakes 5th Fiat Abarth 131 Juhani Markkanen
1979 RAC 17th Triumph TR7 V8

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Saab Owners Convention – 2000

Posted on 29. May, 2007 by .


NORCROSS, Ga. – Each year, hundreds of Saab enthusiasts gather for a celebration of Saab spirit camaraderie and automotive innovation at the national Saab Owners Convention. This year, the New Jersey Saab Owner’s Club and Saab Cars USA are hosting the event, which includes track days at Lime Rock Park racetrack in Lakeville, Conn. on July 5-6. The convention will then be held July 7-9 in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains at the Hudson Valley Resort in Kerhonkson, New York.

Saab owners can choose from a range of fun and informative activities designed to appeal to all levels of driving skill and automotive know-how. At Lime Rock Park, Skip Barber Driving School will provide a unique high-performance driving event tailored specifically for Saab owners and their vehicles’ turbocharged engines and front-wheel drive dynamics. Participants will learn driving techniques that are not only useful for improving track times, but will also help sharpen driving skills on public roads. Other track events include an autocross, lapping sessions and a parade lap of competition Saabs on the road course.

Other Highlights of the Catskills Convention include:

* Saab cars of every vintage competing in the Concours d’Saab and Road Rally

* Saab Master Technicians competing for top honors

* Technical sessions and seminars on aspects of Saab ownership

* The latest Saabs to test-drive, including the new 9-5 Aero Wagon

* Parts, accessories and memorabilia at the Saab Marketplace

* An exclusive airshow at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome

In addition, Saab’s 1999 European Rallycross Champion, Per Eklund, fresh from his run at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, will be one of the keynote speakers at the banquet. The other will be former rally champion Simo Lampinen.

This convention is also listed on the Saab Convention Archive here on Saab History.

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Production Concept