Archive for October, 2007

Welcome Garry Small Saab as Saab History Sponsor!

Posted on 31. Oct, 2007 by .



Saab History welcomes Garry Small Saab with open arms as the 1st official dealership sponsor of Saab History. Garry Small Saab of Portland, Oregon is a family-owned and operated Saab exclusive dealership that has been focusing on Saab only for the past twenty years.

This one-of-a-kind dealership took the initiative early on to contact me and will be the first official dealership sponsor of Saab History. A great deal of appreciation goes out to their efforts in finding value in what I do and how well the site continues to do. I Saabcerely thank them for their sponsorship and look forward to our ongoing collaboration.

In the next few months, I will have the fortunate privilege to visit Garry Small Saab in Portland, Oregon and look forward to meeting the hard working individuals that continue to keep the Saab Spirit alive with their growing customer base.

If you are in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States and are in the market for a new or pre-owned Saab where you want a down to earth pleasant experience, I highly suggest you stop by Garry Small Saab.

I leave you with an excerpt about Garry Small Saab:

Located in Portland, on 82nd Ave, Garry Small Saab is a different kind of automobile dealer. Family owned and operated, we offer a personal touch with a “no pressure” sales approach. Our focus is long-term relationships with our customers and servicing multiple generations in a family is common here.

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Detroit News Reviews 2008 Saab 9-3 SportCombi

Posted on 31. Oct, 2007 by .



Photo Credit: Saab Automobile AB

Scott Burgess of the Detroit News has recently provided an interesting writeup about his test drive of the Saab 9-3 SportCombi.

In his writeup, he compares the SportCombi to crossovers, which will be even more interesting of a comparison after the debut of Saab’s crossover in January up in Detroit where one could compare both vehicles side-by-side.

There is one thing I have to completely disagree about when it comes to his experience driving the new 2008 9-3 SportCombi, was how he indicated that the shifting was “a little loose“. I am unsure how he arrived at this unless someone’s been messing around with the shifter linkage lately, but this was one of the 2,100+ changes that Saab made which was to tighten it and that they did when I experienced the test drive back in August here in Washington, D.C. In fact, the tightened shifter was the first immensely noticeable change I encountered in terms of mechanical changes. We are all entitled to our opinion, but I am extremely surprised how he could arrive at this conclusion about the shifter, as I recall it being anything but loose.

Here is his summary of his exprerience.

It’s a car that pampers your senses with luxury appointments while also
feeding your adrenalin with power and performance. That’s certainly a
winning Combi.

For someone looking for a car with European driving dynamics and Swedish
sensibilities, the 2008 9-3 Aero SportCombi should be on the shopping
list. It’s fun, stylish and has all the practicality of a crossover.

It just performs better than most.

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2008 Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan TV Spot Summary

Posted on 31. Oct, 2007 by .



This summary just arrived from the newsroom that talks about the recent tv spot featuring a Gripen burning away a 2007 Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan to become a 2008 model year.


October 30, 2008 (San Francisco, CA) – Commercial and feature VFX Supervisor Kevin Rafferty from The Orphanage and celebrated director Joseph Kahn with HSI Productions teamed up with Lowe New York to create an explosive spot to introduce the new Saab 2008 9-3 sedan. The :30 second commercial spot just began airing; to view, go to:

The spot highlights the rebirth of the 9-3 series which includes a sedan, sport combi and a convertible. In this CG-packed spot, which was shot in an airplane hangar and in the 115° degree heat of Death Valley, a jet engine-blast fuels a fireball around the 2007 9-3. Then, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the new 2008 car is reborn racing through the sun-drenched stretch of road.

Joseph Kahn is known for his kinetic visual flair and keen understanding of vfx; his “Toxic” music video for Britney Spears won the Visual Effects Society Award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Music Video. About his experience with this spot, Joseph Kahn comments: “The Orphanage executed the very demanding task of finding beauty in an act of evolutionary destruction. They brought a compelling level of design artistry to an ambitious idea. I had a great experience working with them.”

A celebrated veteran of the industry, vfx supervisor Kevin Rafferty adds: “After the recent creative successes of Director Bong Joon-ho’s ‘The Host’ and ‘Fantastic Four’, I was excited to work on this visually arresting commercial, especially one with such a well known cutting-edge director.” Rafferty, a pilot himself, relished the challenge to envision and create a CG jet, CG jetblast, CG ‘welding’ sparks, CG molten metal, CG Saabs, CG set extensions and CG ground fog for what he called “an epic amount of elements for a 30 second spot.”

The Lowe New York agency team included: Chairman and Chief Creative Officer Mark Wnek, Creative Director Simon Bowden, and Executive Producer/Head of Production Sara Eolin. HSI Productions ran the live action shoot under the supervision of Executive Producer Michael McQuhae with DP Chris Probst and Line Producer Richard Weager and editorial out of The Whitehouse, NY. In addition to Kevin Rafferty, The Orphanage team included Executive Producer Paul Grimshaw, VFX Producer Lawson Owen and CG Supervisor Nathan Fariss.

The Orphanage
Founded in 1999, The Orphanage’s state-of-the-art VFX post facility in San Francisco’s picturesque Presidio Park continues its steady growth from boutique shop to a facility capable of handling studio tentpoles; including such recent hits as: Die Hard 4, Fantastic Four 2, Pirates of the Caribbean 2 & 3, Night at the Museum, Superman Returns and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The award-winning Orphanage Commercial Productions ( has created dozens of commercials for the top agencies and brands worldwide. In the past couple of years, the division has experienced significant growth, recent clients include: Lexus, HP, Toyota, BMW, Comcast, Toshiba, and IBM/Lenovo, to name a few.

# # #

To interview Kevin Rafferty, for stills or PR questions, please contact Rama Dunayevich 415.561.3781 or For more information about Orphanage Commercial Productions, please contact Executive Producers Paul Grimshaw 415.561.2570 or Liz Roewe 310.469.6700.

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Saab Sighting of the Week – Parking Your Saab

Posted on 30. Oct, 2007 by .



Photo Credit: Anonymous

A frequent Saab History visitor has just submitted a photo for the Saab Sighting of the week. This photo was taken of their Saab parked next to another Saab in a parking lot somewhere in New England. They thought it was a good photo, but also thought it would open up the dialog to see if others are just as Saab obsessed as they are in having to park next to other Saabs, whenever possible.

The idea of parking next to a Saab is certainly not a new thing when it comes to the Saab community, so I have posted the poll below to ask you if you go out of your way to park next to another Saab if you have the opportunity.

I’m looking forward to your responses!

Do you go out of your way to park next to other Saabs?

View Results

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Hirsch Performance Owner Acquires Saab Sonett No. 4

Posted on 30. Oct, 2007 by .


Photo Credit: Saab History / 2005 Saab Festival, Trollhättan, Sweden

The mystery is over, as to the whereabouts of the green Saab Sonett I, No. 4 photographed above since Dr. Klaus Muller-Ott, the individual that purchased and restored the green Saab Sonett I, No.4. and wrote the book a few years ago.

The Sonett Club of Sweden has just informed Saab History that this Sonett I, VIN # 4 was purchased by Rene Hirsch, owner of Hirsch Performance who resides in St Gallen, Switzerland

Hirsch Performance is the company that provides performance upgrades to Saab Enthusiasts to brand-new Saabs at the dealership level for most if not all markets except the United States.

I have contacted Rene Hirsch and eagerly await his response as to the finer details of this incredible acquisition!

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Lennart Lonnegren – Former Saab Public Relations Manager

Posted on 29. Oct, 2007 by .


Lennart Lonnegren, former Saab USA Public Relations Manager has kindly provided Saab History a nice narrative about his time working with Saab. Lennart Lonnegren worked as a newspaperman in both Sweden and the United States, before joining saab Motors as public relations manager in 1963. He remained in that position until his retirement in 1990, working at both 100 Waterfront Street, New Haven as well as Orange, Connnecticut locations. This biography was first presented as a speech at the New England Saab association Saab Gathering in 2004. The version you see below is an updated version, as of October 26th, 2007.

Enjoy his writeup below in his own words:

Since I left Saab, after almost 30 years, I have often thought of a couple of things that seem kind of particular to Saab people.

Such as the fact that Saab enthusiasts are pretty crazy, maybe even more crazy than other car enthusiasts, although it is really only a matter of degree.

But the thing that has really stuck with me more than anything else is the undying loyalty, in one way or another, that Saab people feel, and certainly express, for Saab. By Saab people I mean not just people like you, ardent enthusiasts and collectors. I am thinking of all people who at one time or another have been in touch with the Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget: car owners, car dealers, employees, just about everyone.

Yes, I am one of them, so let me begin by explaining who I am, and why I came to be here.

My very first exposure to something called Saab occurred as early as in 1947. Those of you have read the Saab books that we used to give out at meetings such as this – we tried very hard to sell them, but didn’t succeed very well – know that June 10, 1947, is a very important date in the history of Saab. On that date the first Saab car was shown publicly – actually at a pretty exclusive press conference and unveiling in Stockholm, Sweden.

I must have just received my Swedish driver’s license at that time, and since my father was a newspaper publisher in Stockholm and had been at the press showing, I took the opportunity to suggest that maybe that was the car that I should some time be given.

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75 Days Until D.C. Saab Enthusiast receives New Saab!

Posted on 29. Oct, 2007 by .


Gryphon, a local here in the greater Washington, D.C. who has contributed here on Saab History back in September about his SportCombi, has just set up his own blog that begins with the countdown to the arrival of his new 2008 Saab 9-3 Aero Convertible.

I would highly suggest you take a look at his blog to see the options he has setup for this thing, I can’t wait until he can provide some incredible photos of it once it arrives!

I will keep us up to date on the progress, but in the meantime, here is what he has to say about his anticipation:

75 Days and Counting Down!


Day 75

I have about 75 days to wait for my new Model Year (MY) 2008 SAAB 9-3 Aero Convertible to make its way from Trollhättan Sweden to my garage. Over these next 75 days (could be less – it takes about 60 to 90 days for a custom-order SAAB to arrive, and I ordered mine about two weeks ago), I will post about my wait (expect a lot of impatience), my love for the SAAB brand (the 9-3 SportCombi won me over two years ago), the cars I test drove before I made my decision, and anything else I can post about to fill the time.

You may ask – why did the world need this blog? Well, I’m not sure I can answer that, and maybe the world does not need this blog. However, I can answer the question of why I created this blog. The answer is rather simple: I can’t wait for these next 75 days to be up, and this is a good distraction.


MY 2008 9-3 Convertible (Aero)


Exterior – Jet Black Metallic

Interior – Parchment

Seats (Sport Leather Seats with Premium Natural Leather upholstery)

Wheels (17″ x 7.5″ 5-spoke low-split, alloy)

To see the rest of the options, please visit his blog directly

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Saab Automobile USA “På Taket” Award

Posted on 28. Oct, 2007 by .



Photo Credit: Saab Automobile USA

What awards have you received in your line of work? If you are an employee at Saab Automobile USA, you may receive an award like this one pictured above for the employee that has gone above and beyond.

This award above is inspired by Erik “On the Roof” Carlsson, a Saab rally legend, who exhibited his ability to go above and beyond and in some cases ending up on his roof, hence the nickname “On the Roof” (PÃ¥ Taket in Swedish).

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