Sports Car Service, Wilmington, DE – Saab Independent

Posted on 17. Oct, 2007 by in 2000-2009, 94 (Sonett I), mechanics

Photo Credits: Saab History, Sports Car Service & National Airviews

On Saturday, October 13th, I had the opportunity to visit the Saab Independent, Sports Car Service of Wilmington, Delaware.

The History

Sports Car Service began operations in November of 1956, the same year that SAAB Motors, Inc. operations began in the United States and this family owned and operated Saab independent sales & service facility has been selling nothing but Swedish-built Saab automobiles ever since.

The People

Upon my visit I was greeted with a firm handshake by owner and general manager, Bill Jacobson, as well as his Father, John who was originally responsible for getting the business off the ground since the first owner passed away just prior to 1961, the same year that SAAB Motors, Inc. moved their operations from Hingham, Massachusetts to 100 Waterfront Street, New Haven, Connecticut. Mr. Jacobson also has four sisters, one of which now runs Saab of Baltimore and the first SAAB 96 that she drove resides in his showroom, in good overall shape.

The Collection

This facility conveniently located on North Market Street right, a 5-minute drive off of 495 embodies the true “Spirit of Saab” with an impressive museum-like collection. This collection, located in the main showroom, includes many vintage and extremely rare Saab models representing the likes of the SAAB Sonett I VIN #6, SAAB Quantum IV, SAAB 92, SAAB 93 donated by former President of Saab-Scania of America Bob Sinclair, SAAB 96s, a 1993 900 CE #139, and a one-of-a-kind white 900 convertible built for former President of Saab Cars, USA, Jim Crumlish.

In addition to this facility, there is also a special warehouse located nearby that houses over 40+ SAABs, associated parts and various other miscellaneous items. Of the SAAB’s represented in this warehouse, you will find the first SAAB 93 to be delivered in the State of Delaware, the SAAB Quantum I, the dual-drivetrain Saab 900, an un-built SAAB Quantum IV kit, and a SONETT I (94) mold.

The Memorabilia

Throughout the facility, from the showroom, to the accessories to the back office, to the customer waiting room, this enthusiast-run independent Saab facility showcases more SAAB memorabilia than I ever knew existed. From the scale models, dealer awards, vintage photographs depicting legendary notables such as Tryggve Holm & Ralph Millet to the videos and posters a plenty, I became more impressed, ultimately leaving me speechless and unable to answer the question asked frequently, “so what do you think?”. As I eventually made my way through every room at Sports Car Service, I realized that each wall told a series of Saab stories and these stories are important to not only the family history with Saab, but the family’s continued contribution as a whole to the Saab community.

The Enthusiasts

During my visit and tour of the facility, I was also introduced to a notable Saab Enthusiast in the Saab Community by the name of Stefan Vapaa who, alongside his Father, have a long history of SAAB involvement, specifically in the racing scene. As part of my visit, I had the special opportunity to visit his Saab workshop not so far from Sports Car Service (SCS) as a passenger in his beautiful silver Saab 9-5 Aero, to return in none other than a yellow SAAB Sonett II, VIN #651 open-top racer back to SCS. The experience in Stefan’s Sonett was exhilarating even as a passenger. As we got up to highway speeds, I got to take in the beautiful sky due to the open top, the wind, due to a lowered windscreen, and the unparalleled handling characteristics that make this roadster ideal for racing and finally the extra kick we had due to the 108 octane racing fuel this machine required. As we made our way back to SCS, I smiled because I have never experienced anything quite this unique, given that we were driving a very customized Sonett II tailored to the racing scene. If you would like to find out more about Stefan’s Saab racing scene, please visit his website, At Speed.

The Swedish Heritage

Bill Jacobson, a second generation Swede, and his father, John, who’s parents came over from Sweden at the age of 19, have kept the Swedish heritage alive in a region rich with Swedish history. Wilmington, Delaware or “New Sweden” as it is also referred to, proudly celebrates being the port town where Swedish Immigrant ships first landed and built a fort back in 1638. It was also in Wilmington, Delaware that the first widely touted and attended Saab Owners Convention took place back in 1988 which included this Swedish Heritage theme as part of the program.

Environmental Awareness

There was one important aspect to this entire operation that embodies the phrase “environmental awareness”. Bill Jacobson of Sports Car Services makes a strong statement towards his company’s environmental impact with a very progressive system in place that not only greatly reduces electricity usage from the conventional source with the installation of nearly the entire rooftop of photo voltaic solar panels, but he also reclaims waste oil from customer oil changes and uses that oil to heat his facility in the winter season.

As a business, there are still those out there that are still overwhelmed by all of the new technologies when attempting to “go green”, then there are those that realize that it doesn’t take more than a few types of technology to make a significantly positive impact on the environment.

The direction that Sports Car Service has created, makes them a leader among businesses in the State of Delaware and another proud member in the global movement of environmental sustainability of which others can follow.

Summary

All in all, I was very impressed and thankful for having the opportunity to visit Sports Car Service in Wilmington, Delaware. I highly recommend this facility for ALL of your “Swedish-built” Saab needs, whether they are purchases of pre-owned Saabs, service needs by highly trained Saab service technicians, or even parts where you will find availability of just about everything including rare vintage parts and accessories.

This family-owned and operated independent Saab-only facility is top notch and truly embodies the Saab spirit with a strong Swedish flare!

Sports Car Service Inc.
3901 N. Market St.
Wilmington, DE 19802
http://www.sportscarservice.com/


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14 Responses to “Sports Car Service, Wilmington, DE – Saab Independent”

  1. Stefan Vapaa

    31. Oct, 2007

    Hi Ryan,
    It was a pleasure to finally meet you. I enjoyed your writeup and look forward to the next time we get to chat. With any (good) luck, next time I can give you a ride in the Sonett… It will be running properly!

    Reply to this comment
  2. John Stoltenborg

    07. Feb, 2008

    I’ve had my cars worked on here since I was 16. I am a huge fan of the heritage and reputation of SCS. I appreciate their honesty and their willingness to help me out on a Friday at 4PM when I have an emergency!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Eileen Stewart

    07. Aug, 2008

    I can not say enough good things about SCS. We are a two Saab family. (We bought both from Bill) They are friendly, honest and really, really good at what they do. I am so happy I found them.
    Eileen Stewart.
    ps. Bruce, you are the BEST!

    Reply to this comment
  4. Dustin Fanning

    10. Jun, 2009

    Bill I googled you and came across this! Can’t believe there are no pictures of me 🙁 I am hurt… Can’t wait to see you in Copper for the 09′ convention! Will be as good as the last convention in Copper when I decided to go to work for ya!

    Dustin

    Reply to this comment
  5. Daniel

    22. Oct, 2010

    1956! Saab are still in the market and going strong. Their reputation is solid as is their vehicles. I guess for some consumers it is the replacement and services of their cars that preclude people buying even a second hand model. Oh well, dream on!

    Reply to this comment
  6. Bill Jenkins

    25. Feb, 2012

    Bill.. ‘ just found out this weekend you have ‘our’ 99 Turbo. As you doubtless know our intent in selling it for the GM museum a few years ago was for it to be forever preserved. Hmmm. Well… It certainly would seem that she has a wonderful home with your family and Swedish museum in Wilmington. I hope I may have visiting privileges. Best regards, Bill Jenkins , Carlisle, Penna.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Dr. Don J. Zipin

    09. Aug, 2012

    I owned and raced a 1958 Saab 750 GT which I bought new from Moore Motors near Allentown, Pa. I still have the sales slip. Later I purchased a 1960 Saab model 93 which I highly modified both bodily and mechanically. I raced this car in the S.C.C.A. races in the Eastern division and won or placed 2nd every time. I’d like to be in contact with fellow Saab enthusiasts to share information and possibly purchase an old “bullnose”. I prefer telephone calls and can be reached at 215-753-9067

    Reply to this comment
  8. tom dunn

    08. Mar, 2013

    Hello….I have had Saabs since 1985….I moved from Philly to Indiana, and will be back home to PA in a week. Is there any possibility of seeing your Saab collection during the week of the 18th?
    Thanks!!
    Tom

    Reply to this comment
  9. Tommy Lu

    14. Mar, 2013

    I just bought a used 1999 SAAB 95 and I need spare keys made. How much for two spare keys? with remote?

    Reply to this comment

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    […] I want to begin by including a wonderful writeup of his participation in an event in that region, called the “California Mile”, where he drove a 1959 SAAB 93b, which he donated and is on display at Sports Car Service in Wilmington, Delaware. This article was originally posted in the 1996 issue of Saab Soundings magazine (Vol 34 Number 2 — Winter 1996). Enjoy. The 65 vintage cars parked in front of San Francisco’s elegant Fairmont Hotel awaiting the start of the sixth annual California Mille were drawing an admiring crowd. Amid the collection of “egregiously expensive” machinery, including a few Ferraris and rare Alfa Romeos that were valued at well over a million dollars, was a humble ‘59 Saab 93B and its new owner, Bob Sinclair. Few of the passersby knew the significance of this little robin’s-egg blue Saab to the cordial bearded man who was performing last-minute preparations. […]

  2. Saab History » Saab Owners Convention - 1988 - April 4, 2008

    […] A thanks to Bill Jacobson at Sports Car Service for the information from a posted he loaned Saab History in order to capture the following information in lieu of a booklet and official writeup of the event from the planning committee at the time: SAAB OWNERS NATIONAL CONVENTION JULY 22-24, 1988 WILMINGTON, DEL. […]

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    […] A special thank you goes out to Bill Jacobson of Sport Car Service in Wilmington, Delaware for providing the logo for this convention. […]

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