Saab History Covers 2009 Saab Owners Convention

Posted on 18. Aug, 2009 by in 2000-2009

Film Credit: Saab History

This past weekend, I attended the 2009 Saab Owners Convention in Copper Mountain, Colorado. Thanks to both Cherry Hill Saab in New Jersey and Tynan’s Saab in Fort Collins, Colorado, I was able to attend and film the entire event throughout the weekend.

The event, which officially started on Thursday spanned four days, of which I arrived Friday, had its fair share of variable weather, but overall, it really seemed to have been pulled off by the folks at the Rocky Mountain Saab Club as well as all of the actively engaged and supportive convention goers. This convention in Colorado represented a 10-year anniversary by the same group where it took place in Keystone, Colorado back in 1999.

Upon arrival, I met up with a former Saab-Scania of America employee by the name of Arsey Miller, who together, initially connected with former Saab-Scania of America sales director & Saab Automobile Cars Division director, and interim President following Bob Sinclair’s retirement, Sten Helling. Helling, has been living in Colorado for a number of years managed to drive out to Copper Mountainn and meet up with us. Together, we interviewed Mr. Helling upon his arrival, then invited him to attend the evening’s activities that included an introduction by Jay Leno and a tribute to Bob Sinclair, then we said our goodbyes shortly after. This interview, to be provided in the near future, is quite incredible and was very kind of Mr. Helling to offer it to us here on Saab History.

The following morning began with a nice breakfast, where I met up with Brad Baldwin who provided us that wonderful writeup of the History of Saab Police Cars in Vail, Colorado. Together with Arsey Miller, Bill Miles and I, we all rehearsed our seminar we presented later that morning to an audience spanning the dealership, products, promotions and events that took place in Colorado since Saab began in this state in 1960. By the time we completed the presentation, we’ve all been working on for a good couple of weeks, the sun finally came out in full force after a good 12 hours of rain. At that point, everyone began cleaning their Saabs, including the the team that managed the Saab USA Heritage Collection that was on hand. I took that opportunity as you have seen in the video to begin filming the convention, interviewing attendees there to see the Saabs or test drive the new ones while also meeting lots of new people to the conventions and to Saab itself.

Later that afternoon, I headed over to see the spare parts offerings by the vendors and then got a chance to be a passenger in the much acclaimed reverse steering car, and I should tell you that was quite the experience. The particular people I managed to be driven by seemed to be naturals by retraining their intuition to turn the opposite way we conventionally do when navigating turns, I was impressed to say the least! As this activity came to an end, I prepared to photograph and film the group photo, the visual that has historically represented the attendance at a Saab convention. In addition, due to a supporting colleague at one of the best vantage points, I was able to be part of the photograph, in a noticeably bright 2009 lynx yellow Saab 9-3 Convertible thanks to Mike Shaw Saab in Denver, which I reviewed.

The Saturday night banquet certainly kept the audience interested by an engaging and historical account of SAAB Motors, Inc’s facilities at 100 Waterfront Street in New Haven, by none other than the legendary John Moss. The final speech that night prior to the awards ceremony, was by a Mike Colleran, Sales Director for the GM Premium brand and has been working with Saab for nearly five years who spoke about the future of Saab operations in the United States with a promise to see you at next year’s convention in Ohio. As the evening came to an end, I sat back and wondered if a future Saab Owners Convention would ever be able to match the overall stellar experience that this one had certainly been for me.

I had one of the best times I have ever had, even with all of my Saab History coverage commitments and volunteering, I saw this as the pinnacle of all Saab Owners Conventions on the eve of a newly independent era for Saab Automobile and their new owner, Koenigsegg.

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No Responses to “Saab History Covers 2009 Saab Owners Convention”

  1. James Judge

    18. Aug, 2009

    A great little documentary. Nice job! Can you tell us the name of the song and the artist that performed the music for your soundtrack? I think I will attend next year’s convention in Ohio.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Steve G

    18. Aug, 2009

    Sounds like a great one. Do you have access to the Leno opening video, that would be cool to post if you could

    Reply to this comment
  3. Ryan

    18. Aug, 2009

    Steve,

    I hope to be able to include that here in the video with an edit, if I get approval from Tom Donney & Jerry Danner.

    I will let you know, it was certainly incredible, even the opening piece where Jay says, sorry I could not be at the convention. 🙂

    This video is lower pixel quality than originally planned as my 3-year old computer cannot do the high definition video like I was hoping to. This is my first High Definition video, and once I get a new computer, I will update this video with a much higher quality video and at that time, hopefully, will be able to get the Jay Leno piece inserted as well.

    Best,

    Ryan

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  4. Tom Nelson

    19. Aug, 2009

    Nice job Ryan…… but I was hoping for some of the big Saab Auction coverage, the event that I threw my heart and soul into for the past year. It was a huge success and one of the highlights of the Convention, raising several thousand dollars to help make the convention affordable for all the registered attendees. Maybe the next version can include some auction footage? And how about the autocross, the tech sessions, the road rally, the Concours, the Best Saab Fleet competition, the Photo Contest, the Awards ceremony and the Saabs Run the Rockies Tour? I know….. too much going on for one video camera to cover. Anyhow thanks for doing this and getting it posted so quickly. Best Regards, Tom

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  5. Ryan

    19. Aug, 2009

    Tom,

    Thanks. I initially tried with the auction, but due to the rain outside and the lighting I did not have on my camera (another added expense), I would not be able to successfully pull off covering it. I also arrived Friday about 1-2pm, so I missed the autocross. As for the tour at the end, well, I left Sunday morning to get back home as I did not have that kind of time.

    I did the best I could with the resources I had available.

    Best,

    Ryan

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  6. Svizzera

    19. Aug, 2009

    Great job Ryan! It’s incredible! That is how the Saab enthusiasts meetings should pass!

    By the way could you please give your e-mail. I have some interesting pictures for you but I failed to send it to you via the site “contacts”!

    All the best and greetings from Russia!

    Reply to this comment
  7. Ryan

    19. Aug, 2009

    Svizzera,

    Hello! Thanks for your nice comment! I look forward to your e-mail and glad you enjoyed the video!

    R

    Reply to this comment
  8. Zhefei

    22. Aug, 2009

    Hi Ryan!
    Great video. I was one of your reverse steering drivers! I have to say, I learned pretty quick after almost hitting a pole. Thanks for putting up with us.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Jonathan Williams

    24. Aug, 2009

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  10. Steve A Fenton

    31. Aug, 2009

    Thank you so much, Ryan, for the superb video!! Having attended only one other SOC (Lake George), I really wished I could have been there, but watching even just 15 minutes of the action gave me a taste of the excitement. Hope to be at SOC10 next year in Ohio; ’til then, thanks for the excellent website!

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