2009 SOC Saab History In Colorado Presentation

Posted on 04. Sep, 2009 by in 2000-2009

At the 2009 Saab Owners Convention, I moderated a seminar on Saturday morning that consisted of the Saab History in Colorado (1960-Present).

As part of the seminar, I had a number of former presenters from former Saab USA Employees to a representative from the Vail Police Department to discuss and present 4 distinct areas of this history.

I had a great time presenting and thank those that participated in the seminar as well as all those that attended it. I captured the seminar by creating a video above that showcases each powerpoint slide with an audio-only portion of the presentation for ease of listening. The seminar is one hour in length so as time permits, sit back listen and enjoy looking at the photographs and the stories behind then.

Here’s the summary of what was discussed.


Saab has had a very colorful history in Colorado. This history of Saab in Colorado began with one individual. Dick Catron, was the individual that opened the first Saab dealership in 1958 which triggered the growth of the dealership network in Colorado ever since. From 1966 through 1995, Saab had representation is as many as 11 markets in Colorado. Today, there are four Saab dealerships in the state, all attaining excellent market penetration.


In addition to having great dealer representation during this time, there were two significant product launches that helped Saab to become a leader in the Colorado market. At the start there was the addition of the turbo in the late seventies, which made the car a real performer in the high altitudes of Colorado. Next came the Saab convertible, which proved to be a huge success as an all season car. Then came all-wheel drive, and today there’s what’s called cross-wheel drive.


Over a period of 25 years, both Aspen and Vail police departments selected Saab as their official police car. This exposure yielded a long-standing and mutually beneficial marketing tool for both parties during that time. Driving through Aspen and Vail, seeing all the police cars was a truly unique experience. Rob McClung Chief of Police in Aspen quoted “The Aspen Police Department has found the Saab far superior to any other vehicle we have tested with respect to its performance under the demanding conditions we encounter in our police service “. Years later, it was a Hollywood film with Jim Carrey & Jeff Daniels, that reinforced the continued presence of Saab’s in Colorado on the big screen.

For ten straight years (1982-1991) a national peace officers ski race took place in Colorado, and Saab USA was the main sponsor. It was this event between the ski demographic and the Saab owner that reinforced the connection ever since. In the late nineties, Saab entered their new generation Saab 900 in the Pikes Peak, Colorado challenge on steep gravel roads, which proved to be faster than any other car in its class. This race continued in 2000 and again in 2002 with legendary rally driver, Per Eklund who helped set new historical milestones for Saab racing in Colorado. In the early 2000’s following the Pikes Peak event, Saab launched their first all-wheel drive vehicle at Crested Butte Ski Resort in Colorado.

While it was impossible to cover all the events of Saab’s history in Colorado here, I did the best job with my colleagues to cover all of the high points.

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One Response to “2009 SOC Saab History In Colorado Presentation”

  1. jock Barker

    08. May, 2015

    I was the first salesman at Saab Denver. I raced the Erick Carlson GT 850 that won the Monti Carlo Rally. It was super fast and I won many races with it. I went on to Lotus when I left Saab Denver. I sold over 30 Saabs per month there. It was the only front wheel drive car and had that strange 3 cal. two cycle engine. Lot of power form 850 ccd with three carbs. Jock Barker.

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