Tag Archives: saab 99

Saab History Needs Help Converting 70’s Saab 99 TV Ad

Posted on 14. Oct, 2008 by .



Saab History has recently acquired a 3rd installment for the Saab Film Project that was last updated on November 7th, 2007.

The Saab History film project needs your help in transferring a 1970’s Saab 99 TV Ad to digital format.

This super rare film, made for the United States features a Saab 99 titled “Ghost”that runs for 30 seconds, filmed sometime during the 1970’s. There are not many films in the 1970’s section of the Saab History film archive, so this will be another special addition to this section.

I am looking for some donations for the film production cost to have this 8mm transferred to dvd, and should have the cost figured out early next week as it’s very short. I will be using the same format of “telecine” to convert it as before, so we can ensure it’s quality is preserved in both audio and video.

This just in, the cost from the conversion company:


Here is a pricing breakdown.

16mm minimum transfer order: $50.
1 DVD: $10
Flat rate shipping by FedEx Ground or Priority Mail (you can specify
either one): $10

Total $70.00

If everyone of you donate just $1.00, we’d have enough! Please click on this button to donate.

* Please note, you do not need a paypal account to pay, credit card works.

In the meantime, it’s really nice to be able to save another extremely vintage Saab television ad on 8mm from the trash, and keep it here on the Saab History Video Archive for generations to enjoy!

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Saab Car Show in Frankfurt, Germany – Photos

Posted on 16. Sep, 2008 by .


Photo Credits: Saab Automobile Germany

The folks from Saab Automobile Germany and the local dealership in Frankfurt that hosted the classic Saab car show this past weekend, have provided Saab History photos of the event.

As you can see with the photos, there were a number of vehicles present, by local Saab Enthusiasts in Germany as well as Switzerland. On hand, was Peter Backstrom, curator of the Saab Car Museum in Sweden as well as Andrew Dyson, Saab designer at GM Europe.

During the event there was live music provided by Swedish singer Pia Fridhill, and even a live demonstration of a Saab 99 restoration by a master technician at the Saab Zentrum Frankfurt.

Evidently, there was even a parts market, books on hand in addition to model cars and tv clips showing vintage Saabs in action.

Overall, it looks like it was a great time had by all that were in attendance.

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Saab Classic Car Display in Frankfurt, Germany

Posted on 12. Sep, 2008 by .



Photo Credit: Saab Automobile Germany

Today, there was a classic car display in Frankfurt, Germany. The event was hosted by Saab Germany and took place at a local Saab dealership, even Peter Backström, curator of the Saab Car Museum in Sweden was there!

I have been promised photos early next week, so please stay tuned. In the meantime, here is a nice translation of their press release, thanks again to the folks at Saab Automobile Germany.

Saab Deutschland GmbH
IPC D5-09

Saab Classic Car Display in Frankfurt – Turbo technology meets nostalgia

· Automotive legends bring Scandinavian flair to the metropolis on the Main
· Meet designers and engineers on site

Rüsselsheim. In celebration of 30 years of Saab turbocharging, up to 50 classic Saab cars will be displayed on the grounds of the Saab Zentrum Frankfurt on September 12 and 13. Exhibits will include two legendary Saab 96s and several Saab Sonetts, as well as the Saab 900 Talladega.
Contemporary models such as the high performance 280-hp Turbo X will also be on show. Connoisseurs and fans of the Swedish premium brand are cordially invited to get a close-up experience of Saab’s automotive history.

The event starts at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 12, when a classic Saab 900 Turbo and the Turbo X, recalling the look of its 1979 predecessor with a black paint finish, will arrive at the dealership. “Father and son all in black, that’s certainly a visual highlight,” says Heike Herzog, managing director of the Saab Zentrum in Frankfurt. “On Saturday, our doors will be open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. We expect about 50 classic Saabs from all over Germany, owned by our customers and members of the Saab Club Rhein-Main. Several cars will even arrive from Switzerland.”

Swedish cars, Swedish music, Swedish flair In addition to the historic Saab model exhibition in the courtyard of the dealership, visitors can enjoy a number of special activities and the entertainment program. Janos Bende, the master automobile mechanic at Saab Zentrum Frankfurt, will demonstrate a live restoration on his own Saab 99 and designer Dietmar Finger, from GME’s Design Center in Rüsselsheim, will tell the story of how he fell in love with the brand and be available to answer technical questions. Saab enthusiasts will also be able to look around the parts market and pick up a gem or two. Books about Saab’s legendary rallying exploits will be on hand, together with a collection of model cars and TV clips showing historic Saabs in action.

To keep the children entertained, artist and playground designer Micha Steinhauer will be on site with his “Phantasiothek”. Six stations with
novel wooden toys will give free rein to youthful creativity. The Swedish singer Pia Fridhill and her band will provide live musical entertainment.

For further information on the event, please contact Heike Herzog:

Telephone Nr. 069-94195220 or eMail h.herzog@autohaus-saab.de.
For further information on Saab and Saab products:



Saab Deutschland GmbH Phone +49 61 42 – 755 345
Manfred Daun Fax +49 61 42 – 755 346
Public Relations presse@de.saab.com
IPC D5-09
65423 Rüsselsheim

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Saab History Interviews Sten Wennlo

Posted on 27. Aug, 2008 by .


On Sunday, August 24th, the final day of the 2008 Saab Owners Convention, I had the esteemed pleasure and opportunity to interview Mr. Sten Wennlo who presented two days earlier, Friday, August 22nd, 2008.

Sten Wennlo began his career as a journalist for both a newspaper and a radio station in Southern Sweden until he took a job writing with ANA in Nyköping, Sweden in 1957, about 1 hour South of Stockholm on the coast. By 1960, ANA was bought by Saab to become SAAB-ANA where he continued his work and shortly thereafter met with Tryggve Holm, SAAB’s President to be head of Public Relations & Promotions.

Sten Wennlo had numerous accomplishments under his belt, namely working out how he could sell the two-stroke SAAB, with the help of a young Erik Carlsson. Mr. Wennlo was convinced that Erik Carlsson would be better suited for a position in the newly established competition department instead of the test development department. This decision later helped with the production and development of the new SAAB engines, SAAB 96, selling more SAABs to an increasingly younger market and bringing a huge increase in global exposure for SAAB at the time.

Another significant accomplishement during Sten Wennlo’s career at the Saab Car Division of SAAB-SCANIA, was the work along with colleague, Per Gillbrand, and the folks at the SCANIA factory in Södertälje, Sweden to adapt a turbocharged engine for the new Saab 99 model by 1977 to be introduced as a production model in 1978.

In 1979, Sten Wennlo convinced Bob Sinclair to rejoin Saab, and as a result we now have a Saab Convertible.

In 1980, Sten Wennlo got Bjorn Borg & Stig Blomqvist together to create a public relations campaign called the “Super Swedes” which was an instant success.

Three years before his retirement in 1989, he saw global sales reach 144,000 vehicles, where last year (2007), we saw roughly 125,000.

Upon his retirement, he wrote a book “Mitt Live Med Saab” in Swedish to tell us about his story working with Saab.

I was very thankful for this opportunity to meet with Sten Wennlo, and thanked him for his time to give us an interview so that his story could be preserved for generations to come here on Saab History.

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2008 Saab Owners Convention – Friday

Posted on 26. Aug, 2008 by .



On Friday, August 22nd, I arrived at the 2008 Saab Owners Convention in Devens, Massachusetts in my 1992 Saab 900 Turbo Project completed the week before.

Upon arrival, I registered at the main lobby of the hotel and then proceeded towards the parts vendor field, nearly a half a mile away from the convention center in order to unload some Saab literature and materials along with Granite Embedded Systems of New Hampshire.1.jpg

Fortunately, the weather was quite good, a bit on the hot side but with the nearly three solid months of rain this summer, I think everyone accepted the high heat index compared to torrential downpours, especially with other nearby vendors with an abundance of water, something that was not present at the 2007 Saab Festival in Sweden.

There was a lot of activities I was looking forward to participating in with my fiancee, especially today beginning with the test drives and vintage drives, but unfortunately, neither took place this year for some reason. I was also hopeful that the Saab Performance Team would make a surprise visit to the nearby air strip according to the rumors, but that also did not hold true.

3.jpgIn lieu of these activities, I did get in the doors of the “parts tent” which opened promptly at 10am, where there where numerous Saab owners and enthusiasts alike acting in a shopping frenzy to seek out any part, accessory, t-shirt, tire, wheel or you name it before anyone else. I must say that there were a lot of people in the room of the hotel where this activity took place, but it was not as insane as doors opened to the SDCC parts sale again, at the 2007 Saab Festival in Sweden last year. I walked away with a $5 engine block heater now that I live in Northern New England, which almost broke my budget.

As lunchtime arrived, I managed to drive back to the “other” camp, again about a 1/2 mile away to the hotel to pickup lunch, then turn right around to bring my other colleagues their lunch as well as they sweltered on the tarmac where the parts vendors were positioned on that day.

2.jpgBy 2:00, I raced back up to the hotel to attend the John Moss seminar on Swedish Air Conditioning. I was initially prepared to sit down in an air-conditioned room, to learn about why all of my Saab’s air conditioning systems fail and never work, but all of us attending that seminar were hit by a nice dose of humor as John Moss introduced a unique Saab heating system from the 1968-1969 era! A great surprise, comical delivery, but an entertaining seminar nonetheless.

As I made my way out of the seminar room, I met up with some folks from the GM Next and surprisingly saw two of them filming the convention! I asked them where they got the budgets to film this year as everyone I asked, did not have the budgets as I mentioned a few weeks ago here on Saab History. They indicated that due to the 100 year anniversary taking place on September 16th, 2008, there was some remaining expenditures, so they might as well film some of this event. Thankfully they did, so it’s great to hear that they got the budget last minute! A thank you to whomever authorized this expenditure at the GM Social Media Team!

5.jpgThe heat finally started to take its toll, and as the day started to come to a close, we began closing up our setup in the “other” camp, and headed back to the hotel region to walk around and see the GM Heritage Collection, namely that 1978 Saab 99 Turbo as well as the Saab 9-X BioHybrid Concept car. I asked around as I was hoping to see both the former Saab-Scania of America President, Bob Sinclair as well as legendary Saab rally champion, Erik Carlsson, but I was informed that both were unable to attend this year.

4.jpgThe speaker for the evening was none other than Sten Wennlo, former Saab Automobile AB VP & Chief of Public Relations from 1968 until 1989, effectively the entirely Saab-Scania Saab Car Division Era. Sten Wennlo began his presentation about how he first got a job with Saab Cars in Sweden in Nyköping, and helped to sell the SAAB 96 due to getting younger drivers behind the wheel thanks to Erik Carlsson as well as how he managed to work with Per Gillbrand & the Scania truck division in Södertälje, Sweden. to create the first Saab Turbo in late 1977 as a 1978 99 model year. On a surprising note, Mr. Wennlo ended his presentation about what he believes will answer the demands of the public with a 1 liter Saab 9-X BioHybrid stating explicitly that just GM should not be hesitant in building a car like this and that if it is built, no one should be loosing their job as a result. I guess there’s more politics behind why GM is still on the fence about building a small car that the public needs.

The evening came to a close and many of us retired to the outdoor bar-b-que that the friendly folks at the New England Saab Association who have been running the grill in parallel to the dinner for those that chose to go for day-passes instead of registering for the entire convention.. A significant amount of donations to the club that were donated to the Kyle & Tim Crisman Foundation (Springtime in Sweden) as a result, and a nice wrap-up to the day.

2nd Day, Saturday

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Saab Owners Reconvene near Boston this Weekend

Posted on 20. Aug, 2008 by .



This just in from Saab Automobile USA about the 2008 Saab Owners Convention.


For Immediate Release — August 19, 2008

Celebrating 30 Years of Saab Turbocharging

North American Saab Owners Reconvene near Boston this Weekend

Detroit – Saab owners and enthusiasts from all over North America and beyond are planning on gathering for the annual Saab Owners Convention in Devens, Massachusetts west of Boston this weekend. Celebrating the passion for their cars and the Saab brand, around five hundred owners and their cars are expected to attend the event which opens Thursday, August 21 and runs through Sunday, August 24.

The 26th consecutive annual Saab Owners Convention is organized by the Saab Club of North America. The center of activities is the Marriott Spring Hill Suites Hotel at the Common Center in Devens, Massachusetts. The venue has excellent facilities and is ideally located, as it is close to most attractions in the area. Though registration for this year’s event is now closed, day passes can still be obtained at the Saab Club registration desk in the hotel. Continuing updates, including details on the exact location and program activities are available at http://www.saabclub.com/soc08.html.

Main theme of the 2008 SOC is 30 Years of Saab Turbocharging Leadership, which started with the 1978 Saab 99 Turbo. Now widely known as a true “cult car”, the original 99 Turbo laid the foundation for many of the essentials that carry on in Saab’s current product portfolio, largely consisting of cars with highly efficient turbocharged engines.

Steve Shannon, Saab Automobile USA General Manager and a native of the Boston area, is scheduled as the keynote speaker at the Banquet Dinner on Saturday night. “I am looking forward meeting many owners and their cars in person again, and participate in their unparalleled passion for Saab”, Shannon said.

Beyond exhibiting the very best examples of its turbo heritage collection and latest array of products, Saab Automobile USA has selected this venue to showcase potential future classics such as the all-black 2008 Turbo X performance car as well as the exclusive and very sunny-looking Convertible “yellow edition”. In addition, the award-winning 2008 Saab 9-X BioHybrid concept car is coming over from Sweden to be one of the key attractions.

Already labeled “Best Concept” by AutoWeek Magazine upon its world debut at the Geneva auto show last March, the Saab 9-X BioHybrid has been voted “Specialty Concept Car of the Year” by a jury of 25 professional North American automotive journalists. The award ceremony took place last June at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan.

“The Saab 9-X BioHybrid blends organic form with ecologically sound propulsion for both aesthetic and environmental appeal”, said jury panel member Arv Voss of Auto Impressions. Added Bob Kroupa of the Automotive Writers Group: “Saab takes center stage with a new design approach for a compact vehicle. With the BioHybrid turbo engine included, we have a winner”.

“We are honored by this important recognition from an expert North American media organization,” said Saab Automobile USA marketing director Roger McCormack accepting the award. “Following in the footsteps of the highly inspirational Aero X, and the 9-4X BioPower crossover concept which also debuted earlier this year, the 9-X BioHybrid demonstrates that Saab is truly on the move.”

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The Introduction Of The Saab 99 Turbo – 1978

Posted on 19. Aug, 2008 by .




This year marks the 30th anniversary of the introduction of the first Saab 99 Turbo in 1978, so I believe it is necessary to provide us with as much information about this important milestone for the Saab Automobile brand.

I will begin by providing you summaries from the original press kit here at Saab History that includes content such as photographs, press summaries and drawings of how a Saab Turbo works and what the inspiration was behind it.

Saab Introduces the Power of the Future. The Turbo.

turbopress.jpgThe Saab Turbo is an engineering masterpiece. Saab has taken the turbo power that dominates the big trucks – Le Mans and Indianapolis — and harnessed it to work at speeds you drive at everyday.

The Saab Turbo breakthrough is its ability to deliver 34% more torque at low 3500 rpm’s. More torque at low rpm’s means more power at your command in daily situations. When you have to pass, feel that surge of power shoot you ahead. Feel the take-off thrust of turbo power move you on to a highway. That’s power!

Yet, the Saab Turbo isn’t merely cold, engineering innovations. Its performance as definite psychic compensations. Here’s ow a few of the car experts have responded to driving one.

“Saab now has fetched up a model that’ll get second gear rubber and double the double-nickel any day of the week…Saab’s Turbo installation offers more pleasure per dollar than any other on the market” – Pat Bedard, Car & Driver

“One heroic blast down the highway is enough to convert anybody” – David E. Davis Jr., Car & Driver

“Saab Turbo… a genuine Fourth-of-July driving experience, full of sudden pleasure and high spirit..” – Steve Thompson, Car & Driver

“The Saab Turbo is exhiliarating to drive..it’s so much fun, the price is irrelevant…” – Road & Track


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1978 Saab 99 Turbo To Be On Display At 2008 SOC

Posted on 18. Aug, 2008 by .



Photo Credit: Saab-Scania AB

At this year’s Turbo themed 2008 Saab Owners Convention, there will be an appropriate display of the first production model 1978 Saab 99 Turbo that will be on display at the Saab USA Heritage Collection area.

Having personally driven this first production model of the Saab 99 Turbo at the Turbo-X drive event in Boston this past May as well as at the 60th Anniversary event in San Diego, last February, I must say that it feels as powerful as it would have been brand new.

If you get the chance, take a look at this car up front as you may not see a vehicle in such pristine order again!

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Production Concept