Tag Archives: WASHINGTON

The "Save Saab" Event In Washington, D.C.

Posted on 24. Jan, 2010 by .

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Photo Credit: Daniel Purvis

The “SAVE SAAB” event in Washington, D.C. has just finished and here’s one of the first photos from the event. Great to see so many Saabs in front of the Capitol building and the coordinated gathering in front of the House of Sweden! There were apparently 35 Saabs and 40 people!

Please continue to send your comments, photos and videos if you attended this event.

For more photos, the organizer has provided two links for additional photographs from the event here:

Brian: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sugonaut/sets/72157623277642926/
Leigh: http://www.flickr.com/photos/minxx/sets/72157623151752279/

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A Reflection Of The 1992 Saab 900 Turbo Project

Posted on 07. Sep, 2009 by .

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Photo Credits: Ryan / Saab History

This weekend, I finally got the opportunity to take the 1992 Saab 900 Turbo out for the weekend and snap some photos. I must say, this being the third weekend in 2009 to drive the car, totaling 6-days over the course 9-months, I was unsure how I would feel once I get behind the wheel of it. It was a good weekend weather wise before the fall arrived, and it just seemed to be the right time to check it out and drive it for a few days.
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Saab History Visits “Saabs @ Carlisle” – 5.16.2009

Posted on 18. May, 2009 by .

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This past Saturday, May 16th, 2009, I managed to get down to the annual Saab show in Carlisle, Pennsylvania “The State of Independence” with a colleague of mine’s new 2008 9-3 2.0T SportCombi.

The Saab show, launched by the Central Pennsylvania Saab Club 10 years ago was apparently suggested by the local Opel club 10 years ago this weekend. This suggestion to have Saabs placed in the show adjacent to the Opels would make some good sense, since professionally speaking, Saab have partnered with Opel in development for the past 15 years or so. Having Opels & Saabs at a car show, alongside each other made logical sense. Since then, the incremental growth of the Saab show at the event over the past 10 years has been outstanding. It was to be expected that this year, over 200 vehicles turned out, making it another record attendance.

While the weather was variable, the rain held up throughout the day during my visit and as a result, I had quite the time getting to take more of an in-depth experience since my first visit, a whole two years ago when the Saab USA Heritage Collection was present.

As I circumnavigated the Highways, Streets, Roads, Avenues, Vistas and other developed marque designations for Saab models, I got to see a nice variety including just about every production Saab production model. I also explored other manufacturer’s camps this year including Saab’s Swedish sister, Volvo. In speaking with them, they said, they continue to be surprised by just how many Saabs show up year after year without fail. I told them, that these people are devoted so much that they may break another record this year of attendance, even when the future direction of Saab Automobile has been uncertain for the past year.

There were also many dealerships involved this year, three this time including an independent and Saab History sponsor, Swedish Motor Cars of Washington, D.C.!

I have said it before and I will say it again, it is clear that the the “SAAB” presence far outweighed all other marques on the lawn that day the sheer square footage that was designated as “Saabs @ Carlisle”.

Unlike my previous visit two years ago, I managed to visit the vendor spaces that included those specifically selling a plethora of SAAB parts, accessories, product literature & toys. One of the vendors showed up for the first time this year, where I managed to acquire an incredible amount of never before seen videos and other television advertisements, stay tuned!

Throughout the event, the photography, conversing with colleagues, and all other activities were great, however the memorable experience this year was the tribute to Bob Sinclair during the lunch hour where we gave a moment of silence.

I hope that this summary and photographs best captures some of the major Saab highlights as well as the other key aspects of the Saabs @ Carlisle event this past Saturday, May 16th, 2009.

This second visit was very good and I am glad that I had the opportunity to attend it.

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NPR’s Car Talk Discusses Saab Twice This Saturday!

Posted on 03. May, 2009 by .

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I was listening to National Public Radio’s “Car Talk” this past Saturday morning with my wife in the 97 Saab 9000 CS as were headed to take our 1992 Saab 900 Turbo into the shop for repair and spring preparation.

Car Talk, a famous program with brothers Tom & Ray Magliozzis based out of Cambridge, Massachusetts (Boston region) is on just about every Saturday morning at 10am EST here in the United States.

In this past weekend’s piece, two of callers both discussed Saabs, one in need of repair, another with a desire for a Saab and the now defunct european delivery program.

I strongly urge you to listen to both of these broadcasts by clicking on the links below for some enjoyable listening.

NPR’s Car Talk Discusses Saab Many Times This Saturday

Show 918, May 2nd, 2009

Ken From Berkeley has a drinking clutch in his 1991 Saab 9000.

http://www.cartalk.com/piplayer/cartalkplayer.html?play=02smil.xml

Cathy in Seattle’s deep desire to buy a Saab 9-3 Convertible.

http://www.cartalk.com/piplayer/cartalkplayer.html?play=03smil.xml

More Highlights.

This week on Car Talk we welcome back one of our favorite wackos, Paula from Portland, Maine, for a round of Stump the Chumps.

Paula claimed that the only way she could get her Subaru to start in the dead of winter was by laying a blanket across the hood.

Tom and Ray offered an alternative starting method that didn’t involve bedroom accessories. We’ll find out if they were right– and if Paula’s neighbors have stopped whispering about her behind her back. Also, Cathy in Washington faces the ire of her family over her deep desire to buy a Saab, Ellen in Massachusetts’ key ring turns her father apoplectic, and we get a lesson in how not to use a Dremel tool from Chris in Minnesota. All this and more on this week’s encore edition of Car Talk.

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The 2009 Saab 9-3 Aero XWD eLSD Sport Combi Test Drive

Posted on 08. Apr, 2009 by .

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Photo Credits: Saab History

The Saab History 2009 Saab 9-3 Aero XWD eLSD 6-Speed Manual Sport Combi Test Drive

The History:

The Saab 9-3 Sport Combi not to be called a “wagon”, was designed after the 9-3x and 9-3 Sport Hatch Concept cars in 2002 & 2003 respectively, and came to market in 2005.

It is important to know that during the development of this car, it was originally planned to debut in 2002 as an all-wheel drive version says Joel Manby, former Saab Cars USA President, however a capable all-wheel drive system was not yet available and development budgets were delayed by General Motors. That was true then, but today, that is a completely different story.

The Background:

In the summer of 2007, I had the opportunity to test drive one of the first MY ’08 Saab 9-3 prototypes that had an experimental all-wheel drive system on board. This test drive experience took place in the Washington, D.C area on an old air strip in addition to an expanse of fresh cut grass. This experience served as an educational opportunity to learn more about this new system, however it did not help me gain a side-by-side real world experience. The fall of the same year, the halo vehicle for the new system known as Cross-Wheel Drive or XWD for short debuted in Boston, known as the Saab 9-3 Turbo-X.

The spring of 2008, I had the chance to test drive the Saab 9-3 Turbo-X for the first time in the greater Boston area. This test drive took place on a perfectly clear parking lot around cones, free of rain, ice, snow and sand, again leaving me in a state of uncertainty when it came to really understanding the cross-wheel drive system in a real-world experience sense.

This “cross-wheel drive” system or XWD for short, is a fully integrated 4th generation all-wheel drive system from a Swedish company known as Haldex. Haldex are global leaders in all-wheel drive technologies. Since the debut of the Turbo-X, the same XWD system continued in the Saab 9-3 range (excluding the convertible). The XWD system includes two new innovations, the pre-emptive engagement of the rear wheels for traction optimization at take-off, as well as an active rear electronic limited slip differential known as eLSD. The eLSD system, standard on Aero models and optional on 2.0T models, allows variable torque transfers between both rear wheels when necessary. The XWD system’s capabilities when outfitted with the eLSD system, involves the possible transfer of up to 100% of the engine torque to any wheel from the front to the rear.

The Plan:

After two test drives of XWD capable Saab 9-3s over the past two years combined with the fact there really have not been any convincing and detailed reviews of Saab’s cross-wheel drive system, I realized it was time to make the request and do it on my own. In the spring of 2009, after two months of waiting since my request, I was delivered a brand new 2009 Saab 9-3 Aero XWD eLSD SportCombi with a 6-speed manual transmission in glass-grey to review. Initially, I made this request at the height of snow season in New England, but now that the snow is pretty much gone, I had to make do. The route eventually decided on, was from Maine-to-Montreal two countries in two days, spanning the white mountains of New Hampshire to the Green Mountains of Vermont. It was on this route that I encountered just about every possible variation of inclimate weather that I needed and wanted for this review.

The vehicle that arrived was a top of the line Saab 9-3 Sport Combi model with the XWD system on board along with the electronic limited slip differential coupled with a V6 280hp engine and a 6-speed manual transmission outfitted with michelin all-season tires. Although I would have preferred true winter directional tires, the variation of conditions I experienced seemed to fair better with these tires than I originally expected.

The Experience:

Setting out on the trip early in the morning, I felt more than comfortable in the bolstered two-toned leather seats standard on Aero models, warm with the dual-setting heated seats and manual dual-climate control, and in control with the leather wrapped steering wheel & shifter, easy to access equipment, and on-board integrated navigation system. While leaving the city with NPR tuned in on the 9-speaker Bose stereo system, and taupe/grey split interior (the best looking combination), I began realizing how difficult it would be to give up this vehicle when the time came to return it.

As the roads began to incline due to the higher elevations I was heading into, I noticed the mileage for the first time hanging around the 20-22 miles to the gallon throughout the 600 round-trip route due to the larger 2.8 liter V6 280 hp (206 kW), turbo engine even in the 6th gear during descents. […]

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Maud Olofsson In D.C. To Discuss Saab Automobile With Ron Bloom At U.S. Treasury

Posted on 31. Mar, 2009 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab History

TTELA reports that Sweden’s Industry Minister Maud Olofsson, is in Washington, D.C. today to discuss Saab Automobile AB with Ron Bloom, of the U.S. Treasury Department.

I applaud Maud Olofsson for initiating this dialog with Mr. Bloom at the U.S. Treasury Department.

Published March 31, 2009 Updated March 31, 2009

Maud talking Saab in the U.S.

TROLLHÄTTAN On Monday will be Saab’s survival plan up to the evidence in Vänersborgs District Court.

And Industry Minister Maud Olofsson (C) is in Washington to talk about GM’s sale of Saab.

Industry Minister Maud Olofsson (C) is in Washington to talk about GM’s sale of Saab.

I wanted to assure them that Saab’s sales process may actually be completed, that if there are buyers who are interested, the harder this regard Obama talked about do not have the effect that it only closes down and does not consider that there is a sales process, “says Olofsson.

President Barack Obama on Monday made it clear to the American automobile industry that their actions so far are not enough. While he made clear that the automotive industry should not be allowed to go up in smoke, he was also very clear that funding by the taxpayer can not last very long.

GM was up to the end of May to develop a sustainable business plan.

Olofsson met on Tuesday, Ron Bloom, U.S. Treasury Department’s chief negotiator with the automotive industry. She stated to TT that she made it clear to Bloom that she hopes that the tightening of being had not “put obstacles in the way” for GM’s sale of Saab.

That GM was up to the end of May – is it good or bad for Saab process?

– It gives us these 60 days to continue working on a possible purchase of Saab, respond Olofsson.

For nearly six weeks, the Saab Automobile reorganization going on. A relief in the first months was to Saab lax wage in the state wage entered. County Administrative Board of Västra Götaland has SHELL OUT 217 million, including social security contributions.

Olofsson is aware of the risks in the event of a bankruptcy:

– There is a risk that wage goes to nothing and that we may pay the bill.

If reorganization is successful, it is money to be paid back.

On Monday, the creditors’ meeting held in the town hall in Vänersborg. Work on the reorganization plan has been made by a lawyer Guy Lofalk and Saab’s CEO Jan Ã…ke Jonsson.

The determination of the work may continue to have Vänersborgs District Court. Up to three judges to participate. Alderman Tisell Cecilia is one of them.

– There must be a fundamental business concept. The proposal must be serious and not unrealistic. It is important which creditors have comments, she said to TT.
If reconstruction is Saab which ends with their debts and it would then be few other ways than a bankruptcy.

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Clyde Billing, Inc. Saab Dealership – Washington-Augusta Maine (1958-2002)

Posted on 23. Mar, 2009 by .

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Photo Credit: Clyde Billing, Inc.

Clyde Billing, Inc. was operated as one of the first Saab dealerships in the country, established on April 1st, 1958 in Washington, Maine.

Clyde & Harriet Billing began this dealership initially in 1955, then took on the SAAB dealership when the first President of SAAB Motors, Inc. Ralph Millet, launched the nationwide dealership network just after SAAB arrived in the United States.

The Billings Family have had a long history with Saab in the United States and to this very day, Clyde Billings still own an original SAAB model 92A, a vehicle that was never officially imported into the United States. His son Bruce, continues to hold the torch for family in New England as an avid event going enthusiast and member of the New England Saab Association.

Here are some more details about the evolution of this SAAB dealership from Bruce Billing today.

I have sent along an aerial view of the original dealership, Washington Garage. It was located on route 220 in the center of Washington Village. It was operated from 1955 until 1966, and they became a SAAB dealer in 1958.

The Washington garage burned down in 1973, all operations had moved to Augusta by 1967. The second garage was used up til 1980, the dealership then moved to where
it is today. The second garage no longer exists either, the current dealership is O’Connor SAAB-VW at 258 State St. in Augusta (1980-present). O’Connor bought dealership in
2002. Where the original dealership was in Washington is now a park.

regards, Bruce

What: Clyde Billing, Inc.

Who: Clyde & Harriet Billing

When: 1958 – 1967, 1967- 2002

Where: Route 220, Washington, Maine (In Center of Village), 2nd garage, 258 State Street Augusta

Clyde Billings, Inc. resides as one of the original SAAB dealerships, now archived in the The Lost Saab Dealerships Of New England Project.

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Harriet Billing of Clyde Billing, Inc. Saab Dealership In Washington, Maine, Passes Away At 84

Posted on 23. Mar, 2009 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab-Scania of America, Inc. / 60 Marsh Hill Road, Orange, Connecticut 1983
(L-to-R Bob Sinclair, Clyde Billing, Harriet Billing, Erik Carlsson)

Harriet Billings of Clyde Billing, Inc. that started a Saab dealership with her husband Clyde, in Washington, Maine that began back in 1958 and was sold in 2002, has passed away this weekend at 84.

Saab History has recently received a summary provided by her son, Bruce Billings this morning, more will be forthcoming.

I give my sincerest condolences to the Billing Family.

Harriett Billing passed away unexpectedly on Saturday March 21st at the age of 84.

She and her husband Clyde operated Clyde Billing Inc. , a SAAB dealership in Washington Maine and later Augusta Maine from 1958 until 2002.

She and Clyde were accomplished racers and ralliers during the 60’s. I’ve sent along a picture of them receiving an award from Bob Sinclair to mark their 25 years with SAAB taken in 1983.

Bruce

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Production Concept