The first day of the Saabfestival 2015 was jam-packed with truly exciting things. It started great with the SAAB pre-tour arriving from Kiel, followed by the insightful presentation by NEVS president Mattias Bergman. But there was much more to experience, both at the factory at Stallbacka, in and around the Museum and even outside of Trollhättan…
There had been a lot of rumours about what involvement could be expected from the crew at Saabvägen 5, and when NEVS announced the details of their “open house”, expectations were raised high. I think they really delivered. In fact, they over delivered. The program itself was quite attractive with seminars, test drives and guided tours through their labs. That latter part I believe was unique as the labs hadn’t been accessible for the general public before. The element I however was most impressed with wasn’t necessarily tangible, it was the positive feeling that was spread. A feeling of new hope and conviction that the journey to make a difference is continuing. Swedish flags flying proudly, yellow and blue balloons everywhere and NEVS staff in their white T-shirts speaking with conviction and smiling constantly. I spoke with a few of the staff afterwards and they said that they were equally impressed. Impressed with the enormous turnout and the excitement and support they had felt from the SAAB fans.
Mark and Tom covered the test drive with the 9-3N on the SAAB test track earlier, but please check out more in-depth coverage of the lab tour on Steven Wade’s blog.
Full force at the Museum
The festival was officially kicked off at the SAAB Car Museum in the morning and besides the view of a growing number of SAAB’s arriving in the parking lot, there were many more things to enjoy including the exhibition of SAAB art by artist Rony Lutz, a workshop by Orio (aka SAAB Parts) and seminars about the roots of SAAB, the 30 years SAAB 9000 and more.
SAAB parts in Skepplanda
While Orio was present prominently in a big tent outside the museum and had several special offers for SAAB Original spare parts, there was another special destination for everyone looking for special parts: Redox in Skepplanda, some 40 kilometers south of Trollhättan. Redox probably has the largest stock of SAAB cars (especially 9-5NG’s and other relatively recent models) on their scrap yard but witnessing all these crippled cars that once had arrived in near mint condition made me feel sad. The good thing was that we were able to find what we were looking for…
We finished the Friday with a dinner together with several other 9-5NG owners, discussing the great day and sharing the expectations for the day after: racing on the Kinnekulle Ring. More on that in my next post!