Requiescat in Pace Saab

December 24, 2009


picture from Sniff Petrol

In the last four years I’ve owned two Saabs – a 9-3 and a 9-5. Both suffered from abysmal build quality – I have an OCD-esque hatred of rattles in the cabin (which is why my last two cars have been a Mercedes-Benz and an Audi) and the Saabs were both both terrible for that – but nevertheless I am sad that there won’t be any more slightly eccentric creations from Trollhatten – even though recent Saab’s have been pale imitations of their 70’s and 80’s forebears. GM has a lot to answer for.

In the end, one cannot but mourn the demise of a company that produced the lovely thing below..


Interesting Wheels

September 12, 2009


Walking in Abingdon today I came across a couple of splendid MG sports cars parked in the town square. The one on the right is an MG RV8, the crude but charming reanimation of the MGB manufactured between 1992 and 1995. The one on the left is intriguing. It’s got the nose of an RV8 but has the fastback body of an MG BGT. I hadn’t been aware that the RV8 had been produced in a fastback shell, and a bit of searching on the web has failed to turn up any evidence that any were. I regret now that I didn’t take a look into the cockpit to confirm my suspicion that what we have here is an old MG BGT with the nose of an RV8 grafted onto it, for the RV8 had a rather luxurious interior which was very different from the rather austere original MGB. The license plate (V-reg; 1979-1980) would tend to support his theory, assuming it’s not a vanity plate.

Whatever it’s history, it’s a very handsome vehicle, as is it’s soft-top cousin parked alongside. Abingdon was the home of MG for many years, although the Abingdon plant had closed long before the RV8 was built.

Inside the Ferrari Factory, Yesterday

June 1, 2009


The mighty Sniff Petrol comments on F1!

Saab Trouble

February 20, 2009

Photo © Martin Bergstrand

Very sad news today. GM owned Saab has filed for protection from it’s creditors – the Swedish equivelent of Chapter 11. It appears that GM plan to try to spin Saab off as an independant company, although it’s difficult to see how it could survive, given it’s performance in recent years and the general collapse of the car industry since the credit crunch. Certainly the experience of MG Rover isn’t exactly promising, although hopefully the management team at Saab will prove more capable than the people who steered Rover to it’s untimely end.

I’ve had two Saabs in recent years, a 9-3 and a 9-5, and I loved both although the 9-5 eventually had to go as it cost too much to run. They managed to retain some of their individuality even through 20 years of ownership by GM and didn’t seem to suffer the unfortunate image issues which have plagued the likes of BMW and recently Audi. Hopefully they will survive in some form.