Should Sweden Saave Saab?

swedishchef460I’ve always thought of Saab as a purveyor of somewhat-overpriced, solidly-built, safe cars.  Their clutches always seemed a little grabby to me.  On the other hand, Saab is smart enough to put the ignition switch on the floor so it won’t turn your knee into hamburger  in a front-end collision. About 10 years ago I almost bought a 9-3 convertible, but settled for an SHO instead.

So the now-bankrupt Saab looks like it’ll be washed away in the Carpocalypse unless Sweden steps in.  GM owns Saab now, but Saab wants to escape that black hole.

From Jalopnik:

As we warned yesterday, Saab, GM’s meatball-of-a-badge, officially filed for bankruptcy protection today in Sweden. Remaining to be seen is what role, if any, GM will have with the born-from-jets brand.

From the NYT:

Unmoored from its parent, Saab went to a Swedish court for protection from its creditors, and said the company would – with assistance from the Swedish government – reorganize to pave the way for private investors to buy all or part of the company.

“We explored and will continue to explore all available options for funding and/or selling Saab, and it was determined a formal reorganization would be the best way to create a truly independent entity that is ready for investment,” the managing director of Saab, Jan-Ake Jonsson, said in a statement.

I sensed the beginning of the end when Saab came out with this:


Just what the world needed – another fucking SUV.

So Stinquers, any fond Saab memories?


The “literary” version of James Bond drove a Saab, at least he did in several of the Post Fleming Novels.

I imagined it to be something really cool. Then I saw a Saab 900 and my illusions of James Bond coolness were popped.

I think my heinous stepmom has one, so if this somehow effs up her warranty, eh, that’s ok.

16, Backseat, 17 -Year-Old Hmong neighbor boy, Saab.

You guys do the math.

All of my memories are of Saabs, I always wanted one. All aluminum. Key in the floor. Looks like a shoe. Goes like a rocket. Mmmm.

@Prommie: I do recall burning my hand on a turbocharger when I was trying to fix something on an ex’s 900. Ouch.

Freshman year in college, one of two buddies to have a car had his parents’ 66 Saab. Three speed stick on the column. It was an odd burgundy color, and we called it the Raisin. We’d ply the owner (I’ll call him “Dave”) with acid +/- ludes then convince him to drive us into the neighboring fields where we’d “hunt” galloping sheep with frisbees. The farmer hated us, and “Dave” dropped out after his second year. Muscled that thing over the Alleghenies through a blizzard to see Elvis Costello, only to find out that we made it to State College but Elvis didn’t.

Ever since then, like Prom, I’ve always wanted one.

my high school boyfriend had one, an old piece of shit one.
we called it the”sob.”
we would have to get out and push it up hills. but one thing it had was a roomy backseat, that we would park in a far dark corner of a parking lot. like tommycatt, we were doing math.

As a current saab-900 owner and lover (they are overpriced, but I got mine for freeeeeeeeeee!), I am going to miss the company if it does go bye-bye, despite the fact that their newer models are not quite as fun as Saab’s once were, they are fun, wonderful cars. That said, they ran the company into the ground, and I’m comin aorud to the idea that more companies just need to fail, so no, no one should be saving them.

The SUV was entirely the fault of GM. It was a great car and a great company…until it was purchased by fing GM. They killed the best 4 cyl. engine put in a car and basically turned a solid brand into a yuppy POS.

My father drove them from the 92 (2 stroke, oil and gas mix) to an early 900 turbo (just before The Fall). When that one finally failed (pushing 400,000 and a decade or so) he gave up and bought a Honda…having driven nothing but Saab from his teens (the Honda entered the scene about 3 years ago.

My first car was a 4 door hatchback 99 that my mother rolled down an embankment, end-over-end twice and side-over-side once at about 88,000 miles. She had her seatbelt on and walked out with a shoulder bruise. The car was back on the road in 3 days. I inherited it shortly thereafter.

I did *VERY* bad things to this car (up to and including downshifting from 4th to 3rd at about 90mph our so (not I, but a friend then driving)…trans. stayed in, but engine jumped the rear motor mounts). Even so, I retired the car, still running, with 248,000 on the original engine and transmission.

Love the brand…hate the post-GM cars. With luck, they will return to their roots…

I’m constantly amazed at the number of gearheads in our midst. Suffice it to say my hands-on experience with engines consists of disassembling a lawnmower in junior-high shop, and never getting it to work again.

@nojo: Do they even offer “shop” in school anymore? Ours were divided into metal, wood and print.

With the approach of cannibal anarchy, I wish I had paid more attention during shop and less attention during trig.

@nabisco: Print shop? Really? Wow. I’m jealous.

We had metal and wood, and we were among the last classes to be divided into girls and boys — girls had Home Ec, of course, which boys could take as an elective. (“Bachelor Survival”, those clever educational marketers.)

Our shop teacher had half a finger missing because of a bandsaw accident, but I think that was a job requirement.

@nojo: I replaced a 240 HP turbocharged Perkins diesel in my so called “yacht” last year, by my own self, which involved getting a 2,000 pound engine out of this hole in the floor of the boats “saloon” (what we yachties call the living room) and up onto dry land, some 7 feet above, where I keep my boat. And then getting a new one back down there.

And it worked, too (I bought the identical engine to replace the original, and took photos of every single wire and hose connection so I would know what to do).

But I did one thing wrong; all last summer, as I used the boat, it leaked oil terribly. I finally broke down and hired a diesel mechanic to come look at it this winter, and lo and behold; here is something I learned: When you buy a new engine, make sure the oil drain plug is screwed in tight. Cost me $800 to find that out.

The fun thing about owning a boat is that you must be a mechanic, and an electrician, and a plumber, and a carpenter. Or else you have to be fucking rich.

@Prommie: Or, like my parents, you have to find a moorage that doesn’t collapse when it snows. I think they’re three-for-three with Portland locations.

@nojo: Yep, missing finger on the metal shop teacher. First day of class was a detailed description of how he lost it after which he screamed “BE CAREFUL YOU KNUCKLEHEADS”.

All I remember from print shop was making Bowie t-shirts, so I think it coincided with my discovery of weed. Dim recollection of them trying to teach us drafting skills. We all had to spend one class in the other gender’s ‘specialty’, so I got to play with an E-Z bake oven. Still regret that I never learned how to iron.

With four boys, my folks ended up with a lot of poorly made candlestick holders. Oh, I also remember working with plastics (orange acrylic napkin holder).

I opted for typing. Worked out great till I bought a bungalow a few years ago and now the new Hobo economy.

Okay carpenter (have all fingers.)

Oddly, as an electrical engineer, I hate high voltage and fear doing electrical repairs. Any electronics repair, I’m fine. Just not 120V.

Decent plumber (at least thanks to the invention of flexible ABS piping.)

Mechanics, I’m okay, but I’d rather pay for a mechanic.

@nabisco: @nojo: I loved woodshop! I don’t remember our school even having a home ec course, but both woods and metal were co-ed. Lots of girls took woods, so needless to say the walls had many displayed projects of heart clocks, swan clocks, teddy bear clocks, etc. My dad still has the giant clothespin I made him on his desk–that Christmas was the easiest evah!

@nabisco: I took printmaking in high school and college, and it never occurred to me to try t-shirts. D’oh!

@flippin eck: My high school had, rather than home ec, fashion design. It seemed like a joke, but the girls who took it came out with incredible prom dresses for next to nothing.

Damn. They are a big sponsor of our big Swedish summer street festival.

I took apart a lawnmower engine in shop class in jr. high, and it ran perfectly after I reassembled it. But then, I’ve always had an uncanny knack with mechanical things, and now do all my (bi|motor)cycle maintenance myself. I’ll be handy to have around after the cannibal anarchy starts, except that I have zero fighting skills, and so will be killed and eaten early on.

@IanJ: I think all these practical skills are overrated. The real future is in the pagan priesthood.

@Prommie: The J80s I used to race had no engines. Docking was often dicey.


You’re welcome to take hapkido with me. It’s hella fun, practical, a killer workout, and very eclectic. In some ways it’s similar to Krav Maga, though more structured. And like good SeaTown libtards we blab about our qi alot in between take-downs.

@Original Andrew: I do have reasonably good marksmanship (on a benchrest against a paper target) with my little .22 rifle. Never tried aiming at anything that moved, but I’m sufficiently supplied that any slow-moving squirrels in north Seattle might end up being lunch after the fall.

What does it cost to get into “Register my hands as deadly weapons” training like you link?


I take it at my gym downtown, so it’s like $60/month plus tax, which I think is pretty reasonable for the level of instruction provided (I’m not quite sure what it would be if you’re not a member but I can find out). The class is Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm.

Our class is at the white belt level, so it’s beginning things like punching, kicking, wrist escapes, confusing an attacker…etc. I’m somewhat comically uncoordinated, so working on that has been fun.

Last night we practiced falling, which sounds strange, but if someone attacks you and pushes you down, you have to be able to hit the ground without hurting yourself and get right back up and into a defensive posture almost immediately or it’s all over.

We won’t get to the really fun stuff–weapons, multiple attackers, and so forth, for awhile, but I’m going for full-on Buffy mode.

Let me know if you’d like more info, and I’ll ask Master Nojo to send a note.

@Original Andrew: I doubt I’d actually follow through on it, so don’t worry. I’m pretty happy being unskilled in the martial arts — no one seems to bother me, and martial arts training isn’t going to save me if they decide to bean me with a brick from behind (which is how I expect to be attacked, at least until the cannibal anarchy is in full swing).


Given the ironies in the way the world seems to work, if you’re trained to defend yourself, then there’s no chance you’ll be attacked, right?

@flippin eck, nabisco, etc: Our shop teacher Mr. Trujillo was known as “Half Inch” because of all his missing digits. Poor bastard.

Did I ever post a photo of the coat rack I made this Christmas for Mrs RML from an oak plank and an elk antler shed I found?

@nabisco, prom, etc.: Always loved Saabs, although I never owned one. I remember chasing my buddy Greg in his 99E down dirt roads back home before he settled down to become a noted maker of Spanish colonial furniture. He also took out a block wall with the 99 after he hopped a curb while slightly missing a high speed turn in town late one night. Hardly scratched the paint.

One of my partners drives nothing but Saabs. I think he has a 9 3 now. He got his kid in college a 900 (which I love the looks of), and his much younger hardcore snowboarding wife drives a Saab wagon.

i’m wth you nojo, all i want to know about a car is where the ignition key goes.

in jr. high, the girls were forced to take “shop” along with home ec. and so were the boys. i sucked at both. but my gay friend made me a fabulous dress in home ec!

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