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The Bigfella
12-18-2009, 04:52 PM
I've never owned one, but I've ridden in a few and didn't mind them. I enquired about buying a convertible Saab off a mate when he was selling his (my wife always liked them) - he warned me off it though.

http://www.topgear.com/uk/car-news/saab-is-dead-2009-12-18



Saab is a proud carmaker. Its history is of safe, practical big cars with muscly turbo engines. They were interesting and eccentric and occasionally rather good. But when GM bought Saab to try and have a premium brand (similar to Ford buying Jaguar), GM didn’t really know what to do with it. It lost money continuously.

GM has been trying to simplify itself in the past year. It nearly sold Opel-Vauxhall (which would have meant a catastrophic loss of engineering expertise). It closed down Saturn and Pontiac. It sold Hummer to another Chinese company. And now Saab is toast.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
12-18-2009, 04:58 PM
Saab - as a real voice and vision - was toast when it was bought by GM.

Same story with Volvo/Jaguar and Ford

Nicholas Scheuer
12-18-2009, 05:08 PM
I don't hold GM totally responsible, just mostly. They had to know that Saab wasn't a real exciting marquee in the marketplace when they bought in. If they failed to have a plan to correct that, shame on them.

I'll bet a real "car guy" like Lee Ioccoca would've been able to figure something out for Sabb. But GM is full of executives with their heads so far up their asses they haven't seen anything but brown for decades.

Then there are all those care design females they get from schools like UCLA who don't know that at one time all cars had back-wheel drive, and could tow boat trailers and Airstream RV trailers because they all had engines with enough torque to bust the Chinese bolts they now use to keep car engines lined up crosswide under the hood.

Ya'want proof? Exhibit-A: GM kept Buick and scrubbed the house that brought us the GTO! Hey, I once bought a brand new Buick, and what I wanted more than anything to do with it was drive it through the glass front doors of Buick and leave it there!

Moby Nick

John of Phoenix
12-18-2009, 05:20 PM
It nearly sold Opel-Vauxhall (which would have meant a catastrophic loss of engineering expertise)
Engineering expertise? Who knew? Those brands are virtually unknown here.

Duncan Gibbs
12-18-2009, 05:21 PM
Top notch rant there Nick! :D:)

No one wanting to buy the shell of Saab now? I'm sure all the factories and suppliers are still there, just that GM are... well Nick said it! :rolleyes:

jbchicoine
12-18-2009, 05:30 PM
I think we're the only one driving a Saab in the state of Michigan. And an '89 to boot! It just won't die--sometimes I wish it would...

jonboy
12-18-2009, 05:37 PM
the market decides maybe... there was a time about ten years ago I recall when the published figures for real depreciation from new put Saab at the top , or is that bottom, of the list..even after the Renault Laguna that famously went from 15 grand new to about three in a little more than a year, according to Glass's Guide.. The Saab 9000 was unsaleable within the trade after two years... worthless by those standards, a hot bit of kit by any other point of view and for a couple of gs at two years old...but like Volvos, suffered from an excruciating reputation... If you buy a Swedish car you must be brain dead streed cred.... I blame the Muppets.

PeterSibley
12-18-2009, 05:38 PM
In Oz , if you want a good cheap s/h car , buy a Saab .Very very cheap for what you get .

The Bigfella
12-18-2009, 05:45 PM
Engineering expertise? Who knew? Those brands are virtually unknown here.

... and in places where they aren't we sorta smile when people talk about American cars. :D

seanz
12-18-2009, 05:46 PM
If you buy a Swedish car you must be brain dead streed cred....


But strangely enough some of the cool kids I know back in Oz are driving old Volvo station wagons....a good car and so uncool they're hip.

PeterSibley
12-18-2009, 05:56 PM
... and in places where they aren't we sorta smile when people talk about American cars. :D

Like why ? :rolleyes:, if the answer isn't a bigger hammer , there is no answer .:D

The Bigfella
12-18-2009, 06:01 PM
Yeah, we had a 245 Volvo wagon 20+ years back. Couldn't kill it, but we managed to break a few things trying. I used to collect firewood in it, off road. It acquired a few resident spiders as a result. We had it so loaded up at times that its arse was almost dragging on the ground.

I can't remember now whether we had 11 or 13 in it for one trip - from the marina to town after a Pittwater - Coffs Harbour yacht race - given all the crew were from Sydney and didn't have transport.

Ahhh - another fond memory of that car... the wife drove half a dozen mainly British 125cc Grand Prix drivers to the airport in the old Volvo a couple of days after the last race of the GP calendar. Let's just say that spindly little blokes don't stand up too well after all night drinking parties.

PeterSibley
12-18-2009, 06:07 PM
245 Volvo wagon 20+ years back , I was working for the Brisbane rep when they came out , Leo Muller Toyota , spent a lot of time delivering them ,not bad at all ,better than anything GMH or Ford were making .That was a good job for a young bloke , different cars every day ,Saab ,BMW ,Jag ...no rubbish .

The Bigfella
12-18-2009, 06:13 PM
We went from the 245 to a (GM) Holden Commodore... a VP Series 2. The wife absolutely hated it after the Volvo. Her memory is long too. I offered her a new Commodore just recently (pretty cheap with the investment incentive, etc) and she said "no thanks - I'd rather my 20 year old BMW"

stevebaby
12-18-2009, 06:20 PM
Hairdressers will be shattered by Saab's demise.

Nicholas Scheuer
12-18-2009, 06:58 PM
Thanks, Dincan. I tried to write it as if Lee Ioccoca, his'self, was guiding my fingers.

Moby Nick

Paul Pless
12-18-2009, 07:16 PM
Yeah, we had a 245 Volvo wagon 20+ years back. Couldn't kill it, but we managed to break a few things trying. I used to collect firewood in it, off road. It acquired a few resident spiders as a result. We had it so loaded up at times that its arse was almost dragging on the ground.

I can't remember now whether we had 11 or 13 in it for one trip - from the marina to town after a Pittwater - Coffs Harbour yacht race - given all the crew were from Sydney and didn't have transport.

Ahhh - another fond memory of that car... the wife drove half a dozen mainly British 125cc Grand Prix drivers to the airport in the old Volvo a couple of days after the last race of the GP calendar. Let's just say that spindly little blokes don't stand up too well after all night drinking parties.


We went from the 245 to a (GM) Holden Commodore... a VP Series 2. The wife absolutely hated it after the Volvo. Her memory is long too. I offered her a new Commodore just recently (pretty cheap with the investment incentive, etc) and she said "no thanks - I'd rather my 20 year old BMW"There's a number of production Volvo's that I'd be happy to own. And a few special ones to boot. Have you ever seen the custom wagons that Paul Newman had built for himself. He had a long series of them. Some had turbo Buick V6's installed, other had Rousche built Ford V8 engines. A few years ago Road & Track tested a V70 that was built for Newman that had a twin turbo Callaway Corvette motor, completely stock body. Probably the baddest Q-ship of all time.

Pugwash
12-18-2009, 07:32 PM
But, but....

http://www.saabvideos.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2006/10/miss_massachusetts_elaine_cussack_hyde_park_1961th umbnail.jpg


Saabs were so cute.

:)

Phillip Allen
12-18-2009, 09:12 PM
it seems that all big corporations are top heavy with CEO's and CFO's and other salesmen sorts and all of them collecting huge amounts of money from the work of a deminishing set of engineers...

Dr.Spoke
12-19-2009, 02:01 AM
Yeah, Pretty sad day over here... A lot of people out of work... Not just in SAAB, but their suppliers, and the knock-on to the community. Don't know if it's worth trying to blame anyone - just feel a bit sad. I don't think they deserved their reputation, everyone I drove seemed to be a good car.
Think I need to phone round some friends in Trollhättan see if I can't get a party together some time in the new-year... Should be able to find some excuse...

andrewe
12-19-2009, 03:12 AM
ACB, air cooled??
The old classics had a water cooled 3 cyl. 2-stroke, followed briefly by a Taunus V4 (also water cooled) The tie up with Triumph gave them the Dolomite engine, in use until fairly recently. GM used a Vauxhall/Opel floor pan and started the slide into oblivium.

As for the Pontiac GTO, Car mag tested one against a real GTO. The Pontiac had drum brakes that only work once before fading and the traction got the editor a real fright, he tried to overtake at 70 and mistakenly put his foot hard down. The resulting series of slides left him a very chastened man. Not helped by the slow steering. Every body at the office had said it was a bit of a dog, without realising that there was a second (tougher) throttle spring which required a good shove. IIRR it was De Lorean behind the project.
A

andrewe
12-19-2009, 03:30 AM
Fred Z,
That little two seater was a masterpiece, unfortunatly it used the 2T engine and I don't know how many they made (Called the Sonnet?) I saw one in a back garden a few years ago and nearly asked about it, got my senses back and walked on... Also the guy had done a bit 're-styling' on the tail.
A

Nicholas Scheuer
12-19-2009, 05:23 AM
What's the diff between a Pontiac GTO and a "real" GTO andrewe?

I had a good friend who bought a new GTO back in the beginning. I opted for a new Chevelle, instead, which although not equal in any category except people capacity, may have been one of the best cars I ever owned.

When it comes to cars, which ones did the Beach Boys sing about?

Moby Nick

Presuming Ed
12-19-2009, 06:56 AM
Like why ? :rolleyes:, if the answer isn't a bigger hammer , there is no answer .:D

AIUI, the Mustang, a supposed sporty-ish car has a live rear axle!!!!

That's why.

andrewe
12-19-2009, 08:29 AM
[quote=Nicholas Scheuer;2427656]What's the diff between a Pontiac GTO and a "real" GTO andrewe?

Well, matter of opinion. The Pontiac was affordable but not Homologated for GT racing (GTO) and they nicked the name from Ferrari to give their cafe racer some street cred. Interestingly the Ferrari also had a live axle, but managed to go round corners a bit better. And stop on a regular basis from speed. Chalk and cheese of course, just shared the name.
A

The test in Car was of course just for a laugh. But it was a look at one of the first muscle cars to come out of the US and so of interest.

jonboy
12-19-2009, 08:31 AM
I have a lot of time for Fords generally, but probably the worst engine they ever had was the (I thought it was an Essex) V4....even Ford reckoned it only for 80000 m...what a dog....so that didn't help Saab....what were they thinking of....?

jonboy
12-19-2009, 08:39 AM
My point was the a lot of Swedish cars are terrific, just suffer from an image problem..what did it for me was the club eligible only to people who had survived serious crashes in a Volvo..Kind of gave Volvo drivers a sense of invulnerability... serious bad news for the other people on the road... Didn't Ralph Nader say if you want fewer accidents and better driving, forget airbags and seatbelts and put a six inch steel spike sticking out of the centre of the steering wheel...

andrewe
12-19-2009, 08:47 AM
I expect Saab were thinking they desperately needed a 4 stroke, but it had to be short, and cheap. Not much choice then, Lancia?
A
I drive the V4 for a couple of weeks, quite good, but not fun like the 2-T.

Kevin G
12-19-2009, 04:04 PM
Saabs:

3 cylinders, 3 coils, oil/gas mix, = lots of blue smoke.

KG

BarnacleGrim
12-19-2009, 04:14 PM
I have a friend with a vintage Saab 900 with a broken block. A car savvy friend told me he has a gold mine in his garage now that Saab is going out of business and he should put a new engine in it. I'd gladly help him out getting his wheels back on the road, but I'm a bit clueless in the area.

johnw
12-19-2009, 04:51 PM
[quote=Nicholas Scheuer;2427656]What's the diff between a Pontiac GTO and a "real" GTO andrewe?

Well, matter of opinion. The Pontiac was affordable but not Homologated for GT racing (GTO) and they nicked the name from Ferrari to give their cafe racer some street cred. Interestingly the Ferrari also had a live axle, but managed to go round corners a bit better. And stop on a regular basis from speed. Chalk and cheese of course, just shared the name.
A

The test in Car was of course just for a laugh. But it was a look at one of the first muscle cars to come out of the US and so of interest.
For Americans, the hot car was one that could win races from one stoplight to the next. Drag racing didn't require the ability to go around corners or stop more than once. That's why we got cheap cars with big engines as performance cars rather than cars that were all-around performers. Cultural difference related to teenagers cruising in their cars.

Oyvind Snibsoer
12-19-2009, 05:22 PM
The Saab 96 rightfully deserved its reputation as a great winter car, only matched by the VW Beetle, perhaps. In a time when 4x4s were far from common, it would wade through deeper snow and climb steeper hills than most other cars of its era.

ahp
12-19-2009, 05:46 PM
Some of my coworkers had the old teardrop, three cylinder, two stroke engine and loved them. The were almost unstoppable in snow. Then the laws changed an SAAB needed a four stroke engine. Ford had one, the four cylinder V engine designed for the Ford Cardinal which was never marketed here. They sold it to SAAB. Was this the Taunus engine?

andrewe
12-20-2009, 01:07 AM
Yep, that was it. Matra fitted the same engine to the 510, but amidships.
A

Oyvind Snibsoer
12-20-2009, 06:59 AM
Some of my coworkers had the old teardrop, three cylinder, two stroke engine and loved them. The were almost unstoppable in snow. Then the laws changed an SAAB needed a four stroke engine. Ford had one, the four cylinder V engine designed for the Ford Cardinal which was never marketed here. They sold it to SAAB. Was this the Taunus engine?

I believe that was the engine they put in the 96, and it was a very good engine with a great reputation.

My friend had an old 96. His mechanic told him the engine would go straight to hell...


Pause as my friend holds his breath


-and back again!

Rally drivers loved the old 2-strokes, though, because unlike a 4-stroke that will eventually suffer from valve float, there was practically no limit to how high the 2-strokes could rev.

andrewe
12-20-2009, 08:04 AM
At junior school I used to run the school cinema and along with the feature would come commercial shorts. Often they would be the likes of Monte Carlo rally stuff with Sunbeam Talbots and Saab 2Ts in the hands of the real experts. Stirring stuff for 12yr. olds.
A

paladin
12-20-2009, 08:50 AM
I loved the old Sunbeams...I had a Sunbeam Alpine for a while with a Ford 289 engine......nothing could catch it...but would go around corners very well......the chassis died before the engine.

Noah
12-20-2009, 09:23 AM
I have owned at least 10 Saab 9000T's, and they were all great cars. Very good mileage, and tons of power. They lasted very well - there were a few known problems with the car, but I put over 200,000 miles on a couple of them - at that point they didn't burn a drop of oil, and still went like stink.

Saab's history is a good one. For those in the know, the early 2-stroke and V-4 cars were a great find - in New England they had heat in the winter, and great front wheel drive traction.

It was a shame that GM couldn't make them work, but to be honest, before the buyout, Saab didn't have any money to develop a new car. The 9000 was getting long in the tooth, and the 900 had a great run, but was an old car.

jclays
12-20-2009, 12:41 PM
Bought a 9.5 Saab turbo brand new in 2002. Its been a great car. Fast, quiet and very comfortable on the long trips. Love this car.

Ross M
12-20-2009, 01:42 PM
The notice of Saab's demise may be premature:

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - General Motors said on Sunday it would evaluate several new expressions of interest for its Swedish unit Saab, including a fast-track bid from thwarted Dutch suitor Spyker Cars (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5BJ0SX20091220).

bobbys
12-20-2009, 02:06 PM
My friend has or Had A nice 2 stroke Saab i was trying to buy from him just so i could drive around with clouds of smoke coming from behind me.

But it rusted out.

Here on the salty OR coast they rust away fast..

My other friend had a cool old Saab wagon but it met the rust fate too.

He also had p1800 Volvos, The sports car and the Station wagon, I think the Wagon had over 400000 miles on it.

We all ran the Volvo Engines in our dorys, The 130s, i had a 145, The best engine ever.

jonboy
12-20-2009, 03:14 PM
I have owned at least 10 Saab 9000T's, and they were all great cars. Very good mileage, and tons of power. They lasted very well - there were a few known problems with the car, but I put over 200,000 miles on a couple of them - at that point they didn't burn a drop of oil, and still went like stink.



Not arguing, but if they were so good why did you need ten of them.... the last good car I have had was (is still) a 76 Merc 240 D station wagon I have had for five years acquired with 850000kms now has 1000000kms and a bit..( like me, middle aged ,finish not as it was, reliable but tired, burns a bit of oil, farts in the morning, I could go on...but...Thats a good car.

Nicholas Carey
12-20-2009, 03:42 PM
We've got a '96 Saab 9000. It's been a great car. Well designed. Love the engine compartment layout. Pretty obvious that it was designed by aerospace engineers. Biggest issue has been, not frequency of repairs, but (natch!) cost of parts.

When we were looking at buying it, a friend advised, "How many sports/touring cars can you buy in which you can drive across the country at 150mph with a washing machine in the back...and still get 25 mpg?"

What I like best is that Saab only started building cup holders into their cars after GM forced them to. Saab wouldn't put cup holders in on the grounds that if one wished to eat and drink, one should stop and take a break. While driving, one should be driving, not eating and drinking.

Trollhätten persnickitiness at its finest! :p

Noah
12-20-2009, 05:05 PM
Not arguing, but if they were so good why did you need ten of them.... the last good car I have had was (is still) a 76 Merc 240 D station wagon I have had for five years acquired with 850000kms now has 1000000kms and a bit..( like me, middle aged ,finish not as it was, reliable but tired, burns a bit of oil, farts in the morning, I could go on...but...Thats a good car.

I raced them...and crashed them. As well as drove them on the road.

Lewisboats
12-20-2009, 05:40 PM
The need to squirrel away that sort of money for development must hang over all mainstream car makers.

Borrow until you puke then go hat in hand to the Gvt and beg for a bail out (in your corporate jet of course)

Dan McCosh
12-20-2009, 06:05 PM
No, no, no, no!

A SAAB was a simple, light, strong car with a small air cooled engine, designed by aircraft engineers, that was much quicker than it should have been and that did not break when it was driven like a bat out of hell by Finnish drivers in the Monte Carlo Rally.

That's what a SAAB was.

The big fat turbos were marketed off the back of that.

I hadn't heard of an air-cooled SAAB--was that the two=cylinder engine? The 3-cyl. two-strokes were water-cooled, and had the high-tech innovation of a window shade that could be raised in front of the radiator to allow the heater to work in the winter. The shade was operated from a rope in the cockpit. I once drove that Monte Carlo Rally car--had something like 90 hp., as I recall, and ran rings around, well, not much of anything.

The Bigfella
12-20-2009, 06:12 PM
I loved the old Sunbeams...I had a Sunbeam Alpine for a while with a Ford 289 engine......nothing could catch it...but would go around corners very well......the chassis died before the engine.

Sacrilege! Fancy calling a Tiger an Alpine!!!

The 289 engined Tiger was rare btw... came right at the end.

Most Tigers were 260 Ford-engined IIRC. ... oh yeah, they were all built at Jensen's West Bromwich factory, which I went through in the early 90's, not long before they folded.

My boss had a Tiger about 20 years back - with the 260 engine. He told a funny story about rebuilding it. He was running a couple of gold mines in Colorado at the time... from Sydney, so he would fly there every 3 weeks for meetings - first class too. He was bringing back the parts he needed whenever he went to the States. One trip, it was a cylinder head - cast iron of course.

The check-in chick freaked when he dropped his bag on the weigh-in and started going on about BIG excess baggage charges. He said, "perhaps you'd care to check my flight history before you talk to me about excess charges". 'Nuff said... no charge sir.

brad9798
12-20-2009, 06:12 PM
Actually, a great rant, Mobey Nick ...

UNFORTUNATELY, not much truth to it.

ANYONE in the car business knows that BUICK is ... BY FAR ... the most profitable division under the GM umbrella.

Furthermore, if you've never driven an Enclave or the new LaCrosse ... please, let's not argue about Buick ... your memory is accurate but years outdated!

:)

brad9798
12-20-2009, 06:13 PM
And really, Saab was dying before GM ... hell, GM gave it a few years more life.

Quirky ... kind of problematic cars ... really.

Pugwash
12-20-2009, 06:24 PM
It's not "carked it" just yet.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8423363.stm

The Bigfella
12-20-2009, 06:46 PM
It deserves to cark it with product styling like this....

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/46913000/jpg/_46913156_-1.jpg

Pugwash
12-20-2009, 06:53 PM
It deserves to cark it with product styling like this....

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/46913000/jpg/_46913156_-1.jpg


I've never heard of Spyker, but maybe they're the perfect match.

http://www.globalmotors.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/spyker-d12-concept.jpg

Stiletto
12-20-2009, 07:59 PM
That could pass for a retro update of a Nash Metropolitan.

The Bigfella
12-20-2009, 08:49 PM
That would be better if it did pass... on.

Dan McCosh
12-21-2009, 12:28 PM
There's also a good reason why Saab's most famous driver was Erik "on the roof" Carlsson.

John B
12-21-2009, 01:54 PM
Ah yes , the Sunbeam Tiger. If I see a Volvo P1800 I think the Saint , Tiger .. Maxwell Smart.

http://media.monstersandcritics.com/articles/1383467/article_images/smart.jpg

LeeG
12-21-2009, 03:57 PM
I've never heard of Spyker, but maybe they're the perfect match.

http://www.globalmotors.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/spyker-d12-concept.jpg

what the cark is that ?

The Bigfella
12-21-2009, 04:14 PM
Spyker do have some better looking vehicles than that, albeit with silly looking gunport air vents, etc

http://www.motorcities.com/media/image/640/06D6E114703945B/2006-Spyker-C8-Spyder-and-C12-LaTurbie-In-a-New-Movie-B-640.jpeg