Site stats: March 2008

Another month has passed us by and it’s time for the Trollhattan Saab site statistics for March 2008.

There were a comparatively pedestrian 189 articles posted here during the month, averaging out at around 6 articles per day. I’ve had some medical issues this month that will be ongoing for a little while so the posting pace will continue to be moderate.

Here’s the chart for the month. Looks kinda like there was only one good day. But boy, what a day!

March 2008

That one day that made everything else look so small was, of course, the release of the Saab 9-X BioHybrid at the Geneva Motor Show. That one day we had in excess of 22,000 page views.

For the month, the website has averaged 8,216 page views per day, served to an average of 4,869 people per day.

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Some of the prominent entries for the month were:

Revelation of the name of the 9-X BioHybrid – 31 comments

The reveal of the first studio and live shots of the Saab 9-X BioHybrid – over 110 comments combined

My 0.02c on the 9-X BioHybrid – 36 comments

What’s going on with the Saab 9-3 – 32 comments

A poll on the conspicuous rear end of the Saab 9-6 BioHybrid – 66 comments

Eggs’ call for 9-5 cosmetic assistance – 34 comments

The Viggen Brand – a hard lesson learned – 29 comments

The Saab hockey stick and the future – 27 comments

Jan-Ake Jonsson: new Saab 9-5 in 2009 – 32 comments

Chat transcript: Anthony Lo – 27 comments (including Anthony himself)

Which Saab would you buy for your kids – 31 comments

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They were all good, but the undoubted highlight for me, personally, was the chance to record an interview with Saab USA’s former chief, Mr Bob Sinclair. If you haven’t listened to it yet, please consider doing so as it’s a great story.

Bob’s a true trailblazer, in the non-vehicular sense of the word.

Everyone’s selling Viggens!!

Just out of curiosity (the Alfa thing isn’t a done deal just yet) I thought I’d go and take a look at the Saab Sonett classifieds over at Saabnet. Unfortunately I drew a big zero there. Not one Sonett there on the blocks.

However, if you’re after a Viggen, there’s an absolute smorgasboard to choose from. I couldn’t believe it!

The 9-3 classifieds there are all thrown in together, so you’ve got anything from 1998 to now eligible for sale there. I didn’t doa precise count, but I’m pretty sure the Viggen would be the biggest individual model represented there. That’s quite remarkable when you consider that it was a limited edition model.

All colors of the rainbow (bar red) are available, too.

Why are so many people selling their Viggens?

Viggens

A longer look inside the Saab V6

Tedjs recently took us on a brief tour of the fuel injection system on the 2.8 V6 that powers the Saab 9-3 Aero. This time, he’s giving us a closer, more in depth look as he slowly takes a bit more of this engine apart.

TedJS is a GM World Class Technician and professorial type at Tri-C – a community college in Ohio.

Many thanks, Ted. These inside looks have been fantastic.

Click to enlarge.

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The Saab version of the (GM) high feature V6 engine uses a fairly common DOHC setup with one camshaft actuating the intake valves and one actuating the exhaust valves. An advantage of a DOHC cam setup is that allows the use of a ‘Pentroof’ style combustion chamber in which the sparkplug is centrally located in the center of the combustion chamber which results in a more complete burn of the air/fuel mixture. The other advantage is that is helps to reduce the valvetrain mass (in comparison to pushrod setup) by having the camshaft essentially actuate each valve by acting right on or near the valve itself.

Saab V6

The spark plug is centrally located in-between the two intake and exhaust valves. You can see the bee-hive style variable rate valve springs as well as roller followers in contact with the camshaft that open and close the valve:

Saab V6

Continue reading

Per Eklund drives the Turbo X through space

With thanks to Kroum for the heads-up, here’s a quick video of Per Eklund giving demo drives of the Turbo in northern Sweden.

It’s quite amazing how he can just cruise at these speeds on ice. Everything looks stable, quite unshaken.

It’s also pretty cool how the lights illuminate the road only, leaving everything beyond the snowbanks completely black. It’s a Saab on the snowy superhighway in space! Or something…..

Enjoy.

Oh the humanity!!!!

Sighted on Ebay….

This is a Saab Sonett II, apparently stuffed with a Chevy 350 engine (a sign of things to come?)

It’s from a calendar and apparently the guy sells pages from these calendars individually, I guess for the rarity of the image. The things people can do to earn some cash these days…..

You poor baby. Come to papa……

Saab Sonett II

Monday Snippets

Don’t leave valuables visible in your car.

It sounds like an old message and a common sense one, at that. People still manage to ignore it and suffer the consequences (I’m not blaming the owners, though, it’s the thieves who deserve a good kicking).

iPods seem to a very popular item so if you can’t take it with you, make sure it’s locked up in your glovebox.

A thief stole an iPod and $3 in loose change after slashing the convertible top on a 2007 Saab in the 400 block of Ocean Drive between 11:30 p.m. March 20 and 5 a.m. March 21. The iPod was valued at $200.

But what price for the top on the convertible and the inconvenience of having it replaced?

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Some years ago I owned an Alfa Sprint, similar to the one I test drove yesterday. One thing I’d forgotten about that car was how bad the seats were. They look fantastic in pictures but in reality it’s like they disappear half way up your back. Not even close to a Saab seat.

Even junkyard moggies know where the good seats are!!

Saab seat

from Flickr

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Two notable things from this Flickr shot:

It’s from Holland and yes, she’s actually wearing clogs. I always see that as something the Dutch used to do, but I believe they’re still popular with the locals.

Secondly, I’d love to see the rest of that 99. It looks a lot like my first Saab and it looks to be in great condition.

Saab 99

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I don’t want to create a political storm here, but I think there’s a worldwide consensus opinion that George Dubya Bush hasn’t exactly done the office of the President too many favours.

Saab whitehouseOthers would be less kind.

But this picture (click to enlarge) shines a different light on the administration. Note the 9-3 in the White House car park. Adds a touch of class, and I can’t help but feel that the Presidency has been lifted just half a notch in my esteem as a result.

Perhaps it’s a representative from the next administration taking measurements for new carpets and curtains?

Sent in by Arild, who appears not to have been restrained for doing so.

Sunday Snippets

Well, that’s another birthday done and dusted. My 39th year is underway!!

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Add another two to the list of movies with Saabs in them.

Russell Crowe is starring in a flick called State of Play. It’s being filmed in Washington and sees Crowe driving a light blue Saab 900 from the early 1980′s. The film also features Ben Affleck (which is a worry) and Rachel McAdams, and it’s a political/mystery/thriller thingy.

Like most things featuring Saabs recently, however, you’re getting notice well in advance. The movie will come out in 2009.

AND

There’s a new movie about to hit screens (maybe it has already) called Martian Child. It features both Cusacks, a kid who lives in a box, and a Saab 9-5 wagon.

Looks OK. Here’s the preview. Thanks Markac.

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Saab 900If you’ve got a Saab 99 or 900 then there’s a high likelihood that you’ve had to fix the roof lining at some stage. I tried to do it myself in my old 99T and failed miserably. The shell was busted due to water exposure from the sunroof.

I guy on Flickr has just posted some photos of his attempt at doing the job. We’ve only got the ‘before’ photos so far and I’ll keep an interested eye on my Flickr feed to see how it goes. I wish him well, but taking it all apart is the easy bit…..

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A relative on Andy Rupert’s recently sent him these four “business card” promotions, which he received at the Columbus Auto Show. Each features a different model with some facts about the car and Andy says they’re very well done.

Interesting addition to the marketing effort, and an interesting story by Andy as well :-)

Saab

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And finally, I drove this today in part one of the Alfa experiment. It’s a 1987 Sprint with a whopping 105hp!! I used to have a 1982 version of this prior to getting my first 99T.

The output isn’t quite a paltry as it sounds as the car only weighs something like 970kg and it still feels like it’s getting along pretty quickly. It sounds awesome and handles like it’s on rails. Fun fun fun, but I’m not sure it’s the one for me.

Alfa Sprint

Why I love to drive

I’m sure there are reasonable people out there for whom horses are a hobby that consumes their every thought. There are stamp collectors, gardeners, painters, trekkies, pigeon fanciers, football fans and fetishists. It takes all types to make up a world.

Me? I love to drive.

I love the connection between man and machine.

I love the way I can see so much of where I live in such a pleasurable way.

I have no idea how they do it, but I love the way engineers make everything fit. It must be a skill as some cars are so much more enjoyable to drive than others.

I love the feeling of a sweeping right-hander.

I love seeing a view open up as you pass over a crest.

I love overtaking.

I love the kick of a turbo and the breathless manner in which my Saabs get up hills.

I love a good exhaust note, especially in a tunnel.

I love a unknown road, some good music and good company. Do you need much more than that on a weekend?

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This is one of my favourite bits of road. It’s about 10 minutes or so from my place and it’s called Grasstree Hill.


View Larger Map

Grasstree Hill is one of the stages in the famous tarmac rally we have here every year, called Targa Tasmania. The event happens next month and already the do-gooding ninnies around the state are calling for it to be banned as they see it as a form of organised hooning for the rich. Don’t get me started.

We’re fortunate here in Tasmania in that we have some absolutely spectacular driving roads, most within an hour of one of our four main cities, and all pretty decently surfaced as well. It really is a driver’s paradise here.

Last weekend we took the WRX out for some filming and discovered yet another fantastic bit of road. I’m hoping to finish editing the video from that trip in the next week, but here’s a couple of screenshots to whet the appetite:

WRX

WRX

Of course, great roads are pointless if you don’t have a car that’s up to driving them.

Yet another reason why I love my Saabs. The low end torque makes getting up to speed an absolute breeze. The absolute masses of power and torque available in the Viggen make the drive exciting (ok, it’s partly because you’ve got to work so much to keep that chassis under control) and the cabin makes almost any drive a joy.

Again, it’s the total package in a Saab that makes it so worthwhile. I can leave home in my 900, be at Grasstree Hill in around 10 minutes, spend 15 minutes or so doing a return trip and then call into the hardware store on my way home and fill the hatch up with all manner of stuff to take home.

What other car gives you the best of both worlds like the Saab hatch does?