There is another interesting Saab story that resembles many stories around the world. Unfortunately, many of these interesting and valuable Saab stories do not reach the general public, so here we are trying to publish as many of these encouraging stories as possible. This is the story of a Saab car that has a rich history and will be saved by the enthusiasm of one fan of the marque.
David Grimshaw shared his Saab story on social media, and we are relaying this story in this place so that it will not be forgotten. He created threed at one of the many gathering places for Saab lovers to document progress on his 1968 Saab 96, which he called Gladys.
His friend suggested he call this car Gladys after the original owner, Gladys Taylor (1910-2012), who drove the car from 1968 until 1985. Really, Appropriate to name the car after its original lady owner. The Saab was parked in ’85 when Mrs. Taylor moved away from Ekalaka, MT, where she and her husband ran the local newspaper.
Although she returned to Ekalaka later in life, she never drove the Saab again, and her son sold it on circa 2000. The car was then owned for several years by a college student, who sold the car on when she left Montana. It ended up in the collection of Charles Reiter in Texas.
David purchased the car from his widow. There is a blank space in the car’s history between the second owner and Charles, and there were a number of “modifications” that he don’t think somebody well versed in Saabs, as Charles was, would have made. Otherwise though the car is surprisingly original. This is not a bad opportunity for anyone to recognize this car, to be able to suggest to David what the missing history was.
Although the 96 is pretty complete and solid, was run into something at some point, and the front end is a bit misshaped (grill is from a stroker as well) and it seems to have been repainted after this incident. David intend to build a car in the style of Ingvar Lindqvist’s Baja Saabs out of it. It’s messy enough that he don’t care about its originality, but solid enough to be a good base for such a project.
Two California SAAB Dealers, Olle Andersson of Seaside, and Ingvar Lindqvist of Culver City participated at that time in what must have been one of the roughest rallies ever run on the American Continent – the Mexican 1000, the lenght of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula.
After inspecting the car when it was taken over, David noticed interesting stickers, including a Dana Motors service mark. The car was serviced by Dana Motors, who’re still around and still servicing Saabs in Billings today. As all Saab, their first owners were always someone’s intersted and worth to remember. Good luck to David with her she already looks great.