My Saab

Childhood In The Back Seat of a Saab 96

The Blinken family’s 2008 Saab 93 and 2001 Saab 93. The Blinkens own five Saabs. Saab story by WSJ

Yesterday’s The Wall Street Journal brings readers an interesting, true Saab story about an American family whose Saab entered their DNA. In this story, the lead role is Cathy Blinken, 51, a sourcing expert with Citigroup living in Rutherford, N.J., who met Saab cars while she was still a child.

Growing up alone with her parents because her brother was much older, Cathy spent her childhood in the back seat of their 1969 Saab 96. She and her parents traveled all over Amaerica at that time in that cute little Saab.

As she says herself, Thanks to these numerous trips, she has learned a lot about cars and everything that goes with cars. She learned to navigate with the help of maps, then how to drive cars with a manual transmission, which are a real rarity in the US, and how to easily overcome roads under snow with the help of Saab.

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As a result, Saab became part of her DNA and passed on her love for this favorite Swedish brand to her family. This has resulted in something similar to many “Saab families” around the world who own and drive only Saab cars.  Today, her family owns five of them.

As for her choice of her personal car, there was no dilemma – her choice was a black 2001 Saab 93 convertible, which her family found in South Carolina and bought for her for her 40th birthday just over ten years ago.

Cathy passed on her love for Saab cars to her husband David who also drives a Saab convertible but is yellow in color. And she didn’t stop there, she passed on the “Saab fever” to their children, so their two sons in college also own Saab cars, and they all drive Saab cars with a manual transmission.

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Such a typical Saab story, and yet special in a way. And that’s not all, that Saab 96 in which Cathy grew up, is still on wheels and in good condition thanks to her uncle where she is now and who has completely renovated the car.

Thanks to WSJ for conveying this warm Saab story to readers, and we are transmitting it here and want to keep it from oblivion and join a large number of similar Saab stories.

Goran Aničić
the authorGoran Aničić
For over 10 years, Goran Aničić has been passionately focused on Saab automobiles and everything related to them. His initial encounter with Saab cars took place back in 2003 when the first Saab 9-3 and sedan version were introduced. At that moment, he was captivated by the car's Scandinavian design logic and top-notch engineering, and everything that followed stemmed from that first encounter. Later on, through his work at the editorial team of the Serbian automotive magazines "Autostart" and later "AutoBild," he had the opportunity to engage more closely with Saab vehicles. In 2008, he tested the latest Saab cars of that time, such as the Saab 9-3 TTiD Aero and Saab 9-3 Turbo X. In 2010, as the sole blogger from the region, he participated in the Saab 9-5ng presentation in Trollhättan, Sweden. Alongside journalists from around the world, he got a firsthand experience of the pinnacle of technological offerings from Saab at that time. Currently, Goran owns two Saabs: a 2008 Saab 9-3 Vector Sportcombi with a manual transmission, and a Saab 9-3 Aero Griffin Sport Sedan from the last generation, which rolled off the production line in Trollhättan in December 2011.


  • I also traveled in the back seat of Saab 96.
    My father purchased a brand new Saab 96 MY1980 and drove 150 000 kms until he sold it.
    That was his first and last Saab.

    Fast forward 16 years and I switched from Fords to Saabs. And here I am… we have only Saabs as family cars.

  • Cathy and David had all of their SAAB’s serviced at our service center in Albany NY. They always made the trip up to see us. Wonderful people.

    Greg Smith

  • My childhood was happily spend, facing backwards, with my sister on the tiny backseat of a Saab 95 2-takt kombi.

  • Hi Everyone!! So happy to join you in this forum. LOVE our Saabs and all the memories made in them. Had to peel the XWD Wagon away from my son. Glad our adult kids are loving them just as much. Miss you, Greg Smith! Saab Forever.

  • My son bought his first car, a 2006 Saab 9-3, a month ago, after apparently being infected by his parents, and drove off to college last week. His childhood was also spent in Saabs, initially facing backwards. My late wife and I have had three 900’s, a 900 II and a 9-5. One of the 900’s moved with us to Europe and back, and the 9-5 moved with us to Europe in 2012.

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