Saabs from around the World

Coast to Coast in a classic Saab 96

Ray Kopczynski and his Saab 96Ray Kopczynski and his Saab 96

Most owners of Saab classic cars would not dare to go on a longer trip with their Saab. There are many reasons for this attitude, but there are also those who can go on trips with their classic Saab at any time. One of them is Ray Kopczynski, who also deserved the attention of the New York Times. This great Saab enthusiast who is a city councilor in Albany (Oregon), has no fear of embarking on any long journey with his classic 1965 Saab 96. And above all, this is his daily car, which he uses every day on a slightly shorter track.

This July Ray embarked on a long journey from his hometown all the way to Albany, N.Y. for the Saab Owners ’Convention. Practically, this is a real journey “from coast to coast” of America, which has intrigued many over the centuries, especially with the appearance of motor vehicles in the last century. For the most part, the goal of these trips was to cover this fairly long distance as quickly as possible, while for others this trip was pure pleasure, unlimited in time.

Coast to Coast in a Classic Car
Coast to Coast in a Classic Car, although Google says you can cross it this time in 44 hours, it’s still much easier and more comfortable to cross it in a few days

A long drive in a classic car does not mean insanely fast driving, but a slow ride with numerous stops, with the possible occasional “engine failure”. This is exactly the type of trip Ray loves, who needed to cover this long journey of almost 3,000 miles, and back, in about 20 days.

And if you ask him, even though trips like this bring problems with them, are a real pleasure. It was not easy at all, so for example Ray lost about 10 pounds during the trip, attributing it to high heat, high humidity and irregular meals. In addition to the great heat in the Saab’s cabin, the heat under the hood was also a problem for Ray. Heat also became an issue when Kopczynski had to turn on the car’s heater, which he did to help cool the engine as the Saab chugged over the Rockies.

Ray Kopczynski described the back-to-back cross-country odyssey
Ray Kopczynski described the back-to-back cross-country odyssey

However, in addition to the heat, an even bigger problem in this timeless Saab is noise. The cabin noise of these classic Saab cars is only bearable on short journeys,which is partly why Kopczynski brought noise-canceling headphones for the trip. The engine and exhaust system are very noisy, and there is no sound insulation like in modern cars.

In addition to the New York Times, Ray’s epic journey was covered by the local Democrat Herald, so in their article “Saab trip: Never again, except for maybe next year” you can read a detailed description of all the troubles that Ray encountered, which he described to the journalist of this daily newspaper.