SAAB News

Saab Festival 2024: A Global Celebration of Passion and Heritage

Relive the highlights of the 2024 Saab Festival in Trollhättan, where enthusiasts from around the world gathered to honor 40 years of the Saab 9000 and celebrate the enduring legacy of Saab.

Enthusiasts gather at the Saab Turbo Club of Sweden booth during the 2024 Saab Festival in Trollhättan, celebrating 75 years of Saab Spirit. (photo by Marko Nikitović) Enthusiasts gather at the Saab Turbo Club of Sweden booth during the 2024 Saab Festival in Trollhättan, celebrating 75 years of Saab Spirit. (photo by Marko Nikitović)

The 2024 Saab Festival in Trollhättan, Sweden, held from June 7th to June 9th, was a resounding success, attracting Saab enthusiasts from all over the world. This year’s event was particularly special as it marked the 40th anniversary of the Saab 9000. Despite the rainy weather, the festival saw a record number of visitors and car exhibits, all driven by a shared love for the iconic Saab brand. Here’s a detailed look at the highlights from this unforgettable event.

A Warm Welcome Despite the Rain

The festival opened on Friday to a sea of Saab enthusiasts, undeterred by the cold and rain. As attendees flocked to the festival grounds, the atmosphere was electric with anticipation. The Trollhättan Innovatum District, the epicenter of the event, was filled with rows of beautifully maintained Saabs, each one a testament to the dedication of its owner.

Continue reading after the ad

Peter Bäckström, curator of the Saab Car Museum, remarked on the growing number of international visitors. “It’s fascinating to see how the number of foreign visitors keeps increasing,” he said. The festival’s ability to draw enthusiasts from all corners of the globe is a testament to Saab’s enduring appeal.

NEVS Sale and Open House: A Journey Through Saab’s Heart

One of the standout events of the festival was the NEVS sale and open house, offering a rare glimpse into the former Saab Automobile plant. The sale of rare and unique Saab parts drew large crowds, with many attendees queuing for hours to secure coveted items. The event was captured in a video by Marcus & Manuela’s Saab Channel, showcasing the excitement and nostalgia of the attendees.

Nina Selander, CEO of NEVS, was visibly moved by the overwhelming turnout. “Seeing the crowd and the long lines was very emotional. It shows why it’s important to carry on Saab’s legacy,” she said. This event highlighted the deep-rooted connection Saab enthusiasts have with the brand’s history and heritage.

Continue reading after the ad

Saab Car Museum: Celebrating 40 Years of the Saab 9000

The Saab Car Museum was a hub of activity throughout the festival, with special exhibitions celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Saab 9000. Marika Szabó’s video report provided an in-depth look at the museum’s displays, featuring an array of Saab models and historical artifacts. The museum’s exhibits highlighted the innovation and engineering excellence that Saab has been known for over the decades.

The museum also hosted several seminars and talks, including a session with Rony Lutz, a legendary Saab illustrator. His session, filled with nostalgic reflections and stories, drew large crowds, reinforcing the emotional connection many attendees have with the brand.

A Melting Pot of Cultures: International Attendance

The Saab Festival attracted visitors from across the globe, with attendees from neighboring Nordic countries, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and even as far as Serbia. One notable attendee was a Serbian Saab fan who documented his journey with a striking black Saab 9-3 bearing license plates from Vršac, Serbia. This dedicated enthusiast drove nearly 2,500 kilometers one way to be part of the festival, exemplifying the lengths to which Saab fans will go to celebrate their beloved cars.

Continue reading after the ad

The Carup magazine report highlighted the chaos and excitement at the NEVS parts sale, where people queued for hours to get their hands on rare Saab items. Michiel van Tongeren from the Netherlands shared his journey, emphasizing the sentimental value of Saab in his family. These international stories underscored the shared passion that transcends borders, bringing together a diverse community united by their love for Saab.

The image of the sleek black Saab 9-3 from Vršac, proudly bearing its Serbian license plates, highlights the dedication and international spirit that Saab inspires.
The image of the sleek black Saab 9-3 from Vršac, proudly bearing its Serbian license plates, highlights the dedication and international spirit that Saab inspires. (Photo by Marko Nikitović)

Unique Cars and Their Stories

One of the festival’s highlights was the array of unique and customized Saabs on display. A particularly eye-catching car was a Saab 9-5, converted to rear-wheel drive by Jonas Kakarikas, and captured in a photograph by Marko Nikitović. This modification, uncharacteristic for Saab, showcased the innovative spirit and creativity of Saab enthusiasts.

A unique Saab 9-5, converted to rear-wheel drive by Jonas Kakarikas, showcased at the 2024 Saab Festival. This modification, captured by Marko Nikitović, highlights the innovative spirit of Saab enthusiasts.
A unique Saab 9-5, converted to rear-wheel drive by Jonas Kakarikas, showcased at the 2024 Saab Festival. This modification, captured by Marko Nikitović, highlights the innovative spirit of Saab enthusiasts.

Mattias Björnberg from Trollhättan displayed his modified Saab 9000 CSE, equipped with air suspension and a custom sound system. “I think it looks great, people love low cars,” said Mattias. His dedication to customizing his Saab to his personal taste was evident in every detail.

Continue reading after the ad

Henrik Brenander from Gothenburg shared the story of his family’s 9000 CSE, a car affectionately known as the “Daycare Car” because it was used to ferry his children to daycare. Despite its poor condition, Henrik restored the car, driven by the insistence of his now-adult children who have fond memories of the vehicle. “It’s been a race to get it ready for the festival, but it was worth it,” he said.

Saab Community: A Bond Beyond Borders

The festival was a melting pot of cultures and languages, with Saab enthusiasts from all over the world sharing their stories and experiences. Gerald and Jill Chamberlin from Carlisle, UK, recounted their first visit to Sweden in 1997 and their lifelong passion for Saab. “I’ve driven Saab all my life. It’s something special, better than the English cars,” said Gerald.

Belgian Peter De Ketelaere shared how he was practically born in a Saab, as his father drove his mother to the hospital in a 1964 two-stroke Saab. “I now take care of my father’s tenth Saab, a 2002 9-5,” said Peter. His story of enduring love for the brand, despite ups and downs, resonated with many attendees.

Continue reading after the ad

Music and Entertainment: Adding a Festive Flair

The festival’s atmosphere was further enlivened by live music performances, including the lively kravalljazzband Hejåhåmedpeter, which added a festive touch with their performances throughout the day. Their energetic renditions of classic songs, often with a Saab twist, brought joy to the attendees and kept spirits high despite the occasional downpour.

Art and Innovation: Celebrating Saab’s Creative Side

Inside the Konsthallen Trollhättan, the “Gul bil!” exhibition showcased the artistry behind Saab’s color and material design. Curated by Ingrid Karlsson and Sylvie Buller, both former Saab designers, the exhibition highlighted the complex technical process of developing a car’s color program. “It’s about creating a complete experience,” said Sylvie, who worked on the “lime yellow” color for the 2003 Saab 9-3 convertible.

Joakim Söderqvist from Årsunda displayed his highly modified Saab 96, shortened by 1,100 millimeters to create a unique convertible. “I wanted to create something unique,” said Joakim, whose dedication to his project was evident. His car, renamed V4 Jocke XXS, was a festival favorite.

A Lasting Legacy: Tattooed Memories

For some, the festival was an opportunity to make lifelong commitments to their love for Saab. Christopher Boffey from Manchester, UK, fulfilled a long-held dream by getting the Saab griffin logo tattooed on his calf. “I’ve always wanted this tattoo, but it had to be done here in Trollhättan,” said Christopher as he lay on the tattoo artist’s table.

Conclusion: A Testament to Saab’s Enduring Legacy

The 2024 Saab Festival was a testament to the enduring legacy of Saab and its passionate community. Through video reports, media coverage, and personal stories, the festival highlighted the unique bond between Saab and its enthusiasts. The event not only celebrated the brand’s rich history but also reinforced the collective effort to preserve and cherish Saab’s legacy for future generations. As the festival came to a close, the shared experiences and memories created a lasting impact, ensuring that Saab’s spirit will continue to thrive.

Continue reading after the ad

The combination of local reports, video highlights, and personal stories provided a comprehensive and engaging narrative of the Saab Festival 2024. This year’s event, marked by the 40th anniversary of the Saab 9000, will be remembered as a celebration of automotive innovation, community spirit, and unwavering dedication to a beloved brand.

Zoran Anicic
the authorZoran Anicic
A devoted car enthusiast and proud owner of a Saab 9-3 TiD Sportcombi for five years, brings a unique perspective to SaabPlanet.com. His firsthand experience as a Saab owner, coupled with his passion for automobiles, adds a personal touch to the blog's content.

Leave a Reply