My Saab

The Last Saab Adventurers

Here is another amazing Saab story about an exceptional adventure that Saab enthusiasts set out on with their favorite Saab machines. At the center of this adventure is Dejan Kondić, who lives and works in Munich, and his brother Darko. Dejan is first and foremost a big fan of the Saab brand and the owner of several exceptional Saab cars.

He is so lucky to own a real Saab 9-5 Troll R Sedan, which has left the factory as a brand new car and was delivered to Hirsch Performance in St. Gallen, where it was converted to a Full Option Hirsch car. So no Afterwards conversion, the car was dismantled as a brand new one and was proudly reborn as a TrollR there. And that’s not all, Dejan owns a few more Saab pearls, besides the TrollR he has a 400hp+ 9000 Aero, a 1990 Saab 9000 Carlsson and a Saab 9-3 Turbo X

Only one part is excluded from the Saab collection in Dejan's possession
Only one part is excluded from the Saab collection in Dejan’s possession

We hope to have the opportunity to present each of these exceptional cars to you soon, but in this blog post we will have fun with a real Saab adventure. In 2013, Dejan and his brother Darko formed a team that participated in the Allgäu-Orient Rally (aka Europa Orient Rallye), which went from the German town of Oberstaufen all the way to the Jordanian capital Amman. They covered over 8000 km in their Saab 9000 cars that Dejan personally prepared for that race.

Below you can read an exciting adventure from Europe to the Orient from the pen of the participant Dejan himself.

Die letzten Saabenteurer - Saab 9000 team consisting of three Saab crews
Die letzten Saabenteurer – Saab 9000 team consisting of three Saab crews

“Die letzten Saabenteurer

by Dejan Kondić

If you ask me what i think of first when talking about Saab, beside my enthusiasm and love for the brand i immediately think of the two key values: innovation and reliability!

Unfortunately i have suffered from a lot of predjudices towards the Saab cars like they were unreliable or problematic (certainly it doesnt help that i live in Southern Germany where BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Porsche come from and people just dont open their eyes to something different), but i always have had the feel that the cars are basically the best cars ever built – if maintained properly and driven conscientious.

Saab team on a short break - The rules of this rally prohibit the use of highways
Saab team on a short break – The rules of this rally prohibit the use of highways

Allgäu-Orient-Rallye

So i always looked for a chance to show everyone out there, how capable and mighty those cars really are and how reliable they can be. After hearing about the “Allgäu-Orient-Rallye” (today called “Europa-Orient-Rallye”) for the first time, it was clear to me that i want to join there and take part in Saabs of course.

Thanks to my also enthusiastic brother with the same hang for adventure, we decided to create the team called “Die letzten Saabenteurer” which translated means “The last Saab adventurers“.

It was also my brother who is responsible for our participiation there, because the registering process was a limited timeslot on the Rallyes website on 07.07.2012 at 01:11 AM where he succesfully was able to be one of the 111 happys ones catching a starting place.

111 teams

So the rally consists of 111 teams per 3 cars and 6 people, so 666 participiants and 333 cars! (the value of the cars, musnt be over 1111€ – that was the rally rules!)

Saab 9000 cars in the middle of the desert
Saab 9000 cars in the middle of the desert

And it wasnt just a conventional rally, it was a charity race in first place where during the trip you have to solve different tasks and support different charity events. At the end of the rally, all cars where donated and put to auction and from the earnt money social projects in Jordan where supported, like building schools, hospitals or childcare.

The route was starting point “Oberstaufen” in Germany, over Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, (Syria), Israel, Jordan and had about 8000km in total.

Sounds exiting? Even more exiting was, that motorways/highways where forbidden and you had to drive on rural country roads all the way – all team were GPS tracked and would be disqualified if driven on those roads.

There is plenty to tell about and dozens of unforgatable memories, emotions and superunique views all over our 8000 km journey, but that surely would fill a whole book so i concentrate on the cars and on the one year long preparation.

Three Saab Cruisers

All of our 3 cars, 1 x Saab 9000 CC 2.0 manual (without DI), 1 x Saab 9000 CS 2.0i manual (with DI), 1 x Saab 9000 2.3 Turbo CSE have been prepared by ourself or basically by me and my brother, our other team mates concentrated on routes, visa, country regulations, organisation, food, contacts and tasks (so i was happy to have the car job here).

Saab team on the border with Jordan
Saab team on the border with Jordan

Having a big part supplier as one of our sponsors, we were able to overhaul our 9000 and to give them a kinda new life status – and thats how they really felt. We also painted them ourselfs so that our relationship to the cars was very close.

No breakdown on the 8000 km long road

Whats so memorable to me is, that from all the 111 teams which started, we were basically the only ones without any technical issues or problems! We had 2 punctures in total and on ripped of fuel-tank-strap – thats it!

In comparison, other teams driving fairly reliable cars like old W124 Mercedes even have lost axles, fuel tanks or their differentails or engines due to the bad roads.

Three Saab 9000 cars reached the finish line after 8000km without any breakdowns
Three Saab 9000 cars reached the finish line after 8000km without any breakdowns

Our three yellow Saab 9000 where becoming better and better with every kilometer and while we have seen several other competitors broken down all over the route (where we of course always stopped for help with one or another genius solution), our three “elks” were successfully eating up kilometer per kilometer.
No matter if terrible rainfalls all over austria, snow in east turkish highlands or sand in the 50 degress celsius jordan dessert – our three Saabs were just a perfect partner to fully rely on.

So thanks to the cars it was pure driving pleasure and enjoyment of the trip for us and looking back to our chosen cars in the rally fleet i would quote “Who laughs last, laughs best“!

Long live Saab!


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