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Uniting Through a Shared Passion: The Extraordinary Tale of Three Friends and Their Beloved Red Saab Convertibles

A Remarkable Coincidence Bonds Vincent, Jane, and Charles in Their Love for a Rare Saab 9-3 Convertible

Uniting through their shared passion, Jane Hughes, Vincent O'Brien, and Charles Richards proudly pose with their rare red Saab convertibles, showcasing the timeless elegance of these remarkable vehicles against the backdrop of Formby's picturesque streets. Their chance meeting and love for these classic cars have created an unbreakable bond that continues to flourish in the heart of their tight-knit community.Jane Hughes, Vincent O'Brien and Charles Richards with their rare red Saab convertibles in Formby (Image: Liverpool Echo)

In a Saab story that can only be described as fate’s intricate design, three individuals from Formby—Vincent O’Brien, 81, Charles Richards, 75, and Jane Hughes, 69—discovered an extraordinary connection when a chance meeting revealed their shared ownership of the rare and discontinued red Saab 9-3 convertible. This serendipitous encounter not only brought them together but also forged a lasting friendship fueled by their mutual adoration for these timeless vehicles.

A trio of Saab lovers

Formby, a charming town where these events unfolded, played host to this remarkable tale of chance encounters and unbreakable bonds. While Charles and Jane had already crossed paths prior to this extraordinary encounter, it was Charles’ spontaneous meeting with Vincent in Formby village that unveiled their shared passion for the iconic Saab convertibles. The undeniable coincidence that all three Saabs don the same vibrant shade of red and appear meticulously maintained, as if fresh from the showroom, only added to the allure of their connection.

Recalling the pivotal moment, Vincent shared with the ECHO, “I was enjoying a leisurely coffee outside the village cafe about a year ago when a gentleman approached me and inquired about the red Saab parked across the street. To my surprise, he revealed that he owned an identical model in the same striking color.

Eager to explore this newfound connection, the two gentlemen soon discovered their proximity as neighbors and embarked on an enthralling conversation. It was during this discussion that Vincent learned of an extraordinary coincidence—their exclusive Saab models were a rarity not only in Formby but also across the globe.

The gentleman shared tales of a single other Saab, mirroring theirs in every aspect, being housed by a lady residing nearby. Vincent’s intrigue deepened as he realized that their cars were united not only by their distinctive features but also by their geographical proximity.

The Saab trio enjoy their unique Saab convertibles
The Saab trio enjoy their unique Saab convertibles (Image: Liverpool Echo)

For Vincent and Charles, their choice of the red Saab was not merely a matter of personal preference but a heartfelt homage to their beloved football team, Liverpool FC. These remarkable vehicles represented more than a means of transportation; they were symbols of dedication and loyalty. Vincent, a proud owner of his Saab for over a decade, and Charles, who acquired his dream car five years ago to fulfill a lifelong ambition, found solace and fulfillment in their vibrant convertibles.


Charles nostalgically reminisced, “During my twenties, I possessed a small red sports car that held a special place in my heart. Unfortunately, I parted ways with it prematurely. However, when I acquired the Saab a few years ago, it rekindled that old flame within me. It felt like I had finally reclaimed my cherished car.”

Jane, the third member of this fortuitous trio, had acquired her Saab in 2010, a gift from her late husband. Despite the offers she received from interested buyers over the years, Jane adamantly refused to part with her beloved car. In her unwavering devotion, she found solace and a lasting connection to her husband’s memory.

The Saab Automobile company, founded in Sweden in 1945, witnessed a significant turn of events when American car giant General Motors acquired a 50% share of the business in 1989. This partnership led to Saab becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Motors in 2000, only to face bankruptcy in 2011. However, the impact of Saab’s rich legacy and innovative designs endured, resonating with enthusiasts like Vincent, Charles, and Jane, who considered their Saab convertibles as future classics.

Beyond the shared love for their exceptional cars, it was the unique bond they formed that truly captivated these newfound friends. Charles remarked, “They are both wonderful individuals, and it’s incredible to think that we might have never crossed paths if it weren’t for our shared passion for these cars. Owning a sports car as an older individual wasn’t about appearances for me; it was about the sheer joy of driving it.

The Formby Red Saab Convertible Club

Inspired by their remarkable connection, Vincent took the initiative to establish the Formby Red Saab Convertible Club, serving as a platform for the trio to connect and share their experiences. The club’s formation led to their virtual friendship on WhatsApp, allowing them to continue nurturing their shared passion even when not behind the wheels of their beloved Saabs.

This extraordinary tale of friendship, forged through a mutual appreciation for the rare and captivating red Saab convertibles, exemplifies the power of chance encounters and the unifying force of shared passions. Vincent, Jane, and Charles continue to treasure their bond and their remarkable automobiles, ensuring that the spirit of their Saabs lives on in the roads of Formby and in the memories they create together.

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