SAAB Advertising

Unraveling the Mystery: The Eccentricities of Saab’s Packed Trunks

Saab's Packed Trunks: Unraveling the Mystery and Embracing Adventure

This image showcases a vintage Saab 99, its trunk bursting with a fascinating array of objects. The sepia-toned photograph captures the essence of curiosity and adventure, inviting viewers to unravel the mystery within.This image showcases a vintage Saab 99, its trunk bursting with a fascinating array of objects. The sepia-toned photograph captures the essence of curiosity and adventure, inviting viewers to unravel the mystery within.

In the realm of automotive brochure images, there is a particular fascination with showcasing the impressive capacity and versatility of a car’s trunk or cargo area. Saab, known for its quirky and innovative approach to design, embraced this trend with a 1978 brochure featuring a Saab 99 bursting at the seams with a diverse assortment of items. While these images captivate our imagination, they also leave us pondering the intended purpose and destination of these peculiar cargos.

The Inventory

Let’s take a closer look at the intriguing assortment of objects found in the back of that Saab. As we delve into the inventory, we’re greeted with a watering can, a coiled hose or cable, a television set, a pair of oars, and what appears to be a ladder. Among the enigmatic items are a manual lawnmower without an engine, a tartan bag (potentially for golf), a potted plant, a shiny red cylindrical object, and an ornate lampshade.

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The famous Saab advertising photo that suggests the practicality of 5 doors and a huge luggage space
The famous Saab advertising photo that suggests the practicality of 5 doors and a huge luggage space

We also encounter a birdcage (?! )— a curiously popular inclusion in such imagery—and alongside it, a large orange-striped duffel bag, a long light-wood item that could be furniture or a sled, and another light wood piece that resembles a shelf or stand. Rounding out the collection, we spot a white object that could be a colossal marshmallow or a life preserver, and a staff with a ring whose purpose eludes us.

The Speculations

As we survey this eclectic assortment, various speculations emerge among the comments of intrigued readers:

  1. A Road Trip Misadventure: One reader recalls a family road trip in a Saab 99, reminiscing about a frozen transmission on the NY thruway and the ensuing hours of waiting for a tow truck. This scenario suggests that perhaps these adventurous souls are embarking on a journey, albeit one that may be filled with unexpected roadside setbacks.
  2. Mysterious Secrets: Another reader playfully speculates about darker intentions. In their imaginative narrative, Annika and Sven dispose of a grandmother’s body and abscond with the valuables from her cottage, carefully orchestrating their getaway. The birdcage, in this scenario, becomes an item to be sold for profit, contributing to their new life in the Caribbean.
  3. Saab Quirkiness: A Saab enthusiast muses about the possibility of a unique ventilation system, drawing a connection between the birdcage and the canary in a coal mine analogy. However, this theory seems unlikely, considering that Saab cars are neither air-cooled nor rear-engined.
  4. A Summer Vacation: A reader familiar with Swedish culture suggests that the packed Saab is en route to a sommarstuga, a vacation house. This explanation aligns with the idyllic image of a Swedish family enjoying their summer retreat and emphasizes the practicality of the Saab’s cargo space.

The Enduring Appeal

Beyond the various speculations, the fascination with these overflowing trunks lies in the imaginative possibilities they evoke. They ignite a sense of adventure, mystery, and individuality, while showcasing the practicality and versatility of Saab’s design. Whether it’s a cross-country journey, an escapade laden with secrets, or a simple summer getaway, these brochure images tap into our desire for exploration and the unexpected.

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The sight of a packed Saab 99 trunk from a 1978 brochure triggers a flurry of speculation and wonder among automotive enthusiasts. From practical items like gardening tools and sports equipment to mysterious objects that defy explanation, the eclectic assortment conjures a range of narratives and scenarios.

While we may never know the exact intentions behind the collection of items, one thing is certain: Saab managed to capture our imaginations with their creative approach to showcasing the practicality and versatility of their vehicles.

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 believe there is an additional detail you didn’t mention: the woman is driving, not the man – against the stereotype as specially in that period.
    So Saab seems to try to break with these.
    I think Saab is showing how we can transport fragile things with safety and to have a versatile lifestyle taking care for many different this related to nature.
    What do you think?
    Nils, I love and drive Saabs since almost 30 years.
    As an industrial design engineer with my know how manufacture and is open to study how to manufacture some missing or interesting parts for our beloved cars.

  • We used to camp with our 99 – put a tent, a footlocker, 2 tote bins, multiple suitcases, box of food, camp stove, lantern, 2 gallons of water and a 92-pound Doberman and her bed back there. She loved it, and even had her own door to get in and out. 😊

  • I had a 9000 Turbo with a hatchback. I was able to put a full sized refrigerator in the back and close the hatch

  • Loaded a whole Vespa VBA, 10ltr jerrycan, box of beers, sleeping bag, luggage for a long weekend in Hamburg. 900km smoothest and coolest ride frim Munich you could wish for ❤️

  • Lol, if you ad two kids on the top of the backseat …. it is the perfect picture of my sister and mine summerholidays.

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