Enthusiasts rally round SAAB across the globe

| 18 Jan 2012

When a group of enthusiasts in the Netherlands put out a clarion call for worldwide meetings to express support for beleaguered SAAB and publicise its plight, the result was an astonishing 100 meetings in 40 countries.

In the UK alone, the response from the Saab Owners' Club of Great Britain (SOC) was five regional events with over 250 cars and 500 members taking part.

Dutch SAAB enthusiast and organiser of the initiative, Nic Schelelkens, said: "The bankruptcy hit many SAAB enthusiasts, as well as those directly or indirectly involved with SAAB, rather hard.

"In order to show our support, we wanted to show our enthusiasm for SAAB by means of worldwide meetings. By getting as many people as possible together, we wanted to show clearly that SAAB may be bankrupt, but the brand itself is very much alive."

SOC held meetings in Cumbria, Lancashire, Derbyshire, Bedfordshire and Devon with some Club members making round trips of over 500 miles.

At the former SAAB GB headquarters in Cranfield, the meeting was joined by Erik Carlsson, who put SAAB on the motor sport map back in the 1960s with his series of rallying wins in his 96 two-stroke.

Carlsson was also joined by the former MD of SAAB GB, Charles Toosey, who has formed a new company, Saab Parts UK to supply authorised SAAB repairers with a more consistent parts supply.

Other events were equally successful from scenic tours starting at the Angel of the North (main image) to meetings at dealerships in Glossop, Yelverton and Blackburn. The Newcastle meeting boasted a 1966 96 V4, possibly the oldest one in the world.

Mike Philpott, Saab Owners' Club Chairman, said: "It was a fantastic turnout exceeding all expectations. It just shows the magnitude of support for SAAB so any potential investors should act quickly to get this iconic marque up and running again.

"It will be important in the months and years to come that the Saab Owners' Club of Great Britain and clubs worldwide continue to maintain this spirit within the worldwide community. We will certainly be working hard to take care of the interests of our members and to keep all of these great cars on the road for many years to come."

Were you at one of the meetings? If so, send us pictures and we'll add them here to demonstrate the full extent of the global response.