Site News - 1/3 Member of the Year: DougM

2002 Saab Owners Convention

Wed - Day 0 Fly to Indianapolis and meet up with Paul Perry from the Swedish Auto Factory in Santa Clara in the airport. Tom Remedios picks us up and we'll stay with him tonight. Tom has been the lead on the SPG that will be given away at the convention on Saturday night. When we get to Tom's house, he rolls up the garage and points to a beautifully and freshly painted black SPG. I look in through the passenger window and there's not much inside. I almost think he's kidding. There's just a milk crate in front of the steering wheel. So we ate a great Salmon dinner that Tom's wife Lynn had made for us and then we crawl inside the SPG and start working. We installed a new headliner, seatbelts, all the mirrors, all the seats, interior panels, grill, and rear windows. We don't have to work in the engine bay at all since it's already looking great! Once the seats are in, the car is looking pretty sweet. I think we finally got to be bed around 2am.

Thu - Day 1 The SPG still needs an alignment and Tom takes it to the local dealer at 8am. 4 hours later, it still hasn't made it into the service bay. Below is a snapshot of one of Tom's soon-to-be project cars - a 95 wagon with a 900 engine in the rear.

We finally made our way over to the convention site at King's Island Resort in Cincinatti OH at 4:30, arrive with a time zone change at 7:30. The first person I see at the convention is TSN chatter Doug M. I think one of the best things about the convention for me is finally meeting so many folks I've known for so long electronically. The second person I see is TSN chatter Jason Simmonds and he's got a TSN shirt on, so he wins the first of ten gift certificates given away over the weekend.

Fri - Day 2

Linda Glenday wins one of the certificates at breakfast and then I head over to the parts tent which is a MADHOUSE! Folks are scarfing up great deals on all kinds of Saab gear! TSN Sponsor Saab Savior was out there with a tent too!

I caught some of the seminars. John Moss gives the "Caring for your Turbo" talk every year, but somehow it's different every single year too! Below you can see a photo of a the now-famous coked turbo from the 80's.

I also caught the "General Care for all Saabs" given by John and Hippy from Just Saab and Saab Cars USA CEO Dan Chassins' talk about the new 9-3 Sports Sedan. Getting a glimpse at some of the raw numbers behind the car as it compared to other entry luxury cars was great and it really pushed my enthusiasm for the new model to the next level. And finally, I went to the "Collecting Saab Memorabilia" talk given by Rudy Zwiebel and Bob McNary. We saw some nifty items including the long wall ad below.

Later that afternoon, Erik Carlsson and Kevin Smith unveiled the new 9-3 Sports Sedan for the first time in North America (Western Hemisphere?). The car looks fabulous and distinctively Saab despite the missing hatchback. Doing away with the hatchback has allowed Saab to provide a more rigid body (200% increase over the 9-3 hatchback). The cockpit is all Saab and well thought out. TSN 9-3 BB regulars, and others, will be glad to hear there is a mini- jack input in between the two front seats so you can add your own portable music device into the car's soundsystem.

That afternoon, I walked around and took photos of some of the interesting Saabs and chatted with new folks I met. I met up with TSN chatter DougM and his award-winning 99 EMS. TSN Site Sponsor Taliaferro Saab was there with their red 9-3 too. The Sonett below with the painted flames was converted to rear-wheel drive. The SaabWorks Rally team of James Fox and Ethan Maas were present as well.

That evening after dinner, David E. Davis gave a spirited keynote address that everyone enjoyed. The banquet hall area was packed to SRO. Afterwards, John Moss hosted the charity auction which raised a couple thousand dollars for SICSA.

Sat - Day 3

Saturday entailed an autocross, fun road rally, and concours judging. Below you'll see a Quantum IV and other vintage and fun Saabs in great shape!

In the afternoon, we all drove over to the local high school for the group photo. I attempted to put a series of photos together below and you can see what we saw looking back at the photographer.

That evening, awards were presented for the Councours, Attendance Challenge, Photo Contest, Fun Rally, Autocross and more. Erik Carlsson presented Martha Carrellas with a special gift/award from the wives of Ralph Millet and Bob Sinclair, former Saab Cars USA CEO's. Martha, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis has been at every convention I've attended ('96 in Kirkwood CA, '99 in Keystone CO, and this year's) and I'm sure at many I have not. Her husband, Steve, has been a TSN member since 1988. I didn't manage to catch a photo of it, but Steve has modified his 9-5 Wagon to include a small lift using the CargoTracks system to maneuver Martha's motorized chair into the car with help from Saab Cars USA's John Moss. The evening ended with the raffle of the SPG which was initially won by Kevin Smith of Saab Cars USA who graciously tore up his winning ticket so that another ticket would be drawn. The SPG found a new home in Ontario Canada on the second try.

Sun - Day 4

Sunday morning saw the re-formation of the Saab Club of North America with the election of four officers: President: Garry Grimes, Vice-President: Dan Orzano, Secretary: Michael Heyse, Treasurer: Daryle Powers. On the way home, we took some back roads through Ohio and Indiana, even passing the Indiana Football Hall of Fame by chance.

Other Random Photos

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