San Diego SAAB Owners Group (SDSOG)

"Find Your Own Road... but bring some friends!"

SAABs 50th Anniversary Celebration

Waterville Valley, New Hampshire USA

From July 31 through August 3, 1997, SAAB lovers descended upon the resort village of Waterville Valley, New Hampshire to partake in the 50th Anniversary of SAAB's foray into the automobile industry.

The first official annual gathering of U.S. SAAB owners was in July of 1962 in Lime Rock, Connecticut where about 250 SAAB cars collected at a club event that included an 8-hour Little LeMans endurance race. At this latest event in New Hampshire, hundreds upon hundreds of SAAB cars of every model, year and description were in attendance. The sights, sounds and smells of this gathering was soul food for a SAAB fanatic and was an event that none of us will soon forget.

My family and I spent two weeks in New England, visiting relatives and enjoying significant quantities of Saabage, 18-year old Scotch and camaraderie. We had a great time at the convention with much thanks due to SAAB Cars USA.  Of course, as a fan of the vintage cars I took more pictures of the older cars than the post-1974 models. I've included links to other sites dealing with the celebration, many of which have some great coverage of the newer SAAB models.

Below, click on the thumbnails for a larger version of the photo:

SAABs on the Concourse...

It was a beautiful day to enjoy a field full of SAABen. Hundreds of cars were gathered on the resort's soccer field to be appreciated by a throng of SAAB-heads.

This is a tail-view of a 70s model 95 in very nice shape. (54K)

The same 95, from the front. Note the euro-spec headlights and headlight wipers. (57K)

A mid-60s model 96 with a good dose of auxiliary lighting. (50K)

Here's a shot of the crowd swarming over the new 9-5 models just after the unveiling. (38K)

Nice photo of a new 9-5 we took with crowd control assistance from Mr. Walter Kern himself! (41K)

This is a custom model 96 cabriolet from Swedish Motors, Inc. with "significant structural improvements"! (64K)

Here's a '74 Sonett III hangin' out with that euro-look 95. (33K)

This was taken at about the time I got that "kid-in-a-candy-store" feeling. These would all look so nice parked in the driveway next to my '73... (50K)

Here's a look over the top of those Sonetts. (57K)

SAABs at the track...

SAAB rented the New Hampshire International Speedway for the first two days of the event. Seeing all years and models of cars out on and around the track was thrilling!

This 1950 model 92 was showcased by SAAB. (37K)

A GT750 in remarkable condition! (35K)

Jack Lawrence takes the track at speed in his highly-modified Sonett racer. (44K)

Mr. Lawrence and steed after a few swift laps. (45K)

Peter Bäckström, curator of the Saab Automobile Museum in Trollhätten, Sweden takes the GT750 for a run around the track. (40K)

A remarkable concentration of rare SAAB Quantum racers. (30K)

Here's a Quantum all ready for a stab at the track. (52K)

Lined-up, fired-up and ready to roll! Man, what a sound... (42K)

SAABs and their pets...

I love SAAB-people as much as I love their cars. This event was a great opportunity to enjoy the SAAB spirit with old and new friends alike. Here are a few shots of folks...

Here, Bud Clark and the late Walter Kern discuss the Turbo Sonett that Bud built for Walter. Nice car, nice guys. (46K)

Also inspecting Bud's creative V4 fuel-injection handiwork was Chris Moberg. (46K)

Rally legend Erik Carlsson gives some encouragement to a new acquaintance. (19K)

William "Chip" Lamb with a new friend of his own. (43K)

Outside the convention center, we came across the late Walter Kern, Bob Sinclair and their lovely wives. (54K)

Take one new 9000 Turbo in a parking lot full of SAABs. Add a little good Scotch and some great friends. Stir. Toast SAAB, sip, smile. And no, the car didn't move an inch. (38K)

All photographs on this page are © 1997 Marlene S. Rogers, or © 1997 Christopher T. Rogers, all rights reserved.
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The San Diego SAAB Owners Group is not affiliated with SAAB AB, SAAB Cars USA or any other organization. 
This site is © 1997, San Diego SAAB Owners Group, all rights reserved.
Last modified: September 06, 2007