The Saab of Aunt Cornely


Saab made cars for individualists. Aunt Cornely was an internist, unmarried all her life and a Saab driver. She preferred to drive blue cars, but also had a silver-gray Saab. Aunt Cornely was highly educated, highly intelligent, a bit quirky, and she had a penchant for safety. She was what was once a typical Saab owner M / V.

It was a stubborn brand

In Scandinavia, the automotive industry had very different criteria than the competition in the rest of the world. Once chosen models were cherished. But the evolution in the field of safety was constantly altered. That did not result in the most swinging, modern, leading bodyworks, but in well-thought-out, solid and safe cars. Cars that lasted a long time. Aunt Cornely had decided that the trade-in point for her Saabs was at 100.000 kilometers. After that the car usually ended up in the family or acquaintance circle. To then go a few more tons. Oh yes: she gave her cars the names of ancient Nordic Gods ...

So in 1976 it was time for 'Njord'

Always handy to know: Njord is the husband of the giantess Skaði and father of Yngvi-Freyr and Freyja. According to the Heimskringla, their mother was Njords own sister. The name of his sister could also be Njord, according to a name reconstruction of a Suevi goddess, which Tacitus translated into Latin as "Nerthus" (= Njörðr). He stayed in Nóatún ("Shipping City"). Njord is a god closely associated with fertility, just like the other Delusions in general.

An 1976 person Saab did not differ revolutionary from the 1975 person.

The 99 Ls and GLs were technically identical. The difference was mainly equipment technical. Things like the heated driver's seat and the 'open-worked' headrests included in the backrest explained the difference of 2.000 guilders. The electrically heated rear window was a clear case with the Saab. With Lada's, the same system also increased comfort: no cold hands when pushing. Things like headlight washers and wipers, carpet on the floor and halogen lamps for better visibility in the Northern Lights seem obvious, but were only present in the GLs.

The 100 pk strong Saab 99 GL was smooth and powerful

In his time, a time of 0-100 in tight 13 seconds was a pretty neat time. The block picked up at low revs and could therefore be driven shifting. With average use, the four-cylinder fueled one liter of gasoline per ten kilometers. Under harsh conditions, that could be 1 on 9, but in those 'perfect storm' conditions, the Saab remained insensitive to crosswinds and the comfort on board was excellent.

The combination of suspension, damping and the very good seats contributed greatly to this. The driving behavior of the Saab was characterized by a strong understeered character. The Saabs did not send very lightly. Certainly when parking, the steering wheel had to be turned firmly. The gearbox did its job light and precise, but certainly not sporty dynamic.

Tough and elegant

All in all, such a Saab was an elegantly tough car with a high degree of passive safety. He had comfortable and convincing driving characteristics, was extremely robust and offered a high degree of individuality. His characteristic lines made him unchangeable and caused a very low wind noise. "Njord" has cost Aunt Cornely 17.990 guilders. Aunt Cornely is no longer with us. But a second cousin of hers still drives in 'Njord'. The counter of the Saab is currently at something of 380.000 kilometers.




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When press photos were still black and white: the Saab 99GL


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  1. All in all, I drove a Saab for about 30 years, started with a 96 2-stroke, then a 99 with the 2 liter engine from Saab 1974, then switched to a 2 liter 900, sold with an odometer reading of 300000 km, always driven on gas, were nice travel cars. New The owner has driven it for another 30000 km.

  2. Another beautiful story, and Saab? I have an 99 gl 5 speed perfect car then and now also, can very well with the daily traffic, but only with nice weather on the road, they are gradually becoming rarer. Bask in a car!

  3. Nice article!
    My father had just such a blue. Carolina blue was the color from 1975. Two liter engine and five-door.
    Bought this car second hand from Kaat & Wezel from Koog aan de Zaan. Was a dealer from the very beginning, say, was actually his service car. Even in a very severe storm it was easy to keep in check.
    His previous car was also a Saab, a white two-door from 1970. Also bought second-hand there.
    Fortunately, the photos still have….

  4. Saab and safety. A good couple. A colleague plunged into a slope during a holiday in Norway, rolled around 20 x around his axis, got out and walked to a nearby farm. Gives a clever idea of ​​that.
    To show my father-in-law a potential 'company car', with all the bells and whistles you could come up with at the time (I thought it was a Hyundai Sonata), answered very dryly "that is not a safe car." . He idd only driven Saab. She always drove the 300.000 km. Had a service done once a year (> 1 km) but always put a jug of Mobil 30.000 ready to be put in.

  5. Maybe people bought a Lada because they could not afford a Saab.
    They are not that bad yet. There are still plenty of countries in the Eastern Bloc!
    Was a clone of the Fiat 124, and you won't see THEM anymore!

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