Saab Enthusiast a Plenty in Lancashire
It has been 18 months since the rebirth of the Lancashire branch of the Saab Owners Club, which had been dormant for around a decade, and looking back we have done quite a lot over the last 18 months.
It all started at the 2006 Saab National meeting in Stafford, when Steve Alty, Neal Ashurst and David Vivyan met up in person for the first time after a few e-mails and telephone conversations. After a few beers whilst perched in the boot of Neal's Saab 9-5 (yes, really!) we decided that it was time to put all the chat and thoughts of re-starting the Lancashire Saab owners club into action, and pick a date for the re-launch.
The re-launch was well advertised on the UKSaabs and Saabscene web forums. We were astounded at the interest, and we managed an attendance well into the double figures, which was far greater than anyone expected for a first meet. This has steadily grown into a rather large and popular community of like minded enthusiastic, family friendly Saab owners.
We have built some excellent relationships with local independent garages too, our strongest being with APL, who are a Saab specialists based in Kirkham. Both Ken & Nigel who run the garage are passionate about their work, and have supported us from the outset, which included an open day at their premises, and also financial backing to help with merchandising. Sadly, this enthusiasm is rarely seen from garages these days, along with the quality of work to match it.
Socially we are fairly active too, last year we had trips out to Yorkshire, Castle Combe race circuit, and a visit to the Vauxhall car plant in Ellesmere Port to name but a few. Recently we have had a trip to the Lancashire Motor Museum and have held another Rolling Road session in Chorley.
Our next big event in 2008 will be held at the Chipping Steam fair 24-26th May which is a annual local charity event, where we will have a display of nearly every Saab manufactured in a 20+ car line up with cars ageing from the early 1970's to a brand new fresh of the production line limited edition Saab Turbo X model. The display will also include a few more specialised Saabs, including a couple of limited edition models, and a fully prepared Saab 99 rally car.
The decision to attend the Steam Fair was brought about after a trip to the fair last year, we were all so impressed with the set up and quality of exhibition items that we made enquires about exhibiting there as the Lancashire Saab Owners Club.
We shall be attending for the whole of the weekend with some of our cars travelling from as far as the Midlands and Ulverston.
We always welcome new people to come along and chat, and maybe go away with seeing a slightly more fun side to car ownership and some of the skills and knowledge and savings that can be gained from being involved in a local car club. Several of our members regularly contribute articles to the Saab Owners Club magazine, which is a national club, and of which we are the official Lancashire branch.
Hopefully we shall see a few new visitors popping along to say hello to us at this great family weekend at Chipping, and maybe a couple of you may like to join us in the future too! We meet up usually on the second Monday of the month at The Ring O' Bells pub, Ring O' Bells lane, Lathom near Ormskirk L40 5TE.
Saab GB are also holding their 2008 National event meeting, at the end of July, in Croston, Lancashire so it appears Lancashire is the place to be this year if you're into Saabs.
Steve Alty and Neal Ashurst.