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  • German, Austrian, and Swiss SAAB drivers meet in the Bavarian Forest

    This weekend a large group of SAAB owners from Germany, Austria and Switzerland met for a three day event. It was held at the Schnitzmühle Adventure Camp, in the village of Viechtach in the Bavarian Forest, northwest of Munich. The Bavarian Forest, which straddles the mountains on the Czech border, is rather picturesque, with steep grass covered hills, small villages and hamlets occupying the valleys, and each town with its own Gästhaus (guest house/restaurant/hotel) and Biergarten (beer garden). The plans for the weekend included plenty of barbecue family activities, camping, hiking, and everything else that a day in the German countryside would offer.

    The second day of the event, yesterday, was the main SAAB event: on this day all participants would take a six hour drive through the Bavarian Forest, taking off from Viechtach and doing a huge clockwise loop through the forest, visiting some historic points along the way. This was the only day I attended, as with a two month old baby at home I had been afforded only one day off baby duties just to come ride with the SAABs. I woke up very early at six in the morning, and hit the road by seven. It was a two and a half hour drive to Viechtach, and I made it just in time. As I drove in Schinitzmühle the SAABs were driving out the gate, and without shaking hands with some of the drivers I know I just made a U turn, and followed them out.

    After driving for about an hour we stopped at the village of Zwiesel where there is an old and famous glass factory, which has been making some of Bavaria's finest glass items for almost 500 years. We had a demonstration by one of their master glass workers on how to make a chalice and he also made a glass horse for our group. We then toured the glass museum where even fashion dresses made of glass were in exhibit, some costing 30,000 Euro! After we got all the glass we could take we hit the road and climbed to towards the Czech border.

    The road took us up high in the mountains by the ski resort of Arber, and at one point we were so close to the Czech Republic that my cell phone gave me a warning I was using a Czech tower and roaming charges would incur. Time to turn off mobile networking! The trees surrounding us gave the telltale signs of autumn, with yellow, green and red leaves mixed everywhere. With no snow up in the hills yet, Germans were out enjoying the last bit of sunshine before winter comes, and were out hiking en masse. The road was windy, steep, and gave my engine, gearbox and brakes a work out. The old 900 didn't disappoint, although the engine felt weak at higher altitudes as was expected for a car with a quarter kilometers on the original motor.

    After about another hour of driving we stopped at a rest area to chat and check out each other SAABs, and after twenty minutes or so we hit the road again. We drove down the mountains, passing by the city of Regen and on to the Deggendorf on the banks of the river Danube. Our destination was an old Catholic church with a famous monastery, where an old library is kept. The library was done in old German Baroque styles with highly detailed plaster works covered in gold paint. The books on the library were ancient works, mostly in Latin, and we were told no photography was allowed. The centerpiece of the library was one of the oldest and best kept bibles printed in German language, dating back to 1477. The book looked to be in remarkable good shape, with the paper still white, displayed under a glass case for us to see. Other books around it were just a few centuries old (babies!) and showed hand drawn pictures of old German cities.

    This was the end of the trip for me; I had been driving all day and was already tired with another two hour drive to get home. I said goodbye to the Saabers, got on my 900 and drove home. It was a nice day driving with fellow Saabers visiting the beautiful Bavarian Forest and enjoying one of the last warm weekends of the year. Now onto diaper changing duty at home...

    Hitting the Autobahn before sunrise, I got to enjoy the sun warming up my car as it rose. The road was empty at 7 am on a Saturday morning, which is always nice..

    With no time to say hello I followed the SAABs out of the gate of the Schnitzmühle Adventure camp. There were almost 40 cars on the ride, and I strategically placed myself halfway through the pack as I didn't know the route.

    Near Arber by the Czech border

    SAAB 92 at Kristallglassmanufaktur Theresienthal Gmbh, in the village of Zwiebel

    Master glass worker showing us how he does his trade

    Working a chalice base

    This was very hot from 20 feet away

    Saabers watch on

    Making a horse out of glass

    Horse still glowing

    Tools of the trade


    Quality = living. Typically German.

    The church at Deggendorf

    Now on to the cars, this is SAAB World after all!

    Austrian 900 Aero with Airflow Kit

    96 with V4 engine

    The car has historical plates (end with H), which means it's over 30 years old in original condition and fully road worthy.

    9-3 convertible. This one has seasonal license plates, good from April to October only (04/10)

    9000 CDE 2.3 Turbo

    Older 9000

    Another 9-3 convertible, this one pretty much my neighbor, they live 5 km away. Also seasonal plates.

    Checking out a turbo vert's engine

    Some Saabers came from as far as Austria

    Others from Switzerland

    One huge SAAB was present. With a 5.3 liter engine this is an extreme gas hog in Germany.

    96 drives away

    The star of the ride, a two-stroke 92 in immaculate shape

    Reserved parking

    SAAB noses

    My SAAB? No, this was a '91 with a 16v non turbo engine. No spoiler either.

    Two different interpretations of the same car. White: 8 valve, no turbo, coupe, red velour interior. Black: 16 valve, turbo, convertible, tan leather interior.

    9-3 Turbo X with Hirsch package

    Swiss 9-3 Aero, aka Viggen in the US

    SAAB butts

    ...and noses

    900 Aero SPG

    9-3 with rare spoiler

    Austrian SAAB 900 Aero with Airflow kit

    Red Arrow

    They drove 400 km to be here

    900 Aero convertible with Airflow kit

    Young guy with his tuned 9-3 Turbo

    9000 Aero in beautiful red

    9-3 turbo diesel

    A few more pictures in the gallery: https://picasaweb.google.com/1133845...eat=directlink
    This article was originally published in blog: German, Austrian, and Swiss SAAB drivers meet in the Bavarian Forest started by rpiereck
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. nordwulf's Avatar
      nordwulf -
      Vielen Dank for the great report and fantastic pictures. It's great to have a driving tour like that instead of just having the Saabs sitting in a parking lot. Saabs need to be driven, not just looked at.

      The black and white pictures of the 92 are a nice touch. I first thought you included a historic picture. Great eye for detail for that picture taken through the window.

      I was in Germany about a month ago and now wished I planned my vacation around one of these Saab meets.
    1. Fitlurch's Avatar
      Fitlurch -
      Hello Frank,

      where have been in Germany? Are often in Germany?

      Maybe the meeting will be again in the future.


    1. nordwulf's Avatar
      nordwulf -
      Guten Tag Matthias,

      I was in Germany for about 5 days and visited Berlin, Dresden and Wolfsburg. I like to include some automobile culture in my vacations and Classic Remise in Berlin and the VW factories in Dresden and Wolfsburg did not disappoint.

      I visit my family in the Netherlands (where I am originally from) about once a year and like to go to Germany for a trip as often as I can. The vacation before this one was to Stuttgart (also automobile-related ) and a great drive for a few days through the Schwarzwald, Liechtenstein, Austria and Italy. So many great driving roads in that area.

      Seriously considering moving to Deutschland, the best country in Europe for sure. Well, Sweden is not that bad either but learning that language would be a big obstacle.
    1. rpiereck's Avatar
      rpiereck -
      Frank, we would love to have you here next year for another ride!

      Saab-cars.de member hb-ex also posted his pictures on the net, for his gallery follow this link: 2012_10 Saab meeting - bay wald 1.-5.October - a set on Flickr
    1. nordwulf's Avatar
      nordwulf -
      HB-EX also posted on SaabWorld before but I haven't heard from him lately. Probably too busy enjoying that blue 9-3 cabriolet.
    1. HB-EX's Avatar
      HB-EX -
      jep -- I did attend with the iceblue 9.3 station wagen of my wife

    1. rpiereck's Avatar
      rpiereck -
      Very nice, I knew you had the tow hook for a reason, then I saw the camping trailer on your Flickr!
    1. HB-EX's Avatar
      HB-EX -
      Quote Originally Posted by rpiereck View Post
      Very nice, I knew you had the tow hook for a reason, then I saw the camping trailer on your Flickr!
      let's try

    1. Fitlurch's Avatar
      Fitlurch -
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