Memories of the first SAABtoberfest Tour, October 10, 1998
Blaithin's report:   NEW: Blaithin's Pictures!


If you didn't make SAABtoberfest, you missed one heck of a fun day.  Weather could have been a little better (overcast, cool), but that never stopped SAABers from having fun. 

Twenty-two Saabs showed up and we spent the better part of the day frolicking on some of my favorite Central PA backroads.... 

The day started out at 8 a.m. with the arrival of the 9^3 test car from Fowler Motors in Williamsport.  Shortly after that, Sean Mullady pulled into the parking lot, followed by Thor Carlson, then Duane Dostie, and then, and was incredible to watch Saabs pulling into the parking lot, filling the place. Turbo! members who attended SAABtoberfest  besides Hubby Dean and I, and in order of their arrival) were Sean Mullady, Thor Carlson, Duane Dostie, Larry West, Kevin Quigley, Chris Moberg, Tony Blake, Andrew Winger, and James Fox. The balance of attendees was made up of some local Saabers and some members of the NE PA SAAB Club. 

Our first rest stop was at Twin Bridges, 30 miles into the trip, except for those who took a wrong turn and got a little more sightseeing in.  Met up with a non-Turbo! person there who joined us on the remainder of the drive. 

From the Twin Bridges we drove to our lunch stop, the Bloomsburg Town Park, 60 miles into the trip.  Grabbed the pavilion of choice and got a nice fire started in the fireplace there while we ate lunch.  At this point we drew names for the door prizes.  Meguiar's donated an awesome car care kit, which was won by Tony Blake (hey, you were suppose to detail my car before you left for home! wah! wah!) Make a mental note here that Tony won the Saab 900 book which was given away at the May Tour...this man has a serious string of good luck going.  Andrew Winger won a car care kit donated by Stoner's, and Lee Smith (non-Turbo!) won the second Stoner's kit. 

After lunch we headed back to the parking lot where we proceeded with the "concours".  Everyone was to vote for the "most droolworthy vehicle", the winner would receive the highly coveted Drool Bucket Award. This year's winner was Chris Moberg for his VERY sweet '74 Sonett, and Hubby Dean presented him with the Drool Bucket Award:  a bucket containing sponges, polishing cloth, etc. (so he could clean all the drool off his car!).  One vote behind Chris's Sonett was James Fox's SPG. 

After lunch we drove 62 miles to our 3rd stop, Rebuck covered bridge (except for those who followed James Fox, heh...doing more sightseeing, are we?).  And from there proceed approx. 25 miles to the end of the tour.  The tour 
was to have ended at Shikellamy State Park Overlook, at least a 1/2 mile drive UP a steep hill to a parking lot with an incredible view over the Susquehanna River, Northumberland and Sunbury.  Much to my horror, upon turning onto the road leading to the park, the gate was closed. ACK!  This was definitely the worst part of the day, trying to get everyone out of the road to avoid an accident...not easy to do with a space that small.  We survived though, and SAABtoberfest officially ended in a roadway with SAABs packed into it like sardines. 

Some folks left for home at this point, but the majority joined Hubby Dean and I at the Selinsgrove Brewing Co. for supper and a brew.  Loads of fun there too, once again filling the parking lot with Saabs, enjoying Saab talk over dinner, and hanging out in the parking lot afterwards until well after dark. 

Some noteworthy feats from the first annual SAABtoberfest: 
1)  Chris Moberg drove the most miles (600) to attend, having driven down from Standish, ME.  Sean Mullady drove 515 miles to attend, arriving from Leonard, MI. 
2)  The oldest cars in attendance were Chris's '74 Sonett, and David Hattery's '74 99LE. 
3)  The newest car was owned by Jeff Snyder ('99 9^3) 
4)  The car owned the longest was David Hattery's '74 99LE...he's owned it for 25 years! 
5)  Most miles on a car:  David Hattery's '74 99LE with 350K (!!!), and Linden Wolberg's SPG came in second with 238K. 

Thanks to Hubby Dean for "bringing up the rear" and rounding up anyone who went astray, and Thanks to Thor for lending Hubby Dean his cell. phone so I could call back to him to see what was going on.  Thanks to all who attended, you made the day a huge success! 

Please make a note that the second annual SAABtoberfest will be held Sat.  Oct. 9, 1999. 
ICQ # 2739939 
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Thor's report:
Dostie arrived stag in the convertible.  West drove the 900s.  Quigley, as always, was present and accounted for in Turbo9, the NG 900SET.  Jeff Snyder, in his 9-3, was utterly psyched by the whole thing.  At each stop he ran up and down the line of cars shaking hands with people.  He was one happy camper.  Linden Wolberg's '87 SPG  was just beautiful, unbelievable at 238K miles. 
Andrew's C900 5 door sported an illegal fresh air intake on the driver's side headlight trim ring. ;-)  Jason Morris had the primer gray '85 900T.  Beautiful engine compartment and 3 inch(!) BFP.  Nice sound.  Tony Blake (GeekBoy) tried to pay for dinner at the Selinsgrove Brew Pub (Hubby Dean talked him out of it). 
Blaithin, BTW, is a *professional* driver and it shows.  Either she memorized every single turn on the 140 mile course or she's the most intuitively natural rally driver I've ever seen.  *Never* were the brakes unnecessarily applied in a turn.  *Always* did I have to stay on boost just to follow her out of those turns (at many points I stayed at 4k RPM in third gear just so I could follow the leader).  This woman can drive, folks.  Really.  Midway through the tour I made it my business to stay right behind her in the lineup (a learning experience to be sure).
Blaithin and Hubby Dean worked their *tails* off for this event; toiling into the night printing halyards for all tour participants, stuffing envelopes full of stuff, etc.  Upon arrival, each driver was presented with their halyard, a car number (for the concours), and a goody packet with car care things like Mothers California Gold Showtime, Lexol leather cleaner, etc.   Did I say they did a great job?
At the start line, that's Chris Moberg's Sonett III "Baja Red" between the Dale Anderson dealer 9^3 and Hubby Dean's 4 door Turbo!.  Dale Anderson (the SAAB dealer) didn't find too many takers for test drives on his auto 9-3.  Bring a 5 speed next time!
Arrived at the SAABtoberfest starting line after a two hour drive through some heavy showers to find Blaithin, Sean (permagrin) Mullady and Dale Anderson (local SAAB dealer) waiting and it wasn't raining anymore. ;-)  Blaithin met us with donuts, bagels, cider and coffee.  The dealer met us with a shiny new 9-3 (with auto, ugh).  Sean met us all the way from Michigan. (!)
Waiting for the rear guard to catch up.
David Hattery, a retired F-14 Tomcat pilot, drove a '74 99LE, the same car he learned to drive in.  It's been in his family for 25 years.  At the rest stop by the covered bridge.  That's David's '74 99LE next to Baja Red.
Mjollnir takes a well deserved rest.  I have *never* had such a good time with Mjollnir (love that Amoco Ultimate).  Do not miss Blaithin's next tour, it doesn't get any better than this (least for those of us that don't go auto-x-ing every weekend).
Duane said: That was absolutely THE most fun I've had with my clothes on.  Makes me want to move to central Pa just to enjoy the roads.  Thanks Blaithin for the effort.  The brew pub was awesome as well.  What a great day! 
James Fox is as nutty as we've all heard.  My only regret was it took this long to meet this *enthusiastic* SAABer. 
Chris Moberg (L)
Sean (R) said: Congratulations on a Great Tour, Blaithin and Dean!  - I develop PermaGrin(TM) everytime I think of the ride!  Can we bottle it until next year? :-) 
- Anyone care to guess how many times we broke local speed laws?  Every time we passed a speed limit sign!  :-) :-) :-)  - That was probably the most SAABS the locals saw all year.  For the whole year.  Those who pulled of the side of the road to watch us appreciatively know a real car when they see it (Or where they just avoiding us?  hehee!)  - Probably the most cars some of them saw in a day, too.  - I was glad there were no, ummm, incidents.  I got the Fear thrill more than once.  Next year, everyone make sure your brakelights are in proper working order!  - You can tell when to accelerate by someone else's BPF/exhaust (i.e. KJQ and Chris Moberg!)  - As Blaithin's site says that the Tour 'is not a race' and me being second in line for two legs, I'd hate to see what she would mean if it *was* a race. :-)  Put me on the 'Definitely (barring work/catastophe)' list, Blaithin. 
Great to meet all you Turbisti, putting the face will the e-mail address (hope I didn't miss anyone): 

- 'Yesssss! Get to fire him' Duane Dostie 
- 'Hit the Apex' Thor Carlson 
- 'Need a Turbo! today, only today' Chris Moberg 
- 'SAABtoberfest on DVD, director's cut' Larry West 
- 'Wax the Primer' Andrew Winger 
- '9 Miles 'til Empty' KJQ 
- '3-inch BPF' Tony Blake 
- 'Green Jello Shots' James Fox 

and, of course, Dean and Blaithin.

Some new gen cars take a rest...>>>
<<<Waiting to restart after the covered bridge
Hubby Dean (r) formally presents Chris with the inaugural and now coveted SAABtoberfest Drool Bucket Award.  Chris Moberg's '74 RED Sonett III was just lustly er, lovely. 

Sean (C900) lost the award for longest distance travelled to the tour (515 miles) to Chris (600 miles).

James Fox's tricked out SPG.  Lovely yellow accents in the engine bay, James.
A stack of SAABs at the end of the tour.  Yes, every car in this picture is a SAAB!  There were 22 SAABs on this tour, including a Sonett,  a 99, many C900s, some NGs, a 9-3 and a 9KT.  I regret not meeting/talking to everyone.
The End
Looking forward to the Spring tour...
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