Highlights of SOC 2018, including the cars, the award winners, the most memorable vehicle of the weekend, and a link to free recall repairs.
This year’s Saab Owner’s Convention was, as always, the perfect representation of the diverse community of Saab cars, owners and enthusiasts.
Held in Solomons, Maryland, the event spanned three days — Friday, August 10 – Sunday, August 12 — and included everything from good, old-fashioned car show networking and awards to technical talks and on-site Takata recall repairs.
Orio’s CEO Tim Colbeck spoke at the pre-event sponsor’s dinner and Jeff Gorenflo led a technical workshop on what the future holds for SAAB parts availability, but stars of the event were, of course, the cars.
There were approximately 400 attendees with more than 200 cars on display, ranging from the barely touched classics to the performance-enhanced “tuned” Saabs and everything in between.
Saab Owner’s Convention Awards 2018
Orio’s very own Jeff Gorenflo took second place in the People’s Choice awards for his 9-5 Nocturne Blue Combi Aero. With rare Sand Beige Sport-Tech leather seating (only one of two with that build in the USA), the Combi also has Saab accessory window deflectors, all weather floor mats, 18” Turbine wheels, tinted windows and a Stage 1 MIKE D Tune.
Competition winners included models:
- C900 CV
- NG 9-5
- 95 (wagon)
- OG 9-5
- NG 9-3
People’s choice award winners included models:
- C900 CV
- NG900 CV
- NG9-3 (sedan,combi,X)
- NG9-3 CV
- Turbo X
- NG 9-5
Special award winners included:
- Dean Gordon – Stoker
- Bruce Billing – Preservation
- Lori DiTomaso – Sinclair
- Jacob Pretzman – Young Enthusiast
- Vintage Saab Club of North America (VSCNA) – Walter Kern
Most Memorable Car – The “Not-a-Saab”
When asked about their favorite Saabs of the weekend, Orio staff had a wide range of responses–from older 9-3s and 60s with 3-cylinders to a few of the tuned styles. But the most memorable car far and wide was not even a Saab.
Photos of this black Nissan covered in Saab flare were all over the internet after the event — even featured on an Auto Autopsy video — leaving many wondering what the heck was going on! We have the story…
Long-time Saab enthusiast and owner of Mile Hi Automotive Jerry Danner really doesn’t like driving anything other than his Saab but there are times when he has to fly to events (like the SOC) from his home in Colorado and rent a vehicle to get to the show.
Drastic times call for drastic measure. Danner grabs as many of the Saab badges he has lying around his shop and affixes them to his rental car. The best part is he actually returns the cars back to the rental companies with the badges still attached–and he hasn’t gotten a complaint yet!
Live Takata Airbag Recall Repairs
Orio also had a team on-site doing live recall assessments and repairs, especially related to the Takata airbag recall. Orio even gave out free day passes to any Saab owners within 50 miles of the event to come out and get their free recall repairs done while also enjoying the day.
“We were hoping to find some 9-2s showing up for recall repairs and were a little disappointed,” said Gorenflo.
In total, Orio did around a dozen or so live recall repairs. Although he admits it can feel like an inconvenience, Gorenflo encouraged owners to just bite the bullet and get the repair done saying, “It’s 100% free and the actual repair probably takes less time than it takes to fill out the paperwork.”