The Saab Stronghold of Portland
Garry Small is committed to protecting the legacy of Saab’s innovation and creativity.
Saab’s line of cars spans several decades, each model as unique as the person who owns it. Although Saab ceased production of its cars in 2011, Saab owners’ passion for their cars still burns strong. Garry Small is one such owner, committed to protecting the legacy of Saab’s innovation and creativity. You can find Garry at his Portland, Ore dealership. along with his collection of used Saabs, numbering from 15 to 20 cars depending on the day.
Garry belongs to a local network of Saab enthusiasts, which keeps Garry’s showroom stocked with a variety of cars. Garry’s Saabs are still selling. One customer of Garry’s drove three hours to his dealership just to test drive a 2010 9-5 Aero sedan. The same customer had already previously owned five Saabs. Garry himself owns a 2011 9-5, complete with a turbocharged V-6 engine with all wheel drive.
Garry’s passion for Saab cars is evident throughout his showroom. Posters line the walls along with a vast collection of memorabilia. The centerpiece of the showroom is a rare, orange 1954 Saab 92, which no longer runs, sadly, but instead serves as a reminder of Saab’s evolution.
Knowing this, it may be hard to believe that Garry Small wasn’t always a Saab man. When he started his dealership in the early 1970s, Garry’s inventory included mostly Nissan (then Datsun), Triumph and Volvo. Over the years, however, he phased out most of these brands in his dealership in favor for Saab. For Garry, it was Saab’s engineering won him over primarily. He appreciates how well Saabs handle snow and ice.
Saab’s quirky and innovative engineering won over many in its early days as a car maker. (Saab once considered replacing steering wheels with joysticks.) It remains one of Saabs hallmarks today, just like its center console ignition. It’s this appreciation for engineering, style and individuality that has kept fans like Garry loyal to Saab for all these years.