Hooniverse Asks- What Car Company Will Be the New Saab?

Saab’s gone. Perhaps they’re shuttered for good, but at the very least they are benched for the foreseeable future. And with the faded company has gone one of the last options for buying a car that is gloriously quirky and singularly unique. What’s a nonconformist to do?

Of course, aside from keeping their ignition switches between the seats, Saabs of recent years haven’t been all that quirky – no massive articulating clamshell hoods, no wrap-around windscreens, and certainly no off-throttle freewheeling or two-stroke engines, mercy me. But there was always that potential.

The thing of it is, we need weird and wonderful cars, ones that seem to spring forth from a different planet. In the case of Saab, the company set to task a bunch of airplane engineers – and ones apparently who favored taking public transportation to work – and asked them to create an automobile. The result was something that would slip through the air as smoothly  as does a cat turd from the feline under-tail. That inaugural 92 featured such wonderful weirdness as a radiator that doubled as a heater core, front wheel drive at a time when most companies had a hard enough time designing a competent rear-driver, and frugality in an era when such a thing could raise the suspicions of Joe McCarthy.

And today that, and so much more eclecticism, is gone. The lights are off, nobody’s home. Sure many of the ideas Saab once embraced, including using turbochargers to bring mid-size power to a small engine,  and mid-body mud flaps, have been embraced by other automakers, but none is as uniquely individualistic as once was the small Swedish car maker. Today, equally iconoclastic car buyers no longer have a go-to for their automotive needs.

Or do they? Sure Saab is gone, but that doesn’t mean that we’re all stuck with cookie cutter cars the way we are with cookie cutter radio and cookie cutter cookies. There are other companies who have picked up the torch and have embraced their inner weirdo to address the needs of the former Saab customer, right? If that’s so, then who would that be? Who is eclectic enough to be the new Saab? 

Image: [Cartype]

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