Fly fishing gear

His family’s Saab story began almost 50 years ago


Cathy Blinken, 51, a sourcing expert at Citigroup living in Rutherford, NJ, on her Saab collection, as AJ Baime put it.

Growing up my brother was older than me so I traveled the country alone with my parents in a 1969 Saab 96. I grew up in Colorado Springs, and from the age of 5 I have memories of go to Los Angeles several times a year. year to visit my grandmother and uncle. We went to Arizona, Utah. Any weekend and any holiday I was in the backseat going to a wonderful place, still in that 1969 Saab.

In this car, I learned to travel on the road, to read the maps and the lyrics of all the songs of Tony Orlando and Dawn. Then my dad drove that same Saab 96 to work every day of the week. At the time, few people had even heard of Saab.

The 2008 Saab 93 from the Blinken family and the 2001 Saab 93 from the Blinken family. The Blinkens own five Saabs.

I learned to drive a manual transmission in this Saab 96, in a snowstorm, at night. When I went to college, I took it with me. Eventually, I wasn’t able to take care of it, so I gave it to my uncle in Los Angeles. But I never lost the memories.

The soul of Saab, for me, was born from airplanes, because Saab is a Swedish company known for aircraft and military construction. These are original cars from Scandinavia, and I love the engineering. [Saab cars were built from the postwar years until 2014.]

Years later, with my own family, I was ready to buy our own cars and I knew how to find them. I got my family hooked on Saabs, and today we own five. For my part, I knew exactly what I wanted: a 2001 Saab 93 five-speed convertible, black with beige interior. We found the perfect car in South Carolina and drove there to pick it up. My family bought it from me for my 40th birthday, in 2010.

Once her children grew up, Ms Blinken knew exactly what she wanted for the ride of her dreams: a 2001 Saab 93 convertible, black with beige interior.

David Blinken with the family 2008 Saab 93. A fly fishing guide, he is known to carry his equipment in the back.

My husband, David, is a fly fishing guide, so his car – a six-speed canary yellow 2008 Saab 93 convertible – always has a fly rod in it. We have two sons in college who drive Saabs and we have two other children who take our Saab station wagon whenever they want. All were interested in driving cars with manual transmission, inspired by our Saabs. My convertible I drive from May to October, and the station wagon is also my daily driver.

I put a license plate on my 2001 Saab by reproducing the old Budweiser “wasabi” advertisement: “Wazsaab”. I recently acquired several forms of license plate for other cars: “Wozsaab”, “Wuzsaab”, etc. And we have another one that says “Saab4vr”.

And what about the 1969 Saab 96 I grew up with that started it all and gave my uncle when I was in college? He restored it perfectly. To this day, it still has it, and it still works. Wazsaab!

The 2008 Saab in canary yellow in profile.

Mrs. Blinken’s black 2001 Saab 93. “What I drive, how I drive and what I listen to,” she says, “was shaped by my childhood, in my parents’ 1969 Saab.

Write to AJ Baime at [email protected]

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