10/12/2009

Origines retrouvées

Voilà un an et demi , j'ai eu la chance de faire l'acquisition d'une Saab 96 "roadster" baptisée Cabotine , qu'un collectionneur parisien mettait en vente . Au delà du charme de cette petite merveille j'étais très frustré de ne pas connaitre les origines , ni l'histoire de cette voiture . J'ai lancé de nombreux "appels à temoins" notamment du coté de la Suède où étonnament personne ne connaissait cette voiture alors que l'acheteur parisien en 2005 avait deniché cette rareté sur internet via Google images .

Bref , voilà 2 mois je decouvrais un commentaire laissé sur Flickr par le géniteur de Cabotine !! Enfin après tout ce temps passé dans l'ignorance , j'allais enfin connaitre la vraie histoire !

Cabotine est née en 2001 dans la région de Bölange en Suède .L'idée était de faire de Cabotine un exemplaire donnant l'impression d'avoir été produite par Saab .Son chantier a duré 1 an mené par Anders F. de A à Z .La base choisie etait une Saab 96 de 1972 acquise en 1996 avec un V4 1500 Cm3 .En 1997 , Anders lui greffait un 1700 Cm3 prelevé sur une 96 "Deluxe" modèle 1979 . Les ailes arrières en viennent également .Les pare-chocs chromés viennent d'une autre donatrice de 1970 .

Et enfin le pare brise , l'interieur et la calandre ont été greffé à partir d'un modèle 3 cylindres de 1965 .Evidemment le plus long et difficile fut la pose de renforts latéraux dignes de ce nom . J'espère un jour rencontrer Anders et lui offrir le plaisir de revoir sa création .

I have always been interested in all sorts of vehicles, and this idea of a Saab 96 convertible started already in 1992 when I first bought a orange ("indian yellow") Saab 96 and tried to make a convertible out of it. It was in a hopeless condition, rusty and with an almost dead engine. With no welding skills and outdoor working in windy conditions you can imgagine the result, ha ha! Anyway, I got a first ride in a Saab 96 with no roof, a few hundered meters until the gas was empty... The project was never finished, but I kept the dream alive.
Back home in Dalarna, after finishing high school in 1999 I finally had the opportunity to actually make this crazy dream come true.
The "Verona green" Saab stood there, just waiting to get rid of the roof. At the time, I rented a house with a work shop-like garage on the ground floor, just perfect! I also had a work at a company that developed ideas for other companies, and had access to a full scale metal work shop.  I made them in the program Solid Works that was my main tool as a designer.
The goal was to make the car look like a car Saab would have built themselves, and hopefully get it so harmonic in the body lines that people would wonder if Saab really had made convertible back then.
It was meant to be a low cost project, and that´s why the surfaces under the bonnet and in the trunk wasn´t painted or very good looking.

I bought sheet metal 1,25 mm and started to cut and bend it in the work shop. I have a lot of pictures from the bulid up, please send me your address, and can send you copies of as many I can find.
A friend of mine had a -65 two-stroker that I got from him for a pair of in-lines (!). From that car I could take all the necessary parts to make the convertible look more vintage. ( Wind shield, complete interior, dash board and so on.)
I spent many many hours to reinforce the body before I finally cut of the roof, only to dicover that the original wind shield was too darn high. The -65 model had a 8 cm lower shield and that looked much better. The hardest job was to make nice, stream lined rear end. I had to accept that my skills didn´t allowed me to build a trunk lid, so I decided to just make it accessable through the back seat. I´m sorry, but I had to use quite a lot of plastic to create the final shape of the rear end...
The first short test drive was fantastic! Of course I met a police car, luckily he had better things to do than stopping an uninsured, unregistered 96 convertible.
After everything was finished I have had many unforgettable memories from driving the convertible. A few cruising events and "Classic Car Week" in Rättvik was probably the best moments. Some people actually asked if the car was an original convertible, and it surely felt that that made it worth all the effort."

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More to see on my Flickr galery

1000000 thanx to Anders and his sense of creativity and esthetic .You've made one of the most beautiful Saab tuned ever ! I hope to meet you one day and to give you the pleasure of resee your chef d'oeuvre ! I regret that we're living so far away .

14:57 Écrit par Golfhunter dans Général | Lien permanent | Commentaires (3) | Tags : saab 96 convertible roadster tuning project | |  Facebook |