Posted by: saabnuts | January 6, 2011

Charles River Saablog

1971 Saab 96

1971 Saab 96

Pierre Belperron of Charles River Saab in Watertown, Massachusetts runs a very interesting and informative blog here. Mr. Belperron is also one of the people behind making Swedish Car Day in Massachusetts a reality each year – I can’t thank him enough for his dedication to the Saab brand and Saab owners.

I am all too easily amused by the fact that our favorite Saab dealer is Valenti Saab in Watertown, Connecticut – and that these favorite dealers both are located in places named “Watertown”.

Both Valenti Saab and Charles River Saab are just two of the dedicated dealers Saab is blessed to have selling and servicing the cars.

I encourage you to visit your own Saab dealer and see what’s new and check out the special promotions from Saab U.S.A.

When we attended Swedish Car Day 2010, we were fortunate to have met a wide array of Volvo and Saab people including Ralph Bockoven from Charles River Saab.  Ralph is both a Saab Tech and Saab owner and an amazingly interesting person to meet who is brimming with passion for the Saab brand.

As a novice blogger myself, I’m not sure how to link directly to the Charles River Saab blog post on Ralph’s newest old Saab, so I will encourage you to read the Charles River Saablog yourself – and provide the quoted text on this particular post below.

Thank you Mr. Belperron for all that you do – and I hope to actually meet you at the next Saab event or Swedish Car Day 2011 to personally thank you.

Ralph Bockoven adds to his Saab stable

At Swedish Car Day in 2008, our own intrepid Ralph Bockoven was approached by Andy Pickett, who admired Ralph’s Sonett and invited Ralph to check out his Saab, a beautiful 1971 96. Ralph was smitten. The car was identical to Ralph’s first Saab, right down to the mink silver color, though Ralph’s hand-me-down 96 was nowhere near as beautiful as this example. As they spoke, they came to realize that they had gone to high school together in Lincoln, where Andy still lives. When Andy learned that Ralph was a technician and well versed in vintage Saabs, he asked Ralph if he’d be willing to do some work for him in the future.

The call came one day. The clutch hydraulics had lost their integrity, and the 96 was delivered to Ralph’s home for inspection and repair. As Ralph spent time repairing the clutch and a few other miscellaneous problems, and came to appreciate this car’s condition. It was flawless. The car had 32,000 miles on it. Andy had owned it since 2002, and drove it almost not at all. There were two previous owners, including, it is believed, the original dealer (who we have not yet been able to identify) who apparently kept the in his showroom for many years, and subsequent owner who cared for the car well and used it as a daily driver.

Ralph commented to Andy that should the day come when he wanted to part with the car, Ralph would entertain its purchase. That day came just recently. Andy had decided to sell the car to purchase another toy. He had received an offer from someone who intended to cut the car up for its many fine parts. When Ralph was offered the car, he couldn’t match the lofty price offered by the other bidder, but convinced Andy that rather than see that car destroyed, it would be preferable for it to have a good steward. None could be better than Ralph.

Ralph is now the proud and happy owner of this 96.”

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