Car clubs are an important part of the UK’s motoring scene, giving petrolheads an opportunity to come together and celebrate their favourite makes and models. And we’re happy to report that over the past few years, the number of dedicated car clubs has risen throughout the UK, thanks to social media groups and online forums.
Whether you’re into vintage classics or modern hot hatches; luxury Italian imports or the best of British; there’s now a car club to suit every type of car fan. There are also loads of clubs out there that aren’t dedicated to a set make or model, so anyone with a passion for driving can get involved and feel welcome.
After launching our growing Redex Club Facebook group, we’ve been connecting with other car clubs to raise awareness for the different motoring communities out there. One of them is the Saab Owners Club, for Saabs from the 1960s to today. Recently, we chatted with Shaw Wilson of the SOC about the club, cars and her own passion for motoring – read the full Q&A below.
Hi Shaw, thanks for agreeing to chat with us. Firstly, could you tell us about your introduction to cars? How did you become involved in the Saab Owners Club, and what drew you to Saabs in particular?
My introduction to cars came over 30 years ago, when I bought my first Saab 900 Turbo. I became involved with the Saab Owners Club by attending events as a member to meet other like-minded people and get advice about the car. The Saab was a relatively unknown entity, but seeing the range of cars and the model specifications opened up my interest into the cars and the brand itself.
Could you tell us about some of the events held by SAAB Owners Club?
The Saab Owners Club holds four major events for the year. The NEC Restoration show in March, the Classic Car Show in November, the Swedish Day in May, and Saab Fest on July 26/27/28 at the Burrs Country Park. In between that, there are usually several events in Europe, and local clubs meet on a monthly basis.
What advice would you give to car enthusiasts looking to get more involved in their local owners’ clubs? Or, perhaps those thinking of starting a club in their area?
Enthusiasts who are looking to be more involved should get out and do so. Without their support and input, car clubs don’t survive. It’s also a way of meeting new people and becoming part of a family who helps each other. You can also get online advice from club members at any time of the day, or pointers on who to ask for help.
What do you enjoy most about vintage Saabs – driving them or maintaining them?
Driving the vintage cars is great; people wave at you and toot their car horns, give you the thumbs up or just stare fixedly as they drive past. Saabs really stand out in the crowd, especially if we are in a convoy going to an event. Maintenance is vital using proven products that protect the cars internally and externally. The vintage cars have less tech on board but were still packed with high-tech features that weren’t found in cars of a similar age, e.g. intermittent wipers that you set yourself, cruise control and heated seats.
If you had to choose, what would be your favourite car to own and why?
If I had to choose, it would be the Saab 900 Turbo, because of its advanced design and because it was my first car. The car was suitable for everyday family use, but was also a head-turner due to the shape and name. You could drive like Miss Daisy or really put the hammer down when required.
Redex fuel additives are particularly effective when used in older engines, helping to clear deposits and improve performance. Have you ever used fuel additives as a means of getting more from an engine? Or would you consider it in the future?
Yes, I use fuel additives like Redex regularly to clean and maintain the fuel system and the engine. Without this product, I think engines wouldn’t run as well, and I think they should be a part of the regular maintenance of both vintage and newer cars.
What advice would you give to someone looking to buy a vintage car? What should they look out for, and what maintenance tips can you offer to first-time owners?
When looking for a vintage car, visit the owners club for the make and model you’re interested in. Here you’ll find lots of hints and tips as to what you need to look for with the range of car models. Set your price limit and don’t exceed it. Never buy online until you have been to see the car or referred to the owners club, as they might know something about the car that you don’t.
Always ask for the service history, or for a car check on the DVLA website. As for the car itself, use a small magnet to check the originality of the bodywork. Look at the tyres for wear, as this will tell you if there are any tracking problems. Make sure you have a look under the bonnet, too. Remove the oil cap; if there is any creamy white substance, in the trade known as mayonnaise, there could be a bigger problem with oil and water mixing – in which case, you should avoid the car completely.
As for maintaining your car after purchase; make sure you keep to a regular service schedule, including the oil, filters and cooling system. Secondly, add Redex fuel cleaner after you first fill up, and regularly after that.
Wash and seal the paintwork with a really good quality wax, as this will make sure the car is not attacked by the elements. I find when the car is parked up for the winter, leaving a coat of wax on the car until spring when it is rolled out does it no harm. It’s also worth remembering that red cars do need a little bit more attention, as they are prone to fading, so may need a little more TLC.
We’d like to thank Shaw for chatting to us about the Saab Owners Club, and you’ve found her tips and insights useful. Don’t forget to join the Redex Club Facebook Group to have your say on the latest motoring news and features.
Whatever car you drive, Redex can help you get more from every tank of fuel. Our innovative fuel system additives improve the performance, efficiency and health of all engines, so you can enjoy a better drive. For more information, visit our homepage today