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SAAB 900 turbo fanns med i  John Garners första bok som James Bond författare, året var 1981. 

Fakta: SAAB 900 turbo fanns  med i  John Garners första bok som James Bond författare, året var 1981. 
John Gardner tog över Ian Flemings 007, 1981 efter Kingsley Amis "Bond novellen" Colonel Sun ".
I sin första Bond novell 1981, "Licens förnyas", Han lät Bond få ett nytt märke - Saab "Silver Beast".
John Gardner till vänster och författarkollegan Douglas Rutherford   SAAB 900 Turbo 1981 James Bond Silver Beast Specification.j

007's SAAB 900 Turbo which featured in John Gardner's debut 1981 Bond novel "Licence Renewed"

007_saab_gardner.jpg (564550 bytes)

John Edmund Gardner, född 20 november 1926 i Seaton Delaval, Northumberland, död 3 augusti 2007 i Basingstoke, (i en hjärtattack), var en brittisk kriminalförfattare.

John Edmund Gardner, född 20 november 1926 i Seaton Delaval, Northumberland, död 3 augusti 2007 i Basingstoke, (i en hjärtattack), var en brittisk kriminalförfattare.


https://www.focus.de/auto/gebrauchtwagen/youngtimer/saab-900-turbo-007-silver-beast-das-geheimnisvolle-silber-biest-von-james-bond_aid_855714.html


saab900-007.png (433217 bytes)
007's SAAB 900 Turbo which featured in John Gardner's debut 1981 Bond novel "Licence Renewed", and talks to the author about his choice...
  007: s Saab 900 Turbo ingick i John Gardner: s debut 1981 Bond novellen "License förnyas

SAAB 900 Turbo 1981 James Bond Silver Beast Specification.j
007`s SAAB 900 Turbo 
John Gardner took over the 007 literary torch in 1981 after a long hiatus since Kingsley Amis' one Bond novel "Colonel Sun". Gardner continued the legacy by producing an astounding 14 original novels and two movie novelisations.  
John Gardner tog över 007 litterära fackla i 1981 efter ett långt uppehåll sedan Kingsley Amis "en Bond novellen" Colonel Sun ". Gardner fortsatte arvet genom att producera en häpnadsväckande 14 ursprungliga romaner och två filmen novelisations.


Above: This rare promotion photograph was produced in conjunction with the 1981 Novel 'Licence Renewed'.  

Saab museet i Trollhättan. http://www.saabbilmuseum.se/
John Gardner skrev även två romanversioner baserade på filmmanusen till filmerna:

 

James Bond's 900 Turbo

The 1979 900 was available in three versions: The GL had the single-carb 99 hp/73.5 kW engine, the GLS had twin carburetors for 106 hp/79.5 kW, the EMS and GLE had fuel injection for 116 hp/87 kW, and the 900 Turbo produced 143 hp/107 kW. A five-speed transmission was introduced in the EMS and Turbo for 1980.

 

1981 ATV interview of John Gardner featuring the promotional 007 Saab turbo for his book - Licence Renewed

The only bodywork originally available was the three or five-door hatchback style, which was seen as more modern at the time. The vehicle also had an aviation-inspired curved windscreen for better visibility and an aircraft style dashboard. The dashboard itself had been arranged according to the frequency of use and/or importance of the various controls and gauges.

 

 

The Saab 900 arrives with James Bond at the wheel

James Bond Saab 900

A few years ago, the very idea that one day, fictional hero James Bond would be driving a Saab, might well have been ridiculed. Now it’s happened; and it’s not seen as incongruous, but as a confirmation of the Saab image. That alone is a measure of the way in which the Saab 900 turbo has caught the imagination of the public.

As soon as it was introduced, the Saab turbo was hailed as a car which genuinely broke new ground: the performance car of the future.

It brought the mystique and appeal of turbocharging into the realms of family motoring, and offered a combination of performance, economy and practicality which is still unique.

Then, in May 1981, the new James Bond novel —‘Licence Renewed’ by John Gardner—was published to great critical acclaim and an immediate place in the best seller lists, where it was to stay for some weeks.

007’s car in detail

The James Bond Saab is fitted with all those little extras essential to the modern secret agent as shown in the picture below.

Note the specially developed turbo engine which, with the aid of water injection raises the power to 175 BHP—still from only 1985 cc!— and provides a 0-60 mph time of less than 8 seconds. Top speed? 145 mph plus.

These special refinements raise the Saab 900 range to a new level of prestige and credibility— alongside the Bentley, Aston Martin and Lotus previously associated with Bond.

saabcentral.com/features/saab_900/misc/james_bond_900

 

 REKLAM KAMPANJ FÖR SAAB 1981 MED POSTER FRÅN JAMES BOND 007 MUSEUM SWEDEN
SAAB promotional poster.

 REKLAM KAMPANJ FÖR SAAB 1981 MED POSTER FRÅN JAMES BOND 007 MUSEUM SWEDEN

007saab.jpg (174873 bytes)   SAAB promotional poster.

 REKLAM KAMPANJ FÖR SAAB 1981 MED POSTER FRÅN JAMES BOND 007 MUSEUM SWEDEN

 

  • Water-cooled turbo engine modification per Saab Law Enforcement specs, producing a top speed in excess of 170 MPH
  • Modified fuel system capable of running on petrol or gasohol
  • Halon 12 fire extinguishing system and fire-proofing
  • Digital Head-Up Display
  • Remote text-messaging system via black box phone hook up to landline Mobile phone
  • Four external tear gas ducts
  • A filter to neutralise deadly gas entering the car's passenger cabin
  • Oxygen masks under the seats in CO2-operated compartment
  • Several hidden compartments in dashboard containing TH70 Nitefinder goggles (for driving without headlights), grenades, one unauthorized Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 Magnum revolver and one Browning automatic handgun
  • Fully armor-plated body Bulletproof glass
  • Steel-reinforced ramming bumpers back and front
  • Heavy-duty Dunlop Denovos tires, self-sealing even after being hit by bullets
  • Black leather upholstery
  • Side gunport Remote starter kit Rotating license plates
  • Air Conditioning Cruise Control Two halogen fog lamps
  • A fully built in sound system
  • Aircraft headlight hidden behind front license plate.
Model: 900 Turbo
Manufacturer: Saab
Production: 1978-1998
Class:
Engine: 2.0 L (1985 cc) B201 Turbo
Torque: 235 N·m (173 lb·ft)
at 5000 rpm
Transmission:
Power: 143 hp (107 kW; 145 PS)
at 5000 rpm
Top Speed: 210 km/h (131 mph)
0-60 mph (0-97 km/h): 9-10 s
Brakes:
Dimensions: L 4,680 mm (184.3 in),
W 1,690 mm (66.5 in),
H 1,400 mm (55.1 in)
Weight: 1,338 kg (2,950 lb)

 

 

In his first Bond novel in 1981, "Licence Renewed", he let Bond venture away from his traditional Q-branch vehicles to a new brand - the Saab "Silver Beast".  
I sitt första Bond novellen 1981, "Licens förnyas", han lät Bond venture bort från sin traditionella Q-filial fordon till ett nytt märke - Saab "Silver Beast".

The SAAB 900 Turbo saw Bond depart from his earlier Bentley's and Aston Martin's and have his own personally modified car by the multinational "Communication Control System" and not Q-Branch.  
Saab 900 Turbo såg Bond avvika från sin tidigare Bentley och Aston Martin och har sitt eget personligen modifierade bil av multinationella "Meddelande Control System" och inte Q-Branch.

The real life counterpart SAAB 900 Turbo was launched in 1980 and was seen at the time as a car which broke new ground, offering the public high-end performance and practicality.  
Den verkliga livet motsvarighet Saab 900 Turbo lanserades 1980 och sågs då som en bil som bröt ny mark genom att erbjuda allmänheten high-end prestanda och praktiska.

SAAB's prestige and automotive credibility were raised to levels shared by other Bond thoroughbreds - Bentley, Aston Martin and Lotus.  
SAAB: s prestige och fordonsindustrin trovärdighet togs upp till nivåer som delas av andra Bond thoroughbreds - Bentley, Aston Martin och Lotus.


Above: This rare promotion photograph was produced in conjunction with the 1981 Novel 'Licence Renewed'. Ovan: Detta sällsynta  fotografi har producerats i samarbete med 1981 nya "License förnyade".
007_saab_900turbo.jpg (72826 bytes)

 

1981 saw the release of John Gardner's first 007 novel "Licence Renewed", which was published to great critical acclaim. The book introduced us to new the "Silver Beast" and its refinements, and the car went on to see action again in two more Gardner titles in 1982's "For Special Services" and "Icebreaker" in 1983. 1981 såg frisläppandet av John Gardner: s första 007 nya "License förnyade", som kom till stor kritisk bifall. Boken infördes oss till den nya "Silver Beast" och dess finesser, och bilen fortsatte med att se handling igen i två mer Gardner titlar i 1982: s "för särskilda tjänster" och "Icebreaker" 1983.

Above: Bond author John Gardner with the Saab 900 Turbo. Ovan: Bond författaren John Gardner med Saab 900 Turbo.
John Gardner talked  earlier this year about his use of the SAAB 900 Turbo in his Bond novels, and why he chose the brand over 007's previous vehicles: John Gardner pratat tidigare i år om sin användning av Saab 900 Turbo i hans Bond romaner, och varför han valde märket över 007 tidigare fordon:

"The Bentley was ridiculous. In many ways so was the Aston Martin, because I regarded it as a fairly flash motor car. I had to get away from that, and I liked the Saab, it was a very safe motor car indeed." "Den Bentley var löjligt. På många sätt så var det Aston Martin, eftersom jag ansåg att det var en ganska flash bil. Jag var tvungen att komma bort från det, och jag tyckte om Saab, det var en mycket säker bil faktiskt."

"You could clock up the miles on it, you could clock up the speeds on it. I had a Saab right up until I stopped driving two years ago, and loved them." "Du kan klocka upp den miles på den, du kan klocka upp hastigheter på det. Jag hade en Saab ända tills jag slutade att köra för två år sedan, och älskade dem."

In 1982 a specially created SAAB was developed based on what had been written by Gardner the previous year. 1982 ett speciellt skapat SAAB har utvecklats baserat på vad som hade skrivits av Gardner föregående år. The car was a fully working version of its fictional cousin, including a specially developed turbo changed engine with water injection raising the power to 240 BHP from 2000cc and provided 0 - 60 MPH in less than 7 seconds. Bilen var en helt arbetar version av sin fiktiva kusin, inklusive en särskilt utvecklad turbo ändrats motorn med vatten injektion öka kraften till 240 BHP från 2000cc och gav 0 - 60 km / h på mindre än 7 sekunder.

 

 

007's SAAB Modifications 007: s SAAB Ändringar

  • The top speed in excess of 170 MPH Början hastighet på över 170 MPH
  • Oxygen masks fitted in the roof lining above the two front seats Syrgasmasker monteras i takbeklädnaden över de två framsätena
  • External tear gas outlets Yttre tårgas butiker
  • CO2 gas-operated compartment for Oxygen unit, in case the air runs low CO2-gas-drivs utrymme för syre enhet, om luften går låg
  • The car is armour plated and has bullet proof glass Bilen är pansar klädd och har bullet bevis glas
  • Hardened to resist small arms and automatic gun fire Förstärkta för att kunna motstå handeldvapen och automatiska vapen brand
  • A filter to stop deadly gas from entering the cars cabin Ett filter för att stoppa dödlig gas från att komma in i bilar stuga
  • Dunlop Denovos - resealing puncture and split proof tyres Dunlop Denovos - omplombering punktering och delad bevisbörda däck
  • TH70 Nitefinders goggles for night driving without lights TH70 Nitefinders glasögon för trafik nattetid utan belysning
  • Reinforced stressed steel ramming bumpers Förstärkas betonade stål ramming stötfångare
  • VL 22H counter surveillance receiver VL 22H motverka övervakning mottagare
  • A pen alarm En penna larm
  • A small ultrasonic transmitter to protect the SAAB from sabotage Ett litet ultraljud sändare för att skydda SAAB från sabotage
  • Hidden compartments within the dashboard Dolda utrymmen i instrumentpanelen
  • Unauthorized heavy Ruger Super Blackhawk 45 Magnum Obehörig tung Rüger Super Blackhawk 45 Magnum
  • Unauthorized Browning hand gun Obehörig Browning hand pistol
  • Heads Up Display of digital instruments Heads Up Display digitala instrument
  • Special designed steel- strengthened briefcase Särskild utformad i stål stärkas portfölj
  • A Gun Port built in just below the dashboard A Gun Port byggdes strax under instrumentpanelen
  • Black leather upholstery Svart läderklädsel
  • Remote starter unit Remote Starter enhet
  • Cruise Control Cruise Control
  • Air Conditioning Luftkonditionering
  • A fully built in sound system En helt inbyggt i ljudsystem
  • Radio Telephone Radio Telefon
  • Box section number plate that can be turned to any number Box avsnitt registreringsskyltar som kan kopplas till valfritt antal
  • Two front halogen lamps Två främre halogenlampor
     
    007_saab_gardner_lr.jpg (212904 bytes)
    • Communication Control Systems, Ltd. (now called Security Intelligence Technology Group) is actually a real company, which advised author John Gardner with ideas about feasible gadgets to be used. Consequently, Gardner gave them the credit in the book, rather than Q Branch.
    • With the release of Licence Renewed, Saab took the opportunity to launch a Bond themed promotional campaign complete with an actual car outfitted like the one in the book (but using smoke dispensers instead of tear gas).
    • The Saab 900 Turbo, introduced in May of 1978, was Bond's vehicle of choice in many of the John Gardner Bond novels, beginning with Licence Renewed (1981). Dubbed, the "Silver Beast", it is Bond's private vehicle modified by the real-life company Communication Control Systems, Ltd. (CCS) (now called Security Intelligence Technology Group).
    • James Bond's 900 Turbo

      The 1979 900 was available in three versions: The GL had the single-carb 99 hp/73.5 kW engine, the GLS had twin carburetors for 106 hp/79.5 kW, the EMS and GLE had fuel injection for 116 hp/87 kW, and the 900 Turbo produced 143 hp/107 kW. A five-speed transmission was introduced in the EMS and Turbo for 1980.

      The only bodywork originally available was the three or five-door hatchback style, which was seen as more modern at the time. The vehicle also had an aviation-inspired curved windscreen for better visibility and an aircraft style dashboard. The dashboard itself had been arranged according to the frequency of use and/or importance of the various controls and gauges.

       

 

 

Bond's Saab 900 Turbo, 3-door version, was equipped with the following features:

SAAB 900 Turbo 1981 James Bond Silver Beast Specification.j
SAAB_900_1986jpg.jpg (144548 bytes)

James Bond-romaner by John Edmund Gardner

 

John Gardner till vänster och författarkollegan Douglas Rutherford   SAAB 900 Turbo 1986 James Bond Silver Beast Specification.j
SAAB 900 Turbo 1981 James Bond Silver Beast Specification.

John Gardner till vänster och författarkollegan Douglas Rutherford   SAAB 900 Turbo 1981 James Bond Silver Beast Specification.j
John Gardner till vänster och författarkollegan Douglas Rutherford
VÄRLDSDECKARKONGRESSEN 1981 i Stockholm.
John Gardner och  SAAB 900 SAAB 007utanför GRAND HOTEL med utsikt mot Kungliga Slottet.

Thanks to Iwan Morelius for the picture of John Gardner and the SAAB
Iwan Morelius Major Boothroyd (Q) and Ian Fleming's friend.  Bond...James Bond with Iwan Morelius. James Bond 007 Museum Sweden Nybro

 

GRAND HOTEL STOCKHOLM  Crime writers 3:rd International Congress
John Gardner till vänster och författarkollegan Douglas Rutherford   SAAB 900 Turbo 1981 James Bond Silver Beast Specification.jJohn Gardner till vänster och författarkollegan Douglas Rutherford VÄRLDSDECKARKONGRESSEN 19 Juni 1981 i Stockholm.

John Gardner and his The James Bond Books and SAAB 900 utanför GRAND HOTEL med utsikt mot Kungliga Slottet.

GRAND HOTEL STOCKHOLM 
Crime writers 3:rd 
International Congress

C W I C - 3
in Stockholm

GALA DINNER

June 19, 1981

M E N U

Spade`s salomon special:Raw-pickled

Beck`s braised beef bourguignonne

Souffle` glace`a`la Maigret

WINES

French Wine

Quenns Port

 

Saab 900 Turbo 007 "Silver Beast"
The mysterious silver beast of James Bond

 
James Bond Museum Sweden Bild 1/5 - Der 007-Saab hatte natürlich allerlei Extras vom Nachtsichtgerät bis zur Panzerung


 Of course, the 007-Saab had all sorts of extras from night vision equipment to armor
James Bond Museum SwedenBild 1/5 - Of course, the 007-Saab had all sorts of extras from night vision to armor
Back in style - unfortunately only in the novel
James Bond Museum Sweden Image 2/5 - Back in style - unfortunately only in the novel
The James Bond-Saab unfortunately never made it to the screen
James Bond Museum SwedenBild 3/5 - The James Bond-Saab unfortunately never made it to the screen
Because the fans were so enthusiastic, the agent Saab was built as a single piece really
James Bond Museum SwedenBild 4/5 - Because the fans were so enthusiastic, the Agent Saab was actually built as a one-off piece
The turbo Swede would have become a real-life bond-car
James Bond Museum SwedenBild 5/5 - The turbo Swede would have become a real-life Bond car
5
FOCUS Online Editor Sebastian Viehmann
Thursday, 08.11.2012, 10:59
He is bulletproof, has a night vision device and can spray tear gas. In 1981, Top Agent 007 drove in Saab. We unravel the mystery of James Bond's most bizarre company car.

What is the most important feature that a secret agent's car should have? Right: It has to be as inconspicuous as possible. True top spies will probably take the bus to submerge unnoticed in the crowd. Not so James Bond 007. If Goldfinger, Blofeld, or Le Chiffre want to know if their nemesis MI6 is on their way, they just have to look for the most eye-catching and glamorous sports cars. If a perfectly dressed gentleman with the shaken martini glass drives in an Aston Martin or Lotus, the villains know that now our dark plans are in real danger. If 007 on the other hand, every now and then in normal cars such as a duck or a Russian Zaporozhez must go, then only as a nice gag for the movie action.


Renewed license - with turbo boost

But in 1981, 007 sat on Saab. A brand that at that time packed technical innovations and exemplary safety concepts as inconspicuously as hardly any other manufacturer. Wait a minute, 007 connoisseurs will object now: In the movie "In Deadly Mission" from 1981, James Bond cruised around in the Lotus Esprit Turbo. That's right, of course. But real fans do not just include the movies, but also the novels. And John Gardner, who officially continued Ian Fleming's novels in the 1980s, put the secret agent behind the wheel of a Saab 900 Turbo in his story "License Renewed" and in the following novels. In Germany, the book got the title "Countdown to Eternity".

Although the rolling Swedish steel lacked the glamor factor of an Aston Martin, the "Silver Beast" Saab was a genuine Bond car. He had bulletproof windows, his own oxygen supply, a night-vision device, a head-up display, a license plate changer like the Aston Martin DB5 from "Goldfinger" and a device to fire tear gas. The turbo engine had been bred to 175 hp. On comfort 007 also had to do without: Black leather interior, air conditioning, heated seats, cruise control and car phone were on board.

"I did not want an Aston Martin anymore"

On the Swedish fan site www.007museum.com you can read the whole history of what is probably the least known Bond car of all time. "I just wanted to get away from Bentleys and Aston Martins," John Gardner, who died in 2007, once said in an interview, "and I liked the Saab - it was really a very safe car." 007 fans were so taken by Bond's new company car that Saab even rebuilt the car 1-1.

The fact that the "Silver Beast" never made it to a James Bond movie is well known. To Roger Moore, the on-duty Bond in the 80s, the car would have probably not really fit - although Moore swore in the 60s in the famous action series "Simon Templar" ever on Swedish steel, namely a Volvo P1800. But when Timothy Dalton brought a brand new, more modern, more realistic and harder Bond to the screen at the end of the 80s, the idiosyncratic Saab would have been the ideal choice. Instead, they equipped 007 with an Aston Martin V8 Vantage. For a few short scenes, it was even the first time a German manufacturer managed to smuggle himself into a bond strip and 007 behind the wheel of an Audi 200 Quattro set.

What to do at turbo lag?

Thus, the dream of many architects, artists and senior councils to cross as a classic Saab clientele in a real Bond car through the area, limited to the novel world. In any case, after the 900 by the liaison with General Motors and the subsequent dilution of the brand Saab had nothing more cult suspicious on offer. And finally Saab even shared fate a

 

Obviously, Bond got his request. The nickname “Silver Beast” first appears in this second book. Gardner’s recollection was that it was his son Simon who gave the car its now famous moniker. In his "Author's Acknowledgments," Gardner thanks Saab (GB), Ltd., and Saab-Scania of Sweden "for the amount of time, trouble, patience, and enthusiasm they have put into proving that the James Bond Saab really does exist."

 

For Special Services features what is arguably the best Saab action scene in any of the Gardner books, when Bond races a Shelby-American Mustang GT 350 driven by henchman Walter Luxor. Bond kicked on the accelerator, sensing the Saab’s spoiler push the rear down onto the road. His own body was forced back into the driving seat as full power took hold. Of course, no henchman plays fair, and we get to see some defensive mechanisms on the Saab that we didn’t see in Licence Renewed—such as an automatic fire extinguisher system, which Bond uses when the race becomes a little overheated.

 

German Gardner Paperbacks "Moment Mal Mr Bond", "For Special Services" 1982, John Gardner

 

For this mission, the Saab’s secret dashboard compartments are also modified to include a compartment that holds rare prints (as Bond is undercover as a rare print dealer in this book). A favorite feature—the blinding aircraft landing light hidden behind the front license plate—also gets nice play in this book.

Once again, the Saab takes a beating aiding Bond’s escape from the villain’s Texas ranch estate (this time, launching aboard a moving monorail); and once again, the book made the best-sellers list. The new series was working. There was even reports that a Saab would appear in Octopussy, the next James Bond film (ultimately, this proved to be false). James Bond and his Silver Beast would return the following year in a book generally considered to be Gardner’s best. But it would be their last ride together. A “million-dollar prostitute” would soon come between a man and his Beast.

Breaking the Ice

 
“You have a car here, I believe. A Saab 900 Turbo. Silver. Delivered in the name of Bond, James Bond.”
 
– Icebreaker (1983)

Published in 1983, Icebreaker sees 007 sent to the Arctic Circle to do battle with a Neo-Nazi army. Once again, the Saab sees action, this time facing off on the icy roads of Lapland with three menacing snow-plows. “There was no doubt. They were going in for the kill, prepared to slice the Silver Beast in half. Silver versus yellow, Bond thought, and raised his right arm, the left hand still clutching the stun grenade…”

 

Icebreaker is a fan favorite and remained Gardner’s personal favorite Bond novel for many years, mainly because of his own experiences in the Arctic Circle, a trip hosted by Saab-Scania. Gardner shared his Arctic adventures with the James Bond International Fan Club magazine, OO7.

“As I had already managed to skid a Saab into snow drifts on three occasions, I had a very good driver who promptly managed to do the same -- but right on the Russian border. Happily, the Finnish army was on hand, and an officer walked the best part of two miles through icy conditions to bring help. We were finally towed out and all ended well.”

 
The author’s photo on the back of the U.S. edition shows Gardner on a snowmobile (right) and is credited to Saab-Scania, Sweden. Gardner offered additional thanks by including one of his Arctic traveling companions, international rally racing star Erik Carlsson (aka "Mr. Saab"), in a passage in the book. When Bond is preparing for his own journey deep into the “land of the rising sun,” he finds a note in his glove compartment: “Good luck, Whatever You're Doing... Remember what I've taught you about the left foot!!! -Erik.

Saab once again helped promote the paperback release of the book with a “WIN BOND’S SILVER SAAB TURBO!” contest arranged in conjunction with Berkley Publishing. Large standees (called “dumps”) containing the paperback edition of the book had tear-off coupons attached, which customers could fill out and send into the “Icebreaker/Saab Consumer Drawing.” The prize was, indeed, a silver Saab Turbo, “the driving machine of a lifetime for some lucky Bond fan.” The winner was announced on May 31, 1984.

Never Say Never

 

Bond left the room and hurried downstairs to reception to ask what self-drive hire cars were available quickly. For once, Bond seemed to making his own luck. There was a Saab 900 Turbo—a car which he was well used to—which only just had been returned. 
– Nobody Lives Forever (1986)

Gardner may have put 007 together with a “million-dollar prostitute,” but he still liked to revisit his $300 call girl (sorry, he started it). Saabs continued to make cameo appearances in many of Gardner’s later Bond books. In 1986’s Nobody Lives Forever, Bond rents a Saab 900 in order to make an undercover side trip to the Klinik Mozart just outside of Salzburg. Bond again rents a Saab for a dangerous mission in Dublin in 1987’s abysmally titled No Deals, Mr. Bond. M drives a Saab 9000 CD in 1991’s The Man From Barbarossa (the book which replaced Icebreakeras Gardner’s personal favorite). One gets a feeling that Gardner missed the old Silver Beast as much as the fans did.

 
Then as the Gardner era ran down, James Bond and Saab were reunited. In Never Send Flowers(1993) and SeaFire (1994), Bond suddenly drives a Saab 9000 CD Turbo. This choice may have been influenced by the fact that Gardner, who was now living in the America, drove a white Saab 9000 CD himself.

The Saab 9000 CD is a mysterious presence at the end of the Gardner era. Gardner never explains what happened to the Bentley (actually the second Bentley as Bond trades up to a Turbo R at some point), nor whether this Saab is Bond’s personal property or part of the MI6 motor pool. Is it supposed to be the same car we saw M driving in Barbarossa? The Saab 9000 is a conservative four-door sedan, Saab's entry into the luxury car market. It’s no Beast. Still, it’s a Saab, and it seemed a fitting way to send Gardner's Bond out.

Gardner retired from the Bond series in 1996. Raymond Benson took over and put Bond in a sleek new Jaguar XK8. Saab was purchased by American car giant GM who, over the years, have gentrified the cars and, incredibly, rolled back many of Saab’s unique innovations. Under GM, Saabs have ceased to be the hot car of the ‘80s and early ‘90s, and now some younger Bond fans question the wisdom of James Bond ever driving a car they see as one their mothers might buy.

Ah, but there was a time when James Bond and his “Silver Beast” raced along the backroads of Surrey—clinging to the grass shoulder, putting a fraction more power to bring the car out of the bend—and the two together seemed to embody all that was cool, sophisticated, and European in the 1980s. For a time the original promotional tour Saab 900, still outfitted with its deadly arsenal, was displayed in a museum in Trollhattan, Sweden, on its hood is one of the bold colorful posters from 1981—proof that at one time a Saab 900 Turbo was the car of choice for that great connoisseur of motor vehicles (and other earthly delights)—Bond, James Bond.

It was a great ride.

 

 

Saab 900 Turbo 007 „Silver Beast“Das geheimnisvolle Silber-Biest von James Bond

Er ist kugelsicher, hat ein Nachtsichtgerät und kann Tränengas versprühen. 1981 fuhr Top-Agent 007 im Saab. Wir lüften das Geheimnis um James Bonds skurrilsten Dienstwagen.

Was ist das wichtigste Merkmal, das das Auto eines Geheimagenten haben sollte? Richtig: Es muss möglichst unauffällig sein. Echte Top-Spione nehmen wahrscheinlich den Bus, um unbemerkt in der Masse unterzutauchen. Nicht so James Bond 007. Wenn Goldfinger, Blofeld oder Le Chiffre wissen wollen, ob gerade ihr Erzfeind vom MI6 im Anmarsch ist, müssen sie nur nach den auffälligsten und glamourösesten Sportwagen Ausschau halten. Fährt ein perfekt gekleideter Gentleman mit dem geschüttelten Martini-Glas in einem Aston Martin oder Lotus vor, wissen die Bösewichter: Jetzt sind unsere finsteren Pläne aber mal richtig in Gefahr. Wenn 007 dagegen hin und wieder in Normalo-Autos wie eine Ente oder einen russischenSaporoschez einsteigen muss, dann nur als netter Gag für die Filmhandlung.

 

 

Lizenz erneuert – mit Turboschub


Doch 1981 setzte 007 auf Saab. Eine Marke, die damals technische Innovationen und vorbildliche Sicherheitskonzepte so unauffällig verpackte wie kaum ein anderer Hersteller. Moment mal, werden 007-Kenner jetzt einwenden: Im Film „In tödlicher Mission“ von 1981 kreuzte James Bond doch im LotusEsprit Turbo durch die Gegend. Das stimmt natürlich. Doch für echte Fans zählen nicht nur die Filme, sondern auch die Romane. Und John Gardner, der in den 80er Jahren offiziell Ian Flemings Romane fortführte, setzte den Geheimagenten in seiner Story „Licence renewed“ (wörtlich übersetzt: Lizenz erneuert) und in den folgenden Romanen ans Steuer eines Saab 900 Turbo. In Deutschland bekam das Buch den Titel „Countdown für die Ewigkeit“.

Auch wenn dem rollenden Schwedenstahl der Glamour-Faktor eines Aston Martin fehlte, so war der „Silver Beast“ genannte Saab doch ein waschechtes Bond-Auto. Er hatte kugelsichere Scheiben, eine eigene Sauerstoffversorgung, ein Nachtsichtgerät, ein Head-Up-Display, einen Nummernschild-Wechsler wie einst der Aston Martin DB5 aus „Goldfinger“ und eine Vorrichtung, um Tränengas abzufeuern. Der Turbo-Motor war auf 175 PS hochgezüchtet worden. Auf Komfort musste 007 auch nicht verzichten: Schwarze Lederausstattung, Klimaanlage, Sitzheizung, Tempomat und Autotelefon waren an Bord.

 

„Ich wollte keinen Aston Martin mehr“


Auf der schwedischenFan-Website www.007museum.comkann man die ganze Geschichte des heute wohl unbekanntesten Bond-Autos aller Zeiten nachlesen. „Ich wollte einfach von Bentleys und Aston Martins loskommen“, sagte der 2007 verstorbene John Gardner einmal in einem Interview, „und ich mochte den Saab– es war wirklich ein sehr sicheres Auto“. 007-Fans waren so angetan von Bonds neuem Dienstwagen, dass Saab das Auto sogar 1:1 nachbaute.

Dass es das „silberne Biest“ nie in einem James Bond-Kinofilm schaffte, ist bekannt. Zu Roger Moore, dem diensthabenden Bond in den 80ern, hätte der Wagen wohl auch nicht wirklich gepasst – obwohl Moore in den 60er Jahren in der berühmten Actionserie „Simon Templar“ ja schon einmal auf Schwedenstahl schwor, nämlich einen VolvoP1800. Doch als Timothy Dalton Ende der 80er Jahre einen völlig neuen, moderneren, realistischeren und härteren Bond auf die Leinwand brachte, wäre der eigenwillige Saab die ideale Wahl gewesen. Stattdessen stattete man 007 mit einem Aston Martin V8 Vantage aus. Für ein paar kurze Szenen gelang es sogar erstmals einem deutschen Hersteller, sich in einen Bond-Streifen zu schmuggeln und 007 ans Steuer eines Audi200 Quattro zu setzen.

 

Was tun beim Turboloch?


So blieb der Traum mancher Architekten, Künstler und Oberstudienräte, als klassische Saab-Klientel in einem echten Bond-Auto durch die Gegend zu kreuzen, auf die Romanwelt beschränkt. Ohnehin hatte Saab nach dem 900 durch die Liaison mit General Motors und die folgende Verwässerung der Marke nichts Kultverdächtiges mehr im Angebot. Und schließlich teilte Saab sogar das Schicksal aller Bond-Bösewichter – die Marke hat das Zeitliche gesegnet. Dabei hätte Saab die Leinwand so schön nutzen können, um das Problem der frühen Turbomotoren nonchalant zu überspielen: James Bond hätte sich während des Turbolochs wahrscheinlich noch schnell die Krawatte gerichtet.

 

 

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