Exclusive: Saab of Santa Monica Closing Feb. 1


Scandinavian automotive news rocks the Westside late today: Saab of Santa Monica, one of just three remaining Saab dealerships in LA County, is fated to be shuttered forever on February 1, 2008, having been taken over by a Cadillac dealership. Their website has already been taken offline.

I remain ambivalent on the news of their imminent demise. While I won’t miss the ridiculous markups on their parts and service, there was something about their unassuming presence on Santa Monica Blvd., their always-full pot of burnt profoundly terrible coffee and “complementary” off-site car washes that made the shop an enjoyable, if quirky destination.

There are few reasons I can in good conscience direct anyone to visit Sherman Oaks–no, not even the new ArcLight–but in there in Sherman Oaks remains one of two Greater Los Angeles area Saab dealerships. CORRECTION: The other is down in the South Bay in Torrance in Pasadena. [Thanks commenters, you’re my fact-checking cuz.]

Better yet, orphaned Swedish motorcar enthusiasts in need of service would do well to find a good independent shop. I recommend Viking Motors on Pico, freeway convenient and walking distance from Joker.

Fun fact: Kurt Vonnegut managed Saab of Cape Cod. He was not able to name it “Cape Cod Saab” as he desired as Saab corporate HQ mandates the “Saab” must come first in the official business name. (Note that precise transposition typo in the header of the enclosed letter.)