A really sad side effect of Saab's probable demise? Life for ultra-dumb car thieves has just gotten a little easier.

Four winters ago, thieves made an attempt to take off with my friend Nino Karotta’s old black Saab 99, the lone Swedish outpost in his eccentric car collection.

While the thieves were never caught, we can safely conclude that they were not exactly the sharpest knives in the drawer. For every proper Saab has its ignition switch between the front seats as a safety measure to prevent knee damage in the event of a frontal collision. This our geniuses of hotwiring did not know.


In their ignorant frustration, they proceeded to trash the interior of the 99. Wires were ripped, an indicator light was smashed, and in perhaps a display of longing for a warm bed after an unsuccessful night of stealing Saabs, they opened the trunk and ripped apart a feather pillow stored there. Violent damage, but the car remained immobile until nursed back to life by its rightful owner.

Now that Saab is gone (or is it?), such Neanderthals will no longer be obfuscated by safety-minded Swedes.

Unless they try their luck with Porsches, which have their ignition switches on the left, a legacy of old Le Mans starts.

Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő