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Saab Story Rolls to a Happy Ending

Classic Saab enthusiasts who mourn the recent shuttering of Saab of Westport need not shed another tear. Kingsway Motors is here, and with James Rosenstein at the helm, your Saab should have smooth sailing for years to come.

Having written a recent article about a local and ardent Saab fan for these pages, it occurred to this reporter that there are other Saab-lovers out there -- passionate and vocal legions of them -- who might be seeking a life force for their precious rides. James Rosenstein is your Saab's Holy Grail.

Rosenstein has lived in Connecticut for almost 40 years and has owned Kingsway Motors in Fairfield for 16 of them. He knows his Swedes, having begun his career as a Saab specialist more than 20 years ago at Continental Motors. When the American public began its love affair with Hondas and Toyotas in the 1990s, James decided to specialize in fixing Saabs -- and he's been busy ever since (which is not to cast aspersions on the brand, but rather a testament to their popularity).

At the shop he is surrounded by Saabs in varying degrees of wellness, from the very sick (with bleak prognoses) to vehicles in fine health and ready to be sold (he sells used Saabs as well). "Saabs are solid cars," he says. "They're great in bad weather -- snow in particular. People throw a few snow tires on them and they can go anywhere and handle nicely. They're just as good as any four-wheelers out there."

But just like their owners, Saabs, are quirky. "I tell my customers, 'Odd is what you get with a Saab. They're unique. It's part of the appeal.'" If admitting your car is "odd" is euphemistic, it's still a prudent approach. "Things can go wrong with Saabs just like with any other cars," he says.

Do they go wrong more often in a Saab? "I'll put it this way," says James: "People who own older Saabs have a love-hate relationship with them: They love them when they get them, then some things go wrong and they wind up hating them. Then they wreck them in an accident, from which they've walked away safely." In which case, he says, they all want to buy another Saab.

Kingsway Motors is located at 705 Kings Highway East in Fairfield. Or, you can call James at (203) 333-2118. Tell him your Saab sent you.

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