David Llewellyn Owen: a Memorial
At the Saab Enthusiasts' Meeting, Larling September 2007
Last year my father died after a short battle with cancer. He was just as big a Saab nut as I was but, whereas I have owned a succession of cars from the Trollhatten motor masters, he had only ever owned three:
1. a 1976 99 EMS 2-dr
2. a 1982 900 GLE 4-dr
3. a 1986 900 2-dr.
I guess he never got as easily bored as I do.
To my knowledge he only went to two Saab owners' meetings: one national and one enthusiasts' meeting but his enthusiasm for the marque led to more than a couple of arguments with classic car buffs down at this favourite haunt, the Angel public house in Loddon.
He did, however, take his pride and joy, the white 900 carb 2-dr to many Norfolk classic car rallies, accompanied by either myself or his pal and drinking buddy Philip Morter. Of the time I spent with him at these events, most of it was listening to his stories about different models of cars on show, when they were made, where and the people he had known who had had such a vehicle.
In his lifetime my father had sampled all sorts of cars. From Diamlers to Hillman Imps, from Rovers to Vauxhalls but it was Saabs that were his favourite and my love of Saabs was, I suppose inevitable. He had a very full life and always knew how to enjoy himself, whether it was arguing the toss with some weirdy beardy MG driving optimist or just having a quiet drink with his buddies down the pub.
There are so many of my own character traits that I can blame on him but that's what happens isn't it: an impressionable boy like me always looks up to and tries his best to emulate his father especially when the father in question is as big a character as David.
There is obviously a hell of a lot more to my dad than cars - he loved films, comedy, music, his children - me, my brother David James Owen and our sister Catherine, his grandchildren - Ben, Aimee, Sarah and my darlin' boy, Cameron.
All the people he loved were with him the night he died including my mother, Mary. There isn't a day goes by that we don't miss him; his sense of humour and his clear cut sense of responsibility and values.
The notation on his memorial simply reads: "sadly missed", though in hindsight maybe "fondly remembered, sadly missed" would have been better. A wonderful father and one hell of a Saab Enthusiast.
David Llewellyn Owen
1939 - 2008
3 March 2009