Our Saab 9000, the Anna project, has a problem. The air conditioning compressor seems to leak, he has to go to the workshop. As always, the yard at Saab Service Frankfurt is full of vehicles waiting to be repaired. Additional customer vehicles park on the street in front of the site.
Demand seems to have reached a new high. From 9-5 NG to 900, 9-3 and old 9-5 to 9000 and 96, everything that Saab has ever produced has gathered here. I have brought a dose of patience. No problem! For the trip home I get a convertible.
A 9-3 Aero Cabriolet from the private collection of Gerard Ratzmann is waiting for me. The open Saab is a kind of rolling restoration for his personal pleasure - which, I suppose, will eventually be finished. What I see as a challenge in the order situation. The front bumper in Viggen design is newly assembled and unpainted. The fog lamps are still missing, but no matter. An Aero stands for fun, and a Saab convertible anyway.
The mileage: 324.000 ... Cars that have so much on the clock, are hardly appreciated in Germany, a glance. That's for sure. 200.000 is a lot, 300.000 stands for the end of the lifetime. A case for the diesel environmental bonus. Alright?
I start and roll from Frankfurt-Fechenheim in the direction of the motorway. The convertible twists happily to itself, but that was already in the Neuwagenzustand Sun. The antique Asin-Borg-Warner 4 steps automatic switches as usual. The interior has signs of wear. Clear. But none that would close on 324.000 kilometers. The Viggen seats are taut, the leather without cracks, the dashboard too. Some leather care plus color, and everything would be almost as new. The climate control display loses its pixels, but who cares?
This Saab is evil. A lot…
The Saab threads on the highway. Behind me an asthmatic SUV tries to simulate driving dynamics and chase the convertible off the track. Activate sports button? What for? The accelerator gently stroked, the turbo pushes boost pressure in the Södertälje engine. The open Saab dashes forward like a Viking ship in attack mode. The SUV dies somewhere in the rearview mirror. This Saab is evil. A lot.
205 PS? No way ! More. Much more. No idea how many. But 230 or 240 PS will be it already. Well retracted, or well optimized.
Flashback. When Trollhättan launched the B205R, it was the first 2.0 liter engine with more than 100 horsepower output from the factory. Durability at that time was a big topic in the trade press. How long does that last? More than 324.000 kilometers in any case, and much longer than the super-optimized small engines in today's vehicles will do.
The maintenance condition of the Cabriolet is great, which I would not have expected otherwise. The heart beats hard, and is very healthy. I like this car. It is classic Saab style. The small, curved windscreen, the intimate narrowness, the low roof. If you like the old 900, you'll love the kind of 900 II and 9-3 I as well. The successor was another very different thing.
Formula fun 324.000
You drive, you have fun and you get a good mood. The turbocharger shovels air, the engine hung avidly on the gas. You forgot the mileage after a while. 324.000? Also only a number. The scars on the sheet? A true fighter sustains the injuries of his life and with pride. I start liking the old Swede. He has my sympathy.
So he gets an article on the blog and a photo shoot. Uncoated, unwashed, not beautified. The way he is. Cool and authentic. Thanks to Frankfurt!