My story with Saab

"We are looking for you and your Saab" reader competition. Place 2.

One of my many stories with Saab is about two different Saab 96, but they look almost identical. This story with the two greenlings is filled with violent emotions of all kinds, so to speak, from Heaven to exultation to death (thank God not) sad. Only that the order is exactly opposite - a coherent story in several files ...

Which Saab is less common? © 2014 Uli Beitel
Which Saab is less common? © 2014 Uli Beitel

• Prologue

After many years with a Saab 96 as an everyday car, which unfortunately had to be logged off due to severe corrosion 1992, I was in 2000 a month ago for a Saab dealer standing 96 so much that I could not help, this from his dusty parking space redeem.

Saab 96, dusty in a corner at the dealer © 2014 Uli Beitel
Saab 96, dusty in a corner at the dealer © 2014 Uli Beitel

Three years of intensive restoration work followed, until the driving pleasure could finally begin after a trouble-free TÜV inspection.

• The end, the shock and the second birthday

April 2007, a sunny, early evening on the notorious Ostmerkstraße between Cham and Weiden. In a good mood, I enjoyed the subtle rumble of the V4 engine of my Saab 96 and the awareness of driving an individual car. My eyes fell on the candle-straight, spring-spoiled track in front of me. Also the drivers coming towards me seemed to want to end this Sunday with pleasure, no racers, no wild overtaking maneuvers. Everything is peaceful.

Suddenly - almost out of nowhere - an SUV approaching my lane gradually and inexorably. I am honking, make a full stop, desperate further honking - no reaction of the SUV driver, nothing! My guardian angel tears the steering wheel in the opposite direction - or was this the result of a recent safety training? Unfortunately a few split seconds too late! The SUV captures the right side of my beloved Humpback Saab. A dull bang - NEEEEIIIIN !!! - Glass splinters everywhere - in slow motion, the horizon twists around 90 degrees, wrong world - krrrrrccchhhh, the Saab drags on its left side along the road, infinitely long, until this ugly sound finally stops.

Silence - a jumble of splinters, magazines, Saab model cars, dust around me: reality or just a bad dream? But now everything goes as in routine: Turn off the engine (why is the ignition key suddenly so high up?), Belt open (is damn hard), get out of the car before someone crashes into the roof. But how come out of the car? Right door hopelessly wedged and suddenly lying on top, left door blocked by the weight of the Saab. Only the way through the still half in the body frame hanging windshield opening offers rescue. Finally outside. Strangers are bustling around, looking for more inmates. The Saab looks at me sadly with a distorted front. Then the shock, as some helping hands throw the 96 on the wheels. Total destruction, three years of restoration destroyed within a few seconds. I run to the SUV driver, who has just freed himself from the also lying on the side car. The stunned question - more of an outcry "Why me, why me ?????" comes to me over the lips. "I fell asleep" the equally incomprehensible answer of the SUV driver. Only now do I feel my way along. No blood, no injuries, no pain. Only later I hug my guardian angel ....

The horror photo after the impact of the SUV © 2014 Uli Beitel
The horror photo after the impact of the SUV © 2014 Uli Beitel

The comment of a policeman: If I had stayed on my trail, no chance, frontal crash, certain death. If I dodged to the right, even fewer chances, the SUV would have stood in the interior. Even the solid shell of the 96 would not have resisted this impact energy. I will not realize all this until late in the evening. The shock gradually moves into my limbs. Uncontrolled trembling of the hands, the impact runs over and over again in slow motion in front of my eyes. My second birthday!

• Three weeks later: coincidence, predetermination, or what?

Somehow I had finished that evening with the hobby "vintage car". Meaningless wasting money and time, all that! Or not? Although my 96 was later ennobled by an expert with the state score 2 +, but what is money in comparison to the previous, daily joy to be able to sit down in the Viking egg?

This realization made me inwardly restless. Should I search for an oldie again? In ambiguous mood I forested in German Internet offers for the hump Saab. Only a few, badly battered, rust and spatula-held alternatives were to be found, nothing compared to my metallic-green jewel.

The tip of my Saab friend Dirk "look into the Swedish Blocket" changed everything. After a short search what came to my eyes like lightning? My metallic-green 96 with the same football wheels, additionally decorated by big Bosch headlights and a black rear window screen. And an incredible new condition with 49.000 km within 28 years clouded my mind.

The decision was clear: on to Sweden!

• The tension is rising: Sweden in the sights!

Only a day's thought time was between ad and the drive to Mönsteras on the Swedish East Coast - actually, this was just an alibi time. It was immediately clear to me, this is it or not.

The tension is rising, Sweden is approaching © 2014 Uli Beitel
The tension is rising, Sweden is approaching © 2014 Uli Beitel

After 14 hours, I reached Mönsteras and nervously rang the doorbell of Göran in the morning.

Arrival in Mönsteras © 2014 Uli Beitel
Arrival in Mönsteras © 2014 Uli Beitel

After seemingly endless waiting time, the door opened and Göran looked at me sleepily and a little puzzled before he was back in the present. Finished night shift, ok, very good to understand.

But the real challenge was yet to come: Almost all Swedes speak fluent English, just not this Saab owner. Not a single word!

After a round of coffee we went to the garage of the green. The door opened and ....

• Delight, madness, lack of air, inner cheering ... the emotions go crazy

... the unbelievable is in front of me. Acacia green metallic, round, shiny, a copy of my Saab.

The first photo, still with Swedish number © 2014 Uli Beitel
The first photo, still with Swedish number © 2014 Uli Beitel

Only much nicer - sorry, my faded 96. Rust? Nothing! Faded paint? Wrong! Worn driver seat? But certainly not! New original seat covers from Saab also protect new original seat covers.

Also the interior in new condition © 2014 Uli Beitel
Also the interior in new condition © 2014 Uli Beitel

Almost apologetically Göran wipes over a tiny scratch, just touching! How should I find the balance between inner ecstasy and outer serenity? The basic rule, to show no euphoric feelings in purchase negotiations, I succeed bad!

At exactly the right moment, an acquaintance of Göran appears who, as an interpreter, provides invaluable services. It soon becomes clear that Göran only sells his jewel to someone who treats it just as carefully. Thank God I had my laptop with the extensive restoration image collection. My 27 year Saab experience did the rest to be trusted. Why are you selling such a gold treasure? Well, divorces are also expensive in Sweden. It turns out that this 96 is the last of his possession of a total of four pieces that must be sold. Göran, I'm very sorry!

Finally, a high three-digit euro amount changes as a deposit the owner and the collection date is sealed.
Happy, but with a bad conscience towards Göran and his situation, I leave Mönsteras.

• Three weeks later - joy and farewell pain

How many sleepless nights did I have during the next three weeks? Probably 21! At last it was time. A business trip together with a work colleague to Sweden was due. A company Passat tried to convince me on the way to the far north that a modern car was much better than such an old 96. Vain. The anticipation on the way between Trollhättan and Mönsteras rose inexorably.
Arriving in Mönsteras, Göran greets me with an even more puzzled expression than at the first meeting.

Actually, he thought that I would appear with a trailer and not on their own wheels would make the trip to Germany.
After a now four-digit amount the mood of Göran improved a little (the purchase price was almost identical to the amount that I received from the insurance of the former accident cause), the farewell approached. Göran said goodbye with tears in his eyes and a goodbye kiss on the rear fender, which caused my eyes wet too.

The last pats of Göran, just before the farewell © 2014 Uli Beitel
The last pats of Göran, just before the farewell © 2014 Uli Beitel

The 9-5 model brought from the Saab Museum as a farewell present for Göran was certainly only a small consolation for him.

Only vaguely could I see his waving in the rearview mirror when we left him.

The departure of Göran and Mönsteras © 2014 Uli Beitel
The departure of Göran and Mönsteras © 2014 Uli Beitel

• The way home to Germany

The first few kilometers started very gently, after all, the new entry was about 5 years in the almost clinically clean garage. Since the support vehicle was filled with all sorts of tools and drip pans at the beginning of the trip to Sweden, the oil and cooling water change after 50 km could be carried out in a car park in an environmentally friendly way.

The accompanying Passat packed with many spare parts © 2014 Uli Beitel
The accompanying Passat packed with many spare parts © 2014 Uli Beitel

Only then did I continue the journey home with a slightly better feeling.
Interesting were the reactions of the Swedes, when they saw such a well-preserved 96 on their streets.

The first highway after five years of stoppage © 2014 Uli Beitel
The first highway after five years of stoppage © 2014 Uli Beitel

Several high-held thumbs and a friendly smile when overtaking testified to the car history awareness of the Swedes.

The first refueling after 5 years Garage © 2014 Uli Beitel
The first refueling after 5 years Garage © 2014 Uli Beitel

As everything went smoothly on the way home except for the foreseeable carburettor adjustments, our ways separated, and my co-worker's maximum travel speed of 80 km / h was probably getting on my nerves. Before, of course, the tool was reloaded into the 96 - just in case.

On the danish border © 2014 Uli Beitel
On the danish border © 2014 Uli Beitel

Thankfully, only this case did not materialize - apart from a few carburetor adjustment corrections.

Carburetor adjustments on the way to Germany © 2014 Uli Beitel
Carburetor adjustments on the way to Germany © 2014 Uli Beitel

Exhausted but happy, I reached my destination at night.

Arrival at home © 2014 Uli Beitel
Arrival at home © 2014 Uli Beitel

• To this day: Pure enjoyment - hopefully without another SUV contact ...

Now followed a two-year preservation (no restoration, because what can you restore to a nearly brand new car already?), All parts of the body were removed and carefully protected against rust. Also steel braces were reinstalled to reinforce the doors and the A-pillar area, which had reduced the even deeper penetration of the SUV on the previous Saab. Only this time in a much more stable execution - and now with four (!) Horns to awaken any sleepy drivers in time ...

Reinforcement of the A-pillar area © 2014 Uli Beitel
Reinforcement of the A-pillar area © 2014 Uli Beitel
The result after two years of conservation work, here together with the 900 © 2014 Uli Beitel
The result after two years of conservation work, here together with the 900 © 2014 Uli Beitel

As if by chance, I saw one of the first exits on a sad poster, which unfortunately had a lot of history. Naturally it had to be photographed with my greenling.

Which Saab is less common? © 2014 Uli Beitel
Which Saab is less common? © 2014 Uli Beitel

Surely I will keep this Saab faithful as long as possible. And maybe there will be advertising posters with a new Saab in the future !?

Text & Pictures: Uli Beitel

12 thoughts too "My story with Saab"

  • Better than any other holiday reading - a real gem, the green thing !!

    Even my better half and I were on the weekend to the question of friends, whether in the future SAAB vehicles are produced, unfortunately, still no clear answer - actually a great pity that has been issued by NEVS so far no further statement regarding the negotiations.

    • On SU is to be read that rumors to consequence again around the Saab naming rights is done and this for M & M as already 2012 the main thing should be. If I understand correctly (I can speak English, but it is something different) M & M is mainly interested in the use of trademarks and naming rights. Which would be a pity, of course.

      • The article also says that M & M is probably out of the race ...

  • Great story, wonderfully written. Lucky for you to get out of the wreck safely! May you be spared such experiences in the future!

  • YOU have earned this SAAB! The 1. acted as a "lifesaver" and the 2. should only serve the enjoyable life ... :-)! Great story, happy ending one day every day possible horror situation. From now on accident-free ride with the SAABine!

  • More more, until now the best story. 🙂

  • Thanks for this beautiful story.
    While reading, I could feel how much the 96er moves you.
    This strong feeling is probably only among Saab drivers.
    I have never heard of an owner of so-called premium cars with such physical effort and financial expenses for his car.
    The slogan from last year has its full justification: "Saab - more than a car!"
    No matter what happens in Sweden, there will always be Saab drivers. Everyone who joined this `club 'has thus completed a lifetime membership.
    All the best - always a good trip.

  • Hello Uli!

    I know the story of your accident from the forum. But that such a worthy replacement was found, I did not know. That must have been destiny.

    greetings
    Gerald

  • I come from near Cham and know the notorious Ostmarkstraße towards Weiden only too well. The accidents on this route have become less, but unfortunately the track has already seen many accidents. You have really earned the found Saab in Sweden. Very nice story!

    • Servus Matthias,

      I also come from the Upper Palatinate (raised in Flossenbürg and pastures), so I know the Ostmarkstraße also very well.
      The number of death crosses on the roadsides between Cham and Weiden is very daunting. Almost my cross would have been hammered at Rhanwalting ...

      After this experience, I try to drive more consciously, always keeping in mind that every car is a weapon when misused. Therefore, my "security mania" that I already 1974 at my first car (of course, a beetle, built in 1953, "lives" now in OVI) flank guards and four Saab headrests
      I have repeated this retrofitting of steel struts until today in all everyday cars. Probably this only works for a less severe side impact - but the doors sound like a vault door when slamming :-).

      Is just a whimsy of me, but especially because of this safety issue I have 1969 as 13jähriger come to Saab when I saw the first display of the Saab 99 ("The broad-shouldered Swede", "roll-rigid passenger cell" ...).

      At the same time I would like to thank all for the nice comments! Maybe we'll meet at one of the many Saab events.

      Greetings from Uli

  • What a story that life can write like that. With happy ending, nice! I wish you continued good journey.
    Greetings Peter with a B212CC

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