"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 ...
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.
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 tangled mix of splinters, magazines, Saab model cars, dust around me: reality or just a bad dream? But now everything goes like a routine: switch off the engine (why is the ignition key all of a sudden so high up?), Open the seat belt (is damn hard), get out of the car before someone crashes into the roof. But how to get 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 windshield opening, which is still half suspended in the body frame, offers salvation. Finally outside. Strangers scurry around me, looking for more inmates. The Saab looks at me sadly with a warped front. Then the shock of some helping hands throwing 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 car that is also on the side. The stunned question - more an outcry "Why me, why me ?????" comes from my lips. "I fell asleep" is the equally incomprehensible answer of the SUV driver. Only now do I feel my way. No blood, no injuries, no pain. Only later do I hug my guardian angel….
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.
After 14 hours, I reached Mönsteras and nervously rang the doorbell of Göran in the morning.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
Several high-held thumbs and a friendly smile when overtaking testified to the car history awareness of the Swedes.
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.
Thankfully, only this case did not materialize - apart from a few carburetor adjustment corrections.
Exhausted but happy, I reached my destination at night.
• 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 ...
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.
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