After a week of economic news that didn't really make us happy, we're changing the subject. It's about the first Saab 9000 series, which celebrates its 30th birthday this year. My post starts with a confession and tells about the stupidest way to buy a car.
I had nothing to do with the 9000 CC during production times. My Saab story hadn't started yet; Friends preferred the Lancia Thema. To be honest, the Lancia, which was also available with a turbo, would have been my choice as well.
The Italian had more elegance, luxury, style. The Lancia Thema was then the car for the heart, but the Saab for the mind. The Lancia could not oppose the ingenious Saab hatchback concept, we don't even want to talk about passive safety.
The Saab 9000 CC adventure begins
The subject hardly exists today; the Lancia did not die with dignity, they were consumed and burned. Finding a theme in good shape - beyond 8.32 - is almost hopeless. It looks better at Saab if you are not fixated on an early turbo.
In addition to the top engine, there was the 9000i 128 hp variant with the then new B202 engine. With the price of a small car between the Turbo and the i, the solid and sensible 9000i became a success for Saab. Business travellers, families or older men looking for space and comfort appreciate the Swede.
My search for a 9000 CC began in the spring of 2014 and should last well into the summer. The offer is modest. Alternatively, rust gnaws at the vehicles, sometimes they are tinkered with, have 1.000 years of maintenance backlog or a depressingly gray interior.
Or all together.
In the short midsummer, an 89 Saab 9000i was for sale, only 70 kilometers away from me, with the following data: 2nd owner, 120.000 kilometers, red interior, air conditioning, ABS, automatic. Sounds good! An inspection says more than 1.000 words, the ad says it is in good condition.
So off to the Turbo X and towards the 9000 CC.
I find a 9000 CC - but is it good?
Sometimes there are galaxies between advertisements and reality, in the case of the Saab 9000 CC it should be no different. Our Swede is at a - well - how should I describe the company? You could say the Saab is parked under vehicles waiting for their final oiling and final 2 years of TÜV.
A business model that has its market and should not be understood pejoratively. Because the owner, as it turns out later, is very nice, open, fair and hospitable.
My visit, without telephone advance notice, falls on the time of Fitr, and actually the company is closed on this day. Germany is a country with many cultures and religions, sometimes you experience one or the other surprise due to the diversity. Even though it's a holiday, the owner makes time for me. Very cordial, friendly, even if I disturb his daily routine.
I take a first look at the Swede parked between an even older Opel and another used car. The Saab looks relatively good - at first glance. No rust detectable. The paint is dull, with scratches and signs of enemy contact, but in good condition.
Turbo rims, the interior in red-brown! Yep! I love it! The 80s live there, that's fun! The sky is hanging, but everything is complete, not tampered with, very original. Which ends the good news.
Because: he doesn't drive, the Saab. Or not anymore. He, the Saab, drove the last 4 weeks. The seller likes him, was on the road with the Swede every day. Now the Saab is making system refusers. Valve covers, V-belts and a number of other parts have already been dismantled, I feel at a loss. And the exhaust is through too, as a side note.
"Come back in 14 days, then it will run and you can take a test drive' I hear the salesman say. 14 days - a lot can happen there, I think to myself, and it doesn't have to be really good...
Buying a car without a test drive
So get plan B out! Buy the car as it is, without a test drive. In the back of my mind the maintenance backlog, the possibilities that everything will not work. But the good body, without accident damage, would be an argument. Or not…
Definitely no idea how to seriously buy a car. But really stupid. Not recommended for imitation. But I want the Saab!
Okay, anyone who writes a Saab blog has to be able to trade and haggle. I ask and beg for more than 4 years for funds for blog projects, for events, usually with success. So we're talking about the Saab. We haggle, joke about Saab, the blog, the car. And we will quickly agree.
The Saab leaves the farm for a very fair, very small price. I bought a non-moving Saab 9000 CC. Sealed with a handshake, picked up two days later. Together with a really, really good friend, who is again sacrificing his free time for my Saab madness, and without whose loyal help some things on the blog would not run.
The Saab is pulled onto the trailer and - okay - what did I actually buy? A lot of junk? And do Saabs have a soul? Questions after questions.
Now it's time to take the highway in the direction of the Saab hangar. Where a surprise awaits us. More follows in the next part of our Saab 9000 CC adventure.