7. April 2013. A Sunday in the spring, a quiet day. In the capital of the 33 runs. Berlin Half Marathon, in Montenegro are presidential elections, on a web platform a Saab 9000 Anniversary is advertised. 1. Hand, a few kilometers, switch with sunroof. Can you resist that? Interesting 9000er will be rare, the Saab is exactly what I'm looking for.
I'm not alone with my Saab search, the demand seems enormous. After a telephone request, I only get the viewing appointment in the Mainz area in the evening, as the last interested party. The seller does not believe that the Saab will still be available.
In the late afternoon I start with a friend in the Turbo X in the direction of Mainz ... not sure whether the 9000 is still for sale. We just feel like a few kilometers turbo flight with the TX; the journey is the goal, and if the Anniversary should already be sold, we want to take it sporty.
The surprise: it is still there when we arrive, not without reason. What I didn't know at the time was the discussion about the 9000 in a forum. The Anniversary had rust on the window frame, and if you follow the course of the comments, this should be its death sentence. However, the forists had done a perfect job and provided a fait accompli. Completely surprisingly, nobody wanted to buy the Saab, which will later be called Anna.
Saab with care emergency
The inventory location is quick. The 9000 is neglected, unloved. You can feel the lack of care in every detail. The once so chic body is full of quirks, scratches, dents. Nothing that can be polished away. The interior is shabby, unclean, there are some kind of holders stuck to the dashboard for something indefinable. The leather has lost its suppleness, the seats look worn, the vehicle has an enormous maintenance backlog. 40.000 kilometers with Saab Service, almost 100.000 with an independent workshop that was only allowed to do the most essential things.
Yes, and then there is the nasty rust on the window frame ... On the plus side, the low mileage, less than 140.000 kilometers, is a clear history. Non-smoking, accident-free, first-hand ownership, the anniversary equipment.
While I stand in front of the Saab and think about what stupidity could roll towards me, things develop their own momentum. The question of whether to buy or not surprisingly no longer arises. The competent preparatory work of the forum had an impact. The owner, annoyed by a day of Saab tourism and unsuccessful sales talks, now just wants to get rid of the Saab.
The price she calls us is speechless. We could certainly have acted. But good upbringing and politeness prohibit that, I take it. The 98 9000 changes hands. Was that smart?
The 9000 stands on beautiful 16 ″ rims with new tires. The amount that left my wallet that evening roughly corresponds to this value. The rest, the car with rust on the window frame and the fabulous maintenance backlog, are included for free.
In addition, apart from the window frame, the Saab seems to be completely rust-free. An impression that will be confirmed later, because apart from a small spot on the spare wheel well there is nothing. Seriously asked: bought well or not? I'll take the answer right up front: Badly bought!
Mission Saab rescue
But there is a mission: to save a Saab with care needs before exporting. Show that you can turn a ugly, unloved duckling into a beautiful and desirable 9000er again.
There is the question of how the matter with the window frame is to be assessed. Work on the body is expensive and you can't do it yourself. But I've already bought Saabs without rust on the window frame. The brown plague was found in other, unexpected places. On tailgates, wheel arches, underbody. While a rusty window frame seems to be a bugbear, other rust perforations are accepted as natural phenomena. In addition, we will only see how things really are with the rust perforations when the pane is out. And everything could only be half as bad as it seems ...
The way back, via the autobahn, is faster than you think ... and faster than just 170 hp suggests. The Anniversary follows the Turbo X lightly ... and that's exactly where the fundamental problem of all Saab 9000s lies. No matter how much you neglect them - they run, run, run. As long as there is fuel in the tank and the engine finds a drop of oil, the Swedes are indestructible.
The Saab lands in our hangar, will be forgotten for now. The 16 inch rims with the new tires move to a friend's 9000er, the Anniversary is now on old 15 ″ wheels. Somehow there will always be something in the next few months, there is never time for Anna. The 9000 slowly moves backwards into the hangar until it is in the last position. It is dusting, the rust gnaws happily on the window frame, that doesn't look good. The Saab will sleep until summer 2014. Then things get moving.