Personally, I did not know the SAAB brand until I bought one myself. Unlike many other SAAB drivers, I do not come from a "SAAB dynasty," if anything, more from a Peugeot family. My dad drove two Peugeot models in succession (305, 405), as did my grandfather (504, 405), so my first car also carried a lion on the grille until a boar stopped it.
There followed a period of experimenting with rental cars, from the trident to the propeller to the Ringbearer. And as soon as the topic of buying a car came to the wall, I thought of becoming the Löwendompteur or pilot again.
Interestingly, a SAAB was not on this list, but a somewhat old model 406 from Peugeot. However, this proved during the test drive as age-stricken, with strangely weak brake system, but irrepressible diesel thirst. That was reason enough for me to take a look at the adjacent SAAB model 9-5. A 2.3 t from the first model year, with 175-PS engine, "small" turbocharger, full equipment plus Brabus package, which was then led before the application of the Aero equipment as a noble variant on the German market.
The test drive was first and foremost - convincing! Cheaper than the actually interesting Peugeot, stuck in the SAAB despite his then ten Lenze even more amazing spirits. The faulty temperature gauge in the climate module should be fixed before you buy. Also the pedigree of the SAAB was impressive: In spite of its age only 53.000 km moved, complete care with the same ever dealer. According to driver information (neatly filled) a second car, which explained the excellent condition inside.
The purchase decision was quickly dropped. Well, I had to borrow a lot of the purchase price, but that was subordinate. More interesting was the reaction to the name SAAB. As is often the case: Many more people have SAAB somewhere on the slip than there are SAAB drivers. There was a friend of my mom from Youth Days, who owned a SAAB over 30 years ago (and is currently moving the only 9-5 (II) in the wide area). There was the 9-3 cabriolet with deer tuning that my dad had once a week to rehearse. The doctor who speaks enthusiastically of his first SAAB 99. SAAB connects, that's for sure. SAAB can encourage a conversation - and seldom do you hear bad about SAAB.
Also, I usually have only good things to say about my SAAB. Because of the low mileage, it is mechanically still in excellent shape, in the six years that I now own him, only the springs of the front axle and a hose of the power steering had to be exchanged. Problematic are parts susceptible to aging, in particular electronic: Throttle valve potentiometers, injection system control unit, SID - all three components showed total failures or signs of old age within the first two years. Otherwise, nothing went down to wear parts.
Even in accidents, the SAAB was robust and easy to repair. A parking garage collision, which brought the VW next to me a 900 Euro expensive scratches in the door, led me to a small fingernail-large paint abrasion, which could be repaired with paint in the original color, sandpaper and a Lackiermaske from a hefty plastic bag itself. Drastic was a collision two years ago, after which I baptized the SAAB temporarily for his silver look "Clarence". Since then, the Brabus package is incomplete, since the honeycomb grille was no longer procured, and has since been replaced by the standard louvered grill. Nevertheless, except for the buckling of the compressed bonnet and the tightening of the pressed-in lock carrier, I was able to carry out all repairs myself.
My SAAB has also brought me interesting encounters - in April 2010, it came to the SAAB Spyker summit meeting in a parking lot near Saarbrücken, just in time for the then-current events in Sweden, when I was one of the then seven approved in Germany Spyker (incidentally, the first approved, a C8 SWB) and his driver met. The following week we arranged a photo session of our vehicles, the story was published on Saabsunited. Incidentally, in August of the same year, this encounter also brought me the ride in another automobile rarity, a Bugatti type 35B.
153.000 km has currently covered my SAAB, so in 6 years of ownership, I've moved it almost twice as much as it has been moving in its 10 years of existence. And I have to say, I'm still very satisfied. I feel like so many SAAB drivers, the car is timeless, none of his 16 years you look at him. And unlike many other SAABs, my life does not lead to a comfortable life as a Sunday or weekend vehicle, but must prove itself in daily use, even in winter, when he quietly pulls his tracks, where the C-Class wiggles in front of me with his butt as if there were a prize to be won in Ententanz.
His daily duties are done perfectly. Be it the transport of cement bags (evenly distributed from the passenger seat on the back seat to the trunk), squared timbers (pushed from the trunk to the dashboard) or Christmas trees (across the trunk, or pushed through to the rear seat). 10 bags bark mulch, stacked in the trunk.
On business trips you are still on the move with three colleagues plus luggage, for boss and companion in the rear, there is the state coach feeling with folded down the center armrest and extended drink holder. And the beats of the natural frequency of the self-supporting body transport even the largest bag of colleague colleague after a quarter of an hour in the safe and peaceful sleep.
Besides all this, my SAAB was - and still is - still a piece of transported home. No matter where it takes me, he made sure I could move reliably anywhere, without relying on public transport from unknown cities or the unknown driving skills of fugitive fellows. Once when a colleague in a company car (a Romanian manufacturer) was taken away, I clung to my seat during the entire journey, which offered no support, nor protection against the erratic body movements.
Is there a life after the SAAB? This is a good question that concerns us just now, inspired by some articles on this blog. And despite all the positive things that I have experienced in recent years, the last visit to the workshop, so to speak, let my love for my SAAB cool off a bit.
Maybe also because in the spring I once again went astray and since then, after years of abstinence and displeasure, I have once again sat in a Peugeot and tried it out. Not bad - at first glance in terms of interior organization equivalent to my SAAB, sportier (no wonder at 30 PS) and with a stronger aircraft appearance (because of the reflexvisierartig folding HUDs). At the same time also fancier, which is no surprise, however, because of the material selection in the SAAB interior typical for the late 90 years.
Whether there will be a life after the SAAB is still an open question. Maybe the SAAB comes in the big service suit, is overhauled and cleaned thoroughly, and then comes as a Sunday vehicle in the garage. Maybe it will be swapped for a new 9-5. Maybe the griffin has to give up the lion as well.
I can not (yet) give an answer to this question. One thing is certain, and it will remain: the many encounters with very interesting people to whom my SAAB has led. Which Audi driver can say that already?
Thanks to Philipp for his Saab story! Will he stay with Saab, will he change the brand? I'm sure we'll know ... Do you have anything to tell about Saab?
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