I violated my guidelines with the Anna project. You buy an old car according to its condition and body condition. The mileage is of secondary importance, and if the 9000 hadn't had the great anniversary equipment and the W chassis number of the previous year - it wouldn't have ended up in the hangar.
In addition, the advanced, positive and untreatable infection with the Saab virus plays a role. If you see a corresponding car, everything is already too late, resistance is pointless…. Back to Anna: The condition is poor, rust is gnawing at the window frame, the maintenance backlog has the rating “remarkable”, the body is characterized by signs of close combat. But we're going to turn a rotten Saab into a really good car. Or?
In the summer of 2014 I remember the Saab, which is now in the back of the hangar. The time is right for a detailed inventory. Let's start from the outside: The paint looks bad, but is salable, 90% of the dents should be eliminated. One of the rear doors has a nasty notch, as it only helps filling and varnishing. The headlights have since 1998 gotten so many rockfalls that they should be replaced. A rear tail light has a crack, so away with it.
The technology looks worse. The camshaft seal no longer seals, Poly V belts and rollers are at the end. The cooling water thermostat has stopped the service, the wishbone bearings are knocked out, a bolt is torn off the exhaust manifold. The brakes need attention, all fluids are beyond good and evil, the spark plugs anyway.
In the interior hang the sun visors, the servomotors of the climate are defective, the air conditioning must be at least refilled. The seat heating of the driver's side has no function, the leather of the front seats is unkempt and hardened, the central locking system works only sporadically. The interior is filthy, some glue remains on the dashboard, and so on.
The list is getting longer and longer, frustrating! There is also the windscreen frame with the grate ... We have a long way to go, that much is clear. But what should you do? On the plus side, we book a good body, except for the window frame. Known history, a rare, accident-free car. Good 9000s are rare, so there is a plan ...
The 9000 gets rid of the worst dirt ... it's interesting what can be found in cars. From DM coins to historical tickets for wrong parking to Stone Age chewy sweets, everything is included. Then the seats are removed and the driver's seat - in my opinion sat through - goes to Sattler, who, however, will find the seat to be good and with a new dart for little money brings everything back into its shape.
While we are working on the anniversary seats, Anna is supposed to go to the bodybuilder who wants to take care of the rust on the window frame. But it doesn't get that far. In a phone call with Markus Lafrentz we talk about Anna; he offers to bring the project in Kiel to a good status over the winter. In view of the long list of technology and the lack of time, I say yes after a moment.
Okay, having a partial restoration done in a distant workshop requires trust. You can't just stop by Kiel when you've got 650 kilometers to go. And I know quite a few Saab drivers who gave their 900 to other European countries and were bitterly disappointed with the result of the work.
The confidence in the Kiel Saab Team is there, they treated me with my 9-5 NG always very well and very fair. The decision is made, Anna is sent to the north. But first the seats have to go back to the Saab, the 9000 Anniversary should get its TÜV approval in Kiel.
Let's talk about leather! Leather is a natural product, although it can be doubted on some younger models of Saab. For the 9000, the product is beyond any doubt, 9000 and 900 have the highest quality leather in Saab history. If leather is not cared for, it hardens. It loses suppleness, can crack at worst. The seats of Anna are a borderline case. For the driver's seat, I briefly consider the exchange of the front leather insert by the saddler, but let that be on his advice. One would, he says, see the difference clearly.
To give the leather back some suppleness, elephant fat is a good choice. Not for the hectic - the procedure requires patience. After the seats have been thoroughly cleaned, the funds come from as usual leather center, the affected area is treated with synthetic elephantine fat. The fat gets a few days to feed, the procedure is repeated several times. After each operation, excess grease is wiped off.
The procedure helps, and the driver and front passenger seats regain their flexibility. The rest of the repair is done by brush, sanding pad and leather tint in the original color. The anniversary seats are coming back to the Saab, as is the steering wheel, which has been given a new leather cover from the saddler.
On a winter evening, the time has come. A car carrier is at the door. Anna is loaded, the driver finds Saab strong, regrets that the brand no longer exists. He wants to know what's going on with the 9000. He should be repaired and back on the road, I answer. The trucker likes that. They are sympathetic people among the truck drivers, I think.
The next part deals with the nitty-gritty, in other words: the rusty window frame. It's going to be dramatic!