February. The clouds hang low over northern Germany. That fits my mood. You wanted it that way, says an inner voice. She is right. What had we thought about and dreamed of ... a project car for the blog ... a Viggen, an Aero, a Cabriolet. And now that!
Paul is a Saab 9-5 sport suit from the year 1999. A very early, said Markus Lafrentz. And that's how he captured me. Very early, that sounds like unique, worth preserving, rarely. Now Mark and I stand on the company yard in Kiel and see a heap of miserable sheet metal biotope in front of us. Paul lives, if you want to assign moss lichen and green vegetation to the car. He has a lot of that, because the Saab was parked outdoors for several years.
Where no moss grows, the rust proliferates. A picture of the jamming, and actually I just want to start my 9-5 and head south. It is not all that bad. Certainly not at the second or third glance. But sometime, after the 10. Look, you can see the strengths of Paul's biotope. Yes, they exist!
The early station wagon could almost go through as a classic, with its proud traditional grill and the tinted taillights. No rust through - the surface rust is a result of chipped paint. A few kilometers, just 150.000 are on the clock. The great SE equipment of the early years, no red pencil was allowed to save the luxury at that time. The technology seems good, the engine is running, at least the box is rolling. In addition, Paul is a non-smoker, not an accident, not tinkered with, complete.
Not self-evident, because the Saab is already 18 years old. A critical phase of life for almost all vehicles. Whining does not help. We wanted a car where the paint is off, which nobody wants. Here it would be. Point.
Why a 9-5 station wagon?
No sooner had we thought of the idea of the project car than we were offered many cars. From very expensive and hardly affordable to just finished. From Viggen to Saab 99. From fair prices to kilo prices, which are linked to the gold price, everything was there. In the end, we decided on a 9-5 as a sports suit.
Because we, or rather me, have something to do well. The first 9-5ers were always neglected on the blog. One of the reasons is that we do not own one, but not only. The old 9-5 is too close to everyday life, too present on the gravel pits of the flag merchants. He needs attention because the first 9-5 are slowly disappearing. Export, high mileage, as a youngtimer or lover objects, almost nobody has on the screen.
Above all, the first practical station wagons are in acute danger of extinction. They are robust, frugal workhorses. The classy interior and qualities of a mid-range vehicle are secondary. Cars that are 17 or 18 years old are no longer needed. They are only consumed. Accordingly, the price would be for Paul. In this state, we would get it at the kilo price, a three-digit sum is in the room.
Any Saab we hold on the road would be a victory for the brand. And if an early station wagon that has just retracted survives, then that would count as a double victory. Yes, we wanted it brutal. We have it now. Nevertheless, enthusiasm does not really want to arise. My enthusiasm for Saabs is overshadowed by skepticism. You probably look at me.
Or put it this way: Markus Lafrentz can see it. He knows me almost too well now. Then comes one of the suggestions that you cannot refuse. He gives us Paul - as a contribution to our project. That, in addition to Saab fun, should serve a charitable purpose. Mark and I accept.
We are still a long way from the fun. Nevertheless, thank you Markus, the first sponsor sticker on Paul's tin would be so secure. We have a car!
Readers who have suffered today under the unreasonableness of Project Paul were forewarned. No shiny metal, no glossy blog were announced. We deliberately presented Paul unfiltered. This will continue, and there is a long way to go. If you want to support us and our caritive Paul project, you are welcome to do so. Donations and moral encouragement are welcome. We are happy about both.
Next comes the inventory in detail, we need spare parts, we need a painter. We show how to bring a vehicle back to life after a long service life.
And above all we need one thing: good nerves.