It's sunny, dry, best turbo-weather. The highway north is heavily frequented and prevents the Aero from flying. So it goes with switched on, definitely not adaptive cruise control with constant 140 km / h in the direction of Hanseatic city. The Saab runs velvety with around 3.000 revolutions, behind Hanover then waiting for the first traffic jam.
Why is not clear, but the freeway is an adventure of its own this Friday. Two compact SUVs destroy the plastic bumpers in the middle of a traffic jam, a Rover 75 quits service on the leftmost lane. The enthusiasm of the rover driver and other road users is restrained - as is the sympathy. The man has to move his wreck by hand towards the edge of the road. At some point, everything dissolves, Hamburg comes into view. The slow ride is rewarded. A consumption of 8.5 liters per 100 kilometers is a sensation for a 15-year-old Saab hatchback with 4-speed automatic, full motorways not only have bad sides.
Hamburg is full, complete! 1,6 million visitors at the port birthday! I park the Saab at a elevated train station and continue on public transport. In the Hafencity I meet Mark and family, later we all sit comfortably in a restaurant and enjoy the sunny weather. Around us the automotive life is raging. Extremely many-cylinder, very expensive. More Bentley Cabriolets than Dacias, lots of AMG, BMW M, S and RS blends from Ingolstadt. You do not even need to talk about Porsche. They seem to be the Hafencity's Volkswagen. If you have the necessary change, you will find it difficult to achieve individuality with automobiles. At least in Hamburg.
You need something special to get noticed. A DeLorean that is no longer individual at the latest when suddenly two copies are standing next to each other. Or an Isdera. It remains a one-off all weekend. And Saab? The Saab density in the Hanseatic city is high. But it has noticeably decreased, and if you look closely, you can see that at least half of all Saabs have their good years behind them and will soon disappear.
The fact that there are fewer and fewer vehicles is not noticeable the following day. We are already against 10.00 clock at the historic gas station at Brandshof, the construction is still running, but the first vehicles are already on site. Throughout the day, more than 50 Saab classics drive the gas station. Not counting the amount of 900 II, 9-3 I and Turbo X that need to park outside the door. These would probably have been 100 Saabs. At times 5 or 6 9-3 I are parked in line on the street, my 2001er Aero in the middle of it.
The 1st Saab meeting in Hamburg was an attempt, so the organizers let me know. A test of whether something like this is accepted in the city and its surroundings. The result: it will be, very much! And not just in the surrounding area, but far beyond. The Swedes and Dutch probably had the longest journey. Potential is untapped and a repetition is planned for the next year. With a little program, shady seats, maybe more gastronomy. It would be nice, but I already liked the first performance. Thanks from the bloggers for hospitality, great conversations and a lot of Saab commitment!
In the late afternoon I leave Hamburg. The highways are full, the cruise control is used again. While it is comfortable in the direction of Hannover, I think about the meeting at Brandshof. The amount of cars that had to park outside did not make me happy.
Saab has so few model lines that the number of cars is falling dramatically; shouldn't all vehicles be allowed into the yard in the future? And, honestly, a well-preserved 900 II Turbo Coupe is rarer and more exciting today than 10 black Saab 900 I's parked in line at meetings. A sensitive subject, I am aware of that. But maybe something to worry about ...
The autobahn empties after Hanover. It becomes calmer, the route freer. The 2001 9-3 Aero docks onto a beautiful, new Carrera. The ride becomes faster, 200 plus X on fast, long motorway curves are fun. Now it becomes clear what a spoiler and Viggen Body Kit do. The Saab is, in the best tradition, designed for high speed. Aerodynamically stable, the fatter it is on the road, the faster you drive. Sure, there are modern cars that can do this even better. But on this day the Aero impresses me again. Saab had just done a good job.
It is logical that consumption climbs upwards. Up to Hanover there was still more than 75% fill level in the tank. It's empty in front of the front door. The consumption is around 12 liters, which is still moderate if you accelerate quickly on the slopes. Above all: 15 years old, Hirsch Performance, 4-speed automatic! Brilliant. What is nicer than a Saab weekend with nice people and plenty of space?