A lot about the car is also a mental cinema. Highly paid marketing people have invented terms like “premium” or “impression” to get the cinema going. If we get into the vehicle of a premium provider, then we have the desired expectations. If we start a car that was sold at the dealer's yard months ago at the scrap price, then ... yes, I think my readers and I, we understand each other.
The expectations for the first test drive with our Projektsaab were correspondingly low. To zero, to be precise. The cinema in my head surprised me all the more. Saab starts, Saab drives. He steers, he brakes, like cars usually do. The cinema reports after a few kilometers. Drives like a new car, it says. But it isn't, answer the eyes. But it is, says the head cinema. Hmm If you were to close your eyes, which is by the way not a good idea when you are behind the wheel, then you could really get the idea with the new car.
Brakes, steers and springs like new. Everything is new too! New brakes, new chassis, new springs. Then 18 ″ tires in size 225/40. Ok guys! Anyone who knows their Saab 9-5 of the first series as a comfortable, somewhat indifferent means of transport for seniors should have the chassis and all of its sockets revised by now at the latest. The 9-5 was well defined from the factory, with the larger tires it rolls over the track like a modern car. In 1999 16 ″ was extravagant, today we are talking about much, much more. The 18 ″ Inca are the maximum for the Saab and not only harmonize with the 9-5 station wagon. The station wagon drives through life as an adult, without appearing too tight or in any way inharmonious.
And the 9-5 also surprises in other ways on its first exit through the Spessart. The first few kilometers there is a lack of revving; He has a hard time on nasty, long slopes in the low mountain range. 150 soft turbo PS don't turn the station wagon into an athlete. But with every kilometer driven, the engine turns more freely; If you keep the speed above 2.000 tours, then things move quickly.
The 9-5 station wagon rolled 1999 off the line, the exact date we will determine in the Saab COC archive yet. He could be a very early station wagon and yet comes up with qualities. The bodywork is still solid, the workmanship is good, and not all products of the competition are still so trustworthy after a good 17 years.
The outside temperature is 25 degrees, the interior is kept at a comfortable 22 degrees by the automatic air conditioning. It does this inconspicuously, draft-free, without intervention by the driver. The radio has good reception, even in the regions of the Spessart where modern and expensive systems have problems. With the cassette and CD options, the unit is a modern anachronism but goes well with a car that has been on the road for nearly 2 decades. The SID has its pixel disease, at some point a new one has to be added. But otherwise?
Everything calm, everything relaxed. Driving a Saab 9-5 is like going on a trip with a good old friend you haven't seen in years. The 5-speed gearbox is sufficiently precise, sometimes a bit bony and hooked, but just a real Saab gearbox - like the engine with its Trionic, which, as a 2 liter, belongs to the very sophisticated machine.
The technique works in Kiel you have done your homework. The interior needs care, the leather paint, the carpeting needs cleaning. The seals require attention, only a replacement on the driver's door and tailgate helps. Little things that I will gradually work through. Has the investment been worth it so far? Over the next few days we will talk about costs and what has been done. They are a special chapter that requires a close look.
The Saab has already won in another discipline. He stands out on the Spessart tour. Passers-by turn their heads, convertible drivers see what's going on. Yes, the 9-5 station wagon from the first series has become rare. And when one is on the road, it is often as a consumption car. Unkempt, matt paint. You won't otherwise see it in glossy black and with 18 ″ Inca rims. 100 points for our veteran at a kilo price! The story goes on. Since Paul has been with us, there have been visitors ... from Saab friends who think Paul is good. And from people who have absolutely nothing to do with Saab and who just happen to be our guests. At the latest when you ask if you can sit in the black Saab, at the latest then we know that we have won with the project Saab.