You see the light of day on the same day and place. Many years later you meet again. The life in which you started at the same time has developed differently. It's the same with people - but also with cars! Only automobiles usually don't meet again ... usually. Unless you were born Saab ...
It was late autumn 2014. Our 98 Saab 9000 CSE 2.3t, later known as the Anna Project, is in the Saab hangar. Two car lengths in front of him is my 9000 CSE 2.0t, midnight blue, also from 98. Both cars stand together every now and then without anyone having the idea to look at the VIN. I do it this afternoon and I am surprised. The 9000s aren't that far apart, or rather, they seem pretty close.
As for the production date.
VIN 8176 wears Anna, 8194 the midnight blue. Crazy, right? Probably they ran the same day from the band in the Stallbacka, parked in the delivery area and went together on a van in the direction of Germany. Then their ways parted.
Until April 7, 2013, the day Anna moved into the hangar. After about 15 years the two were reunited, and I had no idea at the time that it was exactly 15 years and 8 days since both rolled off the assembly line.
That was how things stood in 2014. The idea that both vehicles were built on the same day was nothing more than a guess. At the beginning of 2016 we acquire the historic CoC Saab Archive, including the documents of both 9000s. What I suspected is becoming a certainty. Both 9000s were produced on March 30.03.1998th, XNUMX.
Production line in Trollhättan, delivery place, transport to Germany. There the ways separate, and fate could not have been more contradictory. The 9000 2.0t, midnight blue, with beige leather and automatic goes to Upper Franconia. He seems to have been a order vehicle, already on 23.04.1998 the Saab is allowed. The owner, born in 1934, must have loved his 9000 a lot. Full service history only at Saab, treated with care, he was to 2011 in the Fichtelgebirge in use. The care of these years you can still feel today, the Anniversary is an 18 years old fast new car.
Upper Franconia can be a rough area, in winter the streets are full of road salt, the Swedish metal sheet got the full force. After the midnight blue 2011 came to us, he was extensively treated 2012 in Saab center Bamberg. The story can be found in both parts (Part 1 and Part 2) on the blog. Since then it has been an integral part of our fleet and is regularly moved.
It was not that comfortable Anna project met. The Saab went to the Saab center Wiesbaden, presumably as a storage vehicle, because only on the 09.07.1998 was its approval. Saab hauled him the first 40.000 kilometers, then there was sporadic service in independent workshops. The Saab was palpably unloved in every detail, 2007 he was rewritten to the wife. The state of the 9000 CSE 2.3 t Anniversary, as it came to us, with windshield rust and an endless list of other shortcomings was 2015 theme on the blog; the readers have that Anna project accompanied.
After both vehicles only shared the location, the time had come in late autumn 2015. The siblings were allowed to take to the streets together. The direct comparison - exciting. Automatic against switch, 2.0 liters against 2.3. Black leather against beige Pamir equipment? Which is better?
Both. Because both vehicles are in a class of their own. The ZF automatic snuggle with the soft-charged 2.0 liter machine. So much harmony does not exist in the best marriages, this is upper class pure, even at the tender age of 18 years.
The 2.3 liter is a different caliber. It is more sovereign, the engine has more character than its pleasant, inconspicuous little brother with an almost modern running culture. The manual shift is, by today's standards, widely spread. Once you've got used to driving through the city in 3rd gear instead of 4th gear, you've understood. Both are great long-distance companions. If it has to, the small machine also runs faster than 200 things. But it is better to cruise relaxed on the motorway and leave the hectic pace to the others.
In consumption, both are surprisingly the same. Between 9 and 10 liters are on the display, a good and above all honest value for 18 years old superclass. It is completely different in the interior. Beige against black, what's better?
You have to have taken a seat in both vehicles to see an amazing big difference. With light leather, bright dashboard, the 9000 interior appears much larger, airier, almost decadent. The wood sets in better scene, a touch of British car culture blowing through the Saab. Of course you have to like that.
The dark interior, however, falls off. Narrower, purely optical, of course, conventional, neutral. But also less polarizing. More mainstream, which of course is a matter of taste. You could argue about that forever. Both designs are timelessly beautiful.
The two 9000ers are eye-catchers, especially when traveling together. They have become rare on our streets, the times when Saab was able to sell large quantities of 9000 in Germany have been more than 20 years ago. What's next with the two vehicles? Life is not quite fair either.
The midnight blue is a kind of love relationship. Bought because I think the color combination is fantastically beautiful. Long sought after, beloved, and therefore he is not up for grabs. The situation is different with the Anna project. The mission to save the Saab from its probable end was fulfilled. He is in good condition, technically and visually. There will be some improvements in detail in the next few months, and the blog will cover it.
But the paths will separate, at some point and again, like in 1998. Not immediately, maybe in a few months, maybe years. We will see. Hopefully life will mean a little better for him then.