SAAB Summertime

After 13 years, I wanted to return to Provence this summer. Back then - although I had a SAAB 9000i vending machine with vintage 89 - I was still sweating due to the glider brought with the Toyota four-wheel drive of the parents. It was the record summer 2003 and the car had no climate, unfortunately my SAAB no trailer hitch.

Saab Summertime - Impression
Saab Summertime - Impression

This time a lot has changed. With my wife we ​​traveled lightly, because firstly I finished my aviation career and secondly, the 9-3 convertible does not hold much. The air conditioning was not needed this time, we had the roof down because of the great weather. What has not changed is the condition of roads and local vehicles. When you thunder across the slopes with 90, the cars just have to look the way they look.

A bit over the top, it is already being repaired and maintained. On the streets. There are also tracks in very good condition. You realize that you are in southern Europe, a car is here commodity and is not spoiled as long as in our latitudes. With the beautiful black 9-3 SAAB convertible we were definitely the exotics. As for brand, design and condition. Getting used to is the distance between the vehicles. Often the locals say, a hand's breadth between the bumpers is enough even with brisk 90. Edgewise and not inserted in between!

In any case, we enjoyed the panoramic view of the fantastic terrain formations and lakes in Haute Provence, especially in the Gorge du Verdon, under the scruff of the countless cicadas.

Saab driving pleasure. Even without turbo.

And - nomen est omen - on the Route des Crètes. Even though the 2.0 is not the most fuel-efficient due to a lack of turbos, the wide 235 tires allow for cornering. You just have to take the momentum with you. Butterflies seem to like this driving pleasure as well, the moth felt extremely comfortable on the steering wheel.

On the way back to Switzerland we drove as on the arrival of France off the highway. I love the analog driving and the 13 years old card still fit. Shortly before the border we changed for an easier border crossing nevertheless on the highway, on which we learned about the information boards of the assassination in Nice. 'Solidarité avec Nice' could be read. It was the 15. July 2016. Later we were able to clarify the whole extent on TV at home. Unbelievable, we were 1.5 driving hours away from Nice, and in the morning nobody knew our small town.

Although the southern French behavior as 'savoir vivre' resonates with us for a long time, not all behaviors have been adopted. On Saturday, the Cabriolet received a comprehensive care, also as a thank you for the great 1500km. For the exchange of cracked by the heat imitation wood cockpit panel I have to look for a solution.

Thanks to Hans for his Saab Summertime Story! Do you also have something to tell about Saab?

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12 thoughts on "SAAB Summertime"

  • With a Saabrio in Provence ...

    That must not read my wife. With her a Saabrio is already quite high on the list of diverse and hitherto unfulfilled automobile wishes.

  • A very nice Saab! The deer rims and the small Swiss license plate look really good on the car. I think the 9-3 I is a very successful car, which will hopefully become a classic - despite many GM parts.
    Unfortunately, I have the same problem with the cracked wood in the dashboard. Incidentally, it is to my knowledge not imitation wood but real wood. Unfortunately, replacement is no longer adjustable. Had already considered whether a leather cover instead of wood would be something. Does anyone have experience?

    • From a distance, the convertible looks like a limited edition “Deauville”. Hans? In any case, it is real wood, there was no plastic wood in the 9-3 I. Replacements are only available used or at the dealer as a remainder.

      • ... or with a good cabinet maker!

        Such a can possibly also repair the old part.

      • In fact, it's a Deauville, or rather the #67, which has manual circuitry. Very well observed, all respect! Then I'll take a closer look at the fragments, but have not got around yet.

        • The grain betrayed the rare Deauville Cabriolet ... For cases like this I always consult a master carpenter I trust, you may have someone close by.

  • Maybe you are right, the denigration and generalization I did not find fair. The reference to deer is just the expression of how much joy makes us our car macht.Möchte no one stand on the feet einte us the joy of Saab.I wish many more Thousands of kilometers in a beautiful country with great people.

    • Hello dear Mrs. Franzen

      you have sat down in the nettles! Fortunately, as a Schaffhausen resident, I am used to the fact that the rest of Switzerland no longer sees us as part of it. Also, it would not have been wrong to read more closely. In keeping with the facts, I wrote 'the locals often said', which means, conversely, that people were not always but often eaten up dangerously close. I'll let you know about sneaking now, but you can be sure that my racetrack experience will not let the needle drop below the permissible maximum speed over the country and also makes some deer 'around the rank' look old.

      As I said, I do not spoil your comment in any way. But I hope that next time you will not hit the biggest guns in the netiquette.

      Thank you, best regards and countless accident-free kilometers I wish from the heart


  • Hello Mrs. Franzen,
    Your comment is pretty self-confident and also a bit arrogant and spiteful. It actually has no place on a blog like this. And for me too, many French drivers are unpleasant drivers because they are aggressive, over-motivated and definitely follow too closely. Have fun with your “deer”, others also have one without boasting.

  • Except for the description of the sad events in Nzza, it was really nice to read. This brings back wistful memories. The area around Nice and also the Gorge etc., etc. we have traveled several times. That was a long time ago. At the time we were driving the Golf I (1x 50 hp and later an incredible 70 hp!!!). They were our first and last VWs. And that's just as well.

    Next year, we're pretty sure, we will visit this area again with our SAAB convertible. The small hotel in Beaulieu Sur Mer is still there. If it works, we will “reside” there again. Oh yes and then the Cap St. Jean. Just a very, very nice area to stay.

  • I'm sorry, but typically German. Every year 2x in the south of France and can only praise the tolerant and unagressive driving style of the French.Klar if you crawl across the street is ever pressed.Fahren also a 9-3 convertible but with turbo and deer We are always admired by the eyes of the French. Are you sure you were in France ??

    • The author is Swiss 😉…. The way the French drive is sometimes like that and sometimes like that, I would say. Depending on your mood.

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