It must have been in the late 80s when I got the SAAB virus. Back then, I went on a ski vacation in the morning with a friend from the hut down to the valley to get bread - with his SAAB 900. I was immediately impressed by the traction in the snow and the safe driving behavior, after I had mostly been driving with different Ford Capri or my duck . In addition, the cars of the same size at that time (Opel Rekord, Ford Granada, Daimler or BMW) were all rear-driven. But the seat heating also made a lasting impression ...
After a few years later with the help of the TÜV, the relationship with my beloved duck had to be ended as a consolation a white 900er just right. What a quantum leap from 29 to 110 PS! Class was also that one could invite a bicycle loosely after folding the back seat - and that without disassembly of the front wheel! Not to mention the feeling of absolute security, if you only closed the driver's door behind you!
Saab 9000 CS
After a few years, there was a desire for more performance. Luckily, there was the opportunity to buy a white 9000 CS with 193 turbo horsepower from a company fleet at a reasonable price. Well equipped, only two and a half years old and with 185.000 km just well run in for the machine. That was really fun! If a traffic light jumped to yellow, you could still get well ahead of red over the intersection with a short press on the accelerator pedal - but unfortunately it flashed once: it had been a tempo measurement ...
Since the family had meanwhile increased by two daughters and now had a house construction decency I wanted to heed the old builder's tip, after a mortgage still a car is to be included. As it happens, the SAAB dealer had a nice 9000 CSE with 170 Ecopower horsepower in aubergine metallic, first 100.000 km and with trailer hitch. This was then inaugurated shortly afterwards with a compressor for a jackhammer - a pity that I did not take a picture of this rare combination!
We were happy with our eggplant for seven years, especially when my parents-in-law left us to their elderly caravan. He was almost 35 years old, but very well, and so we explored half of Europe. On the highway in central France, a radiator hose succumbed to the strain, ideally on Saturdays at midday! But thanks to a resourceful and experienced Renault minute screwdriver, who after a few futile attempts with Renault hoses simply the original with a hose clip, we were afloat again after a few hours compulsory break. And the makeshift to Barcelona, the whole holiday and even on the way home - merci beaucoup!
From Saab 9000 to Saab 9 5 Aero estate car
One day, at the SAAB dealer of our confidence, there was a dark blue 9 5 Aero station wagon, first-hand, no 100.000 km - so I could not resist for long. The eggplant came into good hands and from then on we moved 230 Aero-PS through the country. We visited the several times
British Isles, Catalonia, Tuscany, Croatia and finally the home of our Aero, Sweden. Of course, as Mankell fans, we first moved to Ystad before enjoying some restful days on the Baltic Sea beach. There our Aero got homesick for a Swedish SAAB workshop (Turbo Wastegate), which we graciously granted him. Unfortunately, there was no time for a trip to Trollhättan, but who would have thought at the time, what is brewing there?
Shortly before our home in southern Germany, we had another eye-opening experience: when we picked up the caravan from the depot before the holiday, it had become independent after a few hundred meters in the village, which was slowed down gently by a victim-ready hunter fence. So the damage was limited - only the electrical cable was torn off - which could be replaced with the friendly help of a knowledgeable neighbor before the start to Sweden. However, after about 2.300 kilometers we noticed that the SAAB flashed on the right, but the caravan turned to the left and vice versa! We just checked: "Blinker?" - "Goes" ... but not which one!
From Aero to Aero
After six years of Aero I was able to drive a chrome specimen over the Easter holidays - also an Aero-Kombi, but with 260 PS and Automatic. Only four years old, with only 60.000 on the clock, who could have said no? After a friend could be found as a buyer for the first Aero, so came SAAB No. 5 in the house.
The automatic fit perfectly with the engine, especially with attached caravan. So it went to the Basque Country, to Scotland, again to Tuscany and Brittany. In the meantime, the aged caravan also gave way to 41, but fresh TÜV a successor, although much heavier, but for the Aero was not a problem.
However, the longer the chrome glasses were in use, the more the GM savings dictate showed itself: although the car was conceptually a dream, the details showed defects that were not typical for SAAB. The loudspeaker cover in the dashboard kept jumping out of the guide. The plastic shell door handle was a constant haptic and acoustic imposition, ignition boxes and cylinder head gasket changed. But driving was just fun and you always felt safe and stylish away from the mainstream. But it was most beautiful when there was a hurry and could also use small gaps in oncoming traffic to overtake ...
Unfortunately, however, the best wife of all had to involuntarily take the help of the yellow angels a few times and the CHECK ENGINE lamp seemed to become an integral part of the interior lighting. Also, a futile attempt to pull the caravan out of a wet meadow caused the urgent desire for a four-wheel drive.
The paths split
So with a heavy heart our ways parted - from the SAAB, not from the wife! And after 24 years and 425.000 km we did the same to Commissioner Wallander and switched to a north German make.
As a consolation - in addition to the many wonderful memories - the indispensable SAAB blog and the old Wallander episodes with the patrol cars from Trollhättan!
Thanks to Gerd for his Saab Summertime Story! Do you also have something to tell about Saab?
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