The 1. November 2016 came just as abruptly as every year the 24. December ... Unfavorable only that exactly on this date, the majority of my Saabs moved into the winter quarters - and only a single car with valid approval in the carport was.
Not that I did not see this situation coming my way. And it's not that there was no choice of younger Saabs as an alternative that I just had to sign up for. But other things demanded more attention, and suddenly he was there, the 1. November.
And there was only one Saab 9000 in the yard.
Our Anna project, Year 1998. In the Youngtimer through the winter? Why not, I heard myself say, and reflexively came from Saab friends the answer that the 9ooo for the cold season is too good a shame. An 9000! Ironically! For years denigrated as Fiat, the classic winter car of the community par excellence. And suddenly pity comes up. The times have changed.
With cheap winter tires through the cold season.
I am a confessed Michelin fan. On all my Saabs are, without exception, the tires of the French assembled, out of pure conviction and many years of experience. But I have little time in November, an exciting and demanding project was in the starting blocks, so it must be quick with the tire choice.
On a well-known portal I find winter tires from Kumho, Cheap tires for the self-try to drive through the winter with a Youngtimer. Just under 50,00 € per piece, I have not been so cheap since I bought my first set of winter tires with 18 years. In my hangar, I get a set of alloy wheels and get the ugliest set of wheels we have. 5 meters away, on a rims tree, store great 9000 Turbo rims. But I see that only the next day and annoy me about myself.
A few 100 meters away from the hangar is a workshop that always helps when a Saab needs to be prepared quickly or an oil change is due. She assembles the tires, and as soon as I pick up the 9000 I feel the vibrations of disapproval over my low-priced purchase. The tires are not bad in itself, says the workshop master. But I will not have any fun with it. Point.
And so it is. The Kumhos drive like bricks, but do their job. In snow, they bring a good traction, the behavior in wet conditions is acceptable. But the braking distance is longer and the ride comfort is beyond discussion. In short, the tires, combined with the ugly rims, will spoil my fun all winter.
Saab Youngtimer on long distances at home.
A Saab is a Saab. And a Saab is a long-distance vehicle. It has always been, especially on the 9000. It's cold, it's wet. So what? The seat heating warms, the air conditioning is perfect and better than some modern cars. The seats are sufficiently comfortable, and if I set the cruise control to highway-directional speed, then the on-board computer forecasts ranges that Frankfurt-Trollhättan and even further allow.
The Saab rolls relatively quietly through the area. The legendary 2.3 liter turbo has power reserves in abundance. Highway and Saab 9000, that just fits.
The 9k was built for the trip. He's annoying me in the city. Like all the big sedans that were designed in the 80 years, it has a wasteful turning circle. One tends to ignore the problem when driving the 9000 only occasionally. But he's my exclusive car for months now. And at the latest there the fun stops. Long distances yes, inner cities if possible no.
Saab 9000 and light and vision.
In winter, light plays a big role. The 9k has as an old car H1 light, which corresponds to the Bronze Age lighting technology. Nevertheless, the yield is amazing. Its box-shaped headlights, in combination with the large reflectors, are exactly what a good H1 headlamp must have.
In addition, the headlights are new. New glasses, new reflectors make the difference to the old, perforated lenses and matte reflectors that many vehicles have after 20 years. Unfortunately, the good originals of Hella sold out for a long time, there are only replicas. These will not last for 20 years, but they bring light, visibility and safety to a fair course. (Orio Art. Number 32019340 and 32019341)
For the first few weeks Anna and I are doing well. The Saab does what he should, he is versatile and I discover his abilities. But then the defects hit and it begs the question of whether one should really move an old Saab in winter. To be continued in part 2.