A Talladega for the anniversary

Actually, the 9000CS (Joe) should be the last one that we adopted - it is no longer easy to buy a SAAB today. Three are actually enough to continue driving SAAB for many years to come. Sometimes it happens differently.

Timelessly beautiful design, typical Saab lines. Photo: Gerd

At some point I felt like an 902 Coupé. We have had 15 100i 902i from 2,3 since 1997 years and 902 TKm, with which we are very satisfied. I especially like the timeless design of the XNUMX. In the convertible and coupe, the lines come out the best.

It was the network observed and one day about two years ago, I found in the vicinity of Stuttgart, a 902 Talladega Turbo in black with black leather trim. The photo series was like from the catalog.

What can I say, 1500 Km and one night were free, we did not go for a test drive and sat after ten minutes in the 9000 on the way to the north - very good photographer!

Some more sightseeing in the north, then I put the plan to the files. The days for the 902 seem counted. Too bad, because they are much better than many unobjective prejudices claim, but now at least 19 years old and consumed in everyday life.

For me, the 902 among the "modern" SAAB is the model that most cited the lines of SAAB's original designers. He is from some angles almost similar to some of his 99 models as its direct predecessor. The slightly rising side line, the subtle kink in the waistline. The came in 99 as an extension of the side hood gap to the rear lights for the first time. This line can already be seen on a sketch by Sixten Sason (ca.1962) on a paper of the Hotel Bele in Trollhättan.

Unfortunately, he did not live to see the 99 concept anymore. The work was completed by Björn Envall, who also designed the 902. But here, too, took place at the end of the development, a generational change, Einar Hareide revised the difficult rear end.

The access to the GM platform for SAAB was a stroke of luck, otherwise it would have been in Trollhättan 20 years earlier, the lights went out. There had been several attempts to develop an 900 successor on the 9000 platform that was too dense on the 9000 and too expensive. The last attempt was the project 102, a very successful Envall-Design. This was largely transferred to the project 104 (GM platform). The platform was the solution to the problem, everything else is SAAB.

Anyone who claims that the 902 is a Vectra, has not yet experienced the difference and the book by Anders Tunberg is recommended. From 1992 we had Vectras at my last company. Back then I preferred my private 9000 CC "for safety's sake".

The first encounters with the 902 I had from 1995 through occasional rental cars. I liked it a lot, but did not have the usual place for the family compared to the 9000. That's why it stayed with the 9000 CSE and later the 902 convertible by the way. Now we are back together.

Saab 900 Talladega in a backyard in the east of Berlin. Photo: Gerd

At the end of November 2016 I discovered a 902 Talladega in Berlin, obviously incorrectly advertised as 2.0i, because on a photo was the boost pressure display. The price rather in the symbolic area. Our daughter (now working for a large Berlin car dealership) was commissioned to take a closer look at the specimen and take a look into the engine compartment - Turbo ?? When the call came in, this time everything looked positive and I drove off to see for myself.
I found the SAAB on a backyard in East Berlin behind a rather rundown house with a very nice car dealer, Ur-Berliner. The family had to give up this house by the construction of the wall and it only sometime after the turn in bad condition get back - German history live!

The SAAB looked better: a 902 SE Turbo Talladega from 1997 with 205TKm, 185 PS and almost full equipment. He was a much smaller construction site than our second-9000 Joe four years ago. Without many words there was a discount, further action would have embarrassed me. The car was taken in VW in payment and passed on for export. This is unfortunately the way of our SAAB today, if they can not be passed on among us fans.

On the return trip to Kiel, there was almost continuous grin, the SAAB ran fantastically. Neither the 20 years, nor the 205TKm were to be noted. It was funny when the LED fairy lights began to push behind me in truck overtaking maneuvers. Once the train was free again, it went off and the jostling had done. Nobody takes the old 902 seriously, more understatement is not possible. The engine power is today rather middle class, but he only weighs 1300 Kg.

I have not tested it and I will not, but according to the operating instructions, 230 Km / h is regulated by the boost pressure to protect the system. This is also confirmed by the results of Talladega 1996, the fastest reading being 12 hours at 230,4 Km / h on the last day. In 1. and 2. Gear torque is also reduced to protect the drive and for better handling, makes sense. In the construction much emphasis was placed on durability. In the 9-3 series was later significantly more power provided.

The only downer was the self-contained black panel total. On the highway the complete instrument lighting turned off. At home, it turned out that a cable in the connector had solved the brightness control, which was quickly fixed.

Of course, with such an old car, there is always a more or less long to-do list. A large part was added Car dealership Lafrentz worked after Christmas. Then followed the treatment at home, small quirks, the first light rust approaches to problem-free areas, polish the paint and renovate the original BBS Talladegafelgen .... In addition, I have to say that the 902 has no maintenance backlog and a complete service book kept by SAAB garages. He was originally delivered in Switzerland and came 2004 to Berlin. The documents are also a COC, issued in Trollhättan, 2011-07-11, interesting!

Meanwhile I was able to collect some driving impressions and comparisons with our two 9000. I've changed a lot in the last few weeks.

The materials are largely comparable to those of the same old 9000. Especially the thick black leather makes a good impression. At some points you notice that the 900 is located under the 9000, on the other hand, the 900 is noticeably the more modern car. He is light-footed and goes agile through the curves. What I have fixed again (as with the convertible back then), is the wobbly boot floor. If you stick good 4mm plywood boards under the carpet in the cutout of the spare wheel well, you are not yet in the nice solid bottom of an 9000, but it gets a lot better. This is also possible with the 9-3 I.
The 204er engine is for me an old acquaintance from the 9000 2.0t. He runs as Vollturbo here as pleasant and quiet, as in the 9000. In Italy, by the way, the 9000 AERO was delivered with this engine, because there petrol over two liters of cubic capacity were taxed very high.

The whole package engine, chassis and car is very successful after my first impression. In the city you stay better restrained in third gear, otherwise there are photos in the post. The exhaust sound is reminiscent of its predecessor.

Sound: The original Clarion music system (CD changer in the trunk) is still fully functional after 20 years and has a nice full sound. Of course, the Clarion / Nokia system of the 9000 with the separate amplifier and double the number of speakers does not quite reach, which was really high-end at the time.

He does not clatter, the body is stiffer than that of the 9000. The wind noise is also significantly lower compared to the 9000. Naturally, all this is not the case with the 902 convertible, so I could never really compare before. The convertible with the 150PS sucker has a very different character than the turbos. This is rather the cozy cruiser, which fits very well with open-top driving. You listen to the 2,3i like.

This 902 coupe is still a nice touring car, actually a real GT. And he is one thing, a real SAAB!

Thanks to Gerd for the Saab story! That's what one of our exclusive is for Saab boarding files on the journey. Do you also have something to tell about Saab?

The story of an unforgettable holiday, a restoration or any other event in life with the cult brand from Trollhättan?
Whatever it is, write us. We are looking forward to it!

11 thoughts on "A Talladega for the anniversary"

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    very nice photos, for me the 902 and the 9-3 1 are the most beautiful Saabs.

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    A really great story with great pictures! How can you dislike the 902? At least now you will see inh with different eyes.

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    Thank you for the emotional report about your SAAB 900 "Talladega".
    Indeed a timelessly beautiful SAAB! 🙂 And to look particularly "noble" as a coupe ... How nice that the SAAB has landed in good hands with you! Have fun with the SAAB and accident-free trips!

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    Hello Gerd,
    Really beautiful your Talladega! I'm already looking forward to seeing him live in June. I wonder if it “purrs” as nicely as my 9-3.1 does?

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    Gorgeous story, thanks for that.

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    Hello Gerd,
    A great report about your 902 Talladega, which is shining again in full splendor. The enthusiasm with which you stood behind this project and broke a lance for the mostly "ostracized" 902 is absolutely noticeable. Congratulations on your article and the Talladega.
    Now I hope to see the new highlight in your collection “live” in Kiel in June. Until then, have a lot of fun and joy.

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    Hello Gerd!
    Thanks for the lance break to the 902 and the comparisons with 9000 and, designtechnisch, also the predecessors. I find the 902 also chic just as he stands with you.
    My impression, even from the internet ads, is that the 902 leather is not as durable as that of the 9000. It often looks brittle and scuffed, even at lower mileages.
    Do you see a manufacturer note for your 902 leather?

    The purchase sounds like a stroke of luck. The makes already on the original photo a clean impression.
    It's good that it didn't go such a long way after trade-in at VW - I think that too often very good specimens pass interested parties, simply because we (can't) notice.

    I wish you a damage-free journey - and if you get the chance, contact the previous owner: I've already had the experience several times that they were very pleased when I reported with their "old car". Some stories and positive feelings came up.

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      I checked again, but there are no leather tags like in the 9000.
      The black leather in the Talladegas makes a very solid impression. In my search, I ran into two real grottoes, but the black leather looked surprisingly good in both.
      It is different with the beige leather, that does not come to the Elmo from the 9000ern ran. Since I have the direct comparison between the CSE and the convertible and think that I have both maintained equally well. The driver's seat in the convertible looks worse than in the CSE, the 30.000 has run more.

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        Thanks for the answer to my questions. More motivation to care for the beige leather in my 9000.

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    Bonjour, Pourquoi ne parlez vous pas des Saab Biopower, utilisant l'éthanol à 85%. C'est une très bonne solution en attendant que la voiture électrique arrive, ce qui n'est pas pour demain avec plein en 10 minutes puis chauffage, pluie et essuies glace, radio, navigation….

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      My french isn't good anymore, so I write in english. There aren't so many gasoline stations with E85 anymore. So only a few people get the chance to put E85 in their Biopower Cars. We've got also a Biopower, but we have no E85 gas stations nearby

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