Our Saab 9000, the Anna project, has a problem. The air conditioning compressor seems to be leaking, it has to go to the workshop. As always, the yard at Saab Service Frankfurt is full of vehicles waiting to be repaired. Additional customer vehicles are parked on the street in front of the area.
Demand seems to have hit a new high. From the 9-5 NG to the 900, 9-3 and old 9-5 to the 9000 and 96, everything that Saab has ever produced has gathered here. I brought a portion of patience with me. No problem! I get a convertible for the trip home.
A 9-3 Aero Cabriolet from Gerard Ratzmann's private collection is waiting for me. The open Saab is a kind of rolling restoration for his personal pleasure - which, I suspect, should be finished someday. What I imagine as a challenge with the order situation. The front bumper in Viggen design is newly assembled and unpainted. The fog lights are still missing, but it doesn't matter. An aero stands for fun, and a Saab convertible anyway.
The mileage: 324.000 ... cars that have so much on the clock are hardly ever looked at in Germany. That much is certain. 200.000 is a lot, 300.000 stands for the end of life. A case for the diesel environmental bonus. All right?
I start and roll from Frankfurt-Fechenheim towards the Autobahn. The convertible twists happily, but that was the case when it was new. The antique Asin-Borg-Warner 4-speed automatic shifts as usual. The interior has signs of use. Clear. But none that would suggest 324.000 kilometers. The Viggen seats are tight, the leather without cracks, the dashboard too. A little leather care plus paint and everything would be almost like new. The automatic climate control display is losing its pixels, but who really cares?
This Saab is evil. A lot…
The Saab threads its way onto the highway. Behind me, an asthmatic SUV tries to simulate driving dynamics and to drive the convertible off the track. Activate sport button? What for? The gas pedal is gently caressed, the turbo presses boost pressure into the Södertälje engine. The open Saab dashes forward like a Viking ship in attack mode. The SUV dies somewhere in the rearview mirror. This Saab is evil. A lot.
205 hp? No way ! More. Much more. I don't know how many. But it will be 230 or 240 hp. Well run in or well optimized.
Flashback. When Trollhättan brought the B205R onto the market, it was the first 2.0 liter engine with more than 100 HP liter output ex works. The durability was a big topic in the trade press at the time. How long does something like this last? More than 324.000 kilometers in any case, and much longer than the super-optimized small engines in today's vehicles will do.
The maintenance condition of the Cabriolet is great, which I would not have expected otherwise. The heart beats hard, and is very healthy. I like this car. It is classic Saab style. The small, curved windscreen, the intimate narrowness, the low roof. If you like the old 900, you'll love the kind of 900 II and 9-3 I as well. The successor was another very different thing.
Formula fun 324.000
You drive, you have fun and you get a good mood. The turbocharger shovels air, the engine hung avidly on the gas. You forgot the mileage after a while. 324.000? Also only a number. The scars on the sheet? A true fighter sustains the injuries of his life and with pride. I start liking the old Swede. He has my sympathy.
So he gets an article on the blog and a photo shoot. Uncoated, unwashed, not beautified. The way he is. Cool and authentic. Thanks to Frankfurt!