It's autumn now. The Anna project has a workshop appointment in Frankfurt, the air conditioner licks, which was not so pleasant in summer temperatures. Now also the dampers are exchanged, and during the pickup I'm curious like a little boy, who should get a new toy.
Our Saab can be used as a reference, as 1998 a 9k must have felt as a new car. All the suspension parts except for the springs are now new, and the Saab should drive almost as if it were fresh from the showroom roll.
Already a glance shows the change. The rear does not hang now, and the first meters are really shocking. The streets around Saab Service Frankfurt correspond to what one would expect in the North Ossetian province - but not in the rich ECB city of Frankfurt. The streets are scandalously bad and the Saab ungreasingly hard sprung. Is this my rocking dromedary that has accompanied me in recent years? Or a somewhat too tightly tuned sports car?
Things get relativized as the roads get better. The Saab is sporty, well defined, but not unpleasant. On the highway he runs at high speed as well on rails, the tail no longer resonates at bumps.
When cornering his side tilt is extremely reduced, and for a 80er project he is already quite agile on the road. My home track in the Spessart, consisting of small, winding roads 3. and 4. Anna is experiencing a new order now. Previously, the suspension set the limit, it is now the brakes, which urge restraint.
And yes, the 9k is now driving refreshingly rustic. A mix of fat, fat sedan and agility you would not have expected. Back then, when the 9000 was constructed, man was still the measure of all things. Immediate notification of road conditions to the driver was a top priority. The human interface got information, processed it, and could decide. If you're traveling with Anna, you'll receive a real-time message telling you how miserable our roads really are. This is analogous driving, the chassis of the 9k consistently implements the philosophy of that time. Fast and safe on highways, with good feedback on highways, but stuckerig when driving slowly on bad roads in the city.
Unfortunately, that's the passage of time, the analogous things are disappearing. Active chassis in combination with an armada of assistance systems decouple us more and more from the environment. Digital mobility will further perfect that, driving will be safer. In turn, our ability to self-assess and make decisions disappears. The cloud takes over, the human interface is no longer the measure of all things.
After a few months with the new suspension, it's time for a review. The 9000 is a car with a large turning circle. One tends to classify it therefore as sluggish and less dynamic. Landing gears that are 20 or 30 years old contribute to the assessment. And in general, every suspension is much older and much more used than its owner would like to admit.
In fact, the 9000 is quite dynamic and can do more than you expect. His great strength is the perfect communication between technology and people. Anyone who has not yet forgotten driving without computer support will appreciate the original suspension in the first big Saab. It opens up new horizons, and you see the 9k with different eyes.
However, and this is not to be concealed, the Saab suspension also has disadvantages. Especially on slow, poor routes it shows the limits of the concept. The Saab likes it faster, and he loves the highway.
The investment has paid off, even months apart. The assembly was made by Saab Service Frankfurt done. Easy, with a usual good service and at a very fair price. At the moment, the rear dampers are no longer available and listed as Orio backlog. It is hoped that there will be a post-production.
The Anna project is an anachronism, just like any analogue car. It's a bit better, and more attractive. The Saab is fun, it stays. Especially if you have forgotten with time, what has gone into work and money in the project. The chassis is now almost completely new. Some points are still on my list. The story of how to turn a beloved, neglected Saab into a great classic goes into the next round.
It should not be forgotten that this is a car that is now 20 years old. Small things happen that are not planned. The wash water tank, a common problem, has logged out as an incontinent after 2 decades. Scandalous, and new there is no longer buy it (Hello, Orio?). The problem must be solved anyway, because without it is not possible. Can they be repaired, or are they better replaced by a used part? Sequel follows.