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.
A quick glance already shows the change. The stern no longer sags and the first few 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 roads are scandalously bad and the Saab has an ungraciously hard suspension. Is that my dromedary still rocking that has accompanied me over the past few years? Or a sports car that is a little too tightly tuned?
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, its body roll is extremely reduced, and it is already quite agile for an 80s project. Anna experiences my home route in the Spessart, consisting of small, winding streets of the 3rd and 4th order in a completely new way. If the chassis previously set the limit, it is now the brakes that urge restraint.
And yes, the 9k is now refreshingly rustic. A mixture of fat, fat sedan and agility that you would not have expected. Back when the 9000 was constructed, humans were still considered the measure of all things. The immediate notification of the road condition to the driver was a top priority. The human interface received information, processed it, and made decisions. Anyone traveling with Anna receives a message in real time about how miserably patched up our streets really are. This is analog driving, the chassis of the 9k consistently implements the philosophy of the time. Fast and safe on motorways, with good feedback on country roads, but stucky when driving slowly on poor 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 landing gear, it's time for an assessment. The 9000 is a car with a large turning circle. One tends to classify it as sedate and not very dynamic. Undercarriages that are 20 or 30 years old contribute to the assessment. And in general, every chassis 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 away. The assembly was done 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 analog car. It is a bit better and more attractive. The Saab is fun that stays. Especially when you have forgotten over time what work and money went into the project. The chassis is now almost completely new. There are still a few items on my list. The story of how a disliked, neglected Saab becomes 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.