Mark is often asked what happened to Paul, our project Saab. He was safely allowed to spend the winter in the hangar, but now it's time to say goodbye. Before that, there are still some open construction sites that need to be done. Because Paul, whose proceeds will go to a charitable cause, should leave us in the best possible condition.
What can be annoying in a car that has been outside for 10 years are the smells in the interior. Paul doesn't smell really good. It exudes a strange mixture of an old car and something, and every effort to banish the scent has so far failed. We tried almost everything: Professional interior cleaning, and cleaning on our own. From foaming carpets to cleaning leather, the full range of options was available. The effect: zero.
Coffee in the interior? Does not help. There was only one of those legendary, notorious scented trees that I do not like. In an older yacht magazine I found an article about ozone treatment. In the Yachtszene quite common, after the winter break a topic, and used with success.
Ozone devices were very expensive years ago, but have now become affordable. China is democratizing the price of electronics, and a device for use in cars costs from € 120,00. The service life of the ceramic plates is 5.000 to 10.000 hours, which is time for an experiment. Because the treatment at the processor also costs € 100,00, and I suspect that it won't just be a single pass.
A medium-priced device is ordered through a well-known portal, and before it arrives, Paul is thoroughly cleaned and vacuumed again. And then it is time. Place the device at a high point in the interior of the car, because the ozone will sink to the bottom. I choose the hat rack, close the doors, seal the power cable on the window with cloths and let the device run for 2 hours.
Important: No living beings may be in the interior during treatment. Ozone is an irritant gas that is not friendly to the airways and eyes. It is useful for our purpose because it breaks down and eliminates molecules that produce odors. There is also a warning against using ozone generators in smoking vehicles, but Paul is a non-smoking vehicle.
Two hours later it's all over. Paul will be long and well ventilated and I am excited to see the result. My first impression: better, but not yet good. Paul's smells are persistent and the relevant literature recommends repeated, prolonged treatment. This is followed by a second ozone therapy overnight. After 16 hours, the device is disconnected from the network and the Saab is vented.
The result is good. Paul no longer smells, or rather, he is neutral. Even with an inkling of the previous scents, nothing can be perceived anymore. Perfect! Does this last? A good question. We'll see what the next few weeks bring.
What's next? Next, the driver's seat has to become a saddler. A little thing that needs to be sewn so that we have the 9-5 in the state we want. Then it goes Frankfurt to work on more things. At the latest in the autumn, with fresh TÜV and AU, we should then leave the station wagon.
Paul was actually a very good idea. Rebuilding an old, neglected Saab, writing about it, driving it as a project car and finally selling it was something that could have given the brand more life. A statement for sustainability, for Swedish cars, and for a functioning spare parts supply. But it will stay with this one action. We have neither the time, nor the budget to start a new project. After more than 7 years of dedicated blog and a big pack of love for the brand, we've arrived in reality.