The sky is cloudy over the Rhine-Main area. No ray of sun breaks through the clouds as Max and I go for the 9000 test drive. Shortly before Christmas I unexpectedly got the offer to replace Max's stolen Anniversary with an interesting 9k. But the key data is something ...
Year 97, firsthand, and only 77.000 kilometers on the clock. Before now all Mindkilometer skeptics start their free dance: with this Saab everything is fine. For 21 years, he was regularly moved and otherwise always parked in a garage. Two decades without intense UV exposure and extreme heat fluctuations, this affects the state.
Not at first glance, because that shows the 9000 as a typical pensioner car. Smaller traces of enemy contact adorn the bodywork. Nothing dramatic, the Saab wears a friendly Unilack that would keep the cost of future repairs in check. The awesome experience starts at the entrance. The heavy, black leather of the seating is as supple as on the first day. There are no signs of wear. You sink into the Saab chair and never want to leave it again. New-feelings? For sure! The view sweeps through the interior, he gets stuck on the dashboard.
20 years with low UV exposure, a true garage car. The structure of the dashboard is like new, has delivery quality. Finely structured, noble, high quality. I have not seen anything in this direction for ages. Max and I can hardly believe it and are curious to see how the Saab drives. 200 PS, Turbo, 4 gear automatic. That sounds good, but it works better. Displacement is displacement, and can not replace anything. The 9000 sets off, full, confident, the ZF machine cuddles with the gears. A dream!
Saab 9000 CSE 2.3 Turbo - A dream
Long forgotten things come back to consciousness. Our Saab is a normal CSE. No Aero, and unfortunately no Anniversary - so optically not so attractive. But he drives better than any Aero or Anni with the tough, sporty suspension. On potholes, the 9000 flies gently its way, almost like a classic, large Citroen with the legendary Hydropneumatik. My Anni would shake on the track itself, rattle and become uncomfortable.
The body does not rattle, the load drives very casual and confident. It is this feeling that characterizes well motorized vehicles. You relax, relax, because you can demand sufficient strength virtually at any time. Not that we are concerned, but it is really fun, the excited new-car armada with their inflated small engines just let it stand.
In the past, many things were better. The 9000 qualities are known. Lots of space, lots of light, a relatively clear body. Little weight, strong engines, the package is right. There is nothing to complain about on this 9000. He lies sovereign on the street. The steering is, if you can speak of it in a 9k, very precise. Almost delivered state, and for me a lesson, which can become brittle in 20 years by sunlight, heat and cold on the car despite the best care everything.
It becomes really clear if you drive faster than the highway speed limit. Every 9000 I know gets loud. More or less, depending on the condition. Wind noise dominates, and it gets very heavy in vehicles with sunroof. Not with this copy. Despite sunroof, the interior remains pleasantly quiet, no hurricane toss, true upper class level. Logically, because the seals on doors and windows are silky soft. They cling to the body, as it was once thought in Trollhättan. Why the 9000 at that time almost Mercedes quality was certified, at a time when they still delivered in Stuttgart, is once again clear.
Stories sometimes come to an unexpected end
The list of shortcomings, it is short. When parking a metallic noise sounds from the area of the steering, you would have to pursue. And the tires are behind them, they are out of round.
What do you do with such a car? No rust, the subfloor is like factory, and except for the paint no signs of wear. A state of the museum, even outwardly, if you treat the Saab beautifully. Max has a problem with that. Can one drive the Saab in everyday life? Or do you have to preserve the unique state? A certain luxury problem - from the perspective of a fan.
The question remains open. Max has to think hard about it. It is the quiet time between the years, so what should happen? Meanwhile, the Saab 9000 CSE 2.3 Turbo parked safely Saab Service Frankfurt, and Max takes a few days off. Get on the plane and disappear in the digital off. No smartphone, no internet, just relax. On the return flight, he knows that he wants the Saab. Only, there is the 9k already sold.
In Frankfurt they tried in vain to reach Max. And so the test drive history comes to an unexpected end. A great car, a rare opportunity. Lost.