30 years and 500.000 km one and the same Saab 900 turbo

From 1985 to 1989 I drove a 5 year old Saab 900 turbo year 1980. Experience with this vehicle in terms of comfort, visibility, engine sound, design and safety prompted me to order a brand new Saab 1989 turbo from the Saab dealer early in 900.

Saab 900 Turbo Sedan
Saab 900 Turbo Sedan

Despite the then very high price of about 45.000, -DM, there was no doubt that it must be this vehicle again. After a running time of 180.000 km in nine years I asked
at the Saab dealer, what I get when buying a new Saab yet for my stainless, nine-year Saab.

The disappointing answer was 5.000, -DM. For this ridiculous amount I did not want to give away my still reliable and heartfelt Saab. So I decided to drive the car until a major engine failure knocked him out. Wait for this
I mean, 30 years have gone by and over 500 000. km he ran, in vain.

Of course, over the years, some repairs were due, such as cylinder head gasket, engine control unit, all pumps, etc. but no engine damage, no problems with the transmission. Only the steering gear has repeatedly attracted attention over the years through incontinence. Since there is no original replacement, I've been up in recent years
instructed repaired used parts, but partly gave up their mind directly after installation. This was of course annoying and without a second or third vehicle not to accomplish.

Repair work in independent repair shops, which have no Saab experience and no longer appreciate an old car, I leave after several bad experiences no more
do. There remains, depending on the problem, only the decision to bring the vehicle to Mannheim or Frankfurt (from Heidelberg).

For a few years, the Saab 900 is used only for selected and mostly shorter routes. For long distances comes since 2015 a Saab Sportcombi 1.9 Ttid used.
But back to the Saab 900, which I continue to ride with much pleasure, almost as on the first day, because it not only makes it very uncomplicated and relaxed (despite turbo) drive, but the sound of the engine causes a pleasant feeling throughout the body ,

Now, the faithful companion 30 years old in the next month and the decision is to admit him with H license plate as a classic car. Whether he gets this due to the condition of the paint is questionable. 30 years of wind and weather, sun and rain, snow and ice and always under the street lamp, have left their mark. If one day I have to say goodbye, then I will certainly expand some parts of the interior
(eg seats, steering wheel) and put these in my study, as a reminder of many accident-free years in one of the most beautiful and safest vehicles of the 80er and 90er years.

Thanks to Dietmar Erhard for this Saab story! How is it in everyday life with an older Saab? What do you experience, how do friends, colleagues and the family react? With indulgence, enthusiasm or compassion? How do you keep the Saab alive, what do you do with spare parts and workshops, how do you optimize or restore the old Swedes?

A broad topic for the "Saab stories 2019!". Challenging, but also interesting. How does it look with the fans, how strong does the Saab heart beat in everyday life? Write it to us, it's worth it!

19 thoughts on "30 years and 500.000 km one and the same Saab 900 turbo"

  • True again. You can't sing the song of sustainability on every SAAB you have received and at the same time grapple with the fact that even such cars are not thrown away for 30 years or more that you may be personally less enthusiastic about ...

    Should they all have their H-mark - against the throwaway society.

    Nevertheless, I find it fascinating that many cars are already perceived as a classic, if it still runs off the production line. So I went with the Beetle, the Defender and also different Volvos and SAABs. The 9-5 NG was for me from the start but no later than the bankruptcy a baby timer.

    The character, the running time of a model, the uniqueness or arbitrariness are not valid H-criteria. And it is also good and right, if the topic is not bureaucratically inflated.

  • VW Beetles also have a H-mark, so why not Golf 2 and other solid models?

  • You are absoluteley right. Hinz and Kunz will move up in the coming years ...

    At the moment I had almost only old Swedes in my head. A (healed) case of wishful thinking and selective perception. Thanks for the hint.

  • Great story, many more kilometers. Have a friend in the Czech Republic have on a Saab 9000 already on 500 000 kilometers on it.

  • That was done long ago ...? Just take a look at which cars are currently 30 years old or will soon be. Among them are many volume models such as Golf II which are still cheap. Even for the 9000CC and 901 with H you don't have to put down a fortune. So far, vintage cars have been exempt from driving bans or environmental zones. I do not believe that in Stuttgart there are now masses of Euro 3 and 4 diesel drivers Gölfe / Kadett etc. buying in order to continue to get to the city center, but this would not be the point of privileging classic cars.
    Nor do I question the right to exist of many classic cars: There is a catalog of requirements, which, as I have already written, has been tightened. The examiner and the owner must adhere to this. If it doesn't suit me that I can't charge my smartphone wirelessly in a> 30 year old vehicle and stream music via WiFi, I have to think about whether such a vehicle is right for me. You are welcome to drive an old car, even with holes the size of a fist in the sheet metal (if it doesn't bother you or the TÜV), just whether you should get tax breaks and cheap oldtimer rates from the insurance companies? You should be able to expect a decent technical and optical condition. That specifically does not mean: museum piece or nothing.

    The comparison “without lead” and 2016 tires ... you know for yourself that it doesn't fit in the context. It is also not in the test regulations that you have to be on the road with 40 year old tires ... ;-)

  • The topic of “cheap gondolas through the city center with old satchel carts” has long been settled for D, right?

    It is almost a miracle that there are actually still cars of 30 years or more here according to the various rates of assessment for vehicle tax, after scrapping and exchange premiums, which are graded according to the emissions standard. And these oldtimers are rarely in the hands of the unemployed or Hartz IV recipients, because they have long since thrown much younger cars (around 10 years old) for a roll and an egg ...

    My understanding of an inspector who determines the H status on the contents of the trunk (old cheese or fresh organic milk) or the contents of an ISO slot in the dashboard (younger or older radio) is very, very narrow . Fortunately, many examiners tick in sync. Did you look for the wrong one?

    Nice that you are still satisfied and bring so much understanding.

    It is sad, however, that at the same time you are questioning the right to exist of so many classic cars, just because they may have the wrong dairy product in their trunk ...

    It can't and shouldn't be. How authentic is my oldtimer (EZ 1970) without lead in the tank and with all-season tires produced in 2016? Not even the radio is original. In the last 5 years I have only seen a second copy of a younger year of construction and with a number of visual changes. My classic car is quite unique, but at least rarely. According to your criteria (“But it's right that way…”), he would still not have deserved his H status. Thanks a lot for this. The world has gotten a little better again.

  • Thank you for the good wishes and the warm greetings, which I like to reciprocate.
    Have fun with your Saabs and above all always accident-free.

  • Nice story.
    Respect - 30 years is already an achievement!

  • A SAAB is simply the long-term vehicle par excellence! Great story!

  • The requirements for obtaining the “H” have become stricter in recent years, which is a good thing, by the way. The meaning of the "H" is officially the "preservation of automotive cultural assets" and not to gondola through the city center with old rucksacks as cheaply as possible (which is obviously not the case here). The margin between “museum piece” and “used up” leaves some leeway ...
    I was also annoyed that I had to remove my MP3 CD radio because the examiner would have refused the "H". But that's right, in 1987 there weren't any MP3-compatible radios ...

  • hello Herbert, thank you for your nice and technically interesting comments that always speak from my soul.

  • Hello Jörn, in the picture is my daughter, who also drives a Saab 900 Sedan. I have yours this
    as a first car for security reasons. Like my son a Saab 900 hatchback.
    After one year, however, he crashed it due to a rollover. Remained unharmed.
    The investment was worth it. Better like a life insurance.

  • It is exactly like that. In the last few years I have asked drivers about their 900 or 9000 a lot. All were not for sale and many were actually first-time owners. And that in Germany, the land of scrapping and exchange premiums. That is either very amazing, downright inexplicable or just very simply SAAB ...

  • ... just keep going, just right! Thanks for the great story

  • Great! I can only agree with that! and hope that my 900, which so far have 'only' 250.000 on their axles, will last just as long ... I too hope for H license plates, living museum pieces then!
    Good luck and many warm greetings!

  • Nice car. Thanks for the Sunday Dose SAAB.

    I would definitely try the H mark. From the photos, I'm optimistic. My oldtimer (49 years old) looks worse, but drives like a new car (of the time). One hears over and over again rumors about meticulous examiners, not granted or revoked H status, but my experiences and those in the immediate vicinity are different ...

    And for me it makes no sense that a vintage car with signs of use should not earn a vintage car status.
    Fortunately, many examiners see it that way and not differently. The sense and purpose of an H-license plate is not the deep sleep, but the presence of historical vehicles in public space. An award-winning Trailer Queen for trade fairs, meetings and events doesn't need an H license plate. A Trailer Queen doesn't need a license plate, except maybe for a red ...

    The maintenance with H is sensationally cheap and the insurance allows 9.000 km per year. Take it easy and in 11 years the 900 will have completed the 600.000 km ...

  • So now you have 2 900er, 85 and 89? But a great report, it is and remains the ultimate SAAB, the 900er

  • Thank you for this pleasant and nice Sunday story. Wonderful.
    Take good care of the SAAB! Are becoming increasingly rare, especially as a sedan version!
    Instead of pocketing 5000 DM at the time, it was a good decision to keep the SAAB. Today it is worth more than 5000 € (!) ... trotz and despite a few repairs plus DRIVING FUN a pleasant "investment".
    Continue accident-free exits!

  • Great story - it sure doesn't happen that often, but when it does, it does at Saab!

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