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

  • Great story - that's not often the case, but if so, then go to Saab!

    • It is exactly like that. I've talked to drivers on their 900 or 9000 more often in recent years. All were not for sale and many actually first owner. And that in Germany, the country of scrapping and exchange premiums. This is either amazing, inexplicable or just plain SAAB ...

  • 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 plugging in 5000 DM at the time, it was a good decision to keep the SAAB. Today this is certainly worth more than 5000 € (!) ... 😉 and despite some repairs plus FAHRSPASS a pleasing "investment".
    Continue accident-free exits!

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

    • 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.

  • Nice car. Thanks for the Sunday Dose SAAB.

    I would try the H-mark in each case. From the photos I am optimistic. My vintage car (49 years old) is visually worse there, but drives like a new car (the time). You hear again and again about 3 corners any rumors about meticulous examiner, not granted or denied H status, but my experience and those in the immediate vicinity are other ...

    And for me it makes no sense that a vintage car with signs of use should not earn a vintage car status.
    Luckily, many examiners see it exactly the same way and not otherwise. The purpose of a H-mark is not the slumber, but the presence of historic vehicles in public spaces. A price-priced Trailer Queen for trade fairs, meetings and events does not need a H license plate. A trailer queen needs no license plate, except maybe for a red ...

    The maintenance with H is sensationally cheap and after all, 9.000 Km anno allows the insurance. Only courage and in 11 years, the 900 has the 600.000 Km full ...

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

    • The requirements for obtaining the "H" have become stricter in recent years, which incidentally is good. The meaning of the "H" is officially the "preservation of automotive heritage" and not cheap as possible with old Ranzkarren through the city center to gondolas (which apparently is not the case here). The span between "museum piece" and "used up" leaves some room for maneuver ...
      I was also annoyed that I had to remove my MP3 CD radio because the examiner would have denied me the "H". But that's right, 1987 did not have any MP3 capable radios yet ...

      • The topic, "inexpensive to gondolas with old Ranzkarren through the city center", has probably already done for D, right?

        The fact that here after the various and depending on the emission standard staggered levy rates for the motor vehicle tax, after scrapping and exchange premiums actually still cars of 30 years or more, borders on a miracle. And these classic cars are rarely in the hands of unemployed or Hartz IV recipients, because they get much younger cars (about 10 years old) long ago thrown for an Appel and an egg behind ...

        My understanding of an examiner who fixes the H-status on the contents of the trunk (old cheese or fresh organic milk) or the contents of an ISO shaft in the dashboard (younger or older radio), holds itself within very, very narrow limits , Thankfully, many examiners tick in the same bar. Since you have probably searched for the wrong?

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

        Sadly, however, that at the same time you doubt the right of existence of so many vintage cars, just because they may carry the wrong milk product in the trunk ...

        That can not and should not be. How authentic is my vintage car (EZ 1970) without lead in the tank and produced with 2016 all-season tires? Not even the radio is original. In the last 5 years, I have seen only a second copy of a younger year and with quite a few optical changes. My vintage car is quite unique, but at least rarely. According to your criteria ("But it is right ...") he would not have deserved his H status. Thanks a lot for this. The world has become a bit better again.

        • Since long ago done ...? Just look at which cars are now 30 years old or soon. Among them are many volume models such as Golf II which are still cheap to have. Even for 9000CC and 901 with H, you do not have to lay down a fortune. So far classic cars have been excluded from driving bans or environmental zones. Although I do not believe that in Stuttgart now mass Euro3 and 4 diesel drivers Gölfe / Kadett etc. buy to continue to come to the city center but this would not be the meaning of the privilege of vintage cars.
          I also do not prefer the right to exist of many vintage cars in question: There is a catalog of requirements, which, as I have already written, was tightened. It is up to the examiner and the owner. If that does not suit me, that I can not wirelessly charge my smartphone in a> 30 years old vehicle and stream music over WiFi, I have to think about whether such a vehicle is right for me. You can drive like an old car, even with fist-sized holes in the metal sheet (if it does not bother you or the TÜV) only if you should then get tax breaks and cheap oldtimer tariffs in the insurance? A proper technical and optical condition should already be expected. That does not mean: museum piece or nothing.

          The comparison "without lead" and 2016er tire ... because you know yourself that in the context does not fit. Is not in the examination regulations, that you must be traveling with 40 Jahtre old tires ... ;-)

          • You are absolutely right. In the coming years Hinz and Kunz will move ...

            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.

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

          • Again true. You can not sing the lofty song of sustainability to any surviving SAAB, and at the same time you can not deny that even those cars are not thrown away for 30 years or more, of which you may be less enthusiastic ...

            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.

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

    • 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.

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

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

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

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

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