So far, my personal experience with the Saab 9000 has been based on only three experiences, which will remain unforgettable for me, however, because of the respective concomitant circumstances. I myself skipped the 9000er series in my personal "Saab career", I switched from three 96 and 900 (I) directly to the 9-5 (I).
The first contact with the Saab 9000 in May 1984
In the year 1984 it was time: finally our first Sweden holiday in central Sweden. That Trollhättan was right on the way to Sunne, was certainly a reason for the selection of the holiday destination. We reached the factory in Trollhättan with our fully packed 96, where Albert Trommer, the then indescribably sympathetic director of the Saab Museum already waiting for us at the fully occupied company parking lot.
Immediately after the warm welcome we headed towards the city center. Suddenly Albert Trommer put the turn signal of his 900 Turbos in front of us and we were standing in front of a rather inconspicuous house, which at the time belonged to the Saab-ANA. However, no Saab emblem or a reference to a museum was seen. Our questioning looks, however, were immediately answered by saying that the museum was in the basement.
There the next surprise: Two Swedish students were already waiting for us and received us very warmly. An individual guide just for us in this museum - I was blessed to get to know the story of my favorite brand in reality and not just from reports.
Ironically, the film with which I took the photos in the museum was flawed. So, after returning from memory, I made a sketch of the issued museum vehicles. What annoyed me when I saw the developed photos with the red cross lines ...
Now for the very first contact on this day with the 9000. After visiting the museum, Albert Trommer asked us, with a mysterious air, if we wanted to see something very special. Of course we wanted.
Back up in the daylight, we saw a tarpaulin under which only one car could hide. The curiosity was almost unbearable, I already knew then that Saab would present something new. The two Swedes literally celebrated the covering of the car - only a trumpet fanfare would have been missing here. The Saab 9000 came to light, which was about to make its official debut. Intense red body, paired with light brown leather seats - a poem. We were the first Germans to see this car.
But for me the best came yet: We enjoyed a city tour with Albert 900 Turbo! The Kopparklinten with the great view of the waterfall and the locks were of course on the program. It was also the first time that I was allowed to ride with an 900, which left me with an even more intense impression than the rather factual designed 9000.
The second contact with the 9000, about 1994
Meanwhile, I had my dream fulfilled 1987, a used 900 GLi made my 96 company. Even a 99 would have been a welcome alternative back then, as I had come across the Saab brand many years ago (1969) when I first saw the 99 near Nuremberg. Even then it was clear to me that later Saab would once count to my brand.
1994 was the second 9000 experience for me: I visited a Swedish printing house near Vetlanda and had to fly from Copenhagen to Vetlanda in stormy weather - in a small propeller airplane. With an unhealthy, greenish complexion, I got off the plane and was greeted by two Swedish colleagues. When I saw their car, my face lit up noticeably. It was a Citroën XM, which I already liked very much. Unfortunately, I had to sit in the back seat and unfortunately I was given a map, so we could find the remote location of the printing house - there were no navigation devices at that time.
Soft suspension, slow up and down of the body of the XM, rear seat and then also the handling of the map - I was getting greener face. Great car of the XM, especially from the driver's seat seen, but unfortunately unhappy with these unfortunate circumstances for me to endure.
After the customer visit, a 9000 CS was ready for the return trip to the hotel. Also not bad, especially with the newly designed from 1992 rear end. Here, the ride was much easier due to the harder suspension, the 9000 won with me some more sympathy points. Two great cars in one day, what more could you want ...
The third contact with the 9000 in the year 1999
This time a special highlight was on the program. A colleague at that time owned a 9000 CSE and we always wanted to visit the factory in Trollhättan. An employee in our Swedish Press Representation knew a Saab marketing staff, so we enjoyed an unforgettable, individual factory tour. Advantageously, the location of our agency: about 300 meters from today's Saab Museum. Of course, the museum comes first with each of my trips to Sweden, and then the representation ☺.
Before visiting the factory, however, the trip from the Frankfurt area to Trollhättan was on the program. Here I got to know the outstanding long-distance characteristics of the 9000: space, perfect seats and a good compromise between driving comfort and driving safety made this trip a pleasure. The development from 900 to 9000 was felt almost everywhere.
The visit to the factory was as impressive as my first visit to the museum in the year 1984. No routine handling of Saab-infected visitors, but top attention to detail. Where would you still be able to experience this today?
The return trip was also relaxed, now equipped with several loot from the Saab Museum: several books, model cars and brochures were from now on a place of honor in my Saab collection.
Why did not the 9000 manage to become my everyday car?
Objectively difficult to answer. Were too few Saab genes present (no incomparable aircraft pulpit feeling of the 99 / 900 models due to the lack of round windscreen, the ignition between the front seats, the somewhat less solid-looking body, the at least external similarity of the doors to Fiat Croma and Lancia theme, the conventional opening of the hood, which in the 900 always generates a certain attention value)? Or is it my age, since I witnessed the history of 99 and 900 from the beginning?
An objectively great car of the Saab 9000, but the sparks jumped only conditionally with me.
It was a little different years later with my first 9-5 (I). Here were at least some of the styling elements of the 99 / 900 series available again, the station wagon also did not miss the preferred river backs.
But just a matter of taste - and a good time for Saab, as survival could be extended for a few more years because of the 9000.
Thanks to Uli for the Saab story on Sunday. 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!". The submission deadline for the action was the 15. August. Action over and not been there? Not bad! We have new ideas and will introduce them soon.