A Gray Winter's Day in January 2019 - I'm spending my time browsing through Swiss online marketplaces for used cars. In addition to many other veterans (in Switzerland, the name for a vehicle with H license plate) he jumps in the eye: A Saab 9000 CC turbo with Platinum Blue metallic paint and velor seats in the so-called Light Blue. Immediately my heart beats faster, as I take a closer look at the photos in the tender.
Memories are awakened. In exactly this version, the CC stood in childhood days in front of my grandparents' house. I have always admired this car and imagined that I was allowed to ride such a model in adulthood. The Saab 900 GLi, which my mother drove back then, was one of the nicest cars for me.
But now back to the here and now! The story for this blog should finally report on past experiences: According to the ad 9k of 1985 has only 128'000 km on the clock and is in top condition. The jewel for 6'300 Swiss Francs (about 5'700 Euro) will be sold to a Saab lover. The only downer seems to be the broken air conditioning. I spontaneously contact the advertiser and inquire for further details. It quickly becomes clear that the previous owners, a Swedish couple who had imported the Saab to Switzerland at the time, have invested a lot of money in obtaining so-called veteran approval. The CC seems to be in perfect condition and is said to change hands due to lack of time resources and non-existent airbags, according to the advertiser. Currently, the old Swede is on an outdoor parking lot.
So I make an appointment and ask the seller friendly the vehicle, if possible until then to reserve for me. My mother - also still a big Saab fan - accompanies me to the appointment. At first glance, the 9k does not look very well maintained. Although the bodywork has no major damage, the interior of the car leaves a rather neglected impression. Condensation has accumulated in both the taillights and the headlamps, and traces of time are visible on the emblems. The fabric of the door linings is worn and hanging down. Nevertheless, it is noticeable that some parts have been processed - at an age of almost 34 years certainly not uncommon. For example, the roof lining has been renewed, rust spots have been eliminated and the engine has always been serviced.
Mechanically, the 9000er seems to be in good condition (as far as we can judge as a layman). The opportunity to acquire this first version of the 9k in this condition seems unique to us. So I do not think about it for long, but hit it. No three days pass until the car is picked up. Since summer tires are mounted and I have to cover a longer distance, the sunny winter weather on 04.02.2019 comes as called.
In the coming weeks, I'll be busy with the procurement of spare parts and accessories for my freshly shot darling. I quickly realize that the Swiss online platforms have not much to offer in this regard. I will look to other providers such as skandix.de and saab-parts.eu attentively. Also on Ebay and other portals in the German area I'll find it. Step by step, the partially unused parts are installed in the Saab. At the beginning I get used, but intact tail lights, new flashing lights, a brand new tailgate emblem, a used Saab lettering for the fender, a paint pen set and much more.
Most of the parts that have become scarce are rather expensive, especially since customs fees are generally to be expected. In this way, I gradually invest in my new hobby. On the Swiss market, to my astonishment, I still discover an original boxed radiator grille. My personal highlight is the leather steering wheel from Hamburg: I am aware of this via the Saab blog. This is followed by an interesting e-mail exchange with the seller of the steering wheel (also an avid 9k holder), who gives me as a freshman first facts about the Saab scene and introduces me, so to speak, into the community.
In the following months I invest every spare minute in the preparation of the 9k. I decide to share some of my impressions with the Saab community and create an account for the 9000er on Instagram (www.instagram.com/saab9000turbo). On the one hand, I want to use this to share the progress of the preparation (eg in the form of before-and-after pictures) as well as other impressions and, on the other hand, to get in touch with other Saab fanatics.
I also face challenges in connection with the classic: In addition to a breakdown in which the CC leaves me on a dirt road in the lurch (the reason for this is the not properly installed by the previous car battery, as it turns out a short time later) make me the To create interior door panels.
The plastic parts are very brittle after all these years, the textile cover is no longer useful - a great challenge for my mother, who supports me in this task and finally soldered the side parts again, before they are covered with synthetic leather. Also, disassembling and reinstalling the panels as a whole requires a high degree of patience and creativity, as many plugs and plastic parts are no longer useful - also here I get help luckily. All the better is the moment when the first door paneling sits again and shines in new splendor.
With the help of a carpet cleaning device, I also free the interior of the vehicle from the dirt of recent decades. As a result, the familiar blue of the velor seats reappears in its old freshness and the stale smell of engine oil, which has probably been emptied of in the boot, bids farewell. The alloy wheels require a thorough cleaning. I use a wheel cleaner and a commercially available toothbrush to free it from brake dust which has become very encrusted over the years. The result is impressive and the hours of work have paid off for me.
In addition to the many items that I could finally procure to my delight almost all (the hardest to get probably was the Saab-Scania tailgate emblem) may of course not lack a model car of my favorite. Other accessories such as key chains and some brochures from the era of the CC complete my Saab collection.
The 9000er I drive only in fine weather and special occasions, because I would like to enjoy this classic for a long time. Furthermore, in this country for vintage cars an average annual contingent of 3'000 kilometers of driving, which may not be exceeded. To ride the old Sweden in this day and age is a real pleasure for me. Despite its already proud age, it offers a lot of technology and comfort. In addition to the on-board computer, which displays not only the battery voltage but also the current gas mileage and the average consumption on 100 km, provide the turbocharger, cruise control, quiet running engine and the transmission, which can be gently up and down, for much driving comfort. The interior offers ample space and the Blaupunkt car radio with cassette deck and music by Michael Jackson and other performers provides for the 80er-Ambiente on my trips in vintage cars.
The reactions of my environment to the acquisition of the classic are different, but overall positive. Some of my friends and relatives are surprised that I'm interested in older cars, especially Saab. Others remind themselves of their experiences with the Swedish cult brand and tell me about it. Even on social media, the response is quite positive. The number of followers of the CC on Instagram is steadily increasing, which shows that there is still interest in vehicles of this type. The purchase of spare parts is always enriching exchanges. Man / woman helps each other out when parts are difficult to obtain or support is needed for maintenance, servicing or treatment.
Although the Saab 9000 turbo is said to be less popular due to its Italian impact on «hardcore Saab fans», these early models have become scarce. The 9k is (as in the Saab blog already read was) matured to the classic.
Thanks to Saab 9000 Turbo 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!". 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!
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