Bella Italia - Bella SAAB - The 900 has arrived

A long story told briefly. How I became an owner of a SAAB 900 from Italy. Like some of the SAAB fans, I joined the SAAB brand a little later, these peculiar but beautiful cars from the north. As a student, I had an eye on the SAAB 9000 Turbo, my craftsman had one he was very proud of.

Known in Germany as 900S
Known in Germany as 900S

I had the option to drive company cars and 3 Volvo station wagons were announced, with the 850 it was a really nice car. Right in the middle of it with a SAAB 9-5 station wagon - test drive, but then stuck with V70 - the reason was the better diesel. When the children were out of the house - the desire for a convertible was born. C70 or Saab 9-3? Definitely Saab - now because of the diesel and SAAB is simply unbeatable in convertibles.

After the Saab 9-3 Cabrio TDI (newly purchased from SAAB Frankfurt), a Saab Cabrio 2.0 BioPower came after the SAAB bankruptcy with only 25 TKM used, which I still maintain and maintain with the current 80 TKM. Great car, deer, SAAB Turbo simply brilliant and only approved from March to October. Unfortunately, there is no longer any organic ethanol - only when I move the car around in CZ and France can I enjoy driving ethanol. Who knows what the Federal Government is still planning - BIO fuels will definitely come back.

Saab 9-3 2.0 BioPower
Saab 9-3 2.0 BioPower

Since I still need a station wagon from time to time and of course for the winter a SAAB 9-3 (last model) station wagon was purchased 5 years ago with 80 TKM - still a great, reliable car with no shortage today. Both cars at SAAB Ratzmann in care.

And then the fever caught me for a “real” SAAB. It should be a 900 classic. The question of sustainability was also asked - an electric car or did you opt for durability? Sustainability has prevailed.

First looked at the cheap GLI models - but soon found that you can get nothing for little money - eaten away by the rust, bad technology. Then I did a turbo test and then the fever increased. Now it had to be a turbo - but the prices, of course, much higher. Unfortunately I also didn't find what I was looking for and the tip from Mr. Ratzmann - look around for a rustproof car, he'll get the technology right and then took me to other search locations.
The idea was born and then searched in the relevant local advertisements in the southern regions of Europe and then got stuck with a SAAB 900 EP, green metallic, brown leather seats with wooden fittings, only 140 TKM, but the engine was defective because it was operated with LPG is. For little money.

All in Bari - Italy - car was in a junkyard.

Bari, Italy, junkyard - that sounded like adventure. That it also became. Then the Odysee 1 started. Off to Bari in connection with a tour of Calabria. Meeting at the junkyard and then he stood there - with a few scratches, but otherwise rust-free (which Mr. Ratzmann could confirm later 😉), leather in good condition. We then agreed - deposit made. The previous owner drives 3 SAABs himself and we made the contract via Google Translator.

Anyone who has ever bought a car in Italy knows what I am getting into. First, the execution of the purchase contract and how a defective car comes to Germany. 4 weeks later I went back to Bari - the scratches were gone, the car was completely polished - a feast for the eyes. The notarial process took 4 hours and Marco, the former owner and I became good friends at the time.

Via an internet platform I found a carrier who picked up the car 2 weeks later with 2 other classic cars.

The SAAB was supposed to be brought to SAAB Ratzmann in January, but the freight forwarder had a different statement every week. Detour via France, coupling of the train wagon broken, driver left. In mid-February I turned on the police, lawyers: but to no avail. I had already written off the car internally, then a call came from Marco, the previous owner. The SAAB was brought up by the Italian police in the port of Brindisi - still on the trailer. Driver disappeared. Marco then loaded the SAAB onto his trailer with a forklift and brought it back to Bari. Reboot.

Odysee 3rd exit with a happy ending:

This time I found a more reliable carrier who brought the car to Frankfurt within 3 days. After an inventory by Saab Ratzmann then the complete technology (engine, parts of the chassis, brakes, tires, exhaust system except for the gearbox) was changed and brought up to date - TÜV and approval - then after 4-5 months: at the end of summer I could start the car, enjoy the sound and the unique driving experience. The next summer, the conversion to a full turbo is planned and various cosmetic repairs in the interior. An original Saabradio is already installed. And already as a birthday present I got an Italia / SAAB keychain.

If you need help - auto import from Italy - please contact me!

Text and images: Stefan Schwarze

10 thoughts on "Bella Italia - Bella SAAB - The 900 has arrived"

  • @ Herbert Hürsch

    Very funny! About the clattering of teeth by Captain Haddock from the Italian "racing" driver in a (in my volume German-) Italian gibberish for a problem with the valves or the like. I remember now. Simply delicious! 🙂 That sounds like a relaxed evening reading ...

    And in your case, the envy of your colleagues in the back seat was of course very justified… 🙁 but not to be remedied! 🙂

  • @ Ebasil,

    I also have this volume. When captain Cod (Haddock) gets his teeth chattering in the back seat, the driver begins to speculate in a mixture of Italian and English. A valve? A piston? Wonderful! ! !

    Despite a rudimentary Internet research, I have unfortunately not yet been able to determine exactly which car it is.

    Be that as it may, I was actually out and about with a buddy who (had) thick dark hair and still had a corresponding beard. Like Haddock, he sat in the back seat. There he secretly buckled his seat belt while driving, which I enviously registered in the passenger seat ...

    I simply didn't want to risk an offended driver who takes his eyes off the road at 137 km / h in a tight left turn on the opposite lane.

  • @Herbert Hürsch - the world's best Italian drivers

    Wonderful story! 🙂 Spontaneously reminds me of an episode from “Tintin” (which I “devoured” as a child), I mean “The Bien Fall”, when Tintin and Captain Haddock were hitchhiked and were immediately instructed by the driver, “Italian Cars and drivers are the best in the world, ”and after a record-breaking journey with similar (and worse) breakneck maneuvers, they got out pale-faced. I think I'll have to read the volume again on the weekend…. 😉

  • No airbag as standard.

    I took a hitchhiker with me in Tuscany. Coincidentally it could have been the year in which this 900 got its first registration.
    When I wanted to fasten my seatbelt it started with a verbiage. We are in Italy, he is Italian. Italians are the best drivers in the world. Would I insult him?
    The rapid ride without a seatbelt (who needs airbags?) Was like on a closed race track. Bends were consistently driven as if there were no oncoming traffic on the left and no abyss on the right. So always as narrow as possible and using the opposite lane.

    But it was true, by his standards (which didn't include caution and foresight) the driver was pretty darn good. Above all, responsive. It was an unforgettable experience that doesn't need to be repeated ...

  • Hello Ken, the system was already expanded. With the replacement engine, the car is again powered with super lead-free incl. Catalyst. Perhaps Mr. Ratzmann will reveal details in his story.

  • Junkyard?

    A Saab 900? Leather seats? Stainless and only 140.000 km? From the junkyard?
    It's hard tobacco but luckily it's a great story with a happy ending

  • A scarab green SAAB cream slice! 🙂
    A feast for the eyes, congratulations on the great 900th!
    And Mr. Ratzmann writes an article about the little Italian stories he found ... 😉
    In anticipation ... 🙂

  • That is one side, there are others

  • Great story ... thanks for that

  • Does the LPG system stay inside?
    I like the color of the 900, congratulations on the car.

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