The Saab 900 Turbo is parked in front of the door. The ignition key is on the desk. Can I last a long time in the office? I do what is necessary, grab the key and mumble something about having to go to Frankfurt for a while. And I'm gone! That was necessary because this Saab 900 Turbo is waiting in the parking lot.
The evening before ... I fight my way through the Frankfurt rush hour traffic. Driving 900 is archaic. The list of assistance systems available on board is limited to power steering and a brake booster. Otherwise there is nothing, no ABS, no ESP and certainly no lane keeping or coffee assistants. The air conditioning doesn't work, you don't need it either! Not in the Saab 900 Turbo. Rear pop-up window opened, sunroof open. That works pretty well as long as the load is rolling. If it stands, it will be warm.
The 900 has a 3-speed automatic. Not bad in rush hour traffic. A second of commemoration, then it starts. 1 - 2 - 3 and more is not possible. Works well, better than expected. The 900 moves towards Frankfurter Kreuz. It only gets tricky when one of these computer-assisted vehicles breaks into the gap between Saab and the vehicle in front at a stamp distance. Then the blood pressure shoots up. The 900 is only borrowed and no one seems to have any respect for the H mark.
On the highway
The turbo should reach 180 as maximum speed. I believe him, leave it at a comfortable 120 to 130 km / h. It's loud on board. Open windows, open sunroof, the mechanics leave no doubt about their zeal for work. It's not annoying. This is original driving, something for all the senses. The 900 Turbo is sovereign. To put it concretely, it is sufficiently motorized. If it has to go faster, the speedometer quickly shows 160! He does this calmly, giving the feeling that he always has enough reserves. Just like one of the big V8 engines that could casually shake their power out of displacement.
Get off the highway. On the country road.
Then, when I arrive in Bavaria, I leave the A3. It continues on the country road and on my home route. The 900 feels sporty in a fast S-curve. Which, as a glance at the speedometer shows, is more of a feeling than a fact. More modern cars are faster but don't convey that feeling. The landing gear is worth a note. A short wheelbase, rigid axle at the rear, coil springs at the front. Doesn't sound that impressive at first. But it's well done.
The 900 Turbo still conveys good driving comfort and great, safe roadholding today. The tuning of the strong front-wheel drive did not bring other car companies, even 10 or 20 years later, as well as the people at Saab. Respect, and the desire for electronic assistants does not arise in this car.
The 900 is parked next to the 9000 in the carport. In direct comparison, it looks massive and representative. Also very modern, although it is already a classic.
The next day
I am sitting in the office. The car key is on the table. Thoughts revolve around the 900. I can see the Ymos lettering on his key. There was something! Ymos, once one of the major German suppliers to the automotive industry. A company that is history today. There is an old Ymos plant near me.
Parts for the Saab 900 were also manufactured there. A detour to a historical place. In front of gate 3, the red Saab poses for a photo. Today the site belongs to a Chinese investor and has a different name. Like many larger companies in the region. Times are different, but not better.
Back to Frankfurt
One more word about the automatic! This filigree, elegant stem that protrudes into the interior would also cut a good figure in a Daimler or Rolls-Royce. It looks aristocratic and fits this car better in 2020 than in 1987. It says: “Don't rush me through the area, we'll get to our goal with calm!” The 900 becomes a companion on the journey. He's not an athlete, even if he could.
I have no idea how many of the 145 HP in the machine disappear never to be seen again. It doesn't matter either. The 900 Turbo is fun. It's tight, it's loud. He's incredibly stylish. Every single kilometer is a pleasure. You register the amount of experiences and impressions that modern cars steal from us.
Gerard Ratzmann has his 900 again. I'm sitting in my 9-3 aero. Air-conditioned, 4-speed automat, already 20 years old. The journey through time is not yet at the end. I feel like 1993 when I first drove a 900 series second turbo. And was amazed at how quiet and comfortable this car is.