Saab has always known how to build perfectly understated cars. The typical representative of this genus, which is critically endangered, is the 9-5 Aero of the first series. Somehow it was almost forgotten, erased from memory. Then came the gentleman project. With him a 9-5 from Spain, which clearly made it clear what great cars were built in Trollhättan around 20 years ago.
It's not too late yet
The opportunity is still there, but time is running out. Interesting Series 1 Aero keep coming out on the market. Sometimes amazingly well cared for, with a few kilometers. The prices are bearable. For the Swedish luxury liner with a slightly sporty attitude, you put less money on the counter than the battery pack of an electric car costs.
In return, you get a lot of comfort and individuality as well as analog calmness. Fortunately, Saab held back when it came to electronics, so that weak points are manageable and in the event of a defect, everything can be repaired for a reasonable budget.
The first 9-5 series has the genes to pass as a long-term car with intelligent maintenance. The red pencil only came into action in series 2 and 3, the processing was still loving. Preserved with expertise at the critical points that every Saab workshop knows, rust has no chance either.
I found two interesting cousins of the Gentleman Project, in Switzerland and in the Netherlands. Neither of them is expensive, and you should grab it before someone else does.
The Saab cousin from Switzerland
Is silver the best color for a 9-5 aero? One can have different opinions about this. The Swiss cousin of the Gentleman Project is definitely an individualist. Silver in combination with a beige leather interior is something you don't see that often.
Swiss cars have the reputation of being meticulously maintained in Germany, which is also due to the federal version of the TÜV. Their examiners are quite humorless and only wave through what is really good. The Aero appears to be well maintained and has only a little more than 100.000 kilometers on the clock. An automatic transmission ensures comfortable travel, the price is not high.
5.000 CHF are required, which corresponds to around 4.700 €. In addition, you have to calculate the value added tax, should the Saab want to travel to Germany or another EU country. Either way: It's not expensive to get started.
The gentleman's cousin is in the Zurich area Sales.
The Saab cousin from the Netherlands
Beauty has to be paid for, doesn't it? Midnight blue is one of the most beautiful colors you have ever mixed in the Stallbacka. It makes a distinguished appearance out of every Saab, but especially out of the 9-5 sedan. The Aero that is offered in the Netherlands remains just below the psychologically important mark of 100.000 kilometers.
In order not to become weak, you have to be a strong character. Ventilated and electrically adjustable seats are the icing on the cake of a very nice feature. The Aero is switched manually, which does not have to be a disadvantage and which one or the other enthusiast specifically asks.
The history should be documented and the condition should be good. The original asking price of over € 10.000 has since been reduced to € 9.250. It is possible that there is still some air here, because the times are not exactly such that youngtimers and classics are sold at top prices.
Despite all the beauty, an intense look is of course advisable. The seller, who every now and then has a beautiful Saab in his offer, also provides many pictures.
The Dutch cousin of the gentleman stands in Macharen for Sales.
The opportunity to drive a future classic is here. A sustainable car that you can use for a long time with a clear conscience, without having to forego comfort and performance. Extended usage times are true sustainability and the conservation of scarce resources.
Unfortunately, this idea has no lobby at all.