I follow the navigation system and enjoy the ride in the Gustav - the 902 V6 convertible, which many readers should already be familiar with. The incredible first encounter with gentleman comes back to my mind, and although miracles are hard to repeat, I secretly wish it happened again this morning ...
Arrived at the address given, my confusion couldn't be greater.
I am standing in front of an apparently abandoned VW dealership on the main street of a small town with the wonderful name of Molins de Rei. In the photos on the net, however, there was clearly a hall in an industrial area. A move is in progress, Alex explains to me with a laugh on the phone. VW closed it at the end of the year. Proximity to the customer is the motto for the “DriJoy” team.
The main sales room is still empty and Alex leads me into the underground car park. I immediately noticed that both the selection and the condition of the used cars are pleasantly different from usual. We pass a great Volvo C30, an unusually good Megane II with 35k, automatic (a Spanish "no-go" by the way) and air conditioning, and we stand in front of the Saab.
He looks very imposing in his aero outfit and the incredible color.
I have never been able to understand the opinion that red and Saab are not a happy combination. But it also immediately becomes clear to me that the gentleman experience will not be repeated this morning. He stands there, slightly dusty.
And when Alex pulls him out of the parking box, I have to realize that terms such as preparation or engine washing are not part of the program. Opinions are divided on this subject. I like it though. For me it is a clear sign that the car was not “messed about” after the appointment was made.
Alex is pleasantly reserved, patiently answers my questions and lets me go without the used car salesman chatter that I often experience. A few paint defects that are unavoidable in Spain, a crack in the rear left turn signal, a loose light switch, and a little damp drive shafts - I can't find more.
The critical parts of a 9-3 II convertible addressed by Tom and Juan also remain without any findings. The papers are fine. The checkbook is usable. Manipulating the odometer reading is almost impossible in Spain.
So nothing stands in the way of a test drive. I generously ignore the fact that the car has 7k kilometers more on the speedometer than indicated in the ad. We are in Spain, and here you don't see things that closely. It's true with the 1 and 4 ...
We drive and the Saab does what I expect from it: normal temperature development, incredible draft, good brakes, no special noises, very comfortable seats, all comfort functions in order. I start chatting with Alex about cars and life and only slowly realize that something is wrong.
It takes a little while to figure out what it is. It's me. I drive an objectively great car and absolutely nothing happens to me. It is impossible to define what the feelings are as they cannot be more personal. I only know that they come over me every time I get into one of my saws. No matter if 901, 902 or 9k. Even with the gentleman it was immediately there. I try to sharpen my perception, to get involved - without success.
Before we get back to the garage, I know that the 9-3 won't be mine. And that my personal Saab world doesn't need any change at the moment. At the same time my protective instinct awakens. The car is good and my respect for the brand is great. Knowing the local Saab scene and its division, I can not rule out the possibility that the car will be bought quickly, brought to an incredible number of horsepower and ridden dead. At this idea my Saab heart bleeds.
I say goodbye to Alex and ask for a little time to think it over….
When I get into my convertible, this happiness grin comes back over my face unnoticed. This time maybe a little wider than usual, as I've noticed how fine my world is. In terms of Saab at least ...
As for the Red & Hot, I can't get rid of the thought that it needs to be "saved".
That there is somebody somewhere who would like to have him but cannot get to him due to the circumstances. On the way home I decide to confer with Tom and Juan.
Maybe it will be a project after all.