Some days the list of things to do is just endless. Sometimes it is so long that even a cursory glance at it - while I'm drinking my first coffee - leaves me wanting to even start. On a sunny morning in mid-August I had such a long list in front of me. With one major difference: everything has to do with Saab and enjoyment. And I'm looking forward to the long drive, the encounters with previously only virtually known people, and of course a lot of Saabs.
I invite readers to come along
I'm in Germany for work and have a day off. I would like to use it for a visit to Switzerland. My goal: The Jost garage in Pieterlen. In the past few months there has been a lot of virtual contact between the “Jost” and “Lizi” garages.
A project outside of the blog spotlight has emerged. That Garage Jost "THE" Saab address in Switzerland is likely to be widely known. I find out that there is an extensive and undoubtedly worth seeing Saab collection from conversations and emails with Urs Jost - the second generation managing director.
And there is a Saab for sale in Pieterlen that I just have to see:
A 9000 Aero Automatic from 1997. I could write my own article about this Saab alone. If you are interested: the advertisement can still be seen on garagejost.ch and autoscout24.ch.
Since I like to visit Switzerland anyway, my mood couldn't be better. Especially since I am starting the journey with another rare piece of jewelry:
A 9000 automatic from 1996 in the condition of the year-old car and a five-digit number on the odometer. This Saab is more puristic. But what in Saab language still means automatic air conditioning and the finest - and also flawless - leather. Today I leave out a hymn of praise for the 9k driving pleasure and refer to the countless blog posts on the topic.
I always found the 2.0 engine with 150 hp to be sufficient and relaxing. So today too.
That's why I'm not sure whether I'll opt for the Aero the whole trip. In addition to its 3 times the mileage, which I personally consider negligible, it would mean that I would part with a Saab for the first time in my life.
In one of my posts I already wrote about the desirable relationship between maturity and reason. For me personally, this process is just beginning, even if it is very laborious. Another Saab is clearly out of the question.
The number of them has increased considerably in the course of the research on “Lizi's Garage”. At the moment I would like to remain silent about the exact details. Because my family also reads the posts on the blog. However, the topic of "Saab separation" is more topical than ever.
But that's a whole different story. And soon to be read here on the blog.
When I pull up to the “Garage Jost”, my odometer jumps to exactly 97.000.
A day of enjoyment from Saab in Pieterlen
It's 13.00pm and we start the visit with a delicious lunch at the local Italian. And there it is again, the Saab phenomenon. It's the first time I've been sitting across from someone and it feels like I'm meeting an old friend. We talk about life, family, world situation and of course Saab. It could go on forever, but there is the famous list that needs to be worked through.
And from then on I can't stop being amazed. Saab - wherever you look: sales rooms, underground garages, halls and parking lots. But without the pomp of steel and glass that is common today. Even with the main brand. Garage Jost is the number 1 in Switzerland in terms of sales and service for the brand Suzuki. This has a slightly different status with our neighbors, a very extensive range of all-wheel drive vehicles and is, typically Japanese, very reliable. That is liked and appreciated in Switzerland.
But back to “our” brand. The focus at Jost is clearly on the 96 and 99 series. But 9-3 and 9-5 of all years are also included. Urs is of the opinion that every Saab deserves to be restored, if necessary, and put on the market. We are absolutely of the same opinion.
I hear a detailed story about every vehicle. Where does it come from, how it came after Pieterlen, and to what extent it was or is being restored. Their current state could not be more different. From well-maintained used cars to fully restored classics to specimens that can only be guessed at that they were once drivable cars and one day they will be again.
Saab competence and state-of-the-art equipment
Tom already wrote about the fact that the Saab department was outsourced. There is a dedicated Saab service workshop. Here, too, what counts is more than appearance. Externally, the building is reminiscent of a cozy holiday home anyway. Inside you will find the latest equipment and concentrated Saab competence.
Although I belong to the species where - almost - every Saab makes the pulse beat faster, I experience particularly special and unique moments this afternoon.
Among the vehicles imported from Sweden there is the executive vehicle from the 60s.
Some examples, despite their age, have low five-digit mileage and / or look like they left the factory yesterday.
Test flight in the Saab 9000 Aero
Time flies like in flight. And I almost forgot that a real flight awaits me: The Saab 9000 Aero wants to be test driven. It is my first personal encounter with the king of the series. I know the engine. I am lucky to have a CSE 2.3 Turbo. But not in this "packaging".
The two 9000 park next to each other and look just great. Their maintenance condition is unique. The mileage of the Aero cannot be seen. It is not to be expected otherwise even with a first-hand copy from Switzerland that is cared for by Saab without exception.
In addition, it was completely overhauled technically by the Jost specialists.
I sink into the leather-covered driver's seat - which could have come from a spaceship - and before I even start the engine, I internally file for divorce from my red 9k.
The test drive on the Swiss country roads and autobahn around the Lake Biel reiterates my decision. The details of this divorce have yet to be discussed. Neither Urs nor I are in a hurry, and the Swiss side is showing interest in my Saab.
Of course, Garage Jost has the right of advance booking. However, it cannot be ruled out that my red 9k will be offered through Lizi's garage. It remains exciting. Especially because there is still a lot to report from Pieterlen himself. And the heads of both “garages” have some crazy, nutty ideas.
Greetings to the community.
My 9k doesn't blame me for the divorce. Fed with premium Swiss gasoline - which is now much cheaper than ours - he purred and brought me back to the vicinity of Frankfurt without incident.