The call (2) - Saab limousine passion as a long-term consequence

I am looking for (my) Saab limousine. The events had made me curious. I scoured the well-known German-speaking portals for corresponding vehicles. The result? A huge black zero. As it is well known that the Spanish market had already caused a bad surprise for some, I expanded the search criteria there to include a beautiful Saab limousine with the powerful engine. As is so often the case, with serious consequences. Exactly two days later I tested the first 9-3 NG Aero from 2005.

Saab 9-3 Aero sports sedan
Saab 9-3 NG Aero sports sedan

Saab 9-3 NG Aero from Barcelona

The term "first" is chosen on purpose. There are more vehicles of this endangered genus appeared in the list of results. Barcelona, ​​Menorca, Girona and even Andorra - our (Spanish) "Switzerland" - would like to be visited soon.

Understandably, I first dedicate myself to the Saab from Barcelona. Following the strange regularities of the Spanish advertisements, it is advertised as "Vector". However, the photos speak a clear language. It is a four-cylinder "aero". "Drive me. I'm kidding, ”he seems to call out. The black paint shines outrageously - the recordings are unusually good. The key data fit. The test drive is quickly agreed.

And proceeds as feared. The Saab is a lot of fun. And awakens my protective instinct.

The Saab Aero is not the second gentleman, but it is an above-average specimen. Technically inconspicuous, regularly revised on request - mostly at Berma. All comfort functions without any findings, the interior neat, the usual suspects - yes, the soft paint - are already known to me and do not bother me. Now that I've heard the word “tradable” very often in New German and Spanglish, I know what can be overlooked.

170.000 kilometers - and it feels good
170.000 kilometers - and it feels good

170.000 kilometers and feels good

As with almost all cars of our favorite brand, the 170 thousand kilometers of mileage are negligible and absolutely understandable.

The Saab feels like an annual car during the extensive test drive. The body is rust-free and accident-free. The paint is in good condition by Spanish standards. The usual traces of everyday life were regularly removed. It could be driven on without further work on the body.

Could…. but more on that later. Following his own taste, the last owner had the rear lights from the later years of construction installed. This is also "tradable".

The test drive takes a long time. But already after a few kilometers I know - this car will be bought. I can think of many sensible reasons for this. It belongs to a rare and dying Saab species. It is the last 9-3 whose aero version is powered by the four-cylinder "turbine". The effort to get this car in top condition is - despite all the inefficiency - manageable.

But the most important argument is known to all readers who let themselves be overwhelmed by their irrationality every now and then. I want him! And then let's see. And there are no arguments or pills against it!

One signature later, I call the Saab my own. This is followed by an inventory at Berma. The good overall technical condition is confirmed by Joan. He already knows the car. The list of "little things" that need to be done, however, becomes quite long.

Great condition, nice seats with bi-color leather
Great condition, nice seats with bi-color leather

Saab spare parts from all over the world

Greetings from “The Button War”. From the encounter with the aforementioned espresso-brown 9-3 NG, I know how good the interior can look. So individual parts are ordered all over the world. The radio unit comes from Hamburg, an outdated CD player from California, some from England.

Most of the list is processed in Fechenheim. Gerard Ratzmann very seldom has to say “Unfortunately I didn't”. In the meantime, experiments are being carried out with a 3D printer. Once again, a suitcase full of Saab spare parts flies from Frankfurt to Barcelona. (Thanks Gerard)

A new saddler introduces himself to Berma as if it had been ordered at the right time from the mail order business. He is a Saab fan and driver himself. At our first meeting I am amazed. Abel comes with a trunk full of patterns and a head full of ideas.

The Aero will be our first collaboration and the results are more than satisfactory. In the interior, the car gradually meets my expectations. Unusual ideas are also used. The shift gate - mostly a bit shabby after all these years and hardly available in usable condition - is painstakingly painted.

The result deserves a grade of 10 out of 10. Many interesting experiments are still pending. We'll hear a lot more from Abel in the foreseeable future.

Black tail - still cool, right?
Black tail - still cool, right?

Change color? What do the readers think?

Now I would like to come to the body section. A full paint job is pending. Why this is necessary was explained in detail in the article about the 27.000 kilometers driven First hand 9-3 upper floor from Barcelona explained. Before making the final decision on the end result, I am very interested in what readers think.

The car has the color number 170. Classic black. This color can of course be retained. However, it would be possible to change the color and thus create a unique piece. The color palette of the 9-3 NG offers a nice selection in this regard. The sapphire blue of the 9-3 SC, for example. Or - as Tom suggested - following the motto "courage to use color", the Saab color palette of the 70s could be used. For example, there is a very bold green. I'm really looking forward to the result.

The Lizi


In the meantime I have managed to visit Andorra. What I found there is clearly one of the biggest surprises of my research so far. A report will follow soon.

14 thoughts on "The call (2) - Saab limousine passion as a long-term consequence"

  • How strictly are the white taillights actually seen? Because strictly speaking, the reflectors are missing.

    • It would be a problem with the German TÜV. The Spanish don't see it that tight. However, according to Mr. Ratzmann, the reflectors can be retrofitted.

      The Lizi

    • Hello Lizi,
      if the Saab was born black, it should stay black too! It's a beautiful color.
      Original is always best! In addition, the Saab would have to be completely dismantled .... Engine compartment, doors, etc. ... so that it appears completely in a different color. Everything else is Fusch in my eyes!
      I wouldn't buy a repainted car either!

  • Dear Congregation ..

    Thanks for the many great comments. As expected, opinions on the subject of coloring are very different, and in fact do not make it easier for me. The subject would now like to be considered very carefully. A detailed discussion with the painter is necessary. Above all, however, the visit to the “sisters and brothers” will be decisive: there are several great colors among them. Read very carefully between the lines, dear Ebasli…. There are indeed some unusual vehicles in the queue to move on to the readers after a brief interlude in Lizi's personal garage. I am counting on the first suggestions to anyone who might be interested in the spring. But until then we still have some exciting research reports waiting for us.
    As far as the global search for spare parts is concerned, I am unfortunately unable to provide a reliable list. At the moment they are random finds based on need anyway. But a great idea for a project. Thanks for that.

    Have a nice evening everyone

    The Lizi

  • Hello Lizi,
    now you already have great color suggestions and now I come from the classic car corner:
    I never buy a car that is not in the original color of the first delivery!
    Got that?
    I am always happy to read from you, makes you dream ...
    96 greetings

  • Hello Lizi,
    my 9-3 is espresso brown, a wonderful shade.
    But if you consciously repaint, why not choose a very unusual shade? Only from black to dark blue does not “pay off”, then rather red.
    I once drove a wonderful 900i in lime green metallic as a rental car in Stockholm - but I'm not sure whether this color, which probably wasn't a big hit, goes with the 93-NG. It was fantastic for the 900, but I've never seen a Saab in this color in Germany.

    Thanks for the great report, which creates a lot of excitement for others!
    greetings from Munich

  • And I would also suggest a shade of green (dark green metallic?). A tribute to SAAB's first automotive years. 🙂

  • Great report, thank you very much! Will the beautiful limousine stay in the inventory or is it just parked temporarily with Lizi to then move on to another Saab lover? After all, other "sisters and brothers" should be visited and admired - even in Andorra (I'm really looking forward to the report!)

    My favorite would be the beautiful sapphire blue metallic - the color was my 2007 convertible and I still mourn it! Or chilli red metallic, also great!

    I also find the two-tone leather seats very nice. I am currently looking for this for my SportCombi, preferably electric with a memory function, because unfortunately only with Saab is compatible with the right exterior mirror that can be folded down for parking on the curb. I find that very practical in the city. But, as Kiel explained to me, it should only work with the memory seat and can be retrofitted. Funny, but probably true!

    Regarding the spare parts from all over the world: Would there be some kind of list of suppliers that could be made available to the readers of the blog? I would find that very helpful because you often don't have a starting point yourself. Thank you one way or another for these interesting suggestions! 🙂

  • Great report!
    There are no coincidences ..., it should be like this :-).
    My color suggestion: guaranteed unique in scarab green :-). THE noble SAAB color from the 90s.
    VG and joy in this project.

  • Yes, I would have ordered the Java metallic for my 9-5NG ... if it had been a new car. The taillights / indicators / ... we built in my wife's convertible, makes the car more modern, I think I would leave it that way.

  • Deliciously written ...

    "As if he were in the mail order business at the right time (...)."

    1.000 thanks, Lizi. Every contribution is always a great pleasure. Fascinating how the right people from nowhere meet at the right time in the small Saab world.
    That's heartwarming ...

    I have no opinion about the color, nothing can contribute to the decision. I understand the dilemma. I think I would be pragmatic and would stay true to the original? The color job is maybe a little cleaner and cheaper?

    Really difficult. The appeal of repainting it and creating something new is also revealed to me. Sorry, but I can't think of anything valid to make this decision easier. Just too many and too beautiful colors that Saab has created over the course of decades. What should you say about a paint job? I can't think of anything ...

  • Hello Lizi, very chic aero!
    I am also currently looking for a Saab 9-3 Aero sports sedan and have now found what I am looking for in Switzerland. A dark blue Aero from 2006 with 245t km but with the stagged V6 and from Saab-affine 1st hand. 🙂

    I would like to take the taillights off your Aero.

    • I will contact you as soon as available.

      The Lizi

  • Hello Lizi
    Espresso black is pretty close and is also a very interesting color. Or then the Java metallic from the 9-5NG, also a really great color scheme!
    Anyway, have fun with "Saabretten"
    Best regards, Hans, aero50


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