It all started more than a year ago with the usual browsing through the popular domestic and foreign search portals. I didn't have a specific goal, because at that time the additional garage space was still missing. It was just looking for something beautiful as a hobby.
Although, like everyone here, a big Saab fan, I kept looking through other makes, but there was never really anything appealing. Maybe a Citroën C6 (Link), but really wouldn't fit. Operation would be too costly and complicated. At Subaru and Lexus there was nothing interesting affordable, a petrol Volvo C30 was not to be found either. A summer fun car Mini Cabrio (But I only think about this very briefly) – all far too expensive. And now I admit, I like the shape of a Mercedes CLC Coupe or Mercedes C Sportcoupe, which is not quite young by now.
But here too, at least on the Austrian market, no such thing.
Saab Cabriolet purchase - an intermediate model
So I came back to browsing Saab. Saab 9-5NG, 9-3 coupe or a convertible. Later I also came across a 1,8 convertible – an intermediate model. Although the price was still a bit high, I was still interested in the car because it was one of the few ads where the seller knew how to advertise a car.
Not like the unfortunately common, two, if things go well, three badly made, cell phone photos in portrait format, very poor description and yet high price expectations. Such ads are usually left to the side with me. I always assume that if you don't even bother to type out a reasonable application - 10 photos and a few lines really don't take that much effort - you probably didn't handle the car very carefully either.
This ad, however, had a lot of text. The pictures are well detailed, individual points were listed, when, what was done and what should be done soon. When the price was then reduced, I made the first contact. After the first reply, which addressed all my questions, I also saw the seller's name.
Research is part of the Saab Cabriolet purchase
As I belong to the younger generation, (I think everyone is doing that now) I did a quick research on the name and found out it's an opera singer and we have mutual friends. That made things a little more interesting.
I asked about the seller at a chamber music concert the day before the scheduled viewing, where I was meeting my friends. I was able to get a lot of information about the car in advance from my friends' son. They are good friends and he was able to ride with me more often and pointed out a few weaknesses to me.
Since the son called his friend late in the evening before the viewing, the conversation took place the next day in a completely different climate than when buying a private used car.
Whereby when buying a Saab, it is probably always spoken on a different level than with an everyday car.
Artists drive Saab
While we were talking about music and cars, we even found out that we've even seen each other at least twice. Once at our Saab workshop Saab Himberg (Link) and then at an open-air concert in Lower Austria. It wasn't the first time I've found that I've seen either the owner or the Saab elsewhere. Saw it again later with a new owner and coincidentally in one case it was a musician again.
So there is some truth to the fact that Saab drivers can be found in artistic circles.
A few days later we met again late at night (after the end of the performance). The sales contract was signed, the papers handed over and the winter tires loaded into the Saab station wagon.
Saab on variable number plate
The collection itself then took place a few days later and it was a bit stressful. I had to get to the registration office in time, report the new car together with the diesel Saab on the variable number plate. Then the question had to be clarified, should a new application be made for an upright Viennese parking sticker on this number plate, or should I just get another one.
As it turned out, the latter applies. After the Saab Diesel was parked in the garage, I suddenly realized with a little shock that the license plates are so tight that I couldn't free them from the brackets.
In a few hours I was supposed to get the car with my license plates from the seller's garage. A repeated careful fiddling with mine left hands brought no help.
Comparisons with other license plate holders didn't help me either. The middle retaining clip just couldn't be depressed anymore because it hadn't been done in ages and wasn't necessary before.
So quickly to the nearest ÖAMTC base (Link), in the hope of maybe meeting a breakdown service driver on duty there. It really was like that.
Saab Cabriolet purchase and the help of the ÖAMTC
Just as I was about to drive onto the site, a breakdown service vehicle pulled up in front of me. Carefully, followed the car to the entrance to the courtyard, asked for help with shy embarrassment. He was so nice that with a little tool he was able to break the clip out in the middle and free the license plate and make it loose.
Then quickly put the car back in the garage and removed the license plate. So, with the number plate in my pocket, I was able to pick up the car myself with the subway at a late hour, because again only after the end of the performance.
So far I've made some nice trips since buying the Saab Cabriolet. Since I bought it, I've driven an estimated 7.000 km, including to Graz, the city where the car was born (Link). In the Styrian capital, I visited the Magna factory museum and learned there about the existence of a 9-3 convertible with all-wheel drive.
What potential would a convertible with Turbo X technology have had? Unfulfilled dreams?
I was also with the convertible at some Saab meetings, such as at the three-country meeting, the meeting in Jedovnice, this time only as a short day guest due to commitments. At the Saab Session Slovakia 2022 and the Saab Spy Rallye 2022 and at this year's Saab Suchomel Meeting.
Of course, the convertible has a garage
Thanks to the Austrian variable number plate, I don't have to shut down the car over the winter months, it's in the half asleep in the now newly added garage nearby. It's hard to believe, but that wasn't easy either, because most landlords advertised that they had free places, but I didn't get any reactions or answers to inquiries.
I was only able to get a place by going to the real estate agency in person. On dry days, the convertible is also moved in the winter months in order not to miss driving fun and to avoid damage when stationary.
At times I also considered driving the petrol convertible rather than the sedan, after diesel prices had been significantly higher than those of petrol for some time. I hope there will soon be an opportunity to finally have the seats reupholstered and the seat heating mat on the passenger side replaced.
I was able to solve the initial problem with the window calibration by looking at the operating instructions.
The car was fitted with new Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires along with new Alu 81 rims, the car looks much fresher thanks to these rims.
A first summary
I'm still undecided about the 5-speed gearbox. That which is so praised by many does not quite go down well with me. Maybe it's just because I was otherwise used to the 6-speed gearbox. It always requires a quick reminder of which car you are sitting in. Because the reverse gear is once to the left of the 1st gear and then again behind the 5th gear. I think the consumption of around 7,5 liters is very reasonable and the advantage I see in the convertible is that it encourages more fuel savings due to the louder wind noise when the roof is closed.
Because if you drive around 100, the noise level is still very pleasant. But you have to be honest, from 130 (you shouldn't drive more in Austria anyway) it gets noticeably louder in comparison. So we now have the complete 9-3 NG family in our fleet, diesel pre-facelift, the 1,8t intermediate model and a facelift Biopower with XWD.