saab vs. time
It must have been the iconic 900 T16 that got me started on Saabs, impeccable design proportions, curvaceous windscreen, oversized spoiler, the most beautiful wheels I’d ever seen and those inviting Bridge of Weir leather heated seats and Turbo dial – I wanted one, badly.
In 1990 I bought my first Saab, a 9000 non Turbo, it had comfort and style, but lacked everything I’d ever dreamt of by owning a Saab, it didn’t inspire, so I exchanged that for numerous BMW’s, Audis, Alfa Romeos and a few Volvos, a few years passed and I found an Abbott Racing tuned 900 Turbo convertible, god I loved that car, that Saab reignited what I imagined Saab should be, it also gave me my first feeling of freedom only a convertible can give.
My continual need for change quickly led me to my first 9-5, a 2.3T, with beautiful heated and vented leather seats, deep wood dashboard and a rare sunroof, this is the Saab I began to practice a little individuality on, it got lowered and had a performance exhaust made for it, but again, that soon led to another change, my first 9-3 HOT Aero convertible, in fact, my very first Saab Aero.
The time passed and in 2011 I purchased a seriously special Saab, just as they declared bankruptcy I decided to take a leap of faith and order a brand new 9-3 whilst I still had the chance, circumstances became difficult and delivery of my new Saab seemed to fade away, so I went to my local Saab dealer and purchased an ex demo Carbon Grey 9-3 TTiD, I then specified virtually every Hirsch option available, it became the car I kept longer than any other car I’ve owned – 3 years – it was that special.
At the same time, I decided to set up a support blog for Saab, one that tried to encapsulate why Saab’s are so special vs. other marques. A blog to celebrate a lifestyle rather than just a car, I also set up the Saab High Mile Club with folks from all over the planet joining in, the blog has been there ever since.
During the past 9 years, I’ve owned around 15 more Saabs, each one having undergone many modifications, I even managed to inspire my wife to join in, and whilst she had a couple of 9-3 TiD Sportcombis and a lovely 9-3X TTiD, I continued buying, modifying and selling mainly Aero models. This led to one of my all time favourites, a Carbon Grey 9-3 HOT Aero convertible which received a touch of alchemy, a 9000 2.3 engine remapped to Stage 4 with endless performance upgrades to go with it, a blisteringly quick Saab that really was a pleasure to own and drive, it’s the one I wish I hadn’t sold and to this day I end up trying to recreate it in every convertible I buy.
I’m currently running 2 Saabs, a Gen 1 9-5 Aero heavily modified to Stage 3 with a late 2007 Anniversary interior and rare 19” Carlsson Turbo X alloys, and another 9-3 HOT Aero convertible in Black, I like to call it the Dark Edition, it’s got a bespoke satin black grille with anodised black mesh, a set of 18” two tone Turbo X alloys and a carbon dash, it’s rare to see any other colour than Silver these days, so feels like a rewarding find.
Time goes by, my children become adults, I get grey hair and still I haven’t had my dream Saab, I still lust after that beautiful 900 T16 with Rocky Black leather interior and Turbo dial that started my endless obsession with Saabs.
One day maybe, one day…