We all know Saabs are built beautifully, they’re built to cover hundreds of thousands of miles, and it’s looking increasingly like those who truly love their Saabs may have to put them to the ultimate test – longevity.
We were in Morocco recently, taking a taxi cross country to Marrakech, the driver was an older gentleman, eyes excitedly lighting up when I asked him about his loyal Mercedes, especially when I mentioned the milage shown on the dusty dashboard, “643,791 miles, and on the original engine”.
He purchased it new, many, many years ago, and hasn’t seen any reason to change it since, but why should he, it was comfortable, reliable and oddly stylish in an eccentric kind of way.
It got me to thinking, that although the future of Saab is looking bleak, those of us who already own one are rather lucky. My Saabs have varying milage; the new 9-3 saloon has just 14,000, the 900 has 138,000 and the 9-3 SportCombi has 143,000 miles, and in my humble opinion, all are just run in and have many more years of pleasure to give.
Society seems to force us all to think we need new cars every few years. Ones with 100,000+ miles are seen as unreliable and costly, but lets face it, if the worst happens, and you need a new or refurbished engine, it may cost a few thousand, but still a lot less than changing.
What we need now is to solidify parts manufacture and supply for all who are less bothered about the future value of our Saabs, and more about the ability to maintain them for many more years of unique and pleasurable driving.
Why not create a high miles club, make it acceptable and exciting to see how far our Saabs can take us, rewarding the loyal and intrepid. After all, if Ali can do it in his beaten up Mercedes, then I can sure do it in the comfort of my Saabs.