9-5 Aero Hirsch Rescue Mission

SvsS_Hirsch Interior 1SvsS_Hirsch Interior 2SvsS_Hirsch Interior 3SvsS_Hirsch Interior 4SvsS_Hirsch Interior 5

For the past few months I’ve been tirelessly searching for another interesting Saab that required some loving and maybe a tweak or two here and there, a few weeks ago I found one.

A random Autotrader search popped up a 2005 Saab 9-5 HOT Aero saloon in black, it had a pretty basic description and a few photos, but it only took the first one to have me hooked. What were described as 17” alloys in the copy seemed to be 18” Hirsch 6 spoke alloys in the photo, I did my best to zoom in to the image, and there, on the tyre (for from clear to see) ‘R18’.  Further pictures featured a Hirsch front grille, stainless steel twin exhaust and a seriously good looking Hirsch steering wheel, it also appeared to be a lot lower than normal Aeros, so might have Hirsch suspension, but I couldn’t be sure – none of these Hirsch features where mentioned in the description however.

The Saab was in Bristol, and as I had no time to go and see it, I took a leap of (Saab blindness) faith and bought it. A couple of weeks later the dealer finally managed to find a driver to deliver it to its new home. All I can say, is that it’s arrived just in time, it’s far from the best example, but at some point in its life, has been lavished with care and loved as a Saab like this should be. It has an original specification I’d have plumped for myself- perforated sport leather interior in sand, heated and ventilated front and rear, folding mirrors, sat nav and after further inspection, full Hirsch lowered suspension too.

The list of things to do isn’t short however, It was loved once, but from the general condition and cleanliness, that must have been a few years ago. The headlights were completely cloudy with a textured surface, scratches and large stone chips on pretty much every panel, badly kerbed front alloys, different tyres on each corner, a pretty filthy interior with a stale smell of smoke emanating from it the moment you open the door and leather that has lost some of its suppleness and beauty.

Pretty much before doing anything else, I put a call in to my Saab guru, Jason at Malcolm Miles and gave him the heads up he’d be helping me with a new project (sorry Jason), and it’ll be going in soon for a serious health check, full service and general analysis of what’s possible. Initial impressions after driving it are good, no smoke, pretty tight and Hirsch suspension still feels seriously nice, I have a feeling it has also benefited from the Hirsch ECU upgrade, but I’ll be calling in the services of Karl at Noob Tune to get to it’s full potential either way.
SvsS_Hirsch Headlight Rescue Line

Saturday arrived and there was no time to waste, Autoglym headlight rescue kit at the ready and we’re off, a couple of hours work and the transformation is pretty exceptional, the 9-5’s headlights are back to their ridiculously bright, Xenon selves and almost as good as new.  The rest of the day has been spent cleaning some of the grime off the interior – dashboard, steering wheel, door panels, headlining –  all get attention with yet more Autoglym products, and it seems, that under the grime it’s in pretty decent condition.

Sunday will see the seats get some attention, leather cleaned and moisturised and carpets cleaned the best I can until I get it professionally sorted at least.

It’s going to be a long, but enjoyable rescue mission, these 9-5 Aeros are pretty special cars, but with the additional Hirsch kit, it makes it a very rare find indeed. All I have to do is keep my daughter away from the keys now!

9-5 Hirsch-Emily


9 thoughts on “9-5 Aero Hirsch Rescue Mission

  1. Your legs have improved Paul, is that what owning a Hirsch car does to you…
    Jay will have that sorted in no time at all.
    Open a bag of charcoal in the car and leave it for in the car for a while, it will ‘eat’ the tobacco smell…best done after you’ve cleaned the interior down with an AIO (highly recommend Viro-Sol) and it ‘looking’ like it’s clean.
    Very nice find!

    • They scrub up well don’t they 🙂 Legs I mean! Great tip about the coal, I’d heard this in the distant past, I’ll finish off today and go buy a bag. Must admit, I’ve admired these wheels for years, but to find a 9-5 with the other Hirsch bits too, I couldn’t have resisted, sure Jason can help me sort it all out even if it was a non runner. Cheers Kent, still pushing on with the convertible too, just waiting for Al to finish a downpipe, suppose I better get another one ordered…

  2. I spotted this one myself and was intrigued by it!

    This will be amazing once you have sprinkled a mixture of magic and attention.

    I am also searching high and low for a suitable 9-5 Aero having lost both my beloved 9000 Aero and ’01 9-3 Aero in the space of the last year……..good ones seem really thin on the ground with most turning out rather less good than they are described! My search goes on!

    • I knew another Saabist must have spotted it, sorry, not in fine condition at the moment, but with the Hirsch spec, I just couldn’t have resisted no matter what state it was in, needed rescuing. Good luck, if I spot anything really interesting, I’ll tweet it. Good luck, and shame about your others for whatever reason you’ve lost them.

      • My 9000 I sold when it was obvious the gearbox needed a rebuild – Uncle Giles Fairweather (Abbott racing) told me NOT to fit a used box and a rebuild would have cost a in excess of £1000 and then at the same time the windscreen surround, front wings and rear arches all needed attending to. So when you factor in a full respray it really didn’t add up – but I did manage to sell it for more than I got for (5yrs and 45,000 miles later) it made sense……
        So Giles sold me a 5 dr ’01 9-3 Aero auto (with sunroof!) which needed bumpers and wheels sorting back in September – fast forward to 3 weeks ago when it started to make an odd banging noise, which my local garage diagnosed it as being a problem with the auto box (I didn’t believe it to be honest). I rang Giles and confirmed what I thought, a worn driveshaft sleeve – so I left work last Friday to take to them and got as far as Mistley when I lost the passenger front wheel – totalling the car and terrifying me! Needless to say I am in talks in the local garage………
        But yes – please tweet anything that looks good………..

      • That’s a scary story, did they not secure he wheel on correctly? Glad that you’re ok though, other Saabs can always be bought, health can’t. Giles is great, and knowledge second to none, they sometimes have great Saabs for sale.

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