In the eyes of the beholder

SvsS_Super Saab

Sometimes I catch a glimpse of the Saab and think ‘wow’ – it’s usually when I’m not expecting it either. I stand for a while and admire the shape, I can’t help thinking just how amazing these still look, it feels absolutely timeless. It really is a privilege to be able to own and maintain such an iconic Saab.

Right, time to go for a quick drive I think.


Made in Sweden

Saab Swedish Flag

Every time I flick through my gallery of Saab images, this one just shouts out at me, all I can see is the Swedish flag, I know it doesn’t have yellow in the panel gaps but other than that it’s perfect. I really do love this Saab colour, Cosmic Blue on my old 9-5 HOT Aero, still one of my favourite Saabs ever.

If Hirsch wheels were meant to be square

Square Hirsh AlloyThe PotholeThe New Wheel

I’m sure the nice people at Hirsch would have crafted a gorgeous set of 18″ square ones by now, but they haven’t, wheels aren’t meant to be square, things have progressed somewhat since the dark ages.

On the other hand, I wish I could say the same thing about road surfaces, whilst some are fantastic, others are left to disintegrate before our very wheels. Unfortunately, over Christmas, one of my perfectly round Hirsch alloys literally fell down a giant black hole in one of our local, less care for roads.

I’m now the proud owner of, what I imagine to be, the very first square Hirsch alloy, and it isn’t great, my lovely Saab 9-3 now feels pretty rough, and the faster I go, the worse it gets. I’ve had a few words with the council responsible for the road, and It seems they may pay for a new wheel – I’ll reserve comment until I receive a cheque.

I’ve ordered a new alloy already, so hope my 9-3 will soon feel as smooth as it did before it met the giant black hole.

Let’s honour our Saabs and make them last

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.