Three top marques sitting in a row

SvsS_Executive Parking Small

An interesting view in my car park today, a row of three top marques; Saab, BMW and Mercedes, side by side, with nothing to hide, two in a deep carbon grey, and the third in an ice white.

I found it interesting to compare the visual styling and stance of the three cars, and forgetting the age difference, I have to say, the 9-3 just looks exceptionally sharp.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve owned plenty BMW’s & Mercedes, and enjoyed them all, but this is about simple visual appeal, and the Saab wins hands down in my eyes.

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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.

Goodbye Mercedes Benz. Hello SAAB (again)

This may be the first, and last time I write about another brand on Saab vs. Scepticism, as rather sadly, I have to sell my Mercedes Coupé. It currently has 15 bids and nearly 81 watchers after one day on EBay, and I must say, I envy the lucky person who wins it.

Having had over 50 cars over the past 20 years, i’d never owned a Mercedes, for some reason they don’t do much for me, but i’d always longed for a C124 Coupé, they just ooze elegance and timelessness.

It really does have legendary build quality, and after 16 years, everything still works perfectly: the seat belts glide out to meet you every time you close the heavy doors, the electric sunroof and windows quickly and silently open and close, there isn’t a single squeak or rattle and the oyster leather interior looks as though it’s never been sat in.

The Mercedes Coupé comes into its own when you wind all of the windows down to reveal its pillarless beauty. The car becomes something entirely different; I took my son for one of our regular Autumn jaunts at the weekend, and as we drove down country lanes, the car filled with Autumn freshness, he watched the leaves falling and hedgerows drift by from the openness of the Coupés interior. We parked in a shaded and abundant valley, collected conkers and after a long, relaxing walk drove home listening to Ludovico Einaudi in the comfort of this classic Mercedes.

Fond memories, it will be missed.

The Coupé will make room for another SAAB on the driveway, this time for my wife, she is after a 9-3 Sportwagon, which i’m sure will also provide wonderful car memories.