My First SAAB

In 1986 I bought a manual 900 TU3 turbo 3 door coupe, (1980). After changing over the transmission to an auto, installing electric windows and central locking, a new front spoiler and oil cooler, tow-bar etc I had an great car for the times. The turbo also had water injection that gave it a second surge of power and helped it run cooler. Fun on the open road, it was not so suitable to city driving. Turbo lag delay of power  was exaggerated by the auto transmission. No power ... then heaps. It went fine until a timing chain breakage blew the motor. A new reconditioned short motor was installed by my friends from the SAAB Car Club, to which I belonged, and it continued its service to me.

My Second SAAB

In 1987 I was offered a company car as part of my salary package. A new 900 EMS two door was then purchased. It was a better car to drive in city traffic but lacked the power of the turbo. Mind you it drank less fuel as a benefit. During that time I also started snow skiing and the SAAB showed its suitability as a safe, easy to drive and easy to fit chains snow road car. It was also at that time I wrote an article for SAAB SCENE, a magazine produced for drivers of SAABs in Australia.

My Third SAAB

My contacts at SAAB who had been over to Europe to test drive the new SAAB 900s informed me that, although it was a great car, I would not like its styling changes as the door opening had changed to conventional. If I wanted the 900i I had better buy one of the last of the best. I bit the bullet and lashed out on a 1993 900i Combi Coupe (three door) with the 2.1 litre engine and ABS.

This car was a beauty! The larger engine was much better, the little back windows no longer opened (better for me as I couldn't reach them to lock them if someone else had opened them), 9000 brakes setup so the hand brake was now on the rear wheels for a change and the ABS that works very well, was another safety feature . Unluckily after only six months, on the fifth day of my honeymoon, it had an argument with a badly marked dirt road corner and got bent. The insurance company called it a write-off because it was under one year old despite it driving itself onto the trailer, all the doors opening and closing and not one window broken. The car had gone through the culvert at the side of the road and pushed down some gum trees with its front driver's wheel and fender. The chassis, however was bent as a crease in the roof indicated. If we had been in a lighter car we would have been injured quite badly. As it was, my wife got a 30 mm bruise on her right knee from the gear shift and broke an artificial finger-nail. I had not even a bruise! That was a solid car and at no time did it feel like it was going to roll.

My Fouth SAAB

A second hand identical model was eventually found and bought. No one was selling the last of the best except for a woman who was about to have her first child and needed a four door car. Was I lucky! The car is a deep metallic cherry red with light tan interior (pity it was not grey inside - it would have looked better) tinted windows etc and I will be driving it for a long time to come.

My Fifth SAAB

A minor accident happened in 2001 just when I needed my car to tow trailer loads of stuff while we moved into a new home we designed and built. The car needed a new radiator so would be off the road for over five weeks. So I bought another 900i 1992 in metalic navy blue and had my hand controls switched over. I ended up driving that car for a year until I decided to go back to the Cherry '93 and sold the blue one.

Now I'm back driving the cherry red one but I bought a charcoal grey interion and have had that fitted. Looks so much better than the beige one and so much more practixal a colour. Retained the beige carpets and door inset panels and it looks quite stylish and contemporary.

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Last revised May, 1998.