David’s story is a sweet story about a beautiful car. If I had it to do over again I would have gotten a black one too; mine is a dark green, close but no cigar, as they say, I want the black leather seats; mine are tan. But this is the one the creator sent me, and now that it coming on a half a million miles (not kilometers) it seems to have been the right choice. I swapped out the first engine at 340,000 when the head gasket went and water started showing up in the oil. In the old days when my brothers and I had a shop, I would have pulled the engine and rebuilt it (my dad was a machinist before WW-ll, so I was comfortable with this kind of undertaking.
But the tolerances that computerized machining can achieve nowadays make it impossible to achieve a similar longevity in a home shop, so it’s best to install one with low mileage. That was 120,000 miles ago. Through it all my little darling has never burned a drop of oil. Also, I had the silly-ass spoiler on the back removed when I finally had it painted, also removing all indications that it is a Saab, 9000, or Aero so as to run in stealth mode. Instead pedestrians will have to savor its clean lines and low ride look, as well as my son’s university alumni stickers on the back windows.
A guy on the street the other day commented, “Wow, that’s an old beauty, how many miles has it got?” When I told him it was coming up on half a million, he got this scared look on his face and scurried down the block with his girlfriend, I guess in an effort to get away from the crazy man.
In high school I was a ‘59 PV544 Volvo man (kid), in black. But my dad got a 99 Saab in’69, with front-wheel drive it was better in the snow. So at 24 I sold a Ford pickup he gave me and got my first of several 96 Saabs, the one that looked like an “Earth Shoe”. Having taken a vow of poverty, I had a bunch of junkers for spare parts; you know the drill, even though in those days Saab was riding high on the hog and new parts were available.
After going back to college to get an engineering degree in my 30s, I got into Hondas for awhile, but then my boss was selling his 900 Saab turbo and I couldn’t resist. I had heard about turbos but had no idea what they were capable of. While taking my sons to school I got stuck behind a farmer poking down the road and on the straightaway I stepped on it and we entered warp speed. My son looked at me and said, “Daddy, what just happened?!” I had taken a course in Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in engineering school and began to expound upon my own theories on that theme, finally admitting it was the turbo kicking in. (When they came of age and got some money of their own, they got a 9000 turbo.)
Years later I sold a sweet 900 Saab (midlife crisis) convertible but when I started commuting 70 miles to a better job, most of which was on a two-lane Interstate highway, I kept getting stuck behind rednecks that preferred to drive slow in the fast lane and try to block yankees like me from passing and moving on down the highway. Solution: buy a 9000 Saab Aero, remain in the right lane until the right moment, and then nail it flying past the disgruntled and thwarted of the red-faced redneck.
(It is interesting that for someone that seems hellbent on keeping everyone well below the legal speed limit in the passing lane, as if there aren’t enough state troopers riding herd on the Interstate, who, having converted from guardian angel to demon, subsequently are willing to go to amazing ends to catch up with their escaped victims. Fat chance catching up with a 9000 Aero.)
Btw, the bhp of a stock 9000 Aero 2.3 liter is 225, I am curious how the author arrived at 300 and then 340 bhp for his vehicle?