B.G. Kelley a writer from Philadelphia told us his SAAB story, One in Million SAAB Stories.
I just bought my first car in 25 years. My trusty 1989 Saab 900 hadn’t needed much maintenance until the last five years – when it needed a lot.
I first saw the Saab gleaming under the showroom lights – midnight black with five-on-the-floor, silver-steel wheel caps, and the slick lines of a panther.
“I’ll take it.”
“Want to take it for a test ride?” the salesman asked.
“No.” Men know cars, and we know what we like.
It can start with the first look at a Corvette or Mustang. And it continues through every car we ever own. We remember every one, and how they brought focus to our lives and credibility to our swagger.
My first and favorite car was a ’59 ‘Vette. It was more than my transport; it was my speed, my strength, part of my identity. Then it was stolen, or I’d still be driving it.
The day before I was to trade in the Saab, I started cleaning it out. Then the memories hit.
This car – this car – had transported me to Worcester, Mass., four times to meet up with the only basketball player I ever wanted to play like in my boyhood – Boston Celtics great Bob Cousy. We became friends.
This car – this car – transported me and my wife to Falmouth on Cape Cod Bay six times. It became our favorite romantic spot, where the promise of peace and that exact center of infinity sang our escape tune.
This car – this car – carried the kids I coached in basketball at International Christian High School to their dreams. We celebrated championships in it. And a crisis or two. Once my point guard asked me to take him home when his ride didn’t show up, and we arrived in time for him to give his mother her medicine.
So, yeah, this car – officially a classic – comes with a scrapbook of memories. Just like with the Corvette, this car and I merged. “You still driving that car?” family, friends, and my mechanic would ask.
When I went to pick up the new car, I didn’t take the Saab with me.
I couldn’t. Wouldn’t.
I kept it.
Now, more than memories are left.