In a remarkable tale of determination and passion for cars, 27-year-old Norwegian Arafat Malik embarked on a challenging journey to breathe new life into an old Saab 9000 CSE, a turbocharged beauty with 200 horsepower. What seemed like an insurmountable task due to its staggering 37-item list of defects eventually became a victory for this Saab enthusiast from Lillehammer. After 10 months of relentless effort, the car was finally approved and ready to hit the road again, defying all odds and turning heads wherever it goes.
The Saab 9000 CSE had been left abandoned on a remote field for an astonishing seven years, accumulating rust and damage caused by the harsh Norwegian weather. When Arafat came across the vehicle, he knew it was a daunting undertaking, but his passion for Saabs and his desire to restore the car to its former glory drove him forward.
The first challenge Arafat faced was the extensive list of defects, including three critical errors that rendered the car unroadworthy, 30 intermediate faults requiring repair before approval, and four minor issues that needed attention. To the average person, this might have seemed like an impossible task, but Arafat’s determination was unwavering.
Despite financial constraints, Arafat took the leap and purchased the Saab. He knew that it would take significant investment, both in time and money, but his love for the brand propelled him forward. With the help of the team at DekkTeam Lillehammer, Arafat started the arduous process of restoring the car. Additionally, he was fortunate to find a matching spare parts car at a local scrapyard, which made the restoration process somewhat easier.
But the road to success was not without its bumps. A crucial component, the ABS module, was found to be malfunctioning. This seemingly simple part proved to be a needle in a haystack, as it was nearly impossible to find in Norway and other Nordic countries. Undeterred, Arafat’s search led him to the United States, where he found a kind Saab enthusiast named Matt Johnson from Minnesota, who had the elusive part and was willing to ship it to Norway. This stroke of luck was a turning point in the restoration process, and it brought the finish line a little closer.
Throughout the journey, Arafat received invaluable support from his friends and acquaintances in the Saab community. The camaraderie among Saab enthusiasts proved to be a crucial lifeline, providing advice, assistance, and a shared passion that fueled Arafat’s drive to succeed.
After nearly a year of relentless work, the Saab 9000 CSE was finally deemed roadworthy and approved for use. Arafat’s joy knew no bounds as he took his first drive on the E6 highway, feeling the thrill of its acceleration and passing newer cars with a smile on his face.
Looking ahead, Arafat’s vision for the car involves restoring it to its original appearance. He plans to continue upgrading the vehicle’s performance with stage 2 tuning, and perhaps even stage 3, if his hunger for more horsepower persists. Arafat also aspires to win awards at car meets, showcasing the fruits of his labor and the devotion he poured into the car.
Beyond this remarkable restoration journey, Arafat’s love for Saabs runs deep. His dream car is the elusive Saab 900 Turbo T16, an icon of its time. While these vehicles have become increasingly rare, Arafat remains hopeful that someday he will be able to own and cherish one of these prized automobiles.
In addition to his car enthusiast persona, Arafat Malik is a full-time driver at Bring, a prominent logistics company in Norway. Additionally, he works as a videojournalist for Østlendingen, showcasing his talents as a storyteller through the lens.
As a dedicated member of the Saab Turbo Club Norway, Arafat spends much of his free time tinkering with his beloved Saabs and engaging with fellow Saab enthusiasts. His passion for the brand and the community that supports it has become an integral part of his identity.
Arafat’s journey with his Saab 9000 CSE stands as a testament to the power of passion and perseverance. Against all odds, he resurrected a car that had been left to the elements for seven years, showcasing the timeless appeal and potential of these classic Saabs.
The story of Arafat Malik and his Saab 9000 CSE will undoubtedly inspire car enthusiasts worldwide to never give up on their dreams and to cherish the beauty of automotive history. As he continues his love affair with Saabs, Arafat serves as a reminder that with dedication and a bit of luck, any car, no matter how neglected, can be given a new lease on life.