My Saab

Saab Passion doesn’t count the cost

Saab 9-5 AeroSakari's "Femma" Photo: Sakari Mäkelä

The Finnish magazine Keski has just published a very interesting story about a passionate Saab car lover. Sakari Mäkelä is a photographer and a media entrepreneur from Järvenpää city in Finland. He bought a used Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon three years ago for €4,500. And, it was love at first sight…

At the time he bought the car, Mäkelä planned to keep Saab for a few years and then buy a newer replacement. But after he liked the car, he could no longer imagine selling it. Since then, he invested a whopping nearly 20,000 euros in this car, and he didn’t regret it at all.

As he says: “I’m looking for a cheap utility vehicle. I’ve always been really fussy in terms of cars. Since childhood, I have, for some reason, admired the Saabs, and in particular, this model called “Femmaksi” (fin.) pleases the eye. Three years ago, I was advised that now would be a good car for a bargain price. Then it happened that I fell in love immediately,” Mäkelä recalls and adds: “I got a passion that I wanted to fix this and that. It therefore became a longer process and has been systematically geared towards new and new costs for three years“.  

As he said, thanks to the detailed cost accounting in the Excel spreadsheet, he was surprised that he spent 17 thousand euros. In recent years, the Järvenpää man has put almost all of his extra income into the car. Yet, he did not regret it: “Some people enjoy sailing or golf, which is quite expensive too. The love for the car and the brand is such that it has been worth it.” Whether this car has become his passion or a hobby, judge for yourself – Passions are often confused with hobbies, but there is a critical difference. A hobby is “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation.” Passions, on the other hand, are not relaxing…

Sakari Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon
Sakari, 33, of Järvenpää, has spent nearly € 20,000 on the renovation of his Saab – now he explains why…

Whatever, So far, Mäkelä’s car has accumulated 330,000 kilometers of driving. Also, Mäkelä’s father bought his own hobby – Saab, after driving his son’s car: “We both drive Saab and joined the Saab Club. We have Saab caps and shirts. This hobby has taken me away.”

According to Mäkelä, it would be easier to list what has not been done to his car than what has been done to it. Among other things, the car’s body has been rusted and the base completely renovated. The car’s engine has been rebuilt from scratch. Shock absorbers, springs and brakes have been replaced. The electrical system has been repaired and updated.

The bonnet and tailgate have been repainted. Countless little things have been fixed. The big, untapped parts are just the gearbox and the turbo. The air conditioning  compressor and power steering pump are still original. Almost all other parts are either remanufactured or repaired. In addition, the car was converted to bioethanol for the first time. Environmental issues are important to Mäkelä. He believes that ethanol is not talked about enough in politics today.

Now the car is in such good shape that you can focus only on driving and enjoying instead of repairing.

Before the wisdom starts, let’s just say that some people spend that money on smoking, wine, cigars, yachting, golf, dangerous hobbies and so on, so Saab it’s a good hobby and Saab is a good car for everything…


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