You and Your Car

I love it when newspapers have one of those reader’s ‘Me and My Car’ sections where people write about their cars. You get to see all the eccentric types with their Sunbeams or Goggomobiles or the closet-rockers that drive a Corolla through the week and their 1950’s Customline on the weekend.

Where I live is too small for such a section. There’s a very good chance you’d actually know the person and therefore know the BS they’ve included in the write-up!!

This one’s from the UK’s Observer newspaper and is remarkable for several reasons. First, he owns the exact same car that we do. Second, he paid a lot less for it than we did.

And third, there’s very little that’s remarkable about the car itself, which I can’t help but think is what makes the article as interesting as it is, and so Saab-like: There’s no huge fanfare, no stagelights or outstanding features.

It’s just a plain old 9000 Turbo, but like me and many of us with our respective models, it sounds like this guy wouldn’t want anything else.

I bought my Saab three years ago for £600. I like it because it’s basically like me: past its best, with various bits starting to clap out, but still goes too fast for its own good, and drinks too much. My wife likes it, too – she calls it the ‘stealth car’. It’s bottle green and completely unobtrusive, so nobody pays attention to you at all.

But it’s really a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It takes skill and restraint to drive this car slowly, as slight pressure on the throttle kicks in the turbo and off you go, flying along like a rocket. The mid-range acceleration is very fast, even with the automatic transmission.

It has 220,000 miles on the clock and the engine makes a lot of strange moaning noises when it’s idling, but the faster you go the quieter it gets. And the body and suspension are still very taut – there are no rattles or shakes, whatever the road surface.

My Saab is the hatchback version and we use it for all sorts of jobs: ferrying the children and their friends, carrying giant Christmas trees, or loading it full of garden waste to go to the dump. Sadly, some of the useful peripherals – like the climate control – have given up the ghost, but the kids like it for the heated front passenger seat.

Maybe it’s something we could replicate here. I know that we’ve got a pretty diverse audience here and from a wiiiiiiiide range of places around the world. I’d be interested in hearing (and seeing) what Saab you’ve got, where you live and what you like about both of them.

I’m going to email a few regulars to see if they’d write something up for the site, but if you’d like to have your ride and your hometown featured, then email me your story and a few photos of your car and some sights where you live. I’ll start the ball rolling with my cars and my hometown tomorrow.

My email address is (change the -at- to @).

Giddyup people!!

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