I have finally made it to Sydney and collected the 900 Aero. I arrived a little later than expected, but had a great afternoon with Simon, the guy I bought the car from. Simon comes from a long-time Saab owning family and I got an almost-full account of their current fleet today.
He picked me up in his ’77 model 99GL, which is the car he’s currently restoring. Not that it looks like it needs much. Then came time for a run in the Aero. Seeing it was a great thing in itself. Driving it was even better. I’m pretty tired right now, so I’ll leave my thoughts about it until later, when I’m better equipped to put them together, but suffice to say that I’m pretty pleased to have some classic Swedish metal heading for my garage.
Next we took his immaculate 99T for a run, which was once again an experience of almost spiritual proportions.
The highlight of the day, however, was dinner. Eight of us converged on the Belgian Beer Cafe here in Sydney, including one guy I’d never met who ourchased a Viggen just last week. Dinner was great, but afters was even better.
We all gathered in the carpark, pulled the cars in from their various parking spots and then proceeded to swap keys and take each other’s cars for a quick spin down the street. Richo’s Viggen was particularly popular given that he’s recently installed the BSR upgrade – and it flies!!
There was a fair amount of fascination in Matt’s Viggen as well. He’s had it a week and got it for a song. Like Richo’s and mine, it’s a 99 model, but with a few more kms on it. Still, at the price he got it for, he’s laughing. It’s even got extra carbon fibre trim around the window controls. We hated him after we saw that.
Driving these two Viggens gave me huge wave of nostalgia. This 900 Areo’s going to be great, but after a night back in a Viggen it’s really going to be hard decision if I ever have to decide between them.
I also had the pleasure of finally meeting up with Joe Lobo, a long-time visitor and commenter at this site. Joe’s 2002 Aero lit up the carpark. It truly was an incredibly well presented car and after only ever seeing photos it was a pleasure to behold the 18″ wheels in all their glory.
Another guy at the dinner who I hadn’t met, Ferdinand, had just bought a 2001 9-3 S with only 35,000 kms on it and I swear it looked just like it had come out of the showroom. Not a mark on it. Another interesting note from Ferdinand, however, is that he’s the first Aussie I’ve met or heard of to prepare his purchase order for a 2008 Saab 9-3. The papers aren’t signed yet, but the wheels are in motion and he looked happy as a clam about it, too.
Conditions weren’t good for taking photos, but Ferdinand and Joe squeezed off these ones in difficult conditions regardless. I, rather stupidly, left my camera in the Aero, which was parked back at Simon’s place.
We had six cars there between 8 people. Simon’s 99GL was there, as well as Paul H’s other car, a BMW six series from the 80s.
It was a brilliant night. We were out i the carpark almost as long as we were in the restaurant. Like a bunch of teenages, checking out under the hoods of each car and discussing the relative merits of various mods.
The best Saab meet I’ve been to in ages.
Here’s Joe, Richo, and some goofball in the middle. A great night. I’ll snap off some Aero pics tomorrow, but’s going to be a 10+ hour drive so there may not be too much going on until I get back to Melbourne and settle in.