As a Saab enthusiast, the number one reason you should consider adding an older Saab to your garage is the pure appreication of the brand’s heritage.
Why am I so passionate about the Saab brand? Because I know where they came from, and that place was full of excitement and innovation from a company that dared to think different. That difference was built into every car and the best way to appreicate that is to drive one.
Every enthusiast that can pick up an older Saab helps to ensure that these older cars remain preserved in decent condition. We never really own a car, we just hold on to it for the next guy. Keeping these classic Saabs in good order means that someone else can experience and develop the same appreciation that you had.
It’s not always easy to do, though. It’s all cost related and if, like me, you can’t do your own work on it then it’s a potentially expensive proposition. I’ll be doing everything I can to hold on to my 900 after the Viggen is repaired, but one has to be realistic sometimes. Cost is an issue and so is space, but I’ll be exploring all options. Fingers crossed.
The other reason it’s great to own an older Saab is that it’s a reminder of a time when driving was quite rudimentary – just man and machine and the laws of physics.
One of the things I’m really enjoying about my Saab 900 is the fact that by today’s standards, it’s a fairly basic car. Back in 1985 in Australia, electronics for cruise control, power windows and mirrors, heated seats and other gadgets were for high-end cars only. A garden variety Ford or Holden was lucky to have disc brakes. The inclusion of these features, thankfully, didn’t detract from the driving experience. So now I’ve got a high-end car from my teenage years at a pretty low cost and best of all, it’s a great car to drive.
Today, there’s a whole bunch of new gizmos that not only interfere with the driving experience, they detract from the skills needed to drive a car. Cars are learning to park themselves, they’ve been braking without skidding for some time now, they keep you a safe distance from the car in front and all sorts of other things that interfere with the act of driving.
This article on the Drive blog expands on the situation quite nicely, including this little insight that made me laugh. Tim R, take note and have puppy treats at the ready!
Similar systems are already available on commercial aircraft. Most planes these days have collision avoidance technology. If two aircraft are on a collision course, one will climb and the other will dive.
There is an airline industry joke that one day planes will be flown by a pilot and a guard dog. The dog will be there to bite the pilot if he tries to take the controls.
Is that where driving is heading? Sounds a bit mundane to me. While all the technology sounds fantastic, I just hope it doesn’t ultimately take the fun out of driving.
The Saab 900 in my driveway provides me with a great reminder about how much fun a Saab was ‘back in the day’. Modern Saabs are fun as well, with most of the gadgetry focused on safety and cutting in only if things look like getting out of shape. The 900 shows me where the company’s come from and lets me drive the way driving should be – man and machine having a blast.
So, if you’re in a position to possibly care for an older Saab, give it some consideration. Not only will you be helping to preserve the heritage and history of the brand, you’ll be doing yourself a favour by remembering what it was like to Just Drive.