How did you end up buying your first Saab, Pierre?

This submission is a response to me sharing my story as to how I acquired my first Saab. It comes from Pierre B, who is not only a guy I consider to be a good friend, but is also the second hardest-working guy I know in the extended Saab family (after VM himself). Pierre is the Service Manager at Charles River Saab in Boston. If you know him, then you’ll know that what I say about his work ethic is true.

Many of you submitted your own stories in comments. If you’d like to share it here on the front page, please email me (insidesaabofficial-at-gmail.com) and send me your story, along with a few photos.

My thanks to Pierre for sending in the following….

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My wife, Sue, and I had worked at a Saab dealer since 1984, but didn’t purchase our first Saab until 1990. We had been content driving our Chevy’s and Hondas. At the time our first son was born in 1988 we had two Hondas, my wife’s CRX and my Civic Wagon. We swapped cars, and the wagon became the baby hauler. We had both worked with Saabs and liked them a lot, but they were always out of reach for us, and we were happy with our simple, fun and cheap Hondas.

By the time our second son was born a year later, safety became more or a priority than motoring on the cheap and easy, and much as I adored those Hondas they were cracker-boxes. A trade-in finally came our way which seemed a good Saab that we could afford. It was a 1984 900T 4-door 5-speed in Slate Blue, a tan cloth interior and 100,000 miles. It had a very dented door, which we had repaired, and required a bit of work to get it up to snuff (brakes, belts, ball joints, tires…) and other wise was really clean, solid and (in its day) fast.

Though today a six-year 100,000 mile Saab seems barely broken in to me, I was so concerned about damaging the car, especially the pinion bearing in the transmission, that I drove that car very gingerly in the early years. It was Sue’s car, though, so I only drove it on occasion. I do recall being in the car, as a passenger as we drove through Connecticut on I84, a road notorious for its speed traps, and noting that Sue was driving briskly, perhaps too much so. I glanced over and saw the speedometer at 80 mph. I commented that perhaps she was driving with excessive alacrity. “Saabs just don’t like to go 60 mph,” she replied.

Once we had that car, we were hooked. Our next Saab came in 1993, a 9000T, and I inherited the 900. Having realized that the 900 did not have to be treated like a China doll, it put in great service for me through ten years and 125,000 miles of ownership, at which point I sold it to another cellist who drove it another 20,000 miles or so. That was the only 4-door 900 I ever had, and the only 8-valve. It really did change the way we looked at cars. What started as a quest for safety became a passion, not only for me but also for Sue, and ultimately our kids.

I don’t have any digital images of the complete car at hand, but I did find this photo of the rear quarter, taken in 1990 with son Pascal playing in the trunk.

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