In this series, we’re celebrating the cars that made us happy. The ones that surprised us and made us smile (even if they made us walk once in a while). They may not be the best on paper, but they proved themselves on the road with more smiles-per-gallon than anything else we’ve driven.
Today we hear from Mark McCourt, Associate Editor at Hemmings Motor News. He writes some things that a new Saab corporate owner would do well to think about as they contemplate the possibility of new vehicles.
It may seem convenient, considering your affiliation, but I really feel my current daily driver, a 1991 900 S, is probably the best car I’ve ever owned. And I think that all comes down to expectations.
My first car was wonderful for what it represented, my second (and first Saab – a 1991 9000 Turbo) was awesome for its power and capability. My current Volvo C70 is a thing of real beauty. But it’s the old 900 that plucks my heartstrings.
As a teenager growing up in a Volvo-driving household, I actively hated the C900 for its weird styling. But I learned to respect the 9000, and buying two 9KTs edged me toward accepting all Saabs. I may have dabbled, but it wasn’t until I took a chance on this $1,400 car that I was sucked fully into the Saab world.
You don’t expect much when you spend so little on an old car, and I really only figured I’d have it a few seasons before moving it on. But it got under my skin completely for its clever, thoughtful, purposefully-different-and-better design touches and its eager, inherently sporty personality. The fact that it’s never left me stranded, or wanted much besides regular maintenance, has only endeared it to me more. I’ve had it for nearly five years and 40,000 miles, and I still enjoy improving it in little ways as I go along. I can’t imagine letting it go, even as the body starts to rust away.
It’s also the people that have drawn me in, the Saab “cult” as my father calls them. They’re such a friendly, engaging and enthusiastic bunch of people. If you’re susceptible, it’s hard to resist the pull. And why would I? The Saab community kinda feels like home.