With the family now rolling in a minivan, and the lease on the Matrix gone, that left dad cruising in an ancient SUV. Now don’t get me wrong, our 2002 Saturn Vue served us very well. It rolled over 244,000km this week and shows no signs of letting up any time soon. However, my hip is starting to show some wear from working the manual transmission in a very heavy vehicle. So I traded it in. Nic was a little sad. I was happy to bid farewell to it!
In exchange for the our well-used Vue, and about $1500 (with a warranty!) I picked out a little something I’ve wanted for a long time. I give you my first Saab…
Oh yes, it’s old. It’s a 1997 with 230,000km on it, and its not even in perfect condition. But this is the Frank Sinatra of automobiles. Its quirky, its got class, and its really really good at what it does.
The 1997 900 S was a non-turbo version of the venerable, and record breaking Saab hatchback, and although influenced by GM’s investment, this year was still firmly a product of the jet-making Swedes. In 1998 the 900 became the 93 – maybe one of those will be my next car.
My version is a Talladega edition; one of only 25,000 made in honor of the records Saab broke on the Talladega speedway in 1996 where multiple 900s were driven for 8 days straight at a combined average speed of 140 miles per hour. It’s a 150hp, 5 speed manual, nicely equipped with leather heated seats, power everything, and the then revolutionary Saab Information Display – mine’s even still readable!
Its not particularly practical, and even with a 6 month comprehensive warranty, I expect its going to need some TLC eventually. But it cost less than my motorbike, and it gives me something something fun to drive when my bride and I go out on date nights, or to the airport and leave there while I’m gone on business trips.
In fact, its so retro-cool that it’s even got a CD-changer in the trunk. I think I’ll load it up with 90s rock CDs and forbid any other kind of music in my car.
Except Sinatra, of course.