Its been a while since I last made a posting here. So much has kept my attention elsewhere. Everything from living situations to dogs, you name it. Most importantly my career has been the biggest concern. For those who don’t remember or know, I’m a Saab employee. As you can probably imagine its been a year-long roller coaster with more ups and downs than most actually know about. Thankfully in the end, Saab was spared from the destructive intentions of GM by a conglomerate headed by dutch Spyker. Although the official switchover wont be for a couple weeks, I’m fairly certain that Spyker wont back out like Penske did with Saturn. Especially since the Swedish government guaranteed a loan (given the promise Saab works to build more efficient/ev friendlier cars, mostly in Sweden). I’m sure you know I’m relieved. One thing that struck me during the throws of fate was that I really under appreciated the brand and ideology. There were many who talked down about Saab and expressed thoughts that it should be killed off, but there were also people who owned these cars and loved them. Even while the cars broke and left them stranded. Truth be told, I’ve had a love hate relationship with many of the cars. When it boils down though, they’re very comfy, relatively easy to repair, and (though less nowadays) different. After owning one for a while, it fits you like an old shoe.
Rewind two weeks… We’ve had this blue 4 door 2000 9-3 SE (with only 75k miles!) sitting in our service lot for 6 months. A bad sensor made the car run so poorly, it melted 2 pistons. The car had been derelict since being towed in and having the engine half-disassembled. The owner, becoming more frustrated after a prior deal had fallen through, was about to donate the car for scrap. With my new mentality though, I thought why not offer her $500 and repair the car to get another Saab back on the road. I liked the idea of a hatchback for hauling around my dog too.
Fast forward to today. I’ve already dropped the rest of the engine and removed the pistons. a set of 2 piece BBS RK’s were sent out for refurbishing, timing and balance chains are on the way (from Europe, GM discontinued the kit here), pistons and rings will be here tomorrow, honing and valve inspection will take place in the morning, suspension and various trim pieces will be coming soon. I will be investing a lot of time in this car over the course of a month. I don’t really have many other important things to do I suppose.
Some odd things will stay though. The mis-matched and faded center caps, the small area where paint has been nicked-off, all the small nicks and scratches, The car will get one of those special tags with an SR-71 blackbird. Why? Character. What these cars are best known for and what many others lack. Many people would mind their commute less or take better care of their car if it made them feel like it had something to it short of, almost a personality. With what I’ve been though this last year and what I now think of the Saab brand, its very fitting. The car has been weathered, taken apart, and left for dead. With some initial spending, I’m putting it back to work. Adding a little bit of sportiness, while keeping some small things that make it what it is. Guess I’m not so different from Spyker. I’m sure both Spyker and myself will have some teething issues but in the end, the shoe will fit.
I’ll keep people updated on the project as time goes by.