22 June 2016

Andrew's SAAB

My first car was a 2003 SAAB 9.5 Arc. Knowing SAABs reputation for exceptional passive safety, and the fact that my dad is of Swedish heritage pretty well predetermined the choice of a SAAB for me in his mind.
I have to admit that I wasn't real excited about the car when I first saw it; not very "cool looking" and four doors too. But, beggars can't be choosers, so I gladly received it as a 17th birthday present.
Once I got to know the car though, I really liked it. It was incredibly smooth, handled nicely in daily use and was actually surprisingly fast. Plus, there was a certain cachet to it as you didn't see one every day and the school parking lot wasn't filled with them. I actually became a bit of a "SAAB Snaab"...


The car proved a reliable and enjoyable means of transportation for a couple of years until...one day, some dumb**s (me) was driving down I95 generally enjoying life but not paying attention to what I was doing. I was busy talking to a girl - we'll blame her, ok? - and just noticed that the a/c had quit working. Too intent on conversation with the young lady, I didn't stop to check or even look at the gauges to see what was wrong and continued talking and driving. Before too long, the car started running roughly and fairly quickly died, leaving us stranded on the roadside. Only then did I pull my head out long enough to notice the car was grossly overheated.
 I called my dad and we had the car towed home, totally ruining my date.  :)  A quick inspection showed that the belt had broken ; a 5 minute and thirty dollar job left unattended had melted the engine down. Major expense. Duh.
Dad found a used cylinder head - the ECM had shut the motor down before even more damage was done - had a valve job done and put the freshened head back on. The car ran fine, but it never was the same. Lots of little problems kept popping up and the poor car just became an aggravation. I've always wondered if it was simply exacting revenge on me for neglect and causing it pain?
Being away at school meant we couldn't do the maintenance and repairs ourselves and the costs began to mount up. Dad sold the car and replaced it with something greatly inferior - no style, no character, and no cool. Just a beater. It got me around and I appreciated it, but I sure missed the 9.5 .

I'm still a bit of a SAAB Snaab!

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Thanx for the post Mr J - [more than] a bit of a SNAAB myself!

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