Another Monte Carlo found….

I do not intend to bother you with every Monte Carlo that I – or others – see on our travels around Australia, but I do intend to share Saab Stories where they exist, and such is the case here with the discovery of Monte Carlo #23.
If you’re not in-the-know, there were only 195 Monte Carlo yellow Saab 9-3s made in this particular 1999 configuration, which were called a Saab 9-3 Monte Carlo here in Australia and a Saab 9-3 SE Sport elsewhere. Australia got 50 of them and they were all individually numbered. Mine is #9.
The story of #23 is a nice Saab discovery story and it’s best told by the man involved, Peter W.
Peter got in touch with me after Googling his car for some more information about it and landing on my previous writings about this model at Trollhattan Saab. He lives in Australia’s capital city, Canberra.

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My name is Peter W, and I’m the very recent aquirer of SAAB Monte Carlo #23.
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I haven’t owned a SAAB before and only noticed this one for sale while browsing the local newspaper. I had the urge for something different after driving mostly utes, vans and trucks for years. There are a few other cars in the garage already. I have a (neglected) Riley, a 68 XT Ford Fairmont with Clev351, 4spd, susp etc, as well as an AU Ford V8 1-tonne ute, a Mercedes Sprinter (ex-ambulance) and a Ford Trader pantec for work…… oh, also an old Harley. All are registered except for the Riley (& spare car).
There’s not too much luxury on that list, so the small Saab ad drew my curiosity….. and research, which is where I found the Trollhattan site archives amongst other Monte Carlo stuff.
When I saw the car on Thursday evening I was most impressed. I should say at this point that some of my family are rather fanatical Saab owners, so I knew a little about them, though I hadn’t owned one myself.
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The owner for the last two years was a very straightlaced immigration department employee who was being posted to Shanghai for 3 years…. in 3 weeks time, so he had to sell (albeit very reluctantly) and was asking $9,400 for his very high kms Monte (230k!!). It may have covered some miles, but it’s still in fantastic condition. It’s never been smoked-in, the jack and tools were still in their original plastic. The silver wheel nuts are unmarked.
The logs and original receipts show that the car was bought new by Wollongong University on a fleet plan with a garage address at Williamsdale, a small hamlet south of Canberra. It was driven by Mike Codd, the Chancellor of Wollongong Uni, who is also on the Qantas board, is an ex-Secretary with the Prime Minister’s Dept etc, so it was presumably used to ‘commute’ between Canberra and Wollongong a lot.
I checked a few sites with regard to common faults and problems and found the only thing that seems prone to failure is some missing pixels from the display, though all are working OK on mine. I offered him $8,000 which he accepted and I took delivery over the weekend.
The verdict – I SMILE everytime I look at it. I’m an INSTANT CONVERT after only 150 kms travelled!
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Its a five-door hatch with a 5 speed manual so it has the H.O.T. 147kw motor… luvly, luvly. Coincidentally, the only external damage is bumper knock to the RH front, almost identical to that on yours. The headlight wipers and rear window ‘squirter’ don’t work but all else is as-new.
Recent receipts show replacement of a computer component at almost $3k, and surprisingly the welding repair of a cracked bulkhead in ’07 at nearly 200,000kms that the dealer did under warranty. They said it was something that shouldn’t happen, so didn’t charge (This was/is a recall issue – SW).
The original three-spoke alloy wheels might be poo-poo’d by some other subscribers for being only 16″, but just cruise past a glass building or shopfront with them and the reflection of the moving spokes is bloody spectacular…. I’m already quite biased here.
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The Monte will be going to live in my old man’s garage for a few weeks until I can make undercover space available. Even though he’s in his late 70’s now, he’ll be out there polishing and slapping on the Armour-All until it shines even more. That’ll make up for not having it at hand right away.
Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for pre-providing so much info and on-line enthusiasm, making my research and purchase so satisfying. I realise I might be in for some expensive upkeep with a car with so many miles on it, so may well be needing advice or contacts in the future.
Regards from a (new) fellow Monte Carlo owner…. Pete W

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