The joy of owning a Saab 99 Turbo

This is a great story, from a young guy here in Australia named Simon L.
For me there’s the personal interest, which you’ll understand shortly. But it’s more than that. What Simon talks about here is a joy that many of you will relate to.
Simon’s right. Saabs really do get under your skin.

I am the very proud owner of a 1978 Saab 99 Turbo. It isn’t just any old 99 turbo. It’s Swade’s old 99 turbo. One of two that he often speaks so fondly and lovingly of.
I have wanted an old car since the day my dad should me a photo of his Datsun 180b SSS. I don’t know what it was about that car, but I made my mind up right then and there….. I would own a classic car. It probably had something to do with the fact that I was (and still am) studying design. The form appealed to me in a way that modern cars don’t.
I spent a good 5 years looking for a suitable car. I came extremely close to buying an amazing 180b SSS from Adelaide, but it got to a point where it was out of my price range. I mentioned this to a guy I work with at uni named Ben. Little did I know, but Ben is an insane car nerd as well! He somehow managed to find the 99 for sale on the Australian Saab Owners Club forum. He showed me, and I was a little hesitant. Then I watched this video.
I was sold. That was it. I flew to Sydney from Brisbane with a check in my pocket. I had never seen (noticed) an old 900 in the steel let alone a 99. It was a dream. I can’t begin to describe how magnificent it was to see it and drive it for the first time. The photo below was taken on that first drive.
The English gentleman that I bought it from was heartbroken to see his baby go. I don’t think I have seen anyone as sad at the voluntary loss of a material possession. It just goes to show how Saab really gets under your skin. I think there is something about this particular car, too. I am very much in love with her, and would be incredibly sad to see her go.
The drive back from Sydney was fantastic (the next two photos were taken along the way). Not a single issue in about 1300 KM.
The only real issue I have had in the year that I have had the car is the master cylinder on the clutch going. The first time I took it into to Paul at Saab Automotive here in Brisbane, he gave me a bit of a talk, which included a death threat if anything should happen to my dear Sam. His words were “you just don’t find them like this anymore”.
Everyone that gets into her is blown away. The smell, the feel. It gets them too. I always wait to see if a new passenger can figure out the seat belts in the front. It’s a nice giggle. That’s one of the things that I love about my car. It is different. It sets itself apart in a way that is quirky yet inherently charming.
It is a pleasure, a joy and a privilege to own such a remarkable Saab. I am so glad that Saab lives on, so that the full extent of that quirky charm can be breathed back into the next generation of Saabs. The photo below shows Sam amongst the other Saabs at the Brisbane Support Convoy. I am also grateful to be part of such a remarkable and committed community.
Heartfelt thanks to Simon for this update on one of my former cars (our time together was much too short!), but also an insight into the joy that owning one of these unique vehicles can bring.

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