One day …

Hello, I’m Alex. After the nice offer from TimR, to become a guest writer, I told myself, that after reading about all the troubles Saab currently has, I have to share feelings about driving my great MY2007 Saab 9-3 Convertible Aero with Hirsch performance upgrade. I truly believe that a company producing such great cars will survive and will be successful after the production restart. 

“One day …” I’ve heard myself to whisper. It was the year 2004, we finished our bands soundcheck at one of our few commercial appearances : an introduction of a new Saab model in a nice theatre on the right Danube river bank. Someone asked the organisators to uncover the thing on the stage for a moment, before the audience come. They did it. Whoaahh … I forgot to breathe and reminded myself to close my mouth, tried to imitate a poker face. It was a wonderful lime yellow 9-3 Aero Convertible. The spotlights for the stage, just tested, even empowered the atmosphere of the moment. “One day … i will drive this”.

This was only one of the many moments, where a Saab converted me into a babbling being, lowering my seriousness as well as objectivity to a minimum. The ability of artifical things to dampen thinking for a while always fascinates me.

The “One day …” came last year. I needed a car, I’ve decided for a fun car, so a 3 year old Jet Black 9-3 Aero Convertible upgraded by Hirsch to 275HP / 400Nm landed in my garage. It is car number nine for me, I didn’t expect that Saab would surprise me too much by anything except that it is a convertible. The opposite was true. It enchanted me from the first moment and holds on until today. The whole appearance, the charisma and the feeling behind the steering wheel. The obvious newcomer drives came – roof up, roof down, all kind of roads and conditions, absurd 50km drive in -10°C cheating the roof in warmer conditions. My girlfriend loves it as well, but with my nearly unhealthy affection to the car makes her a bit afraid to drive it.

This car changed my behavior while driving. Instead of using the shortest routes and highways, I choose nice roads and country highways whenever the time allows it. I have a camera with me, always. Being a member of the Saab community and an unofficial fanclub forces me not to destroy the name, so I drive as decent as I can. However in my semi-developed home country (though EU member), where to be tailgated by TDI-drivers is a national sport, it is sometimes hard to resist showing them a boot of a strange car disappearing on the horizon.

Unfortunately, the attempt to call him Julius failed. He somehow didn’t respond to that, so it’s simply Saab or “cabrio”.

Why a Saab convertible ? Unlike others, it doesn’t look aggressive like a shark, neither like a futuristic kitchen robot or like a remix of 40+ years old design ideas. It maintains its own face. It doesn’t awake enviousness and it is only a very minor object of thieves. The two back seats expand luggage space for a 2 people vacation. The feeling to drive something unconventional. The community willing to help. Safety. I’ve heard about someone making 4 tumbles with roof down without any serious injuries. I don’t care about it’s a GM product. The pre-GM Saabs are fantastic but 12+ years old cars need simply more maintenance.

My previous car was an S60 T5. It had a less typical atmosphere inside but was very nice as well. The turbo started to pull earlier but also earlier lost its breath. The chassis was softer and the feeling was to drive a heavier car than it really was. While trying it on a race circuit, it always had an open boot in the finish. But it was a good car for long highway drives on business trips. Two comparable things were better at the S60 – the seats and the speakers.The 9-3 Convertible Aero appears to like curves more, the turbo comes a bit later but holds longer. Fuel economy is close to equal the T5. The emotional side of the Saab is a huge advantage to any other car on the same level. It is built for people who enjoy driving, that’s an important thing for me.

I truly believe, the “one day…” wasn’t 5 minutes to 12. Good luck Saab !

24 thoughts on “One day …”

  1. The pre-facelifted convertible still looks very contemporary! And I really enjoyed the photos – they are very atmospheric.

  2. THAT:

    This is whats it’s all about.
    For a moment forget all the ups and downs, discussions and legal and Financial quibbles.

    Enjoyment, an emotional bond with something that could just be a means of transport, the joys of just driving something you really feel at home in, always luring you to take the longer winding road.

    That’s the best reasons ever to get involved in the trivial and agonizing times surrounding Saab

    Thank you for your writing 🙂

  3. Great first post, Alex! I agree with everyone else that you did a very good job of capturing the passion the connection that we have with these cars.

    “One day….I will drive this.”

    With this single phrase, I think you may have captured the perfect marketing slogan for a series of Saab ads! Some Saab ads have had great visuals, but what are the words that can capture the essence of what it is to own a Saab?

    I can see this used in both TV ads and print ads. With TV ads the 9-4X or 9-5 or 9-3 Griffin edition, or Independence Edition convertible could be driving through scenic country with shots of the exterior, interior, etc. Then the words are displayed (or spoken), “One day….I will drive this.” Then the tag line at the end of the ad could be “Why not today?” Various ads could emphasize turbo power and efficiency, ergonomics, safety, low CO2, comfortable seats, etc. But the same slogan could work for all of them. It describes a feeling, a passion. I think this has great possibilities!

  4. Great story, Alex! I’m looking forward to reading more posts from you. 🙂
    And don’t worry, being tailgated by TDI drivers has nothing to do with your country being underdeveloped. I guess it’s the same everywhere. And I would add BMW drivers as well.
    From another Aero convertible driver … guess what colour … 😉

    • ! thank you jet black aero convertible man 🙂 there will hopely come more stories soon. With the tailgating I wouldn’t be that sure .)

  5. I agree,nice story. I hope SAAB does survive, I like my 2011 Audi A4 but I believe my 2009 SAAB 9.3 XWD handled better.

  6. Hi Alex, nice to see one of your articles here! Hope your Aero is in good shape and flying “high and low” again after the low battery trip to another “underdeveloped” country the last weekend 😉

    • Another underdeveloped country is Turkey and one Saab from Slovakian Puppy Hunters Saabclub family is there too. Maybe Alex should come to visit me 🙂 Nice trip and it takes about 2400 km in one day 🙂

      • Hey Laf, although semi-developed, the battery change was a 90 minutes thing incl. shipment of the battery from a supplier. The drive home had required one “restart” .)

        Saabim -> that’s an interesting option. My last time (~2000) in Turkey I was escorted by police, because my rental car, a Tofaş, had headlights problems, so I’m not sure if i’m not magnet for these things in Turkey.

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