Graeme Lambert – “Saab Turbo’s forced infection”

Graeme Lambert, our Saab mad friend who used to work at Auto Express, has written an article at Retro Classic Cars about how his affection or affliction with Saab was started.
Below is an taster of his writings, the link to the whole story is below the picture.

It’s a cliché, but Saab owners are a terribly loyal bunch, often appearing misguided and blinded by their love for the brand. The bug has bitten many, myself included, and no matter what happens with the company’s future you can guarantee it’ll continue biting.

As a 12-year-old petrolhead who had grown-up around a series of Volvos, the announcement that my father fancied a change of brand instilled a sense of brio in me. The prospect of trawling round the local dealer network, scooping up scores of brochures as we went, was one of pure un-rivalled excitement.

It didn’t take long to end up in the Saab dealer, and after examining various 9000 hatchbacks and saloons I sat back thinking my job was done. Until the weekend after when I discovered a sales sheet for a Volvo 460GLEi. Betrayed, there were tears before I informed them they’d made a mistake. Two years later my tantrum was justified, and the ever-troublesome Volvo got the boot, replaced with a black Saab 9000.

Click this link for the full story

10 thoughts on “Graeme Lambert – “Saab Turbo’s forced infection””

  1. Nice article and not an uncommon story. Almost like you’re getting the story from a spontaneous new Saab friend you just met on the street, who noticed your car or Saab apparel. No explanation why it was sold, what he replaced it with, and the story behind the current C900 he has. Oh well. The car pictured looks very nice, though. Yeah, there’s just something about Saabs…

  2. @900S
    Sorry the article was quite strict on wordcount, so no room to explain all but I’ll try and do that here for you.
    It was sold, because it was my first ever car and I had it six years. When I chose it, the c900 had to be a jack of all trades. It was fast, distinctive, comfortable, spacious and at the time good value (£2,500 in 2004 for a 1992 T16s model). It was my only car, and one that had to take me to work, to the shops, to Europe, around a track and anything else asked of it. When I got a job in motoring journalism it became very much a second car to me, having various long term test cars (including an NG 9-5) that I talked about on here as well as dialy or weekly test cars. It got used less and less, and I began to feel guilty about the lack of use so I made the decision to sell (much to the disbelief of my friends and family) and in the end I replaced it with a (black) Vauxhall VX220 Turbo – also known as an Opel Speedster in Europe. A car so extreme that I am happy to put it in the garage over winter and only use when the weather is good – especially as I still have access to weekly test cars through my new position as Road Test Editor for Car Enthusiast, and of course my girlfriends car. But yes, of course the Saab bug had bittedn – and after losing my NG 9-5 long termer I wondered how I could continue to run a Saab as a long term test car – so I went out and bought one for myself. Something that certainly wasn’t needed (Our first house needs a lot of work, I have access to plenty of cars including those above and even a 9000 track car I part own – the extra running costs make no sense) – certainly not financially.
    The new black Saab isn’t a c900 though – it is a 9000 Aero. I think it’s quite a special example, being an early 1993 car with, and here’s the rub (and real reason I bought it), only 80,300miles since new. It also visited Abbott Racing at less than six months old and came out of the workshop only after the then owner had spent £5,000+ on shiny, uprated go-faster bits. It’s a bit of project (really just needing a little tidying, servicing and re-commissioning) but one that hopefully will be back to its former glory in just a short few months. I will be taking it to the International meeting in Belgium in August, and if SU would like me to I’m happy to write a small article on it for those on here to read too.

    Hope that clears a few things up?


    • Great choice, Graeme. Imho the 9000 Aero is the best car Saab ever built. The Abbott tweaks make it exceptional. My 9000 FPT is looking forward to meeting it -and I you 🙂 – at Spa in August.


    • Hello Graeme,

      Thanks for responding, that cleared up everything! That’s too bad about the strict word count. Without that extra bit you just kindly provided, your article just seemed incomplete.

      Sounds like a spiffy job, getting to drive all those different cars, including the new 9-5. Also nice replacement for your prized C900 with the Vauxhall VX220/Opel Speedster AND the 9000. I can understand needing to move onto different cars. I’ve only had my non-turbo C900 S, but I’m interested in many other cars. Some Saab, some not. I actually have a 1973 Triumph GT6 restoration project that isn’t moving too quick. Still, for me, the classic 900 SPG/T16 Aero is the dream car–and your old one looks brilliant.

      I hope I didn’t come across as crass in my comment. I didn’t intend to; I genuinely enjoyed your article. Thanks again for taking the time to respond! Now the story feels complete!



      • No problem Jason.
        The word count is soemthing we have to deal with in everything we write to be honest – the skill in our game is to get the important information accross in the space we have. this story was actually meant to be a first part in a two part series, the latter article explaining about the new 9000 Aero etc but that is no longer happening due to changes at the retro and classic website. And your comments didn’t come accross as crass in any way – I’m just happy you enjoyed it.


  3. Nice!
    I had a black Volvo 460 Turbo aut. some years ago; a nice car, I especially liked the trip computer of it;
    But ofcourse nothing beats a Saab 9000… not even most other Saabs.. (well…, maybe a 9-5 Aero from before 2006, the one with the proper Saab dash..)

    Great looking 900 classic b.t.w.. 🙂

  4. Thanks for the response all.
    Sorry about having to cut the full story short, but as Graeme mentioned R&CC has seen a change in circumstances lately. However, if you’d like to be continued I’m sure I can make an exception if Graeme doesn’t mind.

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