After listening to the podcast to Studio Klassiker Saab-special I got all hooked. I have now almost listened to all of the episodes and they are equally interesting and fun to listen to.
I have never considered myself a car enthusiast, because I have always connected that concept with classic cars. I like Saabs; modern, practical cars which do not break down every now and then. But wait…… Didn’t I buy a car a couple of years ago which just turned 10 years old from a brand which is extinct? A model made in only 11’300 units during less than two years time. A model with scarce availability of parts as well as workshops with knowledge and tools. Who would buy such a car……? Well, an enthusiast, I guess.
In podcast #39 Studio Klassiker discuss how you can show that you are a car enthusiast during Swedish winter. Most enthusiasts keep their cars tucked away in winter storage to keep the cold and salt off the brittle metal of old and precious cars. But if you still want your car to be noticed at the gas station during winter, what would you drive?
A number of cars were discussed which still have good handling in winter conditions as well as insulation, rust proofing, heating, etc. The Saab manufactured Cadillac BLS was mentioned as well as Alfa Romeo 159. I do not consider myself very knowledgeable in cars in general, but I could not help myself from thinking, Alfa Romeo 159, wasn’t that the model built on the GM/Fiat/Alfa Premium Platform partly developed in Saabs office in Pixbo? Am I starting to sound like one of those car enthusiasts?
The members of the podcast wondered if all Saabs are or will be enthusiast cars? There are still too many daily drivers around in Sweden, but soon enough… I start thinking about my own NG 9-5 again. NG 9-5s were already at the beginning a rare sight, even more today. When I drive my car to the gas station, people actually look at my car. Some make positive comments, and from time to time, people come up to me to compliment my car. This may happen at the shops, in public parking lots or queues. One time a car drove up next to me and stopped just to say what a great car I have. I guess that’s part of the everyday life of an enthusiast car owner?
And, yes, I drive my enthusiast car during winter. It’s a very good winter car as all Saabs are. I have conserved it with Dinitrol as my previous 9-5. So, it’s not a problem for me to show my role as car enthusiast during winter.
What defines a car enthusiast? I guess the age of the car is not very important. The main thing is that you buy your car mainly with your heart, not your head. A car enthusiast can tolerate heaps of smaller deficiencies for the love of the specific car or brand. I had several semi-rational arguments for buying my last Saab. I could get engine insurance up to 10-years (and I had over two years left). I could drive an environment friendly car with Bio-ethanol until I could afford an electric car, etc., etc. But when it all came down to facts, I just wanted to drive this beautiful last model of Saab no matter what. And who could blame me? At least not another car enthusiast…
So, at the bottom line, am I a car enthusiast? I think one of the common definitions of an enthusiast car is that you don’t use it as a daily driver. The enthusiast car is just for fun. I must admit that my Saab sits tight in the garage since last autumn, but that is all because of Corona. I work from home and we do not need two cars at the moment. So, our second smaller car is quite sufficient to drive my smallest son to school and do the shopping. Still I would not surrender and say that my Saab is an enthusiast car….yet. I will continue to drive it to work until it is not practical anymore or I get hold of a fair replacement with an electric driveline. Maybe then a true enthusiast will buy it and nurse it for the last years until it will be parked forever in car heaven. Time will tell.