…..But it’s a PORSCHE!!!!!

On my way to work this morning, I saw a Porsche 944, just like the one below, pulled up at a set of traffic lights.
I had two immediate and concurrent reactions.
porsche-944-turbo-front-2_165.jpg One was “Wow, that looks fantastic!” and the other was “what a pity it doesn’t drive anywhere near as good as it looks”. For those who might be new around here, I looked at buying a 944, only in silver, earlier this year. All my childhood fantasies turned into mush when I finally got to take it for a comprehensive and unaccompanied test drive.
The car was selling for $8,000 and at that price, it was the cheapest 944 for sale in Australia. I considered it for quite a while before knocking it back. I was considering the Mazda MX-5 as well. I had dinner one night with some friends and Greg, when I asked him what he thought of the options, answered with some kind words about the MX-5, then said “……but the other one is a Porsche!!!!”
That’s pretty much what I thought for most of my deliberation period as well. Forget the shabby and incredibly dated interior (this was a pre-86 car) and the A-pillar right in front of my face. Forget the big noisy engine that puts out only 85% of the power my old 900 Turbo did, despite being 25% bigger. And forget the fact that it ran hot on the test drive, despite $15,000 of service history over the last few years. Forget that I feared having to re-mortgage my home just to do the clutch…… It was a Porsche!
If I’d spent that money, I’d be weeping right now.
Instead, I spent a few thousand more and bought a low mileage Mazda MX-5 and I look forward to every weekend now. Last Saturday I had to run two errands to get my internet connection fixed up. There I was, in the middle of the Tasmanian winter with the roof off and a huge smile on my face.
That was living!! And I’ll do it again next weekend, too.
I didn’t just write this to re-hash my car purchasing stories all over again. There’s more to it than that.
Koenigsegg have just signed an agreement with GM to purchase Saab. I guess you could call this entry some sort of open letter or appeal to Koenigsegg to remind them of something (not that they need the reminder at all. Just because it came to mind).
We’ve all heard, read and spoken a lot about Saab’s heritage and model history. That’s because to a large extent, there’s not been a lot else that’s been positive to talk about in recent years.
Saab’s history is now in your care. It’s up to you.
Saab have a number of revered models, especially the 900. Needless to say, though, they can’t trade on memories any longer. Even the most die-hard of fans will only harbour affection because of those old cars. It won’t make them buy a new one.
People don’t buy Boxers or Caymans because of their memories of the 944. They buy them because they’re good, modern Porsches.
We’re all looking forward to the 2010 Saab 9-5. It’s the first all new Saab in around 6 years and it’s the first since GM “re-committed” to Saab back in 2005. It’s Saab from the ground up and I’m sure it’s going to attract heaps of interest.
But the next round of Saab cars is yours to design and build. They can’t rely on the Saab name or the Saab badge. They have to be good, safe and smart because all those elements were designed into them.
I can’t wait for the future of Saab Automobile to come around. It’s going to be a cracker!

Second Drive – Porsche 944 (or…why you should all love and care for your Saab 900 Aeros)

another Swade car-buying post here…..

I first drove a Porsche 944 back in late November 2008. I was quite excited about it back then, though that particular drive helped me decide that if I were going to get a Porsche 944, it would have to be a late model 944, with or without a turbo but definitely with the updated interior.

I’ll let you in on a something I probably didn’t tell you back then. Late last year I was in negotiations with a media company in the US to sell Trollhattan Saab. They expressed interest and I’d spoken with their CEO on the phone. We were at a stage of working out the numbers when I first heard about Saab’s possible separation from GM and subsequent sale to an unknown party. This news made me pause the negotiations, as I had to consider whether I’d want to continue writing under someone else’s ownership if Saab’s situation changed significantly.

Of course, GM announced this as a possibility in early December 2008 with confirmation coming in February of this year. The notion of a website sale and consequent dreamcar purchase went out the window – and I started SaabsUnited instead.


Fast Forward to May 2009……

Encouraged by this car’s undoubted good looks and by the fact that I’d finally saved enough money to buy it, I enquired further about this local car. Our remoteness to mainland Australia means that it’s the cheapest 944 for sale in the country. It was a color I really liked with wheels I really liked. My November test drive was enjoyable, so I figured I’d look further into it.

Read moreSecond Drive – Porsche 944 (or…why you should all love and care for your Saab 900 Aeros)

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