Saturday, December 19, 2009

News That Made Me "Saab"

I'm somewhat saddened by the news of the demise of Saab. I have rather fond memories of the Saab I owned back in the late '70's, a 1973 99DL (like the one in the photo, but mine was gold rather than that ugly yellow) that was a delight to drive. Yeah, it was quirky. It was the first non-american car I ever owned and, compared to the mid-'70's american cars it was a modern marvel. The handling and comfort were so completely different from my previous cars that I looked for any excuse to take long road trips. While it wasn't the best car to have sex in, the heated seats seemed to encourage some young ladies into creative positioning (hey, I was a lot younger and more flexible myself). Alas, the main drawback of my Saab was that it was expensive to maintain, and I went through some life changes that made it impractical.
Saab's demise actually occurred years ago when GM acquired the brand and turned a unique automobile into another generic vanilla vehicle. Sigh...
While I've been living "car-free" for more than twelve years, I still have very fond memories of the better vehicles I've owned over the years, and I've owned many (ask me about the 1959 Mercedes-Benz sometime). So I'm letting out a little "Saab" upon hearing this news.


Anonymous said...

I have in the transport business(car consultant) for many years in cluding selling Saabs. Interesting autos. Great handling, fit and finish. When they got away from AWD it really hurt them. Loved the old Sonnets. GM bought them for 2 reasons: the 3.6 liter 24 valve V6 and their platforms-good products still. Enjoyed the post.

Anonymous said...

The first Saab that I ever saw was owned by a graduate student at Oregon State University in 1965. We were "pals." He drew a paycheck from the Coast and Geodetic Survey while he worked on this doctorate.

His hobby was locating the corner markers from the original survey of the Coast Range of Oregon. We'd drive out somewhere in the middle of nowhere and start checking.

One morning, he picked me up and as we were leaving town, he told me in that overly casual way that a person says something important, "I took some acid this morning."

He drove all right so I didn't think much of it. We got back into the hills and we came to a place where the bridge had washed out. He looked at it and said, "This car can fly." Then he floored it.

If anyone tells you a car can fly don't hesitate jump out.

I walked back to the highway and hitchhiked back to the university.
Saw him in the cafeteria the next day, he started spouting excuses, I just said, "You should stick to beer." I never spoke to him again.