“Why?”, a friend asked as I mentioned that I considered selling the SAAB – a month after buying it. A really difficult question, that. In fact I had no real answer – so I made one up: Selling the SAAB should provide me with an exciting final trip – to the buyer’s place somewhere in Germany.
After thinking about it a slight moment it even made sense: To me, at least.
As usual it had started with the slighthly uneasy feeling that I
needed would like something else (I don’t, actually, it’s just a feeling popping up now and then). Which is in fact a bit strange since the SAAB is one of those cars that takes a long time to understand and get under the skin: It’s an engineer’s car, not a designer’s car and this fact had begun dawning upon me after about 3000 kilometers behind the wheel. The 1985 SAAB 90 took over from my silky smooth 1989 Honda Legend Coupé and initially I wondered why I bothered at all as the Legend was without a doubt a much superior car. I am sure some SAAB enthusiasts will challenge this, but they should really just take a spin in a Legend.
Conversely, I then went on to understand the SAAB better and it even occurred to me that it has its own awkward charm. However convincing the Legend Coupé was in all its mechanical refinedness charm was not really on the menu. I am sure it wasn’t on SAAB’s menu either as the engineers designed the car but nonetheless the clumsy lines and akward details lend it some of it anyway – and lo and behold, some of the strangeness actually has benefits. Whereas I could not fit a bookshelf of 79x79x30 centimeters in the Legend without dismantling it (the shelf, not the car) a friend folded down the rear seats and placed a 140×200 centimeters matress in the boot of the SAAB where it looked rather like purposemade – which indeed it might have been.
And then there is that old favourite parameter of car choice: I have always had a penchant for solidity, where the SAAB scores a premium over everything else I have ever run. So it was difficult to explain why I should sell it after a month of togetherness. But in fact my Mercedes 250 Coupé is almost ready for the road again, the Volvo PV isn’t but should be and the Spitfire is running strongly. Anyway, I don’t need more cars as such and reducing the number by selling the SAAB is somehow sensible after all.
“Keep it as cheap run-about,” a good friend advised me. His word has always (or almost always, as his ratings dropped in my esteem as he did not grasp the Honda Legend’s attractiveness, thereby clearly demonstrating that he has fallen behind – but we still talk) weighed heavily on my car decisions. In this situation his advice made perfect sense: Beside the fact that this particular SAAB 90 was a fine example with a good two-owner history, I have never had a car with such pristine mechanicals – it has still only done 136,000 kilometers and feels absolutely fresh.
The mileage and general condition would suggest that the SAAB could serve me well for years to come. Against this very rational argument stand the fact that when I sold the Honda I wanted somewhat older instead. Although the SAAB is older (by four years) it is still not a real classic. In Denmark only cars older than 35 years qualify for this in terms of reduced taxes and insurance and until that day four years ahead the SAAB will cost me around 5.000 DKK (around 650 Euro) per year to own. Or about the same as a comparable modern car. Or the value of the SAAB itself!
But wait a minute: Many other European countries have other rules whereby the SAAB will be a fully fledged classic in 2015. Aha! A quick check on Mobile.de showed only two 90’s for sale there and the brilliant weather reminded me that it is almost vacation time and anyway I love Germany – hmmmm: All together spawned the rapid conclusion that it actually makes sense to sell the SAAB to Germany and to deliver it down there over the summer.
I have no idea whether any Germans think it’s a good idea: But I do! In fact, I can not see anything except that it will be a brilliant success: The car sold, a mini vacation with cash in my pockets and maybe I should even buy a car in Germany to get me back home. In fact, what could possibly go wrong?
I pack light, both physically and mentally. Harzen, Schwarzwald or Berlin, here we come!
Bonusinformation: The title of this post is very much inspired by the brilliant book “The hitchhiker’s guide to the Galaxy” in which a supercomputer answers the ultimate question of life and basically everything with the slightly cryptic “42”. But who knows: Maybe the answer to the ultimate question is really 90?