Wednesday, 13 November 2013

How my Saab obsession began.

In 2009, my family moved from Sydney to Ballarat, Victoria. We managed to rent an incredibly impressive ultra-modern home on the Golf Course, but it just didn't seem "right". We kept it in the back of our minds that we should look around to buy a house.

An old, interesting, historic, centrally located one, with most of the hard work done. 

We have moved a fair bit and the thought of actually signing a contract to buy another house seemed a bit surreal. We have endured many years of living in old homes and while they are cool and quirky, they always manage to drain our cashflow while renovating them. Also with a disabled teenager and an energetic, growing five year old , along with our other two children, it's expensive to be me! 

To assist us in getting things done, we decided to sell both our new cars and get a cheap one that would be a temporary car, until we got another better one after the money draining, fee intensive house purchase...

Enter the SAAB 9000 (right). What hardly seems possible is that for a lousy fortnight's pay, we purchased a car that is built like a tank, has a full leather interior, incredibly good air conditioning and heating, looks relatively modern for its 19 years of life, and cruises at 110 like it's idling. The toolkit is still intact, the heated seat still works, the boot and bonnet linings are carpeted, and there are no dents. The electric windows and mirrors still work perfectly. The boot ( trunk) is massive and has a ski/ cargo door for hauling long loads. The original Sony 10 stack CD player still works. The doors shut with a "thunk" like a new Mercedes. I also spent another weeks pay on replacing a radiator and heater core. ( Big deal; whoopee!) 

The 2.3 litre, 4 cylinder motor is not turbocharged like many of it's counterparts, but requires top quality oil to ensure longevity. Apparently, I have been told this car was something like $60 000 new, but it seems a bit ambitious to me!

I was initially thinking it would be a perfect car to park at shopping centres and train stations because if someone parked too close to it, it wouldn't matter.

Now, it's starting to matter. I love this thing!

The quality of these old things is just overwhelmingly good. The reliability will never be as good as a new modern car, but I plan on keeping this Swedish- built classic for as long as I can; it's a keeper.

Financial Hint: Its worth sacrificing some things you love in the short term and buying something cheaper if it will help you get into something like a business or house that is going to appreciate rapidly, and more importantly, meet your needs. (I bought the new grey Saab, pictured on the left a couple years later, when the time was right).