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  1. #1
    Renato Piereck
    Spreading the Saab virus rpiereck's Avatar
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    '00 9-5 Aero SC, 87 900i 8v
    Thumbs Up:   2

    Possible Classic 900 purchase...

    Today I drove all the way to Sarreguemine, France (3-1/2 hour drive each way!) to look at a 1987 900 for sale. The guy who is selling it has been a died in the wool SAAB guy for 13 years and right now owns four SAABs. His first one was a '98 9-3 convertible, then he got the 900, then a '71 99, and now a newer 9-3 sedan for a daily driver. He is selling the C900 because he was using the 900 as a daily driver and recently replaced it with the new 9-3, and he might be selling the convertible too, and is thinking of buying a Mustang (midlife crisis he says...).

    The 900 is an 8 valve, fuel injected car, hatchback, white with a red interior. When he bought the car it needed work, and he has been fixing it up ever since, and frankly, you wouldn't be able to know unless he told you, the car looks great. Not a show car, but a good driver. He had some rust removed from the rear hatch, from the rear right fender, and the right side inner firewall, behind the right fender. I looked at the usual C900 rust spots (battery tray, fuel door, under the doors, plus the whole underside, etc.) and couldn't find anything other than surface rust around hot pieces under the engine. All body panels are straight, no dents, no paint chips, no big scratches, just regular wear and tear stuff.

    When he bought it the car had a worn out blue interior, and he swapped for the red, which looks terrific. The dash is black and uncracked. All the gauges work, the only one that doesn't is an add-on VDO engine temperature gauge, the original engine temperature gauge works fine. Besides that VDO gauge there are also engine oil pressure and voltage gauges. All the electrics work (rear defog, fan, lights, seat heater, etc). The headliner was redone in 2005 and it's mostly good, there is some minor sagging on the edges (see picture below). The car comes with aluminum rims, plus he has prefect steel wheels to come with it.

    After inspecting the car for a while we took it for an extended drive, I drove the car for a good 45 minutes, from cobble stone streets to rural roads, a steep uphill where the car felt strong, then we drove around some farm villages, and then on a French autoroute and a German Autobahn were I got it up to 70 mph and it felt sure and drove straight. Shocks and brakes are good. Overall the car felt great, the gear shifts are good, it doesn't pop out of gear, first and reverse engage well. The front wheel bearings make a bit of noise, a very light hum, but nothing worrying.

    So it looks great, no (apparent) rust, drives well, has a seemingly good transmission, and started up quickly from cold (I checked). The car was driven in 2010 to the IntSAAB in Switzerland with no issues. He said he usually drives the 99 to IntSAAB but the 99 was down that year. This year he is taking the 99 to Belgium.

    The bad: the car has 257,000 kilometers (159,000 miles), and when I asked how old is the engine chain and the clutch he wasn't sure. There was a bit of a language barrier between us so maybe he didn't quite understand me. He is German, if he were French I would be OK as my French is much better than my German. His English was OK. I asked about the chain tension, but apparently he doesn't do much work on his car and instead takes it to an old SAAB mechanic guy who does it all for him. He has some receipts for the work he has done, the receipts of course are in French and German (he lives right on the border). He is the third owner and doesn't have any receipts from before 2001. The car also needs two new tires, the front ones are worn.

    He is asking 1200 Euro or best offer for the car. Plus he is sending the complete blue interior, a set of genuine SAAB fog lights with the SAAB covers, the steel wheels, and some assorted parts. I told him I am not interested in the blue interior as I have no place to store it (my garage is tiny). He also made the mistake of telling me he is having a hard time selling the car as most French and German SAAB enthusiasts are looking for a museum-quality car and don't even want to come see the car when they hear the mileage. Also, the car is originally from Belgium and has no catalytic converter, which would mean higher road taxes in either France or Germany. For me it doesn't matter as I would register the car with the Army and there is no emissions test.

    I am thinking of low balling him and offer 700 Euro for the car minus the blue interior. That's 917 dollars for a very good looking, nice driving '87 SAAB 900i 8v hatchback with 152,000 miles, with unknown clutch and chain life (I will replace the chain as soon as I can, clutch I will probably do a bit later: the one on the car felt just fine when driving). How does that sound? I am prepared to pay up to 1000 Euro without the interior. I have seen only one other 900 for sale here for less than 2000 Euro and it was a Turbo, a rusty bucket, not a driver.

    Few questions, these cars have mechanical valve adjustment, right? How hard is it to do? I have adjusted valves on VWs and Mercedes before, it's just a matter of how complicated it is to get it done, and if special tools are required. Also, the front wheel bearings on these cars, any harder/easier to do than on another front wheel drive car?

    Also, the car has a cool ANA SAAB of Trollhättan license plate frame

    Here are pictures of the car (the pictures are almost a year old but the car looked the same when I saw it today):















    And here is the original ad, in German: Saab Cars.de (needs login at saab-cars.de)

    What do you guys think?

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    Last edited by rpiereck; 09 April 2012 at 21:02.

  2. #2
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    The pictures are not showing up if you're not logged in as a member of saab-cars.de. So you may have to host them on another photo hosting site first. The link won't work either. I have an account there but I imagine not many others here have one as well.

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  3. #3
    Renato Piereck
    Spreading the Saab virus rpiereck's Avatar
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    '00 9-5 Aero SC, 87 900i 8v
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    I didn't think about that! Pictures should be fixed now. Thanks!

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  4. #4
    Renato Piereck
    Spreading the Saab virus rpiereck's Avatar
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    '00 9-5 Aero SC, 87 900i 8v
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    Oh yeah, I forgot the car has a four spoke Nardi leather steering wheel and shift knob installed. The original SAAB steering wheel is also coming with the car.

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  5. #5
    Dave T.
    Super Moderator Dave T's Avatar
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    1999 9-3SE (2013-2015), 2005 9-3 (2005-2013), 1990 900 (1990-2003)
    Thumbs Up:   26
    The headliner sags in a different area than my last 900. Mine sagged near the hatch and also, my fault, under the driver's visor. For about a month, I stuck my garage door opener with velcro on the ceiling. I stopped but within 3 months, it started to sag there. In those days, I didn't know about the sagging headliner.

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  6. #6
    Renato Piereck
    Spreading the Saab virus rpiereck's Avatar
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    '00 9-5 Aero SC, 87 900i 8v
    Thumbs Up:   2
    [FONT=verdana]Well, I just closed the deal.[/FONT]

    [FONT=verdana]800 Euro and that baby is mine! That's $1046 in today's exchange rate![/FONT]

    [FONT=verdana]So on Saturday I'll be going back down to Sarreguemine and will drive back home on a white SAAB wearing French plates![/FONT]

    [FONT=verdana]In the end it all boiled down to the high costs of maintenance here. New tires will cost 150 Euro (only two tires), oil change 80 Euro (non synthetic) and changing the engine chain at least 200 Euro, or more. I bargained all that against his 1000 Euro minimum price without the blue interior. Now I got to call my insurance company and get that paperwork done!

    What am I getting into?[/FONT]

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  7. #7
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpiereck View Post
    [FONT=verdana]Well, I just closed the deal.[/FONT]

    [FONT=verdana]What am I getting into?[/FONT]
    A great adventure and road trip! Congrats on the purchase. I wonder if it is common in Europe to buy cars in different countries. There often is a language and social barrier. An American living in Germany buying a Swedish car in France. It's a small Saab World.

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  8. #8
    Renato Piereck
    Spreading the Saab virus rpiereck's Avatar
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    '00 9-5 Aero SC, 87 900i 8v
    Thumbs Up:   2
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Wulfers View Post
    A great adventure and road trip! Congrats on the purchase. I wonder if it is common in Europe to buy cars in different countries. There often is a language and social barrier. An American living in Germany buying a Swedish car in France. It's a small Saab World.
    Man, if you really want to complicate things... the car was originally bought in Luxembourg by a Belgian Soldier. He sold it to a German living in Germany. That German sold it to German #2, and German #2 moved to France and had the car registered in France.

    This car has been registered in three countries already (Belgium, Germany, France). I have no clue if unsold new cars needed some sort of registration in Luxembourg back in 1987, another possibility... Now the SAAB will be registered with the US Army in Germany. Since it's over 25 years old already I have the possibility of bringing it to the US and registering it there too...

    So to get it all right: it's a Brazilian American living in Germany buying a Swedish car from a German living in France, and said car was originally bought in Luxembourg by a Belgian, who then sold it to another German.

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  9. #9
    Dave T.
    Super Moderator Dave T's Avatar
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    1999 9-3SE (2013-2015), 2005 9-3 (2005-2013), 1990 900 (1990-2003)
    Thumbs Up:   26
    A car upholstery shop can re-do the headliner. It's almost certainly cheaper in the U.S. I had it done and the shop showed me what they called "like Volvo headliner", which I said "ok". It was not exactly like Saab headliner and had a slightly coarser weave to it. I saw them do it and, unfortunately, did not bring a camera. It seems that somewhat at the Saab factory was wasting time and drew an elaborate tree in black marker, which was covered by the headliner.

    Motor oil is expensive in Germany but it is probably much cheaper to change the oil yourself. I am not very mechanically inclined but I find that oil changing is easy in the Saab 9-3 and classic 900. No ramps are needed. (I had a normally aspirated 900 but if the turbo is lower, then maybe all you need is to drive over a piece of wood to raise the car one inch). You do need an oil filter wrench. Have some plastic bags, loosen the oil filter, put a bag around it and finish unscrewing it by hand. Then quickly spin the new filter on. By doing so, maybe no oil will be spilled. I poured some oil in the new filter so that the engine would have oil on start up.

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  10. #10
    Renato Piereck
    Spreading the Saab virus rpiereck's Avatar
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    '00 9-5 Aero SC, 87 900i 8v
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    Yeah, I do all my oil changes, so I won't be paying 80 Euros, but that's what the fair market cost is. Generic oil on base costs $2.89 a quart, Mobil 1 is $6.87 a quart.

    On a related note, do the C900 and the NG900 use the same oil filter? Same H engine, so maybe... I have six Bosch filters in my garage, bought them for my NG, would be great if I could use them on the Classic.

    Now I need to come up with a name for the car. Any ideas?

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    Last edited by rpiereck; 10 April 2012 at 22:09.

 

 

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