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  1. #1
    Saab Fan
    Join Date
    22 Oct 2019
    Nevada, USA
    2009 9-5 Griffin Sedan, 2001 9-3 Viggen Convertible, 1985 900 Turbo 3dr Combi
    Thumbs Up:   9

    2009 9-5 Griffin Sedan

    Was looking for a 'new' road trip car late last year, as our 9-3 combi wasn't as roomy and comfy cabin-wise as perhaps we'd like. My wife had a NG9-5 a few years ago, which she liked, but with the electrical gremlins (e.g. tail lights burning out constantly) we sold it. I thought a newer OG9-5 would be something she'd like to drive just as much, but with more Saabiness Happened upon a 9-5 Griffin sedan (on saabnet and realized that it could well be the one - very pricey but only 71k miles and seemingly in great shape. First pic from the saabnet.com classified...

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    A trip to Wisconsin in November, a nice chat and test drive with previous owner who is a very knowledgeable Saab enthusiast. Very well kept, and as advertised - SOLD! Drove it part way - to Missouri to my mother's house and then shipped it out to Nevada from there. Here she is coming off the transporter - after stopping in Phoenix the last stop was here in Vegas, and she's the last car off.

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    After many secrets kept and little white lies told, it was presented as a Christmas gift for my wife. The car's name is Elsa.

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    The Griffin model - a 'special edition' of sorts for 2009, only 96 made for US market - was fully optioned with items like HID lights, ventilated sport seats, rain sensor wipers, power fold/heat/dim/mem door mirrors, parking assist, etc. This one does not have Navigation however, but that's no loss in my book (GM Nav of the ear was something to be desired, IMHO). It's Snow Silver Metallic (309) with the granite grey (K27) leather interior and piano gloss black dash fascia. The B235R HO engine is mated to the FA57 5spd automatic tranny. Brake configuration is Front: 16" 308mm vented (AF/CE), Rear" 15" 286mm solid (BD/DC). Suspension is a hybrid, springs/dampers from the 2.3T but paired with the Aero's sport anti-roll bars, Front: CW/40 Yellow, J Green ARB. Rear: FB/30 Red/White, J Green ARB.

    As mentioned, Elsa was in very good shape - mechanically 'young' and well cared for, interior and exterior both in excellent condition - but not perfect. A few minor dings, some scrapes under the front lip, low tone horn didn't work, left driver's mirror power folding mechanism only travels about halfway, cracked TPMS sensor showing as a leak, some rust on the exhaust and undercarriage, and a somewhat anemic air conditioning system (at least by Las Vegas standards). Other than that she was clean and smooth on the road, a very nice road car. She wears Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ tires which we've been quite happy with.

    There's some interesting stuff history-wise here, from various sources. This car was manufactured in February 2009, in the midst of the global financial crisis. Over a year later it was first titled commercially by dealer Just SAAB in Ohio, which I suspect means it was a demonstrator or the sales manager's car, etc. First dealer service recorded in the service/warranty book on November 2010 with 7.9k miles, just prior to being sold as used. Second owner (or technically 1st real owner) had the car for nearly 5 years and put on over 40k miles in and around Ohio, doing most of the oil changes himself and recording such diligently in a spreadsheet. Car was traded in at a small dealership in Indiana in 2015 and subsequently sold to the third owner from Wisconsin, including the original window sticker, manuals, and service records from the 2nd owner. Third owner is a certified mechanic and serviced the car himself, notably replacing the CPS and DIC at purchase as well as the rear brake pads in the 20k miles and four years he owned the car. I was fortunate to have a reasonably firm understanding of the history and service record of the car, and this was ultimately a significant factor in my willingness to pay top dollar for this one.

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    So far we've put about 4k miles on Elsa. As a preventative, I've replaced the serpentine belt and pulleys, renewed the coolant and PS fluid, replaced cabin filter, and cleaned/lubed/flushed the brakes. Recharged the AC and replaced essentially every bulb and the horns while I was at it. Replaced the dump/bypass valve, replaced the hood and trunk lift struts, and one TPMS sensor. Had her up on jackstands and removed the exhaust behind the flexpipe to allow some rust removal/reforming and paint. Exhaust and undercarriage are now spotless and given the weather here she'll never see rust again. A very light ceramic tint over the side and rear windows - a must here in sunny Southern Nevada, but not inexpensive +$500!!! Just completed my first oil change (same Mobil1 0W-40 used most of the car's life), cleaned/recharged the K&N air filter, and per advise from the previous owner I've continued his regime of doing a drain/fill on the tranny with the Mobil 3309 fluid at oil changes. Seems overkill to dump fluid that is clearly still in great shape, but he swears by it and it's not expensive or difficult to do...

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    Proud to say that Elsa is loved and in better shape than ever. Planning on splicing a new polyswitch into the door mirror SOD, hoping that'll fix the folding mirror issue (I'll write this repair up as a tutorial when I get to it). Otherwise, looking forward to a return to life as normal for us all - then we can put some miles on her for sure!

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  2. #2
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
    Join Date
    30 Jul 2010
    USA - Netherlands
    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
    Thumbs Up:   134
    I really enjoy reading these stories about the background of cars, where they have been and how they were maintained. I bought several Saabs that were far away from home and often the hunt, travel and finally getting the car in your driveway is fun.

    The factory GM navigation system in the 9-5 was already pretty outdated in my 2005 9-5 so you're not missing much.

    Snow silver looks really great on this 9-5 and the Griffin models are indeed pretty rare in the USA. Sounds like Elsa still has a long life ahead of her in Nevada. Thanks for sharing. Any pictures of the interior?

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  3. #3
    Saab Fan
    Join Date
    22 Oct 2019
    Nevada, USA
    2009 9-5 Griffin Sedan, 2001 9-3 Viggen Convertible, 1985 900 Turbo 3dr Combi
    Thumbs Up:   9
    I too enjoy the hunt, perhaps too much... The researching of the vehicle history is fun too, sometimes taking some significant work to uncover information, get copies of records, etc. Maybe we're just cool like that, eh?

    So, agree, we could do with some more pics!
    Let's do the interior. Of note, Gumby and Pokey have been tagging along in every car my wife has owned since I've known her (and that's a long time). And I run green LEDs in the footwells and puddle/courtesy fixtures, think it goes well with the avionics theme of these cars.
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    Front seats are very comfortable, but lack the more prominent side bolsters of the NG9-3s which we were used to. So this feels different, but its nice too. Ventilation in the seats is pretty awesome for Vegas, I gotta say.
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    Back seat is executive touring-class stuff IMHO. Pleasant reclining position, heat, and lots of leg room.
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    And of course the engine bay. I keep things pretty stock, but not a big fan of yellow, which Saab seemed to use on almost every fluid 'cap'. I plastidipped the oil cap, and ordered a black version of the windshield washer fluid cap on ebay.
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  4. #4
    Dave T.
    Super Moderator Dave T's Avatar
    Join Date
    03 Aug 2010
    near Seattle, Washington
    1999 9-3SE (2013-2015), 2005 9-3 (2005-2013), 1990 900 (1990-2003)
    Thumbs Up:   33
    Very impressed with Elsa!

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