Another rare animal discovered in the vastness of our country! This Saab 9-3 convertible was overgrown with moss for a long time on the outskirts of the city, until it was noticed by the keen eye of the Minsk IT specialist.
Aleksey, who had already dealt with “old trash”, decided that the garage just lacked a convertible car for weekend trips – when his hair flutters in the wind and his favorite rock songs sound in the cabin. Conceived – done! True, after the purchase I had to explain myself to the police and tinker in the garage. But the result exceeded all expectations: at least the Saab 9-3 brings aesthetic pleasure to its owner.
“The former owner wrote a statement to the police against me”
Convertible 1999 Alex bought two years ago. Mileage – a little more than 241,000 km, but let’s clarify: the car changed the engine.
– I bought a car for only $ 1,500. However, at that time only the body remained intact. The roof did not work, the engine was dismantled, the interior was completely absent. What was left of the chairs was cut. The door cards were all torn too… The cabriolet was standing under some bush on the outskirts of the city, overgrown with moss. There are still barely noticeable traces of vegetation on the roof, but this can be easily removed with fresh paint. Ask: what happened to the foreign car? And nobody knows!
– Making a purchase was difficult. It was not the owner who sold the car, but someone with a registration certificate from the car. The owner had to be found. It turned out that someone bought a convertible from him by proxy, which ended three years ago. The owner was obviously addicted to alcohol, so it was problematic to communicate with him. I had to go to him personally and draw up another power of attorney – already for me. As soon as the document was signed, I immediately took the car to the traffic police on a tow truck. After some time, the former owner decided to cut down the money and even wrote a statement to the police. But law enforcement officers quickly figured out that I had all the documents in order, and questions arose already for the lover of strong drinks. So I advise everyone to pay attention to who you buy a car from.
The first question that arises when you see a cabriolet: how does it fit with the Belarusian weather? After all, there are hardly 90 sunny days in Minsk in a year.
– Saab mostly stands in the garage, I go out into the fresh air infrequently. Because first you need to come for the car, put it near the house. And the car must be clean! After all, it’s unaesthetic to drive a grimy convertible.
— It’s more of a weekend car. During the current year with an open roof went five times. And that’s on the warmest days. But even in cloudy weather, nothing limits me: the main thing is that there is no rain. The farthest trip is a maximum of 70 kilometers.
Resurrection Price – $9,000
After a difficult purchase story, another one immediately began: Alexei set about restoring the car, with the support of a friend. The car managed to put in order for a month and a half. A friend was planning a wedding, and the newlyweds wanted to go to the registry office in a convertible, so the time was very limited. We did it! True, then the car broke down on the road, but we managed to take a couple of holiday pictures.
– The car was completely repainted in the chamber – this service cost $ 1,100. Most of the parts are from Viggen. A car kit came from England, I was lucky to find it. All parts (body kit, original leather interior, suspension, stainless exhaust system) from one car – also a convertible. The front shock absorbers are new Bilstein B8. Installed the original amplifier, rare Saab wheels (they are also called “axes”).
– I repaired the air conditioner, the cable in the on-board computer … In total, about $ 9,000 was invested. More precisely, after this amount, I stopped counting the funds that go to the car.
The 2-liter engine (B204L, 185 hp) was taken from the same car model, only in a hatchback. Alexei bought it at a car disassembly for $400. Consumption is not that economical — 12-14 liters.
– This is an old car and on the “machine” – what do you want from it? the man asks rhetorically.
A separate epic — roof repair.
– First, we manually dismantled and lubricated all the mechanisms. A hydraulic pump and a fluid reservoir are installed there: you release the pressure and you can manually open / close the roof.
— Checked the electrician — does not work. We began to look at the limit switches again – everything is lubricated, cleaned. But due to the fact that the machine was idle for a long time, the rods of the hydraulic cylinders rusted, hydraulic fluid began to flow. Basically, it needed a replacement. The hydraulic cylinders were removed and taken to the service. They said that the problem can only be solved by manufacturing new elements, the price is $ 800! Alexey says emotionally.
I did not want to spend such an amount, so I started monitoring foreign sites. I found an ad in Poland: the entire system is assembled (a hydraulic pump with a reservoir, all hydraulic lines and cylinders) and for only $200. Ordered, waited for delivery, installed — everything rises and falls.
It’s a convertible and it looks great!
It is not easy to get spare parts for a rare car, but Aleksey is “used to messing around with old junk”, so he regularly studies thematic flea markets and forums.
— Restoring a convertible — it’s still a painless business! Here I had another project — BMW E30. That “behu” was taken away the other day. Also brought the E28 back to life. It’s just my hobby, I don’t work in the automotive industry. It will not work to monetize such a hobby: I cannot do a blunder like outbidding.
But back to Saab. In addition to the difficulties with spare parts, there are other issues. Alexei points to the height of the car: the car is low, so you have to drive on the gravel road in turtle mode.
“Although I don’t have to go out of town very often, therefore, such a lack of impressions from the car does not spoil. Another nuance that must be taken into account is long doors: getting out of the parking lot is not always convenient.
— Benefits of my Saab? It’s a convertible and it looks great! The car stands out in the stream! If the food is with the roof down, of course, many consider it. Once, at a traffic light, another convertible owner even started waving at me. Simplicity of design is also a plus.
— There are four such machines in Belarus. Such a car drives, for example, in Minsk, but in a slightly different color and on the “mechanics”. How do I know? In “Viber” there is a chat of lovers and owners of “Saabs”. By the way, one of them recently got into the news reports on a negative occasion: his car was thrown with bitumen.
In the city and for household chores, Alexey moves on the same Saab 9-3, only in a hatchback. There were a lot of parts left from the convertible, so the choice of a car for every day was obvious. It cost $2,500 last fall. There is also a rather rare Royal Enfield bike in our hero’s fleet – this is a British brand that went bankrupt and was bought out by Indian.
Aleksey recently said goodbye to the Honda GL 650. The convertible is also on sale: the owner estimated it at $6,900.
– To be honest, the Saab with a folding roof is not actively interested: a couple of people called (including from Russia), some came to see, but did not even open the hood.
– If it weren’t for the circumstances, then I definitely wouldn’t have parted with this car, as well as with a hatchback. A lot of effort and money has been invested in Saab. There are no good hands for him — put to friends in the garage. Let the connoisseur wait and collect a little dust.