I got bored, and when I get bored, I spend too much time on Trademe. Somehow I have ended up with yet another car from a defunct manufacturer.
I’ve been looking for another car for a while. Originally starting out wanting to buy something sub 2K, and only seeing rubbish, I slowly kept increasing the budget until I stopped wading in the ponds of sludge and finally seeing proper cars that weren’t ruined.
The criteria started as either being something small, nippy and fun, or something that could haul some stuff around. After viewing a few cars, which involved interiors full of mould, swimming pools in footwells, clouds of oil smoke, and much cosmetic damage, I was starting to run out of ideas.
This car had been for sale for a bit, and I kinda discounted it originally because the photos were rubbish, and was it a car I really wanted? Well, turns out yes, it is a car I really wanted.
Its a 2006 Saab 93 Aero 2.8T in Chilli Red Metallic. Powered by a (Holden made) GM 2.8L V6 Turbo engine, driving the front wheels through a Japanese Aisin 6 Speed auto and built in Trollhättan, Sweden. This is the Aero model, so gets a spiffy bodykit, sports seats, sports suspension, and a better over all spec, featuring leather, auto climate control, parking sensors, and a sunroof. Oh, it also has some of the widest tyres I’ve had on a car, 235/45R17 all around.
The photos on the listing didn’t inspire confidence. Nothing like photos of photos on a phone.
But it said the car had been regularly serviced, with new coils, plugs, bilsteins, air filter, mintex pads and rotors, and a trans service recently.
After reading up a bit about the car the day before viewing, I started to get excited about the car and couldn’t wait to view it.
I viewed the car this morning, and after an extensive test drive and discussion with the owner, I had confidence the car had been looked after and that the condition was quite impressive for its age and mileage (179000km). The engine ran and responded well, the trans shifts smooth as silk, and it handled well. Interestingly, the seller neglected to mention on the listing the car has been flashed with a Maptun Stage 1 tune, which bumps the power from 250hp to 290hp.
The paint is in good shape, with only stone chipping on the front, and some clearcoat peeling on the front edge of the roof. Otherwise, it’s very tidy. Headlights are starting to cloud, but I’ll sort them when I do the Hondas.
The inside is also very good. Some wear and tear, but no rips and everything is there. There are soft touch surfaces, which aren’t aging perfectly, but much better than other cars I’ve had it in, and the steering wheel has some wear under the cover (which will be removed, its gross to use).
It’s not all perfect though. Due to where the turbo lives, and how much heat there is in the engine bay, plastics and hoses don’t last long. The coolant expansion tank lives on the firewall, directly above the turbo downpipe so gets cooked. The two hoses from it are showing their age and one is weeping. There is also an issue with the EVAP valve, which causes a hard start condition after filling the car with fuel (as I found out straight after picking the car up!). Thankfully these issues arent hard to sort, so will order some parts and see how we go.
On the road it’s almost eerily quiet inside, with little road or wind noise. The exhaust makes nice noises when you step on it, but at cruise you can barely hear it. It could almost do with one less muffler, but unlikely I’d do that.
I bought this car as a nice weekend cruiser that I could use to head off with my Wife on the weekends over summer, instead of pushing too hard on the TVR once it’s on the road. I don’t intend to do much to the car, just the usual maintenance, some small changes (LED interior lights, BT for the headunit) and fixing a couple of the issues it has, such as the passengers front door intermittently not locking and unlocking with the central locking.
Should be some fun, surprising people at the lights when they get chopped by a Swedish wagon.