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I started a build thread via another account but managed to lose access. Some of these photos are pulled from that thread

Around November of last year I was on the hunt for a more economical car - at the time I was driving a 1986 Mercedes 560sel; a 12mpg V8 luxury sedan and, while it was a blast to drive, it was not feasible in any sense of the word. This led me to browse a couple different makes and models until I caught wind of a small euro dealer 45 minutes away from me that had this Saab 9000 Turbo for sale.

I had never heard of this model but I had a couple check boxes that I had to tick off with any next car I was going to purchase:

1- had to be a hatchback or wagon. I enjoy taking automotive photos and am wanting to expand into more rollers and filming short films so I had to have something that I could pop a hatch or wagon door at slow speeds to shoot out the back of.

2- I had to be able to get reasonable gas mileage (20mpg+)

3- the paint had to be restorable, aka no major missing clear coat or excessive body damage. I’m lucky enough to have a professional detailing buddy [read: best man] that will give my daily drivers the full paint correction treatment in exchange for next to nothing. He can’t fix what isn’t there though.

4- I’m naturally attracted to 80s/90s European cars, it wasn’t a must but it was absolutely preferred.

with a little bit of research the Saab seemed to check all the boxes so off we went to take a look.

the dealership itself was not in the greatest part of town and looked to be pretty run down. The cars within however were in various shapes, sizes and conditions. There was a couple of Saab 900s, a Porsche 944 and a well maintained Corrado that was the owners daily driver. Of these and others the Saab was tucked away with more dust than any of it’s neighboring cars and tires that seemed to be on their way to being completely flat.

I could see it on my fiancé’s face that she was not thrilled we drove an hour + for this first impression. Since we were already there we decided to try and turn It over and listen to it + potentially take it for a test drive.

initial startup proved to be demoralizing, as it would start up and quickly die without 2000+ rpms being held on the tach. The owner admitted he was selling this car because he just doesn’t have time to put into it and is running out of room on the lot. After a dozen or so shut offs we were able to get the car to idle under its own power and were off for a short drive.

an anti lock light appeared as we were driving and the block we drove seemed to take an eternity at the rate the car was accelerating. All in all though it felt right and the paint and interior were in fair condition. We let the dealer know we would sleep on it and if nothing else checked out we may be back.

later that week we went back and negotiated to under $1k (hence the title) and were off to drive the hour back with a car we weren’t sure was going to make it.

Ultimately once warmed up it did drive fantastic for its age and condition on the freeway back home. The next couple days I resisted the urge to touch anything in the car for I wanted photos exactly how I picked the 9000 up.

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Goodness. Really hard to get one of those.

I would sell my griffin for one of those!

Would look great with clear corners too!

I put them on my griffin and C900 vert.
 

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Goodness. Really hard to get one of those.

I would sell my griffin for one of those!

Would look great with clear corners too!

I put them on my griffin and C900 vert.
thanks! I do enjoy knowing this pre facelift style is a rarer form of the 9000!
 

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Since I accomplished my goal of documenting the cars original state I was free to dive in head first into cleaning up the interior and assessing the car further...

the first order of business was the headliner as it was disintegrating with each vibration - I followed a great write up that I’ll link here later when I find it in my bookmarks again. But after pulling A, B and C pillars I was able to pull the headliner out in one piece unscathed.

I then proceeded to strip the seats and console to give it a good vacuum. The results were not too shabby.

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and look! A complete tool kit.

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the unfortunate half to this part of the story is the days after I pulled the headliner out it was propped upright in my garage and while a bad storm was passing through a storm caught the headliner and broke it clean in half. I still haven’t investigated whether it is possible to repair or needs to be simply replaced with a suitable donor.

alongside the interior deep cleaning I went ahead and pulled the radio to investigate the tape deck not working. I am a huge fan of period correct aesthetics and wouldn’t change the radio out for any sort of aftermarket deck.... ever.

that being said I managed to investigate too much into the radio and disrupted the display pixels.

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And yours has the flat front.
Another plus.
 

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After playing with the radio [read; breaking the radio further] I tackled the window trip on all four doors. Somewhere along the way someone had painted them black and did so poorly as it was missing in some areas and faded on the rest of the trim. I carefully used acetone to remove the paint and I’m pretty happy with the results.

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I noticed the right passenger turn signal did not have its mounting tab and was actually zip tied to one of the AC hoses.... this caused the casing around the wires to crumble and began shorting out several fuses. A little bit of heat shrink fixed that issue.

ideally I would love to pull the wiring from the firewall forward and refresh it all, but that is far away from being more than a wish.

in the meantime I replaced the turn signal with an NOS part from Germany. Will post photos of that soon.

other more recent problems that have been tackled are the steering began to have play on it and upon investigating found it was due to the infamous steering bushing wearing down to nothing over the years.. I was lucky enough to find the entire bearing, outer bushing and center bushing NOS and will be reinstalling these parts in the near future. Till then I have just a new center bushing installed at the moment.

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while doing this I also found my EDU is not working, I still have to purchase a replacement and get that installed properly.
 

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I guess with no SRS it won't matter as much if you get a slightly different one.

Bit I triggered my SRS light but messing around with the instrument panel, and turning to key on when I had the unit out.
 

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I will be doing a repair on my previously repaired, broken, 94 headliner. Where did the board break and is there any structrual form left in those areas you can realign?
 

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Nice looking car ! I like pre air bag Saabs. Glad you saved it ! Looking forward to seeing what you do with it.
 
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