I am a man of good intentions. I intend to give up alcohol during the week, I intend to never drink caffeine again. I intend to drive my 1989 Saab 900 Turbo as a daily driver. Like most of my good intentions, with the Saab there is a fair chance I’ll fall off the wagon. But so far I haven’t and don’t have any immediate plans to either. Seven days in and its suitability as a daily driver is becoming more and more apparent. Most of my week has involved my short daily commute, with a couple of longer runs into Birmingham. The Saab has done everything that was demanded of it: started first time, engaged every gear as required, kept up with traffic and, in recent days, kept me warm.
The Birmingham run, in the rush hour, did highlight a few challenges that might make me think twice if I was doing this run daily. The Saab’s ride is bouncy and hard, made more so by our terrible modern roads, so much worse than I remember when the Saab was new. The steering, gearbox and clutch are all considerably more mechanical and involving than modern cars, making stop/start driving a little tiring. The Saab was a very refined and comfortable drive in its day but by modern standards it’s noisy and a little cramped. Commuting in 1989 would have been a much more tiring process than it is today, but then there were fewer cars and better roads. It wasn’t enough to put me off using the Saab daily but it did highlight how far cars have come since.
A trip to the local supermarket was more positive, the Saab’s svelte lines and distinctive shape making it easy to park amidst modern motoring’s inflated and homogeneous metalwork.
The Saab, so far, has proved itself adept in daily life. I am enjoying driving something that needs driven and turns every mudane trip into a bit of an adventure. Which, frankly, is surely the purpose of any classic car.
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