Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Saab Story

Tomorrow morning I'll be parking myself in the driver's seat of my comfortable car as my family of four begins our two day drive to the bottom of South Carolina for the holidays. The drive is 13 hours in total but we divide it into two days to make the medicine go down easier. The first time I made this drive I was in college and in recent receipt of a new girlfriend, now my wife, and my first car. I drove to South Carolina to meet her folks and to pick her up so that we could head back to school to start the new year together. My new car was a very simple used Saab that had a lot of personality and a lot of miles but no air conditioning and no electric windows. It's color, inside and out, was a unique and sickly, orangey-brown. It was identical in color to a rotting pumpkin two weeks after Halloween and the morning after the first frost. It looked like a large turd on wheels. I loved it. The car seemed well aware of its ugliness and it embraced a personality and condition that was perfectly analogous to it's color. I made the long, hot drive to the South with both windows open. My left arm was draped outside of the driver's side window and the tape deck was blaring loudly so that I could hear the music over the loud whooshing of the hot and breezy air that was rushing in the two open windows. The next morning my left arm was painfully sun burnt and my ears were ringing from the constant, combined noise of the tape deck and the hot, loud air. On the drive back North the car's electric system went in to complete collapse. The cooling fan didn't know when to turn its self on and eventually the car overheated while stuck in slow moving traffic on a sticky afternoon somewhere in the Bronx. A piston blew through the engine and my new, old, turd of a Saab was dead. Good riddance! Still, It's sad to see that Saab is, in all likely-hood, as good as gone. It was one of the last, few car companies to produce a vehicle that felt unique in personality and design. I'll miss seeing them on the road.

All of the above pictures are from a NY Times story called "Collectible Saabs." You can see more HERE.

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