As of last writing I had abandoned, attempted to recover, and re-abandoned my first car, a 1984 Saab 900 Turbo Sedan. As you might expect, we have not yet reached the end of this tale.
Around two years after saying “fuck it” to trying to get my Saab back from my family mechanic, I found myself, one again, with an empty space in the garage.
A lot had changed since I was last looking at the re-acquiring the Saab. I had sold my dune buggy, bought an older Yukon, went on an epic Top Gear style road trip (and as a result now own an Alfa), and I’d also expanded the garage.
I’d been casually looking for a new car to fill the niche of “interesting four door” as while I love my C30 and my Spider, neither are convenient if you have 3+ people. Since I’d sold the buggy (which, weirdly COULD fit 4) we end up using the Yukon pretty much any time a group of us go out to dinner or whatever. And, again while I love Bessie (the Yukon) she isn’t exactly ‘interesting”. Side note: If you’ve every pulled up to a valet in a dune buggy, you know exactly why this is important.
Anyway… I needed something interesting, closed roof, with four (or more) doors, a stick shift, a good heater, and preferably AC too. I looked at a couple candidates: Two Honda N600’s, an Alfa Romeo Alfetta and a 164, a couple old Mercedes, and even an old Saab 900, but none of them felt “right”.
In the back of my mind I knew I had such a car, but had no way of like getting it. At some point I had the thought: “You know, I have a vehicle that can tow (the Yukon). If Dad can get the car to his house, I can just come pick it up… Yeah…”
So I make the call. As you could imagine the conversation is much the same. The mechanic wants to get it running and just needs a few weeks. This time, however, we’ve got a deadline. If he doesn’t have it ready by the end of the month, we’re picking it up anyway.
Weeks go by. Still no car.
I plan the trip, request the time off to come pick it up, and reserve the trailer.
Still no car.
I pack my bags and get the garage ready.
Still no car.
I load up the Cow (Yukon) with tools, supplies, and dogs and start heading south.
Still no car.
Around noon I get the call. The car is in the driveway, CD changer still full of j-pop. Years of effort solved in weeks by simply having the thing towed. Why we didn’t do this year ago I’m not sure.
When I get there… the car is pretty rough. As you’d expect, the tires are shot, most of the window seals are pretty perished, the crack in the windshield has spidered alarmingly, the sunroof is stuck, the brakes don’t work, the clutch appeared to be going out, and paint was ruined… I could go on.
On the bright side, the rust seemed minimal, the engine bay looked clean, and the interior had fared better than expected. Through some miracle I was spared a cracked dash too.
The rest of the story is pretty uneventful. We gave the old gent a generous wash and degrease and the next day we pick up the car carrier from UHaul, with the usual amount of dicking around one expects from UHaul, and load up the car.
One day later me, my dad, two pooches, and my first car are on the road back to Oklahoma.