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Saabs: Life savers or pieces of junk?

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The future is murky for Saab, the quirky, well-engineered Swedish brand that's been producing cars since 1949.

General Motors is currently mulling a bid from Spyker Cars, a Dutch luxury carmaker, but the talks between the two companies collapsed at least once previously and GM's deadline to sell or close the brand is inching closer.

This news is devastating for many owners and enthusiasts, although other reactions could more aptly be described as "good riddance."

Below is a selection of the responses received when we asked our readers to submit their Saab stories to us.

'That's why we got you a Saab'
Growing up I always wanted a Saab, and when I finally got one it was perfect. It was a steel blue, '99 Saab 93. I was job searching when I got the call for an interview at a doctor's office three miles from my house. I got all dressed up and jumped in the Saab. I made it through the first traffic light and a lady creamed me on my driver's side. She sent me 180 degrees, smashing into a big pickup on the passenger's side.

The moment I saw her shooting through the traffic into my lane, I started crying. I didn't have a scratch or a bruise from the entire incident, but I knew my Saab was done for.

When my dad reached me on the phone he asked me if I was OK. I said I was, but that the car was totaled. He said, "That's why we got you a Saab."
— Rachel Peterson

We have had the fortune of owning a total of six Saabs throughout the year. The last one is sitting in our garage in a sad condition after having saved our son's life from an accident. But my wife and I see it as a blessing and a reminder of why we bought her for our son in the first place.
— Cris Silverberg, Castro Valley, Calif.

I loved my Saab, though I owned it for only 13 days. I was T-boned by a SUV. The police found me trapped in the car and were stunned I was still alive, with minor injuries only. The police and insurance adjuster kept telling me that in a lesser car I would have died. Although my Saab Turbo was totaled, with the frame destroyed, it did its job and protected me. Talk about a well made vehicle!
— Robin Martin, Tulare, Calif.

Love at first sight
We purchased our first Saab 900 in Nashville the year our first son was born in 1986, and it was love at first sight for both!

My husband drove this car until well after it lost the ability to go into "reverse," which means parking required planning. He would park on a hill or push it out of a parking space before jumping in and driving away. With over 225,000 miles on it, it was sold for $100 and towed away for spare parts in 1998.
— Anonymous

The most perplexing, and maddening, aspect of the possible closure is GM's odd reluctance to sell Saab. In spite of the fact that two viable offers are on the table, GM drags its feet. The past week has been reminiscent of that Christmas scene in Michael Moore's film "Roger and Me," where GM employees are celebrating while laid-off workers are being evicted.

In the meantime, thousands of Saab enthusiasts have signed a pledge to never again purchase a GM product if Saab is closed. Bloggers around the world are keeping tabs on the offers from Spyker and Merbanco to purchase Saab. GM needs to understand how badly its reputation will be tarnished if it closes an iconic Swedish brand and severely damages the economy of that country. All of this damage is unnecessary.
— Don Chatfield, Oro Valley, Ariz.

My favorite story was when we moved to the Czech Republic and I took my black Saab 9-3 with me. Apparently the only way we could get it across via Bremerhaven in Germany without paying huge tariffs was to say it suffered considerable water damage! It arrived safely and endured travels throughout many European countries and the cobblestone streets of Prague.

When it was time to come home to U.S. we were able to drive the Saab right into our container with all of our household goods. And it ran very well for several years after spending 3.5 years in the Czech Republic.
— Anonymous

'Something almost always broken'
Owning Saab is like having a high-maintenance lover — you keep pouring money into the relationship because you love the object of your affection so much, even when you know how unhealthy (financially) it is. Did you know that SAAB actually stands for "Something Almost Always Broken!"

But alas, having upgraded from a '74 99 LE, to an '80 GLi, to an '84 Turbo (red!), and finally a 2000 9-3, my Saab days are over. My 18-year old now drives my 9-3, and I feel confident that he is in one of the safest cars in the world.

Nothing drives like a Saab, and nothing will make you cuss at a car more than a Saab with a huge repair bill!
— Jon Henry, Maine.

I got my Saab when I walked into the showroom in 1986 and saw this cherry red car with gold Shelby tires. I exclaimed "Wow!" and my dad bought it for me on the spot. What a terrible mistake that was. It was the worst car I have EVER owned. I got it brand new and I spent thousands of dollars on repairs, months with it in the shop because the parts couldn't be obtained for it. I found out why it was called a Saab, because you sobbed from repair shop to repair shop crying over each new expense! Bye, bye Saab. Good riddance.
— Anonymous

My Dad owned a 900S, and from the get-go it was a horrendous piece of junk. It lasted about seven years when we could no longer keep it running or get it inspected because of the extensive frame rust. I was surprised that this denizen of the snow and ice of Sweden rusted through in so many places in Erie, Pa. What a rust bucket. Worst investment he ever made, but for some bizarre reason he loved the thing. I had to pick him up every time it broke down, so I hated it.