Well, I've had better days...
The intention was to drive up to that there London, have lunch with one set of parentals and visit my sister in hospital, with an appropriately amusing* package of chocolate/magazines/puzzles to stave off the boredom and keep her roughly this side of sane.
Any car can feel good on a nice day, but when you're getting used to a new-to-you car you get a really good impression of it when you're on a mercy dash, worrying about someone, and it's shitting down with rain. The M23/M25 run could never be described as fun but the Saab felt strong and confident, even through well-known patches of standing water that unsettle even the brand-new Merc. One of the things I always do with a "new" car is new wipers and I'm really pleased that I did that last weekend.
I'm still learning how the car behaves though, and today I learned that it's entirely possible to spin the front wheels at 50mph in the wet.
I'm still undecided about the Bilstein shocks. I've always preferred comfy cars, but I've learned to accept that there simply aren't any more comfy cars since Citroen gave up on their unique path to the zen of ride quality. The 9-5 rides about how the modern Merc does on its first sport setting: the ride is firm, but not crashy. You feel the bumps but you don't get an aftershock bounce. And then, it isn't a wafty Citroen... it's a stupidly fast car and it needs the handling to cope.
My Dad really enjoyed crawling all over it and I think this is the first time one of my three-figure cars has actually impressed him. When he saw it was an auto though, his first question was: How do you like the flappy paddles? Mine doesn't have them, they came on the following year, and I think I really disappointed him by saying that I've never seen the point in the things. I've driven a number of cars that have them and I've always tried them out, realised it's a stupid idea, and never touched them again. Dad, however, claims to drive his Skoda Superb DSG in manual mode most of the time.
I reckon he's totally unique and most people never touch the paddles. Thoughts from the floor please!
I didn't get to see my sister because she got moved to a different unit in west London this afternoon where she will hopefully get a better standard of treatment. I don't actually believe in the power of thoughtsandprayers but, well, I'm sending my good thoughts her way...
Home down the scenic route, which includes a stretch of road heading through Southborough and into Tunbridge Wells which appears to have been hit with Paveways. This made me wonder about the Bilsteins, and indeed about the whole concept of running a sporting car in the UK in 2018. But then the road surface totally changed, and the last stretch was one of the most beautiful bits of driving I've ever done. A really familiar bit of road, but drying out, still light, no traffic whatsoever ahead, and more power than I would dream of using.... Lots of fun.
Home, and I've spent the evening googling the minor issues that the Saab has. The digital displays are all fucked but they all seem to be fixable, and I think I've sourced a dog guard.
The previous owner seems to have been a competent mechanic - which I'm not - and I think he's sorted all the mechanical stuff, leaving me with a car that's sound underneath but has lots of niggles that I am (hopefully) capable of dealing with.