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Nyphur

SAAB 9-5 Aero HOT Estate - Faffing about 9/6

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Sometimes you’re in an automotive rut. Muddling through life in a vehicle which serves a purpose, but is little more than an appliance, and thus you’re missing that joie de vivre. This is the situation I have found myself in over the last year or so. Time for a change.

Having recently rage quit my job and found nothing new in the intervening 4 months of my notice period (largely through not bothering my arse to look….) something small and economical would be the smart move. I bought something enormous and thirsty.

Plans were hatched and essentials packed. Sleeping bag, blow up pillow, an array of cables and technology, passport and boarding pass, cash money, and 5 Smiths albums.

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Unfortunately my phone appears to have eaten quite a few of the pics I took on this collection, so they’ll either be missing or replaced by some royalty free* stock imagery for your viewing pleasure.

Phase one of the collection was a run westbound down the M4 from my mate in his MK5 Fiesta. It doesn't like starting when hot and pops out of 5th gear if you try and accelerate too vigorously, so was fitting transport. Soon thereafter I arrived at Bristol Airport.

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Absolutely choking for a piss I made my way to the gents and observed that there was a machine inside selling MENDURANCE supplement. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve flown, and never once have I thought “I wish I had an erection for the duration of this flight”, but it takes all sorts I suppose.

Reasoning that I’d not be driving for a good few hours yet I got a pint while I was waiting for my gate to open. At a mere £6.59 for a flat Heineken I was certainly pleased* that I did.

Soon it was time to board, and my whip was ready and waiting.

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We embarked, and went up.

We came down, and disembarked.

And I had arrived. But where? I was in the home of John Smeaton, who kicked a burning terrorist in the pods so hard he allegedly broke his foot - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Smeaton_(born_1976) - that’s right, I was in Glasgow.

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Like a regular Southern fancy lad, I procured the services of an UBER to take me forward on my journey.

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The banter was adequate at best, but I still gave him 5 stars as he managed to circumnavigate some sort of protest that was going on against Trump being 400 miles away in London…

I was deposited at Glasgow Queen street where I boarded a train.

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A short while later I arrived at my destination.

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Wandering outside I managed to track down Mr Barry Cade who had very kindly come to meet me at the station and whisk me back to his place to complete paperwork through some stunning Scottish countryside. Chat was had, paperwork and cash were exchanged, and the keys to the car were now mine. I set off to the local petrol station to fill up and get the critical collection shot. Unfortunately my camera has eaten that photo, so have a pic of the new rig I took this morning parked behind a Chrysler Avenger with a taped up roof and a wobbed up ….. Everything.

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So yes its a SAAB 9-5 Aero Estate, barely run in at just over 180k.

Realising that the fuel at this local filling station was 6p dearer than the Tesco Mr Cade had advised me to fill up at earlier, I did a £10 splash and dash locally to get me back to Tesco, then brimmed the tank with the cheaper stuff, squeezing in 67 liters in total. All that remained now was a quick run back….

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By the time I’d got some munch and drinks from the shop and finished fannying about with satnav etc it was about 9PM before I reset all the computer’s data, pointed the car South, and got underway.

Initial impressions were the car felt cumbersome, and a little awkward to drive - especially on the local roads with roundabout after roundabout. Once the roads opened up however, and I made my way onto the motorway, things started to come together nicely. Despite the hammering rain and plenty of standing water, the car which had previously felt ungainly now felt absolutely planted and ideally suited to the task at hand.

I loaded up the CD player, cranked up the (excellent) sound system and settled in for the long drive back. Aside from getting stuck behind a Convoi Exceptionnel for about 10 miles on the M80 the roads were pretty clear, and England was achieved at around 10:45. Before I knew it I’d been driving 3 hours, so stopped for the first time at Lancaster services just after midnight.

A check of the stats showed I’d covered 201 miles at an average of 34.9MPG, with a distance to empty of 402 miles. I was pretty pleased with that. Here is a blurry pic of the car in the gloom of the services.

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A coffee and chocolate brownie was purchased along with an energy drink in case of emergencies, and after a quick check under the bonnet I was back under way. I’d bought the sleeping bag and pillow incase I’d felt the need for an impromptu snooze in the heated rear seat, but thankfully I was going OK.

Not being familiar with the road network, and with constant warnings from Waze that there were speed cameras or THE FUZZ up ahead (more often than not there was Police sat parked up) I set the cruise to 80 and plodded on.

This leg of the journey was pretty surreal, and had me questioning my sanity at points …. though I was sure the speedo was pretty accurate and Waze was showing almost the same speed, I appeared to be passing other traffic (inc cars, not just lorrys) at a good +20mph. I’m not sure what it was, but everyone seemed to be dawdling along. Infact once I had made it into England, I was only passed by a single other vehicle the whole way home - a dark Jag which thundered past at well over 100mph, so presumably undercover Police. Hopefully I didn't get it horrendously wrong and blast through countless cameras at 90.

With the car munching miles for fun, I was considering just getting on and aiming for home without another stop - but was getting desperate for a piss and starting to yawn with greater regularity, so made my second and final stop at around 2:45AM at Warwick services.

The overall journey stats were now 357 miles covered at an average of 36.2MPG, with 265 miles until empty. I made it another quick stop, snapped another shit pic, and lumbered on for the final leg.

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The final leg was completely uneventful, and I finally arrived home an hour later at 3:45. Final scores were 424 miles clocked up at 35.8MPG, with the trip computer still showing 141 miles to run until empty. I was dead pleased to have made it back on a single tank with plenty of room to spare.

Clambering out of the car I was mentally tired but feeling physically very well. This is such a comfortable car and a fantastic long distance cruiser. I was thinking back through my past cars for anything else that would have been as pleasant a way to complete the journey - only my Rover 75 CD would have gotten a look in, but it would have been a distant second to the 9-5.

After a good lie in I went out for a fanny about on the local roads. The car no longer feels awkward or cumbersome, and is a true pleasure to pilot about.

Many thanks to Barry Cade again for picking me up from the station, and for the car being exactly as described - no hidden nasties at all. I’ll get cracking on giving the car a decent clean over at the weekend hopefully if the weather is ok (unlikely) - then start making a list of niggles to work through - can’t wait.

Oh, incidentally, since agreeing to buy this beauty I have now found a job. A job with a company car. FFS.

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Well bought. I had my eye on this and it was a distinct contender, until it sold and I ended up buying the Audi.

These Saab's really are stupidly economical mind, my old 9-5 would do a good 620 miles to a tank on a decent run.

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How much Bhp can the autobox's in these handle? Seen a few with 300+ Bhp in auto geyser.....!? Is it just an auto out of a vectra? 

 

I am aware there is a low pressure turbo version and high pressure turbo version (hot).... and obviously I know 300bhp has been mapped....

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2 hours ago, bramz7 said:

Top buy!

 

And holy shit the Newbury Avenger is still about?! 

Took me longer than I'd care to admit to realise that the rest of autoshite didn't secretly refer to me as "The Newbury Avenger" :(

 

EDIT - 2 more pics of it I got while I was there. Peering inside it looked like it was pretty much being used as a daily. I can let you know where I saw it if you want to come down on a recce mission

 

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Spent the afternoon ripping out the interior and giving it a vacuum/general tart up - spent maybe 4 hours on it Was a must as Barry Cade's pooch had deposited his hair in the interior, and I'm allergic to dog hair!
Also treated all the seats with leather cleaner/feed. Interior is a much nicer place for me now that I don't get itchy ten minutes after getting in :D Was dead pleased with the results.

No "after pics" as it was getting dark, but a few of the empty cabin..... Big ups also to @Jim Bell who most generously posted me a Haynes for the car - came in handy already with how to get the rear seats out - many thanks.

Depending on the weather, I'll make a start on the outside tomorrow.

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On 6/5/2019 at 11:15 PM, Nyphur said:

Took me longer than I'd care to admit to realise that the rest of autoshite didn't secretly refer to me as "The Newbury Avenger" :(

 

EDIT - 2 more pics of it I got while I was there. Peering inside it looked like it was pretty much being used as a daily. I can let you know where I saw it if you want to come down on a recce mission

 

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Father Shepherd had a 1977 Avenger in the early 1980s, albeit painted white as opposed to metallic brown, although it did have a black vinyl roof. He replaced it with a 1981 miniMetro in 1983 after reversing it at speed into a metal bollard in a car park. The fool.

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Great writeup. I too done an overnight collection of an Aero but almost exactly in reverse. Met Sierra Mike Hotel of this parish at Gatwick Airport and drove home through the night to Cumbernauld. 

I've saw your car in the metal at Scotoshite. Its a lovely thing. 

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1 hour ago, davehedgehog31 said:

Great writeup. I too done an overnight collection of an Aero but almost exactly in reverse. Met Sierra Mike Hotel of this parish at Gatwick Airport and drove home through the night to Cumbernauld. 

I've saw your car in the metal at Scotoshite. Its a lovely thing. 

Ah-hah, and I too have seen your car at the Sussex shiters meet..... Infact I nearly bought it before SMH did - I'd seen it advertised and had planned to call andgo and see it at the weekend, but I think SMH beat me to it. Does it still wear its moose decals on the side?

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45 minutes ago, Jim Bell said:

Have you done any 0-60 runs in it yet? Be a shame not to while all the heavy seats are out. 

Ah I did not, and the interior is back in place now.


Its an odd car. I'm lead to believe its 250bph / 350nm torque, so should be fairly quick (being mindful of its weight), but it really doesn't feel  fast to me. That said, often I pull away from traffic lights at a fairly normal speed, check my mirrors, and notice I'm now a LONG way ahead of whatever was sat next to me. Likewise I booted it coming onto the A34 on the way home and was doing a lot of MPH rather sooner than I had expected. So it must be fast, but is deceptively so. I think my perception of speed has been warped a bit by having a bike.

Still, for £90 Noobtune will take it to 275bhp / 420nm - so there's always that......

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Weather was forecast to be shite today, so I didn't bother starting to clean the outside of the car. Did some faffing instead.
Cleaned up the headlights a bit with some autosol and elbow grease - didn't bother with a kit/drill attachment. Think they came up OK - probably won't bother taking them any further. Some before/after pics....

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Also investigated why both door mirrors refused to move when the left direction button was used. Removed the switch (not seen below) and blasted it out with contact cleaner and it now works again.

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Finally I considered doing something with the rust on the drivers door bottom, but lost interest. Its pretty scabby/soft. I was thinking I could sand back all the rust, treat it, fill it, then spray it up, but it seems like its a bit far gone for that. Might stop it getting worse at least..... I don't know really.

What do we all think? Alternatives are source a better door, or pay someone to weld it up and then rattle can it. Thoughts?

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Ha just seen your post at the top. Pretty much an identical trip I took to pick up the forum bike XJ6 Jag (MFV)! Except I took the cheaper option of the bus from the airport to Glasgow centre after I bulked at the cost of an Uber to do the same. Being a skin flint is only the right thing to do when you arrive in Scotland...

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1 hour ago, SiC said:

Ha just seen your post at the top. Pretty much an identical trip I took to pick up the forum bike XJ6 Jag (MFV)! Except I took the cheaper option of the bus from the airport to Glasgow centre after I bulked at the cost of an Uber to do the same. Being a skin flint is only the right thing to do when you arrive in Scotland...

I think it was £15 for the Uber then £10 for the train - at a total of around 1hr 15, vs £14 for buses/trains and just over 2 hours. My hour was worth more than £11 to me :D 

 

Forgot to add. I went out for a BLAT on the way home on my favourite road (the B4494 between Newbury/Wantage for locals) and can confirm the car is actually quite brisk - as the Audi S3 I was terrorising can attest to :)

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Only just read this. Great write up! I didn't get on with my 9-5 but I think I'm a bit odd as I found the seats gave me terrible backache, when most find the opposite is true. I did appreciate it's ability to consume the miles though.

I look forward to hearing how you get on with yours. At least it has a more interesting engine, as mine was the 1.9 diesel and pretty bland.

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