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RMSC News 2012 Issue 5 September-October 2012


From your Club President

Many of my friends that I know from all over the USA whom I have met and a few of our Saab Club members have purchased what might be the last Saab ever built as we now know it. John Elway Saab has sold 28 new units last month. We all want to get a piece of Saab history. It proves we still want Saabs.

Should I buy a car without a factory warranty? Here is what I have experienced. It seems to me since 2007, the car has been highly refined. All the usual problems have seemed to disappear. GM has finally got it right where reliability and predictably have finally come together. I rarely have heard of any big mechanical problem hap- pening and if it does, the parts seem to be there. Talking with John Elway Saab (formerly Mike Shaw Saab) Grant in parts sums it up like this. “Whenever parts are needed for a warranty on the 08’s & 09’s we are working on, Saab Parts North America usually stocks the parts.

Sometimes when parts are out of stock, they sometimes can be crossed over to GM part supply. As far as now, it has not really been an issue.”

2011 cars are sold without factory warranty however aftermarket warranties are available and highly recom- mended. Everyone always doubts the cost of any insur- ance policy however when it is needed, you are glad you have it. The cost of an aftermarket policy ranges from

$2,300.00 to 3,000.00. Is it money well spent? I believe so. Talking to John Elway about how many new 2010 & 2011’s come in, their answer is hardly any. Meaning the car is well built and reliable. If it is needed, you will be glad you have it. The system has not been strongly tested yet as the car is still new. Time will tell.

What happens when your local dealer cannot get a part and you cannot drive your car? Great question! John Elway has a great dealer network to query dealers who participate. 1) they will get it somewhere. Some dealers stock a great amount of parts. 2) check the aftermarket

The October 9th meeting will be 7PM at Mile Hi Body Shop, Inc., 519 Lipan St. Denver. RMSC pur- chased a 1991 Saab 900NT, 3dr Black, 5 speed that is in need of a few mechanical repairs.

Bring work clothes, food will be served.

suppliers. 3) The option is installing used parts. Some- where something can be gotten. 4) Try to repair your part.


Mike Shaw, when Saab was at its prime, placed part or- ders daily. Back in 2008 when parts orders were placed, there was a 98% chance of getting all the parts. Always there was a small chance some are backordered only to

From your Club President


be filled in a short period of time. When Saab was in its bankruptcy, the percentage rate fell to a dismal 57%. You cannot keep a car company going with that low numbers. What is a customer to do when they cannot get parts?

Since then the average percentage to fill an order is now at 79%. That’s better (I believe?)

Friends, do not bail on the older cars. Parts are always go- ing to be available on them. Patients have ran out and now you can buy new aftermarket parts.

DO NOT WRECK YOUR CAR!!!! Period! Almost all mechanical parts are purchased from suppliers except sheet metal. Sheet metal is stamped at the factory and are not supplied from suppliers. The factory is not stamping sheet metal at this time, thus no sheet metal. Insurance companies hate Saabs. A Saab is wrecked and for example you are a claimant, claimants are entitled into a loaner ve- hicle until the car is fixed. We have had one 2008 9-5 waiting for seven weeks waiting for a bumper cover and a turn light. Everything else was completed. If you have a light hit say RF corner and you are a claimant, don’t be surprised that your will total just because the availability of sheet metal. Insurance companies do not want to pro-

ceed with any unforeseeable future. It is cost effective to total the car, pay off the claimant, finalize the claim as to pay on going charges. Older cars are different say from 2005 and older. There are a great amount of good quality used parts available to keep the older cars going. Good news!! Saab Parts North America, the supplier of Saab Parts is working a deal with the factory to open the factory and start creating sheet metal products. As of this writing, nothing has been started yet.

I think I got off the question of “Would you buy a new car without a warranty and the factory is closed down? It is all about the comfort level you have and the trust in the prod- uct. Say what you want about GM but GM has made a reliable, predictable vehicle that has many of miles ahead of it trouble free. At this time I feel a new Saab is a great value however time will tell. I will do my best to keep every Saab on the road and do whatever I can do to keep the parts coming.

Have a great fall driving your Saab. Drive safe!!

Jerry Danner, President (Photo by Charles Stoyer)

Infrared Thermometers

by Charles Stoyer

A friend of mine road with his brother in law to the top of Pike’s Peak this summer. On the return trip down, the driver did not use the transmission to slow the vehicle by downshifting but instead used the brakes. About half way down, they encountered a check station where the rangers measured the brake disk temperature with an infrared thermometer. His brakes were way too hot so they directed him to take a 1-hr break before proceeding the rest of the way down the approximate 9,000 ft climb.

I mentioned this story to another friend and he sug- gested that infrared thermometers are quite useful fro diagnosing potential problems with cars and trucks. He suggested that when you stop after a long drive that you check the tires and brake disks/drums with an infrared thermometer to look for problems. If all tires read the same temperature, then all is likely OK but if one tire is warmer than the rest, it may be low on pressure. Checking this with the infrared ther-


mometer is much faster and easier than using a tire gauge. The brake disks and drums If you have drums should also be checked. If one side is considerably

(Continued on page 14)

Jerry Danner opened the August meeting at the Breckenridge Brewery and introduced 2 new mem- bers, Jay Dowling who has an '08 9-5Aero and.

Keith-Arnold who has an '08 9-3 Turbo X as well as


some vintage Alphas and an old truck. Keith is also looking for a V-4 to add to his fleet.

This month’s meeting agenda is board elections for 3 positions and a recap of SOC12 in Iowa City. Jer- ry also thanked Charles for the newsletter and had a call for articles from members on their projects and items of interest on Saabs.



Bob Buck facilitated the elections for the upcoming 2 year terms, we have 3 positions open from Tom Nelson, Jim Beetham and Treasurer Paul Bottone. Tom declined to run for re-election, Jim and Paul


accepted to run again. New nominees included: Dave Snider, Paul Bottone, John Clary, and Jim Beetham.

Dave, Paul, and John were elected, the new board is now Jerry Danner (President), Paul Bottone (Treasurer), Larry Beetham (Secretary), At-Large members are Bob Buck, Darrell Christianson, Dave Snider, and John Clary

Board members are at large and then assigned to positions by the board, a motion was made to the attendees to make the treasurer and secretary posi- tions appointed by board and not necessarily filled by board members.

This can only be voted on this month and was passed during a meeting of the new board following directly afterwards.

Jerry and Tom gave a recap of the SOC12 in Iowa City in August, the club had 18 members and family that attended and overall we received 14 awards by RMSC members. Most notable, Dave Snider won the Walter Kern Award for innovations in design and improving the breed through ingenuity. We pre-

viously had an RMSC member, Dan Bollschweiler that won this award for his Sonett III dragster.

Tom said it was one of the best conventions he has


been to, particularly due to not having a car of his in competition for once! He also talked about his quest for a new 9-5 manual for his wife, Avis through the recent auctions, he has been following the auctions for months and 71 are going up for auction this com- ing Thursday.

They both showed pictures of SOC12, including 4 new 2011 9-5s as well as the Colorado Barn Find 96s, Jerry’s pics of old 95 & 96s in Nebraska that he has been interested in for years and of the Mt. Evans Drive event to the Meyers observatory.


Paul Bottone showed a Popular Mechanic’s article of Jay Leno’s 2-stroke and mentioned the plans for tour- ing the Clive Cussler museum on Labor Day. The


plans for a weekend trip to the museum in Gateway, Colorado will be moved to next fall and will still in- clude trips to the Colorado Monument and local win- eries.

Respectfully submitted,


Larry Beetham, Secretary - RMSC of Colorado

Who Was Walter Kern?

by Bruce Turk, President, V.S.C.N.A. (pictures by Scott Prentice

Walter Kern was a nuclear physicist trained at MIT. Dur- ing the 1950's he was an amateur sports car racer who had


some success with a Fiat powered Siata and a Porsche, until the cars engines were blown. Walter realized that engine oil starvation on tight turns was responsible for many engine failures, so he was drawn to the Saab two cycle engines.

He decided to design and build his own car, incorporating the Saab power plant. Walter worked with Al Conrod of


Itek Corporation and Jack Soumala of the MIT instruments lab on an IBM computer to design a chassis with neutral steering. Walter told me that he believed his was the first car to have its chassis designed entirely by computer (remember this was around 50 years ago!) The computer he used filled an entire room.

Walter settled on a chassis configuration made of sheet metal with a Saab engine and trans axle. The completed chassis, which he called the Quantum, had a hand built aluminum body. The car was raced at Thompson speed-

way in Connecticut in May of 1960, taking first in class. At a race in the rain at Vineland, NJ, the Quantum won, beating out a Ferrari and a Maserati. In fact, in its first racing season the Quantum took first in class every time it ran.

Another Quantum was built; this time with a gorgeous

fiberglass body that Walter said resembled a 3/4 % scale E

-type Jaguar. The car was shown at the 1962 New York Auto Show, the public absolutely loved it. Saab gave out press reports that said the car would be in production soon, with the anticipatled price of $2,995, FOB New Haven, CT.



The CEO of Saab at the time, Ralph .Millet, supp0l1ed Kern's efforts by handing Walter the "keys" to the Saab warehouse parts bin. Mr. Millet believed in Walter's de- sign and made arrangements to have the car sent to Swe-


den for review. Saab was designing what would become the Sonett and thought that maybe, just maybe, they would use Walters design.

The rest of the story is history. The Swedes picked Wal- ters Quantum apart because they couldn't bear the thought of producing a sports car designed by an American. A purely political decision was made to manufacture what we now know as the Sonett II. This was an error of epic proportions. The Sonett II was not "taken well" by the American press, to put it mildly. We can only speculate what would have happened had they produced the super sexy, convertible Quantum.

Walter was Chief Mechanical Engineer at Teradyne Corp.;


a computer controlled testing systems company. He developed formulas for some of the earliest synthetic oils ever produced. He was the president of The New England Sonett Club (later became the VSCNA) for almost twenty years.

He loved Saab Sonett's. He had a need for speed so his Sonetts always came equipped with a custom installed turbo. When his turbo Sonett got boring he helped develop a fuel-injected turbo! His cars were all about innovation.

When he was 78 years young, he commuted to work (yes he still worked) in his electric Sonett III. His self-designed electric car would travel 60 miles at 50 miles per hour be- tween charges. I had a chance to see the car on a few occa- sions. This was a professionally built car that WORKED. He said that free wheel drive made vintage Saabs the per- fect candidate for an electric conversion. GM could have spent 50 million dollars to design a car that didn't work as well.


He lived in a retirement community the last few years of his life. One day his community was having a hobby show. The residents were displaying their handiwork on the great front lawn. On display were needlepoint, quilts, crafts etc. Then Walter drove in with his screaming yellow 1974 electric Sonett III. He just parked that thing right in the middle of all the other items on display. His grand en- trance gave him instant celebrity status in his new commu- nity!

He was a true gentleman that always had time to explain things to anyone who asked. His work wasn't always es- thetically pleasing but always challenged the senses and improved the breed.

The nice thing about the Walter Kern Award is that it can go to the owner of any year or model Saab. lfyou're an innovative genius, maybe you will be the next to be honored by receiving the prestigious Walter Kern Award.

Air conditioning was working perfectly well with R- 12 so there was no change for 55 years (1940 to 1995). Around 1990, scientists determined R12 re- frigerant was associated with ozone depletion and the loss of a protective ozone shield in the northern hemi- sphere. Chemically R12 interacted and decreased the protective ozone layer allowing increased UV radia- tion damages that alarmed the residents of Canada and Alaska. Manufactures fazed in using R134a and by 1997, and R12 was illegal for new car makers to us. Also its availability for R12 repairs on pre-1997 cars was severely restricted.

Now just 17 years later it’s R134a turn for environ- mental banning because of green-house gas carbon content. Though safe for the Ozone layer, R134a does have a carbon content rating of 1433, a high and harmful number. By comparison HFO-1234yf has a global warming friendly carbon pollution rating of just 4. By the end of this year the switch to HFO- 1234yf as factory fill in new cars will be underway.

This new refrigerant will bring a multitude of expen- sive changes to the A/C service landscape. For in- stance, until manufacturing plants are in full swing during 2014, HFO-1234 will cost 10 TIMES more

than R134a. Also the EPA has not as of this date made provisions for over the counter sales to the pub- lic. Until amended, no home mechanics will have ac- cess to HFO-1234yf. To service any HFO-1234yf system, every shop will need to be HFO-1234yf trained and state licensed and the shop must have the EPA required HFO-12234yf specific and dedicated equipment that will cost somewhere North of


2012 American cars using this new refrigerant is the Cadillac ATS and all 2012 Subaru’s. Dealerships will need to consider service equipment for HFO-1234yf during this year. This may also be the case for colli- sion shops, depending on whether they perform A/C work in-house. Your local independent shop will need to consider HFO-1234yf-ready equipment with- in the next couple of years.

For the most part, systems filled with HFO-1234yf are substantially identical to R-134a systems. Both systems work at very similar pressures, which be- came an attractive trait in helping the industry choose HFO-1234yf over carbon dioxide (CO2), which re- quires higher pressures ( 2000 lbs!). Of course, HFO- 1234yf must have its own fittings and service label,


which is typical for differ- ent refrigerants. One im- portant characteristic of the new refrigerant is that it is “flammable in some settings”. Smoking in shops has been illegal for some time and new A/C equipment will be spark free, yet car accidents where the HFO-12124yf is released quickly with a smashed condenser has me wondering what happens then.

We can trace the ruling about carbon restrictions and CO2 to EPA regula- tion upheld by the Su- preme Court in 2010.

Who's to say that the last 900 new 2011 Saabs im- ported into North America will be the last Saabs ev- er? It could happen that in a few years there will be all-electric vehicles coming from the NEVS factory in Trollhattan, Sweden to the US with a Saab badge. But I can't wait for that possibility, and the 2011 Saabs are just too darned nice to pass up. So this is the story of having a chance to buy, brand new, some of the last Saabs imported to our country. And I was- n't the only one of our RMSC members that bought a car; there are four of us to date, and there were sever- al other club members who seriously considered the opportunity; some are still looking for the right car.

A little background information is in order before I get to the activity of these past few months. In 2009, when GM was in process of shed-

ding Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer and Saab there was a major push in the global Saab community to influ- ence would-be potential buyers and investors that Saab should live on, and that there were indeed many customers out there for all the new Saab models com- ing. I was one of the hundreds, or were there thou-


Saab 9-5 SportCombi for 2012; Unfortunately it

never got to production

sands? of believers that signed an internet pledge to purchase a NEW Saab in 2012 or 2013. I fully ex- pected it was going to be the all new 9-5 Sport Combi that we would buy, and that it would be a 50th Anni- versary present for my wife Avis, to replace her 2003 Aero Wagon that she has loved dearly for almost 10 years. That dream was not to be, of course, but hold that thought for about 3 years of turmoil in the world of Saab leading to early 2012.

After the December 2011 bankruptcy of Saab in Eu- rope, followed shortly by the bankruptcy of SCNA (the Saab North American distributor) in Michigan I started hearing rumblings about 900 brand new Saabs caught in limbo during the process. Then there were photos of dozens of new Saabs in every model, trim, and color imaginable setting forlornly in warehouses and parking lots at ports on both coasts of the US. A


Some of the 900 port-stranded Saabs at a Newark, NJ Warehouse (Photo by

blogger on had access to the develop- ing story about a court battle for ownership of the cars. These 900 cars had been ordered for distribution to US dealers but never paid for by SCNA

so the court awarded the cars to Ally Financial (formerly GMAC). In addition, Ally was awarded ownership of all the SCNA company cars, another 50+ late model used Saabs that were mostly located at SCNA HQ in Royal Oak, MI.

The 900 brand new Saabs at ports in NJ, GA, and CA along with the 50+ SCNA company cars made a list 27 pages long, organized by VIN, model, body style, value, and location. This listing was published by Al- ly Financial in June 2012 along with the announce- ment that the grand plan was to auction the cars indi- vidually in batches, to Saab dealers only, starting in late June. The on-line auctions were to be conducted by Smart Auction, a connection that all remaining Saab dealers already had in place. The plan also was said to allocate 300 of the new Saabs to the individual auction approach, and the remaining 600 cars would

be sold in lots of 100.

But before the first new car auction, Ally offered all the SCNA company cars in one lot. The successful bidder on June 27th was Schmelz Countryside VW Saab in St Paul, MN. These cars arrived in Schmelz inventory in early July and most were quickly sold. The first new Saab auction offered 45 cars on June 28th. At that point I was still going through the 27 page 900 car listing trying to find a 9-3 Sport Combi with 6-spd manual gearbox. There was only one, and it was a very "stripped-down model" without even heated seats. I knew better than to bid on this car for Avis. After all, every Saab we have bought since our new 1972 model 99SSE has had heated seats!!

To place a bid on any of these cars I needed to get locked in with a Saab dealer to bid for me, so I start- ed with Mike Shaw Chevrolet Saab in Denver, as that's where Avis bought her new Aero Wagon in 2003. But the General Manager said emphatically that they would not be participating in the auction. Period. I then hooked up with Julie Gardner of Kelly Cadillac Saab in Lancaster, PA as I had become en- amored with her postings on the internet that detailed her successful bidding on a 9-3X Sport Combi for a client in Washington State. She even agreed to try to influence the Smart Auction folks to add any car I wanted to bid on. But by the time the second auction date was set for July 24th Julie's boss had decided (temporarily) to not participate, as the labor intensive process was not worth the effort for their dealership.

Meanwhile a couple things happened Schmelz

Countryside, who had bought the SCNA company cars, announced they would represent anyone who wanted to buy a car. And I had decided that maybe a better purchase would be the upscale 9-5 model, even without the offering of a Sport Combi. As Steve Goldberger said ... the NG 9 5 4-dr sedan has a "3-

body trunk," and I was assured that with the seats folded flat Avis would be able to get her Moots road bike inside without removing either wheel. And I need to add that, from the time I first saw and drove the NG 9-5 sedan at the introduction of the 2010 models, I was struck by its beautiful lines.

So I decided to search for a 9-5 Turbo4 sedan with 6- spd manual with Greg O'Neill at Schmelz being my

representative for the bidding. Greg got to work im- mediately for the July 24th auction and provided a choice of 3 that fit the criteria 2 black ones in the

Newark, NJ port, and a Diamond Silver beauty in the port of Brunswick, GA near Savannah. All were equipped the same, only difference was color and lo- cation. This was a no brainier for me as we cannot own another black or dark blue car with our very dusty gravel/dirt roads where we live. My investiga- tion of the 4 various trim levels on the 9-5 had showed me that for sheer driving fun the Tur-

bo4 with 6-spd manual was definitely the way to go, and it weighs almost 700 lbs less than the XWD V6 models. I didn’t feel a need for all-wheel-drive as we have always felt that tires make the real difference. And finally, for a car that comes with no warranty, I wanted minimum bells and whistles; so much less to go wrong during the life of the car.

Greg reported the minimum bid to be $17,700 which was computed as 45% of the MSRP at $39,350. Ally Financial had previous announced that the starting bid would be 50% of MSRP for all the cars, but clos- er examination revealed that 9-5 models with manual trans were 45%, while 9-3X and 9-4X were 60% and 55% respectively.

Apparently the Ally Financial folks expected demand for the 6-spd manual versions of the 9-5 would be minimal so priced it lower. They were certainly right on our Diamond Silver 9-5, as no other dealers placed


You can spot a Hirsch-Tuned Saab by the Bull Elk Logo

bids. Greg calls my auction purchase the "deal of the century." My car had 12 miles on it when picked up in GA for transport to Schmelz, and the detailed in- spection report showed only one defect it was

missing one of the remotes. Once the car arrived in St Paul, the dealership performed the new car PDI, re- placed the missing remote, and installed the Hirsch

40 HP performance upgrade. I then had the car shipped to Denver, after a very good experience be- ing represented by Greg O'Neill throughout the entire process at Schmelz Countryside.

Here's where the story gets a bid muddled..............

recall that this was to be a 50-year anniversary pre- sent for my wife? I had successfully kept it a secret for all these weeks until the car was loaded on the transporter headed to Denver not really know-

Trucker unloading the new 9-5 ….

ing what reaction I'd get from Avis. I knew she loved her Aero Wagon, easy transport for her road bike, the 5-spd manual shifter, the heated seats. She just flat


loves that car. Then a snafu in the mailbox;

State Farm sent a declaration page mailing on the new 2011 9-5 with her name on the envelope!! Of course before I could do anything she had opened the mail and, suffice to say, things went downhill from there ..........

So the car came (sort of) as planned with the automo- bile transporter unloading it in the middle of Jewell, east of Kipling, in Lakewood, CO. It amazed me the


First stop at Jim's ABCarwash in Golden, with our

right in the middle of Jewell & Kipling

truck driver didn't even need a parking lot just unloaded the new 9-5 with 2 lanes of traffic whizzing by on either side.


First stop for the new 9-5 was at Jim Beetham’s A Better Carwash in Golden to get rid of the transporta- tion grime, with our grandson Ethan enjoying the first ride in the new car.

Next stop was our home in Evergreen, to show Avis what could become her new set of wheels. Her loyal- ty to the ’03 Aero Wagon is alive and well as she ap- peared to be, shall we say, “not very impressed.” She also felt more than just a little bit left out of the pro-

cess. I had not realized how much she had valued and enjoyed being at the center of all the decisions associ- ated with the purchase of her new Aero Sport Wagon almost 10 years ago.


19x8 Saab Accessory Wheels & Tires Installed

I quickly mounted a set of new 19" Saab black and silver 10-spoke blade accessory wheels with perfor- mance tires, which Avis did notice as a real improve- ment in looks. She had seen the new 19” wheels at SOC12 in Iowa City when I bought them from the parts tent. A suspicious purchase she thought, as she wasn’t really sure what car they would be used for.

A month later, Avis is still not too sure of this new 9- 5 she calls it OUR car, or YOUR car, definitely

not HER car. I expect she will eventually warm up to it, but if her 2003 Aero keeps running well, now with


First drive with Avis in the new 9-5; aspen gold

only 155,000 miles it may be a lot of years. In

the meantime I will certainly enjoy driving the new 9

-5 with the Hirsch upgrade to 260 HP, and the

wonderful 6-speed manual shifter as one of the

last Saabs ever produced, and hopefully one of the best!

Addendum ..... Three More New Saabs When

I started getting serious about bidding on this new Saab 9-5 I also let many of our fellow RMSC mem-


Val & Jim's 9-3 Sport Combi parked next to Avis & Tom's 9-5 at Clive

bers know what was coming sharing the listing

of the auction cars, the auction dates, and my rela- tionships and experience with various dealers. It turns out that Jim Beetham liked the idea of also owning one of these last Saabs so he hooked up with the Gar- ry Small dealership in Portland, OR and successfully bid on a 2011 9-3 Sport Combi located in Port Hue- mene, CA in the August 16th auction.

Jim Beetham’s Purchase Experience - New 2011 Saab 9-3 Sport Combi:

Well, as Tom mentioned, I also ended up with a new 9-3 through the Ally auction process. There were 4 identical Sport Combi versions with all of the cool options that I wanted. Garry Small Saab in Portland, Oregon not only successfully bid on one of the 4 on my behalf but ended up buying 2 others of the 4 for their own inventory along with another 9-3 for anoth-


Three identical 2011 Saab 9-3 Sport Combi's in Portland, OR - Which one

did Jim drive home?

er customer of theirs. The remaining identical Silver Sport Combi was bid up higher by the buyer from Schmelz and so it went to St. Paul. Anybody who can figure out which of the 3 cars in the photo is the one that I flew to Portland to drive home, will get a free beer from me at the next meeting.

At any rate, the process of buying the car sight un- seen through a dealer I had never visited worked out perfectly well. The worries I had about damage to the car after sitting at the port for so long were un- founded. It was flawlessly perfect. I have not been able to find a single thing about the car that is in need of attention in any way, and it has been said that I can pick the fly crap out of pepper. If things continue this well I may never miss not having the warranty. The fact that Garry Small bought the 3 identical cars not only helped prevent bidding from climbing on a sin-


Jim Beetham's "new" 2008 9-3 Aero NOT an

auction car

gle car but it allowed me the advantage of being able to physically inspect the cars and pick between the triplets just like picking out a new puppy from a lit- ter. I then hopped in and drove it 1,450 miles home in 2 days.

I have since had it tuned by fellow club member John Williams of JZW Tuning in Longmont, CO for im- proved performance; the difference is like night and day.

Too much of a good thing is just right, so shortly af- ter returning home with the new 9-3 I came across a nice example of a 2008 9-3 Aero, V6, and ended up with it also, as shown in the second photo. About 24 hours after taking home the Aero it was also in Long- mont for tuning. John was able to do even more for the V6 engine management system and so far it is at about 320 horsepower. More fun things coming in the future will put it at about 400 hp!

While the two 9-3s are impressive in many ways such as all of the electronic technology and an incredible suspension system, I still absolutely love my 2 older 900s and the 2 sweet 9000s. Like I said, too much of a good thing is just right! Jim Beetham

Two More New Auction Cars from John Elway Chevrolet Saab

Two of our RMSC board members also decided to join the action after the individual car auctions were completed. Both Paul Bottone and Darrell Christian- sen bought 2011 9-3 XWD Sport Sedans from John Elway Chevrolet Saab in Denver. Their cars were both listed among the 900 new “port” Saabs on the Ally Financial listing, but ended up in the Elway in- ventory in mid September. The route from the port in Newark to Denver is not yet clear. Here are Paul’s and Darrell’s respective stories.......

Paul Bottone’s Purchase Experience - New 2011 Saab 9-3 XWD Sport Sedan:

On Sept 14th we had our 1st RMSC board meeting with the new Directors. I sat next to Darrell Christi- ansen and we talked about seeing Jim's and Tom’s new Saabs at the Clive Cussler Museum tour. We had heard that Rich Giorgi at Elway’s Saab dealership had received 28 new XWD 9-3's. I told Darrell we should go there and see what they had after our meet-

ing. I had attended the Haldex lecture by their engi- neer at a SOC09 tech session and was more than im- pressed by their cross drive technology. On race courses it out performs, by several seconds, front or rear drive only cars of the same make. On the 2011 Saabs it is the 4th generation system. There are 20 sensors that are monitored 20 times a second and cor- rect for pitch and yaw, plus in adverse condition

like snow/rain/gravel/mud, it sends power only to the wheels that have traction.

I couldn't see buying a new Saab without this latest technology. On a test drive Rich told me to take a right turn with out slowing down. It was like driving my MINI. I was sold. They had silver, black, mid- night blue and other colors. Some were still being cleaned up; boy were they grimy. Rich had new bat- teries put in just to be safe after the year in the ports. I spotted a Java colored one, dark coffee brown with copper flakes, and knew that was my car.


Paul Bottone's New 2011 Saab 9-3 XWD; color is Java

Darrell was saying he should have not come with me since he too got the bug to buy one. (See his story below.)

I did purchase a 4year/40k mile warranty since it was available on the 9-3. This will be my last new car and as my wife said "It's a new Saab of course." That is all she said until we went to see the aspens on the Squaw Pass road where I played/learned with the 6- speed auto/manual shift transmission on all the

curves; then I got "nice car” out of her Paul


Darrell Christiansen’s Purchase Experience - New 2011 Saab 9-3 XWD Sport Sedan:

First of all, I have to say that it is all Paul’s fault that I have a new 2011 9-3 XWD. It started out after the Friday Saab Club board meeting at the Breckenridge Brewery, about 3 weeks ago. Paul says, l am going over to Elway’s to look at the Saabs that they got in from the Ally auction. I first said that I really should- n’t, but finally succumbed and said, sure why not.

The short story going forward is that Paul buys one on the spot and I wandered on home for the weekend. I knew better than to commit to a car before checking in at the home front. Saturday was the big Saab event at John Elway Chevrolet Saab, which I wasn’t able to attend, but by Sunday I had my wife interested enough to go down and look at what was left on the lot. We get there and can’t find a single one sitting on the lot, our conclusion being that they sold them all on Saturday. Rich Giorgi, the Elway Saab sales guy, called me on Monday and indicated he had more coming in on the weekend, and I ended up holding the last Nocturne Blue one that was not presold. I picked up the car the following Tuesday.

The process was painless as I had no trade, and the price was the price. The only misgiving that I had was the car had no window sticker, so I had to rely on the information given to me by the salesman. Appar- ently all of the stickers were taken off at the port pri- or to the auction. I have since found out that what he told me was the MSRP, was possibly about $1000 too high, but still feel like I got a killer deal on a new/ used car.

My impressions of the car to date have been very good. The key is still in the center console, but I do find myself groping around for the window switches in the same area. The controls for ventilation, and the radio, are all analog knobs, which I really like. The car drives and handles wonderfully, and has plenty of power. The 6 speed auto is smooth and functions smoothly. In full auto mode, the car is a bit slow off the line, much like the older manual Saabs, but once you get the squirrels all wound up it really gets up and goes. In the manual mode, you literally have to

hold on to the steering wheel to keep from being thrown into the back seat. The only negative to date is the slight shaking that appears when braking hard at highway speeds. I had the car into Mile Hi, and was told that the rotors have some rusts spots where the east coast moisture resided between the pads and rotors while the car sat in the New Jersey port for over a year. The shaking seems to be getting better the more I drive it and the rotors wear in. ............

Darrell Christiansen.


Darrell Christiansen's New 2011 Saab 9-3 XWD in Nocturne Blue

Infrared Thermometers

by Charles Stoyer (continued)

(Continued from page 2)

warmer than the other, this might indicate a sticking caliper which is causing the brake pads to stay in firm contact with the rotors.


Infrared thermometers measure the temperature of an object remotely by measuring the infrared radiation of the remote object. The further you are from the object, the larger the area you are sensing. Some have


lasers to indicate the center of the area being meas- ured. They are not expensive and readily available. I only personally know of Harbor Freight Tools, which sells several different kinds with several different ranges, but there are likely other sources. On sale (which they often are) they can be had for as little as

$10 or as much as $30 for the higher temperature

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