Briefest car ownership.

What has been your shortest period of car ownership?
I was studying the automotive market for Pony Cars yesterday, and I was reminded of a Mustang that I had briefly.  I don’t remember the year and I don’t think I have a photo of it… but it was blue and had a V-6.  It had a 5 speed manual, nice stereo, and every upgrade known to man to get more power out of the V-6… which was rated from the factory at only 210 horse powers and I don’t think it had any torques.  Exhaust and cold air intakes, this V-6 was actually pretty energetic.  It might have had upwards of 250 horses.  I had it a day.  I bought the car in Provo and then thought better of it as I brought it back the next day and traded it for a Subaru Legacy.  And then a couple days after that, I drove it to Virginia and back, through some serious snow storms.  I don’t think the Mustang would have allowed me to survive that. Thinking that was my shortest ownership of a car, I then remembered my Saab 900 Turbo.  It was black with some rust and cheap wheels and the interior smelled like bubblegum.  Back when I was working in IT in Salt Lake City, I found a guy selling a very nice SAAB 900 Turbo.  It was low miles and then engine was great.  Asking 1500 for it, it was probably worth that, but he was desperate to sell it.  I only had 900 dollars, and said, I have this much cash so take it or leave it.

He took it.  He filled out the Title and handed it to me, along with the keys, and I was off.  I drove it around Salt Lake and started to really like it.  I found myself flying south to Lehi, and then west… heading out to the West Desert.  Where I wrecked it.

I was doing power slides and larking about like a jackass.  It was in the middle of a pendulum turn, the car sliding sideways at full opposite lock when something happened.  I’m not sure exactly what it was.  Maybe a tire lost it’s bead and the wheel hit the ground.  Maybe something broke. Or maybe Heaven’s Office Manager said that I can’t have a Saab.  Which is fine, and I’ll explain why later.  So anyways, there I was, sliding sideways around a curve… when all the sudden the horizon flipped over.  And continued to flip about 9 more times.  Maybe 11 more times.  I don’t know.  I wasn’t exactly counting.  The Saab came to rest on it’s wheels.  Or where the wheels should have been.  One of them was just gone.  I think it ended up in Nevada.  The others were hiding up in the wheel wells.  Out of the top of the hood protruded what I think used to be the struts.  I was very lucky and pretty much unhurt.  I was mostly scared of telling my bride that I just blew 900 bucks cash on a roller coaster ride.

I was contemplating how my wife was going to kill me, when another motorist who had a cell phone stopped and asked what happened.  I said, “I don’t know, but I think I broke it.”

About an hour later the tow truck arrived.  It was of course a flat bed wrecker driven by a man who was almost brought to tears by the site of the ruined Saab.  He was a Saab fanatic and was rebuilding one of his own.  One with a blown engine.  As the story goes and luck would have it, by the time we reached I-15, he agreed to pay me 900 bucks for the remains of the car so he could take out the engine and use it in his car… and maybe any other useful bits that I didn’t destroy.  Like the shift knob.  He was happy. I was happy I wasn’t killed or going to get killed.

I’ve decided after that instance, that I hate Saabs.  Total time of ownership… just over 2 hours.

14 thoughts on “Briefest car ownership.”

  1. George,

    Cool story, bro. Great Saab story. However–I don’t understand the end.

    You bought an interesting car for cheap. You had fun driving it. Then, you pushed a car with a largely unknown mechanical and tire history to the ragged edge and it bit you. Despite rolling 10+ times, you walked away without a scratch. Then…you recovered every dollar you paid for the car…

    You should freaking LOVE Saabs…

    1. Saabs are build like tanks… More so than Volvos. And I was scratched up pretty good, banged up pretty good… but yeah, otherwise uninjured.
      But no.
      Hate the things.

  2. I think George maybe being less than truthful. I think the reality is that after that experience, Saabs decided they hated him. 😉

  3. Shortest car ownership story: If Jeep Wranglers count as cars, then 22 months.

    It was my first car, I’d bought it when I transferred from the USS Midway (CV-41) back to the States.

    When I was in Lemoore, I rolled it. End over end, at least twice. Lacerated cheek, dislocated thumb, assorted scrapes and bruises.

    My second car? Jeep Wrangler.

  4. Might the car’s Country of origin, and it’s socialistic nature, factor into your hatred? They do make excellent cars; and even better hockey players. I say give Saab another go sometime in the future. Oh yeah, they also produced Abba. I’ll let you make the call on that.

    1. I have no problem with the country. Socialism there seems to work. They are doing it right. I just don’t like their cars.

  5. Many years ago I test drove a Saab 900. During the drive, I turned it off, but it wouldn’t restart or even turn over. The dealer’s service truck and the saleswoman came out and got it started. She already knew it had a problem, but of course had said nothing earlier. I turned my nose up at the entire dealership, despite her efforts to get me interested in some others cars.

    BTW Saab shut down last year.

  6. Shortest ownership was my first car 65 Pontiac Catalina. Was parked in front of house when a guy who was drunk and high slamed into it in a 69 Charger, totaling it. Found a 67 GTO to drop the motor into but my Father said NO! He was right, a 17yoa in a GTO with a 4 speed was speeding tickets waiting to happen. The best part long term is the drunk driver after almost getting killed in another wreck straigtened up and has had a long sucessful time in a city job, and stayed sober.

  7. A new Ford Taurus back in the 90’s. A more instantly forgettable car may never have been made. My wife liked it though so that was it. Traded my Chevy pick up in on it . Drove it home from the dealership, parked it in the driveway and went inside. Thirty minutes later we came back out to go to the grocery store and when Mrs. c went to start it the computer screen on the instrument panel informed us of a “brake problem” that required immediate dealer attention. Called the dealer, they said it should be OK to drive back to them. Drove it back, they took it to service and thirty minutes later told us it was a computer error but it was “fixed now”. Fine. On the way home form the dealer the same message popped up on the screen so we turned around, drove back and said “Where would you like us to park YOUR car? ” We unwound the deal and drove home in my pick up truck. Elapsed time – roughly four hours.

  8. Grew up in, and owned a tire shop in my previous life… Saab wheels are the softest I have ever seen. There were only a couple of Saabs in our small town, and I remember that we had to order at least one new wheel for each of them on different occasions. Seemingly all the way from Sweden, as long as they took to arrive. They were made of fairly soft steel and folded up like tacos at the slightest impact. Somebody tried to convince me this was a safety feature, designed to keep the cars from rolling if they slid sideways into a curb. The theory was the wheel would fold over, rather than hang on the curb and cause the car to roll.

    Dunno if that had anything to do with your incident, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest.

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