Question: What Car Would You Like Your Kids To Buy For You?

The video below has been the hot video of the week, racking up nearly 2.5 million views in just 4 days. I reckon nearly 1 million of those views have been from Saab fans πŸ™‚

I first saw it on Tuesday but decided I wouldn’t use it on site. It was nice, but for me, it lacked* the backstory needed to make it a story worth telling. The ‘what’ of receiving and old Saab you’ve always wanted is nice, but I thought it really needed more of the ‘why’. Why did she want this car so much when she was younger?

The other reason I didn’t bother posting it here is that everyone was seeing it anyway (if the number of messages I got in my inbox is anything to go by).

Here’s the video. It’s short. And it’s very nice.


* the ‘why has since been answered in the young man’s snippet accompanying the video on Youtube:

A lot of people have been asking why her dream car is the Saab ’73 99 EMS. My Mom used to clean houses for a living, and one of the houses she would clean for a few years was a guy who owned a 70’s saab 99. He would throw her the keys and let her move the car all the time and she fell in love with it.

After 6 months of looking, my friend found one on eBay and I reached out to the seller. It wasn’t the same year or colour, but it was close. It was a silver 1974. After talking with him on the phone, I found out he had a lot of collectible Saabs, one of which was the exact make, model, colour and year I was looking for.

It took me another 6 months to get it, but surprising her with it made it all worthwhile.

For those who are watching and aren’t familiar with the project, I’ll explain it here:

2.5 years ago, my mom lost her job and I set off on a challenge to earn enough money to financially retire her. I haven’t been successful yet, but this is a big milestone in helping to improve her life. She hasn’t had a car in a year, and the one before that was falling apart.


Question: What Car Would You Like Your Kids To Buy For You?

So, imagine your kids are all grown up and they want to do something nice like this for you. What car from your youth would put a smile on your face like the one you saw in the video above?

Consider this your chance to drop a hint like never before πŸ™‚

The rules:

1. It has to be something you really coveted in your youth.

2. It has to be something achievable, which means it’ll be something reasonably humble. Your kid(s) will have to pool some funds together one day and buy this car without putting them in debt for the rest of their lives. No Lamborghinis here (unless your kids are super-rich, in which case, more power to ya)


My nomination – Ford Escort RS2000

Growing up in suburban Melbourne in the 1980’s, I wasn’t exposed to many of the European cars that I seem to favour today. There were few of them around and they were all in much wealthier zip codes than ours. You were either a Ford family or a Holden family (or you owned one of those new-fangled cars commonly referred to back then as “Jap crap” even if they outlasted most of the locally built stuff).

Most guys loved the big Ford GT Falcons or the Holden Monaros or Toranas that dominated racing at the time, but the Escort RS2000’s were the little hotties of my youth and I wanted one bad. I used to get whiplash whenever I saw one on the street.


I always consider it strange that I loved Fords growing up, and my parents only ever had Fords when I was growing up, and yet I’ve never owned one. An Escort RS2000 would change all that and quite nicely, too. It’s not a hot hatch as much as a mini muscle car and small cars have always held more appeal for me than large cars. One of these would fit the bill perfectly and it might even wipe out the scars memories of the standard Holden Gemini I drove at the time.

And kids, there’s one for sale for under $10,000. Nudge Nudge, wink wink…… πŸ˜‰

Your turn: What Car Would You Like Your Kids To Buy For You?

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  1. For what it’s worth, I would love to get an RX3 again, (yes Jap crap). It was one of my first cars when I didn’t realise it’s potential. It was bright red with a peripheral ported 13B, super noisy and made the tv play up when I drove it into the garage, annoying my Dad.

    1974 Detomaso Pantera
    1961 EK Holden station sedan
    1969 Ford Transit with Jennings Motorhome

    1. I think few people back in the 70’s and early 80’s realised the potential of cars like the RX3, which is why we called them all Jap Crap in our ignorance πŸ™‚

      Things changed pretty quickly, though.

    2. nearly bought an RX4 coupe once … until I got the dealer to start it up …. glad we were outside .. as the cloud of white smoke (think it was white, .. it was a long time ago) was fully enveloping of everyone and the whole yard …

      he stopped the motor … smoke cleared … and he said something about the seals might need looking at …… there ended any thought of ever buying a rotary …

  2. This one is easy for me. It would be my first car, a 1967 Karman Ghia. Well technically it was my friend Jeff’s car but he needed another $275 to afford it back in 1971 so I lent the funds to him. That made me a 60% owner! Problem was I was still 2 years from getting my license and he already had one. We put a lot of miles on that car as teenagers. Somehow we crammed two bicycles into it to travel to races all over Florida. We basically held it together with duct tape and bailing wire. But it almost never let us down, although the time we tried to jump start her 6 volt system with from a 12 volt battery wasn’t pretty. It was a little, red, quirky car. Perhaps why I now own 4 Saabs and a ’67 MGB-GT – all red. But if my kids want to get me one in Dutch orange like this stunning one it would be fine. My own first car was an Audi 100LS acquired in 1976. If they ever gifted me one of those, pretty sure I’d refuse it.

  3. EASY….Saab 93b 1959. Car I learned how to drive on and take my Rhode Island driver’s test.

    I saw this video on the TODAY show here in the USA a couple of days ago, and that stupid Matt Lauer, the host said “too bad it was not a BMW”……What an ass…. I was yelling at the TV. Just fuels my dislike for NBC…..

    Cool car, cool kid and great Mom.

    1. Matt actually said “Imagine if it was a Beemer!” Guy doesn’t even know the difference between a car and a motorcycle.

  4. This is also very easy for me: a 1969 Sonett II V4. I have been fortunate enough to get 2 of the last 3 cars on my collection list, over the past 4 weeks. The ’69 Sonett is the only one left.

    I have been looking for some time now and one just recently became available that I hope to travel and look at in 2 more weeks. It is in need of much work, which is reflective in the asking price — a plus for me because I wanted the Sonett to be a complete restoration project.

  5. This is hard for me to say, as much as I love SAAB and as much as I now hate GM, but the choice for me would be a 1950 Buick. The Dynaflow transmission was the most inefficient automatic ever, but the smooth (but slow) acceleration and turbine-like whine told you you were in a Buick, even blind-folded. Then there was the cool antenna mounted on the front center of the roof, with a knob for rotating the antenna down. Big chrome knobs of the huge chrome plated radio speaker grill, not to mention the huge chrome grill up front. My grandfather had one and I spent many hours riding in the back seat, feeling like I was riding in the best, most bullet proof car on earth. He always liked to show how you could throw the transmission into reverse at any speed if the brakes all failed.

  6. I don’t have any kids so I guess I can’t play… πŸ™

    But for what it’s worth.. my dream cars when I was young and just got my license (mid 80s) were the Ford Capri 2.8 V6 and Opel Manta GSI coupe. I used to have the Vauxhall version of the Manta but it was a hatchback and slightly slower and less exciting than the GSI.

    1. agree … Capri V6 .. but 3.0S pack for me … and Opel Monza , an early 1981 chrome bumper please

    2. The Manta was really more suited for younger people as the Monza was more like an executive grand tourer. Well, to me at least at the time.. πŸ™‚ But yeah, wouldn’t mind a Monza these days either.

  7. ….. RS2000 … classic … but has gone toooo far into sillydome in price ….. your link to the “4 door” one case in point …. to a true RS fan … you dont touch a 4 door … and they were never wanted or loved back in the day … a silly aussie quirk making a factory 4 door RS2000 only because we could , as we assembled them here….. now a 4 door can be getting (advertised , dont know if they get there) OVER $10,000 …. all because you can’t get a good 2 door, and 2 doors have jumped to super duper over the top prices ……I looked at a dog a couple of years ago for $9000 … I passed it up, but it sold anyway ..

    Mind you …. I had lots of fun in my white aussie RS2000 2 door … but that was 1985 if I remember correctly …

  8. If I wanted to relive my youth, an Audi Quattro from 1982. Bright red, four wheel drive. Alternately a Saab 9000 (again, 1980s model).

    Otherwise by the time my kid grows up the antique cars of then are the ones on the road today, so a VW GTi 2015 or a Telsa S as by then they should be, along with the parts, pretty cheap.

  9. Craved in youth: A really cool Cal-look 1960’s VW Beetle. The reality: “That thing ain’t got air”. In Queensland, the value/ practicality of a car is directly proportional (to me) to the quality of it’s Air Con, on a scale of one to ten, one being a new Ford Mondeo (woeful A/C) and ten, any Japanese car with a Nippondenso A/C unit (which VW are reportedly going to use). Sooooooo…….a new GTi wins every time.

  10. I too, like you Swade, loved the RS2000 but if my children were ever to buy me my dream car; the car I alwyas wanted more than any other, it would have to be….

    The same as starbird2005. An Audi UR Quattro. Not fussy about colour but a red one would be ideal.

    Loved this car and still do. Might have to buy one myself though as my kids are still at school and it’s us that are lashing money out on them!

    Ah well…..I can dream.

  11. Back in the mid eighties, after getting my first real paying job, my first ‘German’, a silver on blue E21 320i from ’77 stole my automotive heart. Now I have the car I hankered after all those years ago, its better brother, the 323i. It awaits the sandpaper and spanners, but it is going to be a brilliant thing once it gets a manual box in it. Light, nimble and rapidly appreciating in value it seems. Small block screaming six rear wheel drive on four wheel disc brakes pushing a super light monocoque. One of Bavaria’s best that was never really fully appreciated at the time. Now it is!

  12. Firstly, this is a brilliant way to use the Saab 99 for Mom story.

    I’ll be the second one in comments thinking about a Karman Ghia. It was the first car I drove – a family friend let me drive it on rural roads before I was old enough to drive (I was 14 or 15, circa 1972/73). White convertible, manual. Damn fun to drive on a summer day in upstate NY.

    The problem is, the dog never gets me anything. Well, anything material.

  13. First: my kids aren’t givers. Second: I’m on record as not wanting anything other than Swedish. Third: If the gift were in first class condition. Then: I’ll take a DS21 and run roughshod over the plowed fields.

  14. Since highscool I wanted to own a Mazda Mx-5. Red one or Blue.
    I have had quite some car’s since but there was always a reason not to buy a mx-5. Starting with budget issues and when that was solved after a while, other things became important.

    Allthough driving a perfect 9-3 aero cabrio these days, which perfectly matches the family situation (and is a lot of FUN to drive!) I would still love to own an anniversary miata.

  15. You know, what might be also a good question for Steve to ask, based on the answers above, is that if you loved a 93 (wagon, sedan), a 95 (ditto), or the 93 cabrio, what would you get now to replace it? By that I mean if you looked at the capabilities of a 93 aero wagon, what vehicle is the closest to it in terms of performance, style, comfort, price, and fun? Note, I’m not saying what did you buy to replace it (Tiguan in my case, which has some positives and negatives but clearly isn’t in the same “I love it” as I did my 93 wagon) but what is out there that would generate the same feelings you had for your Saab?

  16. Some great answers here: Mazda RX3, Capri, 93, Karmann Ghia, etc. All great answers.

    For all practical purposes, I already have the car that I’d want my kids to buy — my 1991 Saab 900 SE. Holding that aside, I have to also consider cost — those early 1970’s Olds 442 and Buick GS hardtops aren’t cheap these days at all. So that leaves them out.

    I think I’d take a BMW 635 from the late 1970’s/early 1980’s. It’s big enough that I can drive comfortably, and there are good ones for less than US $10,000. Still the second or third best-looking Bimmer ever.

    1. Absolutely! Italian designed shape, German engineered and true world wide race pedigree. All three aspects that go into making a car very desirable decades on. And it has chrome bumpers. Pity the US laws at the time saw the cars with those ridiculous oversized bumpers and ‘that bit of plastic’. Euro bumper a 635 and keep it real. The big six is such a fantastic engine and prices here for correct examples are now shooting up. I think I have missed the boat on that one…
      But an E9, Now that’s the ticket!!

      1. Yes sir! The E9 is skyrocketing in price, but it’s the best-looking BMW ever, IMO. A beautiful early 1970’s example with sunroof and 5-speed was advertised at auction expecting to bring US $100,000. That’s how far out they are from this conversation.

  17. What happened for me in the Real World was that when my ’94 NG900SE went kaput with a big noise on the freeway, I rushed out and bought a ’95 900Turbo from a vest pocket dealer that turned out to be a piece of crap (don’t get me started) and after three months I donated it. Then I got a real nice ’06 9-3 Aero and haven’t looked back. Also have a ’71 96 that is doing quite well. As far as the kids go: no, that’ll never happen!

  18. I’m going to send this video link to our 21 year old with a few pics of a round bumper black 900 big wing Turbo 16 with beige interior (hint) and hope for the best πŸ˜‰
    It’s going to be a looong wait but we Saabers are used to keeping our fingers crossed for many years

  19. On the Swedish side of things, my ‘Nordic gene’ has been hankering for over twenty five years for a mint whale-tail TU-3 Aero, with the the whole body kit bravado. Not another car, today or yesterday that comes close to the sense of style, uniqueness and performance. Can’t buy one here for love nor money either, making it even more desirable!