Every Car I’ve Ever Owned

I was thinking I might do a post on the three best and three worst cars I’ve ever owned. Such a list requires a little perspective, though, so here’s the full complement of cars that have crossed my driveway over the years.

It’s not as many as I thought it would be, actually – 25 cars in 27 years of driving. That’s not quite the one-per-year average I would have expected.

I’m obviously not trying hard enough πŸ™‚


Holden Gemini

My little blue Gemini. I bought it for $3,000 around January 1988, three months before I got my licence. I wrote it off after a crash with a rather large tree 9 months later.

The photo below is not my actual car, but one of similar vintage. Imagine this in baby blue (and without a kangaroo)…


Holden LJ Torana

Given that my first car felt a little bit ‘girlie’, I beefed things up a little and bought a classic young Australian hoon’s car for $4,500. It had a 202 6-cyl with an Aussie 4-speed. I thoroughly enjoyed my Torana – including everything that ‘enjoying’ a small muscle car entails when you’re 18 years old – but totally neglected it and it died a natural death after about three years. Shame.

This IS my actual car, with an old mate of mine in the passenger seat.


Holden Gemini

Low on cash after the death of the Torana, I stumped up another $2800 for a yellow Gemini. This one had the advantage of a 5-speed gearbox and a great amplifier wired into the sound system. The downside was the broken driver’s seat that I had to hold up with a football.

Not my actual car. This, but yellow.


Toyota Celica Liftback

Can’t remember what I paid for this one, but it would have been in the region of $4,000. My first properly decent car, which I promptly traded when the car that followed it became available….

This is not my car, but exactly the same in the looks department.


Toyota Celica XX

I’d only just bought the 4-cylinder Celica (above) when this rare 6-cylinder became available. It was called a Supra in some markets but wherever my one was sold (I don’t think it was an Australian delivery), it was called Celica XX. It had a 2-litre fuel injected straight six and it kept me going through three full years of university.

I sold this one for next-to-nothing after getting a job that included the use of a company vehicle.

Mine looked exactly like this, with the exception of the wing mirrors. My mirrors were in a more traditional position, near the driver.


Saab 99 E

My first Saab, bought for $1,000 from a vehicle recycler. It was spectacularly slow and though it looked grubby when I first took it home, my ex-wife and I dismantled the interior and cleaned the whole car within an inch of its life. It emerged looking like a little Swedish fire truck. So shiny.

Sadly, my ex wrote it off in a parking incident.


Alfa Romeo Alfasud Sprint

Dissatisfied with the use of a boring company vehicle and sad at the loss of the 99E, I picked up this Sprint on the cheap. It was my first Alfa Romeo. I knew nothing about driving boxer-engined Alfas when I owned this. I know plenty about it, now.



Saab 99 Turbo

I bought my first turbocharged Saab for $400. It was due to be towed to a wrecker’s yard if it didn’t sell that weekend. I had the turbo and gearbox replaced and enjoyed some of the most wonderful motoring for the year or so that followed. I’d always wanted a 900, though, so I made a stupid decision and sold the 99 Turbo to buy one. If I’d only known how hard a good one is to come by (and if I only had the resources to keep it at the time). This was pre-TS and I was a completely uneducated Saab owner.


Saab 900 Turbo

I wanted a 900 and I wanted it bad – so I bought this one in a rush of blood. How can you tell? Well, it was an automatic and a 5-door instead of a manual 3-door. I regretted parting with the 99 Turbo straight away so after a time, I bought it back again πŸ™‚

This is not my car, but I don’t seem to be able to find any digital photos of mine so this will have to do. Mine was a metallic grey Turbo with a grey velour interior and it was very comfortable. It’s a pity those auto transmissions can be so slow.


Saab 99 Turbo

This was me buying back the white one that I sold a few years earlier. I missed it a lot and thankfully, the kid I sold it to kept my details and called when he was ready to sell again. It finally died when 2nd gear gave up the ghost.

Damn those glass Saab gearboxes.

Saab 99 Turbo

A friend was going through some marriage turmoil and was going to sell this 99Turbo for about half its value. So I bought it from her. Her husband still hates me to this day, I think. I sold the car around 4 months later as I had no room and it was the most saleable car I had. No money was made on the deal. It passed into safe hands, which was all I really cared about.

This is not my car in the photo below. Once again, I can’t seem to fund any photos of it. The car in the photo belongs to a friend in Sydney. Mine was similar in both looks and condition at the time, though I think my old one’s deteriorated a bit now.


Saab 9-3 Viggen

Buying the Viggen was the biggest purchase of my automotive life at the time. It was the first time I bought a car less than 10 years old and the first time I spent 5-figures on a car. With it’s Lightning Blue paint, special interior and B235R engine, the Viggen really was something special.

Sadly, I wrote this one off at Baskerville Raceway in 2007.


Saab 900 Turbo

The Viggen accident took a long time to settle with the insurance company (I won) and in the meantime, I bought this 900 Turbo to keep me going. I bought it from the same guy who owns the red 99T, above, which accounts for the 900’s excellent condition when I bought it.

This 1985 Saab 900 16V flat-nose had some intermittent problems, however. The car would just stop running for no discernable reason. Two minutes later, it would start up again like nothing had ever happened. Strange.

I sold it to a student here in Hobart and he owned it until last year (I think) when he sold it to another local who’s been in touch with me about it. He was going to do some interior restoration. I hope to see it again one day.



Alfa Romeo 33 16V

This was the beginning of my modern Alfa Romeo renaissance. I bought this 33 in Melbourne in one of my favourite scenarios – a guy who didn’t realise what he had, who presented it using poor photos and without being cleaned up when viewed in person. The car was a gem. An absolute gem. I got it for around 70% of its true value and I still regret selling it to this day.

I chipped the ECU and fitted a 2.25 inch exhaust. The sound and the performance were both totally addictive.

My first Alfa 33 16V

Mazda MX-5

The MX-5 is the only convertible I’ve ever owned.

I wanted to know what the fuss was about but sadly I never really bonded with it. I wouldn’t mind having another crack at it some time. Next time, I’ll find a way to store the hardtop so I don’t end up leaving it on the car so much.

Mazda MX-5

Saab 99 Turbo

I bought another 99Turbo with a view to restoring it, but lacking the resources or the know-how, I ended up passing it on to a friend who collected 99s.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

One day I’ll actually do one of these resto jobs.

Saab 9-3 Monte Carlo

I got the Monte at a great price and it was a good car. I kept thinking I could make it into a Viggen, however, which was a mistake. Only a Viggen can be a Viggen. The Monte had more power than a Viggen by the time I sold it (and better suspension) but it still failed to deliver the same thrill as a Viggen.

It proved to me just how well car companies do things when they put their mind to it. The Viggen might be a flawed masterpiece, but it’s a masterpiece nonetheless.

Saab 9-3 Monte Carlo

Saab 900 LPT

Fast forward to 2011. I was in Sweden working for Saab and I wanted a vehicle to get me around to places other than the Saab factory. My experiences with the Saab 900 in Australia left a little to be desired and I crossed my fingers and toes that I’d have a better experience in Sweden.

I did.

My little red LPT 900 S carried me across the country a couple of times and everywhere in between. It picked up my Ikea furniture, took me to dinner and lunch everywhere and performed perfectly every time. It was everything I hoped a 900 would be (except luxurious, but it felt more Swedish that way. Lagom.)


Alfa Romeo 33 16V

Lamenting the sale of my first 33, I bought another when I got back to Australia. This was my first real ‘miss’ as a car buyer – it was a poor car and its condition only worsened, regardless of the considerable amounts of money I threw at it.

My second Alfa 33 16V (not so good)

Subaru Brumby

The Brumby was purchased after replacing the clutch in a number of cars over the years, thanks to our very steep driveway. I used to park at the bottom and every morning I’d have to rev the crap out of the car to get it up the drive. The secret to managing this in the Brumby is selectable high- and low-range 4WD.

It’s also economical, incredibly durable and practical. That’s why it’s now one of the longest-held cars I’ve ever owned. The car enthusiast in me says ‘meh’ but the bloke in me absolutely loves this Brumby.

Brumby Ute

Alfa Romeo GTV6

This was a car with a great heritage, having been built by a professional racing engineer as his personal car. The sound was amazing. There’s nothing quite like the note of an Alfa V6. The GTV6 is hard work to drive fast, but very rewarding if you get it right.

GTV6 Regularity 2012

Porsche 968 ClubSport

This was my first foray into Porsche ownership.

The 968 is an astounding car – for a four cylinder. And therein lies the problem with the 968: there’s always some sort of qualifying statement attached to it. Great club car – though not as fast as a 911. Excellent handling, but have you got the M030 pack? Not bad at all, for a front-engined Porsche.

There’s always something more you can do with a Porsche and doing anything with a Porsche involves $$$. Lots of them. And the Porsche world can be very competitive, which means you feel like spending the $$$.

My driveway made driving this car a real pain and I had too much money tied up in it to just leave it in the garage. How much? Well, after selling the 968 I got the Alfa Sprint and the 928 you see below, plus $10K left over.

It’s an amazing car. The most technically competent car I’ve ever owned, by far. Maybe in the future I’ll get one in circumstances that allow me to drive it more often.

Porsche 968 Driveway

Lancia Fulvia 1.3 Rallye

I wasn’t going to include this one as I never actually drove it anywhere. At least I drove the 99T restorer from Melbourne to Hobart.

But, I did legally own the Fulvia, so here it is. The photo was taken last week as it was loaded onto a trailer to go to its new home, where it will join a restored Flaminia, Flavia and Fulvia sedan.


Alfa Romeo Sprint

My bargain Christmas present, purchased on Christmas Eve 2014. This car is sooooo much fun to drive. I lovelovelove it.


Porsche 928 S

My most recent purchase – owned for just a few weeks as at the time of writing. I’m still coming to terms with the 928S and its charms. It’s certainly an amazing piece of design and engineering.

Is it an amazing car to drive? Hmmmmm……


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  1. Swade having passed 40, I see a SUV coming… πŸ˜‰
    So you are a Holden man – no Fords.

    1. The Holden thing is strange. My family had four Fords when I was young and I used to have constant Holden vs Ford arguments with a school friend, whose Dad owned a Holden dealership. And somehow I had three Holdens and no Fords in my youth. I wouldn’t mind an Escort at some stage, but that’s all contingent on space and money (like everything else).

      No SUV’s for me. If things had gone better at Saab, I was determined to get a 9-4x if the company had a special price for employees. Sadly, it wasn’t to be. The 9-4x was a great vehicle.

      1. I saw a 9-4X I few weeks while driving. Don’t know it belongs to someone living in this city. It looked great, and it would have sold really good in Sweden. Too bad…

  2. I’m interested to know how your 928 handles the driveway hump, Steven? Is the wheelbase the same or longer than the 968?

    1. Handles the hump just fine. Not sure about the wheel base, but it’s got a higher stance.

  3. That’s a pretty long list. If one were an automotive Freud, they’d probably say you have commitment issues Swade πŸ˜‰
    And yes, you do need a decent 4WD in that list one day. Will make all your driveway issues disappear.

    For larfs, this is my list. I’m including motorbikes to (a) pad out my list and (b) compensate for the lack of Alfas.

    Honda XR250R trail bike – First vehicle of any description owned, and also the only one I’ve ever bought new. Suited inner Melbourne living very well indeed, even when a mate removed the exhaust baffle, adding a few extra horsepower and roughly 20000 extra decibels. Can’t believe I never got pulled over in three years of ownership. Unfortunately it was less suited to commuting in Tassie so it was sold to buy a…

    Saab 900 Aero T16 – First car. Always said my first car would be a European sports car and while my pubescent mind was thinking more BMW M3 at the time, this still counted. ‘Snaab’ was awesome fun – still one of the most iconic shapes in a modernish car. Like most old Saabs it was a bit of a money pit though, and after being effectively written off in a 3-car sandwich in Centrepoint carpark, was sold off to a bloke in VIC who kept the Tassie plates on it and proceeded to get multiple speeding fines….

    Honda CBR600F2 – First over-250cc motorbike. Not particularly pretty looking but more than fast enough, comfy and dead reliable as a commuter and Sunday fun machine. Eventually sold it after a few years (for a small profit, incredibly) to fund a new business. Then-girlfriend’s mother was very happy about this.

    Toyota 4Runner RV6 – After the death of Saab I wanted something bigger, more practical and 4WD. What I wanted was a 100-series Landcruiser turbodiesel automatic, but after then-girlfriend’s father recanted on the offer to buy his, I ended up with a manual, petrol 4Runner. Which, despite the badge on the front, wasn’t anything near the same thing. Handled like rubbish even for a 4WD, no power yet drank like then-girlfriend, right when ULP was pushing $1.80/L in Hobart. Despite eventually hating it to bits, it’s my own vehicle never to have mechanical issues, though to be fair I barely owned long enough (about a year) to develop any. Ended up selling it at a considerable loss to get the diesel Merc.

    BMW 316i Compact – Officially not ‘my car’ (was then-girlfriend’s) however given I listed as joint owner and paid its (excessive) insurance… πŸ˜‰ Kart-like handling let down by the most gutless (yet surprisingly thirsty) engine in the world, made worse via its auto gearbox. Over the few years I drove it I’m pretty sure I pushed the driver’s side footwell out several mm in frustration.

    Mercedes Benz 190D 2.5 – My solution to the fuel crisis was to make my own biodiesel. That never eventuated. The 5-cylinder Merc was slow, rattled like a slightly muted tractor, had the most viciously short 1st gear and left plumes of black smoke whenever I floored it, but it was also super comfy, would sit on 130kmh for hours while getting 7ish L/100KM and handled surprisingly well for something so softly sprung. Also convinced me that automatics in passenger cars weren’t quite the Great Satan I’d always thought them. Alas, it also had a fatal issue with its (rare as unicorn tears) cylinder head that ended up seeing it need major work with a mere 180,000km on the clock – barely run in by Merc diesel standards. Was sold off for a pittance to a guy who spent thousands getting it all repaired again.

    Honda VFR800Fi – My brother’s bike, which I inherited after his passed away. Great bike, with a custom Yoshi pipe for that V4 growl. Got heavy use as a commuter and on the fortnightly Hobart-Launceston run for a couple of years, but never felt as comfortable on bumpier northern Tasmanian roads and eventually swapped it for a Kawasaki dirt bike.

    Ford Laser GL – Funds were rather tight when the Merc died, so my father did what dad’s do and bought me a crappy car to get by until work/life sorted itself out. What was supposed to be a $1200 sh*tbox to get to work for a few months ended up being kept for over 2 years. The ‘Red Rocket’ was as ugly as sin and hardly comfortable (driver’s seat had collapsed) but mechanically proved to be just about unkillable, despite my best attempts with 100km+ daily commutes, filling it up with firewood and considerable offroading. Taught me the beauty (and economy) of having a cheap daily driver you don’t care too much about and aren’t afraid to fix yourself. Eventually sold it for $400 when it became surplus to requirements, but for some reason I miss it.

    Kawasaki KX250F – Technically not a registered vehicle for the road. Was basically a summer fun machine when I couldn’t turn the VFR into cash. Eventually sold 5 months later to buy a…

    Suzuki Vitara JX LWB – After getting the firewood-laden Laser bogged for the umpteenth time, it was time to get a proper 4WD, but one that could still commute 100km a day without bankrupting me. Despite the hairdresser image ‘Ed’ has proved a surprisingly capable and practical vehicle. Also has the dubious distinction of being the only car I’ve ever owned whose air conditioning actually blows cold air. Unfortunately the cylinder head Gods tracked me down again a few months ago and delivered another blown gasket. That got repaired but then revealed some worrying bottom end noises and oil feed issues, and it’s currently awaiting some spare time and a cleared garage to sort out. Even if I need to put in a new engine, I reckon we’ll keep this car for a while yet.

    Toyota Corolla Seca – With the Zuki off the road for the moment, I decided it was time for another $1000 banger. Ironically the Corolla Seca was the first car I ever seriously looked at buying (before I decided on a motorbike instead). ‘White Rabbit’ is aesthetically poor (I doubt if more than 2 body panels have the same hue of white on them) but mechanically sound and touch wood, will hopefully prove a worthy successor to the Laser. Have only had it for 7 weeks but so far, so good… zooms around at 120kmh on the smell of an oily rag and my mountain bike fits in the back… really all that matters!

    1. (The 190D) “would sit on 130kmh for hours while getting 7ish L/100KM”

      Amazing how technology moves forward. My gasoline 9-3 hatch will do that. I’ve nearly broken 6l/100km while cruising at a regulated 64 mph in Upstate NY (speed trap central).

      1. Very true… 7L/100km isn’t considered particularly spectacular these days. Even for an typical compact SUV.

        Mind you, the old Merc did it without high pressure common rails, direct injection or any form of computer or indeed electronic control whatsoever.

    2. I’ve always been a fan of the Suzukis, though I’ve never owned one.

      The first of my Celicas was very nearly a black Suzuki Sierra. A friend came along for the test drive with me and told me in no uncertain terms that while it was “cute”, I would have been very frustrated by the lack of power.

      I think she was right, but I still love those little buggers.

      I still think of you every time I see a red Aero (and there’s still one floating around down here).

      1. The back in the 80s/90s and think even today, Suzuki have always been a notch or two under Toyota and other Japanese manufacturers. With both the ‘Rolla and Vitara of similar vintage (MY1991 and 1993 respectively) it is quite obvious the Toyota was built up to a standard whereas the Suzuki is built down to a price. All the important stuff is still there, of course, but trim fit, material quality and even minor things like layout of the wiring harness around the engine bay just don’t have the same finesse and thought put into them.

        That said, there is something wonderful and kinda liberating in a simple, unpretentious vehicle designed to be affordable and fun. The Sierras, Vitaras and Jimnys have no false pretense about being anything other than what they are. With 4WDs actually designed to go offroad less is quite often more, so simple mechanics and no complicated bells and whistles are usually seen as a plus. That and they’re no less capable offroad than a heavy Landcruiser, Patrol etc…. which explains why clapped out 80s Sierras still fetch several grand on the used markets.

        It’s a shame Suzuki don’t offer anything really like the older 4WDs anymore… the Jimny is the Sierra’s spiritual successor but because of it’s kei car dimensions it’s just a bit too small IMHO. The current Grand Vitara is too heavy, plush and SUV-like. I reckon if they made a stretched out, 5-door Jimny with either solid or IFS front suspension it’d be a hit.

        Certainly none of Suzuki’s 4WDs have been overburdened with too many horses, with the original 1L carb Sierras particularly light on for ponies. Highway machines they are not, though I suspect LEGO like aerodynamics are as much at fault. However, rev the snot out of them and they work extremely well in the rough and muddy stuff, where their light weight really comes into play.

  4. The Holden Gemini reminded me of the Chevy Chevette, so I looked it up. Sure enough, it’s the Aussie version of the same platform.
    A few friends had these in the late 80s. They were dirt cheap and we were in our late teens/early twenties. I remember that they had a particularly appalling combination of no horsepower (around 60), weak brakes, and wandering steering.
    Still, it was a car, and that was better than no car!

    1. Geminis were very much the typical cheap car for young people back in the 80s/early 90s. They had the advantage of being RWD (save the last, Isuzu-produced version) but that’s about it – pretty craptacular by most accounts. Despite this many of my early childhood memories are of charging around in my auntie’s and uncles’ hotted up Geminis… back when 13″ mags, tinted windows, a loud zorst and a redback spider gearknob were ‘cool’.

    2. Indeed. It’s hard for me to think poorly of a Gemini because it was my first car and that was so liberating. Much better than no car at all.

      And I almost couldn’t believe it when you said around 60hp. It felt like so much more at the time but sure enough, 66hp. Wow.

      1. The Gemini looks like the Opel Kadett C.

        Back in the past without internet it was much easier (for GM) to sell one car globally under different local brands.

  5. My list is very short:
    Saab 99 GL 5speed MY84
    Volvo 360GL MY 88 (Yeah yeah, I got it for free while I was back studying at the university. Horrible to drive.)
    Saab 9-3 MY01
    Saab 9-3 MY10

    If I have to get a new one today, it will probably be a Volvo or a Mercedes. BMW and Audi is 100% out to the question. Maybe a Qoros if it will ever get around to Sweden…?

  6. “It was everything I hoped a 900 would be (except luxurious, but it felt more Swedish that way. Lagom.)”
    Brilliant. : )

  7. Interesting list. I guess I am too cheap to go through cars at that rate. πŸ™‚ Maybe it is following my dad’s opinion of taking care of a car and running it “until the wheels fall off”. But that does mean you have to really like a car if you are going to keep it for a long time.

    I’ve have only owned five cars so far. My first was a 1981 Datsun Maxima I bought from my parents when they decided to buy a new Volvo 240 sedan. It was a nice enough car, but it eventually had rust issues and became mechanically unreliable. I then bought a new 1989 Acura Integra with 5-speed manual transmission and loved that little hatchback! I kept that for 11 years and 160,000 miles until it was dinged up in a snow-covered parking lot accident. The damage was not too bad, but due to the age of the car, the other driver’s insurance totaled it.

    And that brought me to my Saab phase. While researching other hatchbacks, I read about and test drove a 2000 9-3 and fell in love with the power of the turbo 4 and the whole Saab engineering ethos. I still have that 9-3 225,000 miles later, but will be selling it this spring. In 2011 I picked up a 1971 Sonett III that has had a bit of a checkered initial history, but is now in good running shape. Last July I got a sweet deal on a 2008 9-5 SportCombi that is now my daily driver.

  8. We may be opposites on this Swade – I’ve only owned 3. All Saabs. Still own all 3 today. Only thing that kills them is rust. You are lucky to have a relatively mild climate (vs salt/slush on the roads seemingly half the year).

    I know some of these were sold due to change in interest, but for the others with mech issues: did you find you made enough reselling to cover the cost differential vs repair? Do they tax resales much in Oz? We pay tax on the purchase every time we resell, so though I have considered upgrading the 9-5 from a sedan to wagon, the combination of that sales tax, and the known repair history of my own car, makes it hard for me to pull the trigger!

    Really like that silver 900 with aero trim you had. That would be a keeper for me!

    1. I don’t make any money on cars. I do try to minimise my losses and I count the differential as being “rent” paid for the use of the car. I’ve been pretty good at minimising losses in the last 5 years.

      We don’t pay any tax/duty when we sell here. Well, theoretically there are circumstances when you might be liable for tax, but you have to actually make a profit on the car that exceeds your purchase price plus other costs. It doesn’t happen often, unless you own a truly collectible car that goes through a big price rise (think air-cooled Porsche 911 over the last few years)

      We pay when we buy, though. Last week, when I registered the 928 here in Tasmania, I paid around $400 or so in stamp duty on the purchase and nearly $600 in registration, adding $1000 to the purchase price so I can actually put the $13,000 car on the road.

      The 928 will be a big money loser, by the way. I can’t imagine getting any more than $15,000 for it when it comes time to sell. I paid $13,000 plus $3,700 in repairs even before I picked it up.


  9. 900 / 9-3 LPT seems to be the best Saabs ever. I never had one, but friends and family do. They just seem to go forever, no mather what.

  10. Nice summary, Swade! But I thought you had also owned at least two Saab 9000s?

    Personally I am on my first car, which I’ve owned just over a year. It’s a white two-door 1988 Saab 900i 8V KAT with sunroof. It had too much rust when I bought it (the worst is fixed now) and a noisy gearbox which will be replaced this summer. Otherwise it’s a nice car. But I’m dreaming of a 1989 900 T8 Special, of course in odoardo grey metallic with oxblood red leather interior. Or a 9000 Griffin. Or a solid red five-door 1993 900S. Or… πŸ˜‰

    1. We have indeed had a few Saab 9000’s, but they’re my wife’s car primarily. They’re not cars I’ve driven for enthusiast reasons.

      They’ve been very good servants, however. We’ve had three of them – two CS’s and our current Aero. The second CS was the best of them, I think.

  11. Enjoyed reading this. Man, those 99 turbos are just ace.

    My list thus far is as follows:


    I think I might be a Saab guy.

  12. I’m trying to work out how many cars you’ve owned since I bought my Monte. I’ve had it since August 2007, which is the 2nd longest I’ve owned any car. It’s just had new Bilstein B6 shocks and struts fitted (plus new upper strut mounts) and the the steering rack/ brace has been re-fitted, after it was removed by the repairer when the firewall was fixed (quite a while back). Along with the BSR stage 1 tuning kit fitted a little while back, it finally feels really good to drive. Sadly I’m probably going to sell it in the next 12 months. But I guess you can’t keep the same car forever?

  13. Renault 12 (gordini spec)
    BMW 320i E21 (M spec)
    BMW 320i E30 (Alpina spec)
    Renault 18 (fuego engine)
    Renault 17TL (gordini spec)
    Saab 9-5 Aero (untouched, didn’t get time to ‘fix’ it)
    Another BMW E21 323i (resto)
    Saab 9-3 Aero Hirsch

    The crazy thing here is the obvious and slightly tragic theme running through my list. All crazy weird Euro stuff, with racing rallying heritage that goes way back, and all modified to factory sport spec. How much has THAT cost???

  14. NEVS reorganization prolonged again.

    The local court acknowledge that they are at a disadvantage regarding information about NEVS negotiations, since it is not yet public who NEVS negotiate with or what a deal will be like. Therefore, they had to trust what some of the creditors that have representation in the creditors committee thougt about it (they mention Swedish Tax Agency),

    Ehh… OK… Not really how I though a court in Sweden should work when deciding a case…

  15. 1999 I got my first car, an Audi 90 2.3E -88 My first car out of university and when I started working full time. Awsome noise from the 5 cylinders. Killed a deer with it, repaired it and sold it on in 2002.

    2002 I replaced the Audi with a brand new Peugeot 206 XSI, for a new car….it was a turd….out of all the cars I’ve owned this one spent the most time in the workshop.

    In 2002 I also bought my first project car, a 1978 Scirocco GTI, was cheap and a wreck…too much rust. Sold it after a few months and bought…. a 1981 Scirocco GTI. From a project car bought with the engine laying in the trunk I transformed it over 8 years to
    a Saab Laser red 1.8T 20v engined little rocket that made some BMW owners cry. Sold it june 2010.

    In 2005 the French turd was replaced by a ’02 VW Passat Variant 1.8t, very timely before the arrival of our first child. A very good car that my wife in 2008 took over from me (replacing her turd Opel Astra wagon that only stayed with us for like 7 months or so, dont remember, dont care…..was a shitty car)

    2008 in time for our second child the wife took over the Passat and I bought an ’03 Golf TDI 130, great great car that I only sold a few weeks ago. Had it from 100k km to about 260k km. Cost wise the best car I’ve owned. Very little wrong with it outside of service items.

    After selling my Scirocco in 2010 I wanted a fun car that I could just fill fuel in and drive, not build… Looked at a Boxster S but the depreciation of such a car kinda made me lukewarm for it. Buuuut…then one late august day I talked to a friend and only said “Listen to this!” Wrooooooom! I had just bought one of my dream cars. A 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 2. Still love that car despite that I sold it
    two years later. It was alot of money to have tied up and strangely I missed the tinkering and building. So I sold it to a friend and bought myself a Porsche 914 project instead.

    In 2012 the Passat started closing on the 250k km mark and was due for a replacement, what was the most bang for the buck then?
    A 2008 9-5 Vector. Wagon, automatic, leather….all equipment except navi and sunroof. My wife drives it and loves it. It just passed the 110k km mark and will stay with us untill it dies.

    A few weeks ago and in time for my 40th birthday I figured it was time to replace the ’03 black 4-door Golf TDI with….
    …an 2011 black 4-door Golf TDI DSG. Currently my daily driver and I just love the 140 hp TDI engine coupled to the 6 speed DSG gearbox.

    10 cars in 16 years. I guess that’s the essence of lagom…. πŸ˜‰

    1. “then one late august day I talked to a friend and only said β€œListen to this!” Wrooooooom! ”

      I remember it well πŸ™‚ I heard that flat 6 all the way here in Australia (via a good phone connection)

  16. From svd.se (major Swedish newspaper) this morning… Very short summary:

    Negotiations between Mahindra and Saab AB about brand name broke down in November. The reason was that Saab AB wanted money for the brand name, and Mahindra didn’t see the business case.

    Mahindra signed some sort of letter of intent with NEVS in November. The main reason was not to buy NEVS, but to help NEVS get an extension of their reorganization and find another buyer. The alternative without this letter of intent had been bankruptcy.

    My take…

    I don’t know what journalist at SvD wrote the article, but probably Jonas FrΓΆberg (it bears his overly dramatic marking). He thinks he is the Bob Woodward of auto journalism, and I usually have big issues with his writing. That said, there has (as far as I know) in the end always been some truth to what he (and SvD) has written about Saab over the years.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Saab AB wanted money for the brand name this time, so that could very well be true. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Mahindra don’t value the brand name that much for the car market anymore that they are prepared to spend loads of rupees on it.

    The letter of intent was indeed the main argument in November for an extension. Mahindra could still be in the game, but maybe they went from being the OEM interested in buying NEVS to just wanting some other kind of deal (sharing tech, license manufacturing). The other OEM is now the ones that are in the process of buying NEVS. Mahindra still wanted some sort of deal to come true and had an interest in continuing the process, so therefore they wrote a letter of intent.

    I have months ago stopped believing that Mahindra wants to buy NEVS, so it will be interesting to see if my guessing turns out to be right.

    1. I haven’t spoken to the gypsies again, but I remind you of their story from a few weeks ago – the buyer in play at the moment has been the same buyer in play all along. Whether that’s Mahindra or not, I don’t know. But if it was Mahindra then, it’s still Mahindra now.

  17. Swade, I notice that the 900 Aero was put on Gumtree this morning. Looks darn fine…9-5 seats, re-finished in that burgundy leather. Looks rather sweet.

  18. Really enjoyed going through this list. I did miss your 9000s, even though they might be primarily your wife’s cars πŸ™‚

    Of course I had to look at my own car purchases over the last ten years and got a bit surprised at the number of cars!
    – Saab 900c (or something) 1980
    – Saab 900s 1990
    – Ford Falcon 1995 (First car in Oz!)
    – Saab 9000 Turbo 1988
    – Saab 900i 1987
    – Saab 900 T16 1989
    – Saab 9-5 2002
    – Volvo 945 LPT 1997

    Had I known what I know now I would have traded in all cars for the 9-5 πŸ™‚