Wednesday, July 28, 2004

2000,000 Miles and Counting
Last month, my fine 1988 Saab 9000T hit the 200,000 mile mark. I must admit that I missed the event. I knew it was coming, but was paying more attention, I guess, to driving than the odometer and when I checked it after taking exit 50 off of I95, the odometer read 200,001 miles. This is the third Saab that I have shephearded past the 200K threshold. Porsche, I think, used to have a mantra of "It's not how fast you go, it's how you go fast." Likewise with this car. Many cars can be driven to this mileage. How many, I wonder, do it as gracefully as this car? Even at its current age and mileage, it is a wonderfully safe, comfortable, economical and fun car to drive. It carries me 100 miles a day to Charles River Saab, tows my boat, once lugged 1000 lbs of IKEA cabinets from New Jersey, gets sandy and wet at Crane Beach all summer long, has navigated every blizzard in recent memory (someone has to get here to plow the lot!), and done it with aplomb. The leather and the paint even look great. Sure, in time some rust on the body will become visible (but there is still none on the undercarriage!)  but otherwise the old boy is still handsome, in that quirky Saab way. Never an engine or transmission problem. The steering rack, struts and shocks are all original. The clutch made it to 197,000 miles--and for the record, it broke (a finger on the pressure plate) and was not worn out.
YS3CT55....J1014892 I salute you! How long will its tenure last? I can't say, but I never have taken a car to 300,000. Maybe this time.....

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