Who Am I?
My name is Justin and I'm 27 years old. After high school I did the normal thing and went to college. I made it about year there, studying English and Comminications, with plans on becoming a journalist or technical writer. I couldn't take more school, however, and decided to exploit my talents at the keyboard rather than learn something new. It may have been a bad decision - turning something I enjoyed into a full-time job. It didn't take long before the day-to-day routine of dealing with computers started detracting from my enjoying them on my personal time.
I needed something new to do, a distraction, and a hobby. Something I could sink my teeth (and my disposable income) into.
What to do?
It was April of 1995, and I was driving a '79 Mercury Cougar. Aside from not being the epitome of forward-thinking, the Merc was costing me a fortune in gas driving to clients' sites. It was time for the old girl to go, but first I had to come up with something to replace her. I wanted something better, but I didn't know what. I was accustomed to driving a Land Yacht, and wasn't willing to resign myself to a fuel-efficient econobox. While there were many things less than modern about the Cougar, it did have power everything and a 351cid V-8 under the hood. The interior appointments and big power up front were features I was used to and couldn't give up. What would I buy?
I considered everything. Acura Integras, BMW 325s, Taurus SHOs. I was learning towards a first generation Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX, but the extremely understated styling was really getting to me - not to mention the utter lack of rear seating. One night, as I was hunting through the used cars section of the local newspaper my eye settled on the Saab section. There were only three cars there - two of which were totally out of my price range - but it really got me thinking. I did a little research, finding out about the different models and the different styles, but it didn't take much to convince me. Impressive performance and reasonable reliability all wrapped up in a truly unique package. My dad loved his Saabs (both of 'em), so I decided to continue the investigation.
Why a Saab?
I took to the Internet, looking for information on Saabs. I dug up everything I could find - specs, prices, performance, and anything else the net could contribute. I was extremely impressed. There seemed to be an actual organization of Saab owners on the net - nothing official, but certainly something conscious. There was enthusiasm from the owners and support from the suppliers all over the place. Two very important questions were answered quite handily.
In the first, I found something I could make my hobby. The people on the net seemed to be a big bunch of do-it-yourselfers, interested not only in maintaining their cars personally but also tuning them and tweaking them. A new hobby! In the second, I found a car with great performance, great utility, and all the accoutrements expected in a European car. A Saab would make an excellent replacement for the Mercury.
It took a while to find some for sale locally, but I did manage to locate a couple. In the end I resolved on a 1984 Saab 900 Turbo 4-Door. It was in great condition, with only 67,000 miles on it. It wasn't quite like the black beauty that I had pictured, but given how hard it was to find good Saabs for sale in the area, I was elated.
That day was the start of something wonderful; I'd found a car that truly inspired me and a seemingly endless supply of enthusiastic people to go with it. Having spent most of my life (until that point) buried in computers, I never really pictured myself a "car guy." But I suppose I am, and I don't mind it one bit...