V.I.S.I.T. – Plasti-Dipped 1998 Saab 9000 CSE Turbo


This 1998 Saab 9000 is one of the cars habitually appearing on the parking lot of my office complex. It probably belongs to a Saab enthusiast, and it’s been customized a bit with all the horizontal surfaces having been done over with a black matte material. It’s either vinyl wrap or Plasti-Dip, whatever has come in handy, and it’s either done for individuality’s sake or to cover up paint damage.

It’s been debadged, but running the plate info confirmed it’s the certainly quick enough 2.3-litre turbo with 221 horsepower. Take a peek.


I actually do find it a bit half-assed. Why not cover up the whole car? It would certainly look the part, since matte black would suit the blocky 9000 very well. And the surfaces are straight enough to make the job easy enough.


The CSE runs on cheap-ass Alessio five-spokes in wintertime. They’re not the highest quality wheels available, but do their job.


The Saab somewhat matches the background facility; an old decommissioned leather factory, turned into offices. And yep, the Saab too has leather chairs inside. The CCR plates mean it’s not a second-hand import, but has been slapped with Finnish plates when new. A bunch of faster Saabs have come here from Sweden or Germany, later on. For example, not a lot of 3.0 V6 Griffins were registered here new.


So yeah, my parting line will be: go all black, or don’t come back.

[Images: Copyright 2013 Hooniverse/Antti Kautonen]

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12 responses to “V.I.S.I.T. – Plasti-Dipped 1998 Saab 9000 CSE Turbo”

  1. ThirdPedalGirl Avatar

    One hopes perhaps he's going to finish the paint job once the weather is nicer?
    I always enjoy seeing the 9000. Was always so jealous of my friend's husband's 9000 in the mid 90s. Was a nice car and the cargo space far outstripped most of our friends' various small SUVs.

  2. jonathan Avatar

    I like it! My daily driver is a Carmosine Red Metallic '86 9000 Turbo with badly peeling clearcoat on the hood. It's gotten worse since this photo was taken. I've been considering Plasti-Dipping the hood, I'm definitely going to do it now.
    <img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8440/7823586944_3ec5d44500_z.jpg&quot; width="600">

    1. JayP2112 Avatar

      I wanna see how that turns out…

      1. Rover 1 Avatar
        Rover 1

        And I am still looking for one, they've certainly got cheap enough

  3. Bret Dodson Avatar

    These are great cars. My '94 9000 Aero surprises many with its comfort and speed. The torque these things make is immense, and hugely entertaining.
    Not sure what's up with the reverse skunk stripe on the feature car.

  4. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    If mine had been turbocharged and not a normally aspirated automatic, I would very probably have kept it. Loved that car. Built so well, out of well-galvanized metal that was practically inert and laughed in the face of salt corrosion. Mine probably needed front suspension work as it tended to be a bit wayward in fast corners. It was also by far the slowest car I've ever owned, but this didn't really dull the appeal. I just learnt to drive like a grown-up. For a while.
    I'll always remember collecting a set of eBay purchased alloys to replace the factory steel 'n hubcap combo, quoth the vendor:
    "Yeah, the ZF auto box is usually OK to about 130,000 miles. How many has yours got?"
    "Er, 129,500….".

    1. mallthus Avatar

      The ZF auto boxes were pretty solid for NA cars. It's the turbo cars that ate them up.
      Conveniently, all of the hard points for the manual were included on the autobox cars, even the hanger for the clutch pedal.
      When the ZF finally went out on my 91 CD turbo, I swapped in the manual. Apparently, mine was only the second manual CD in the US. The first was a special order for Bob Sinclair's wife.

  5. Alff Avatar

    So who gets the covered parking?

  6. B72 Avatar

    Tall people need not apply.
    I looked at one of these years ago. I had to recline the seat almost fully to clear the sunroof. Then I could barely reach the steering wheel, let alone the controls on the dash.
    I really wanted that car. I must have fiddled with the seat for half an hour before finally accepting the reality that I didn't fit.

    1. jonathan Avatar

      You need one of the rare '86s like mine with no sunroof. How tall are you? I have a friend who is 6'7 and fits in his 9000 with no problem. The seat goes back pretty far.

    2. mallthus Avatar

      That's weird. Admittedly, I'm only 6'2", but since I've also got only a 30" inseam, I tend to be taller sitting down than most people I know that are 6'5" and taller.
      Anyway, I say that's weird because I was fine in my 9000, with the sunroof. Perhaps the seat wasn't all the way down?

      1. B72 Avatar

        It sounds like you are built about the same as me. Now you have me wondering why I didn't fit. I'm pretty sure the seat was all the way down. Perhaps they changed the seats at some point? Or maybe the example I sat in had been messed with somehow.Darn it! And to think I bought a Civic sedan instead. That 86 Civic served me well though. The shifter was sweet – made it a joy to run through the gears.