Project Paul in The Netherlands

I lived near Arnheim in the Netherlands. The son of our neighbor always arrived in a different and remarkable car. Little did I know it was a SAAB 96. The last one he owned was a white one. At home it was Volvo which we drove.

Saab 9-5, Project Paul in The Netherlands
Saab 9-5, Project Paul in The Netherlands

I did not have much with cars, but I knew that if I bought one it should be something different. I started studying in Rotterdam and in the weekend I glazed at the local SAAB dealer. One thing I knew for sure. Once I would buy a SAAB. Years passed by and my first car was a VW beetle 1968. A car with a divine noise. Not a SAAB. I was still a student and a SAAB was a car I could not afford. I promised myself that I would once buy one. In 1995 I found one.

Not the usual suspect classic 900 but the even stranger SAAB 90. I sold my Beatle to a friend. Something I did regret so I had bought it back from him a year later. And I have kept the beetle ever since. I even restored it myself. I drive in for fun now.

The 90 was and still is a wonderful different car. Even today I consider to buy one again. After the 90 came a SAAB 900 classic 1991 with the 2.1 litre engine. The non turbo engine with turbo power. Meanwhile I changed work and it was not economical to continue to drive a modern classic. So I bought a 9-3 with a diesel engine. Yes, it was that day that Easter and Christmas fell on the same day. I could not get used to it and changed it for another 9-3 OG. Although the 9-3 was “not my car”.

After the introduction of the 9-5 Estate I had that the same kind of mindset as the moment I glazed at the local dealership of SAAB. Once I will buy this car. The first 9-5 was a MKI of 1999. It was 4 years old when I bought it. In 2007 I changed it again into a SAAB 9-5 Linear 2.0t 2002, color 170. Nothing special just a base SAAB 9-5.

But then something happened. I was involved in a heavy car accident with a Mercedes truck and two Minis on the highway. The two Minis ran into the right rear and my SAAB after the truck had pushed me around while departing its lane. Guess what. The two Minis were a total loss. My SAAB suffered serious damage but it could be repaired. It saved my life and I could not separate from this car. Off course people thought that I was crazy and had blown my head during the accident. But you are a SAAB enthusiast or not.

After the turbulent times in Trollhattan I hoped to buy a three-year old SAAB 9-5NG Estate in a couple of years. Well we all know how this ended up. I decided to keep my SAAB 9-5. Due to the bankruptcy parts where very cheap for a while in 2013. I decided to fully restore my SAAB 9-5 Linear into a SAAB 9-5 Aero.

It has been a three-year project which started off with a brand new B235 Biopower engine and a new transmission. This week I will finish the transformation with the Aero suspension. I have searched on the internet for all these parts in Europe and the US. May be this inspires other people. You do not need to have a classic SAAB to do this. A project Paul is worthwhile. If you are nuts you can also take a SAAB 9-5 OG or 9-3OG.

Underneath you will find all the things that have been replaced by brand new parts:

Car body external:

Valeo headlights
US style side markers
rear fenders with fender edges behind
Spoiler kit Aero around
Wiper Arms from 2008 ( = flat blades)
New hub caps
New emblems front and rear
Rear wiper head
Windscreen washers and the three-way valves
New Biopower 9-5 logo and emblem ( the 9-5NG )
New shark fin antenna
New license plates
ALU 39 wheels
New Goodyear tires (20116)

Car interior:

Beige Aero seats with seat and rear seat heating
Leather door panels
SAAB original floormats
ALU dashboard
Auto dimming rearview mirror
Aero steeringwheel
New speedometer with turbo meter
New retractable loading platform in the boot
New leather gearshift knob

Engine and gearbox:

New complete Biopower engine B235 incl. throttle body, turbo etc.
New gearbox + slave cylinder + clutch + clutch plate
All engine mounts
Silicone vacuum hoses
EVAP valves and hoses
APC valve + silicone hoses
Stainless steel hose clamps
Boost control Valve
New Battery
Oil cooler – pipes and turbo, and the mounting brackets
Replace all fluids
New original exhaust from the catalyst
New radiator and hoes
DI cassette (a second one in my boot)
Fuel pump


New rubbers subframe
New wishbones incl. rubbers
New knuckle balls
Subframe (restored)
Rear subframe new rubbers
New reararm rubbers
new trailing arm rubbers (poly version)
New sport chassis SACHS shock absorbers + springs around (also all the fasteners of the shock absorbers)
New support bearings
New brake discs and pads all around
Sport chassis stabilizer bars front and rear incl. new rubbers
− Front spoiler
− Rear boot
− Door Handles
− Hood
− Rust removed and spray rear fender (known places)

Danke an Robert für seine Saab Geschichte! Habt auch Ihr etwas zum Thema Saab zu erzählen?

Die Geschichte einer unvergesslichen Urlaubsreise, eine Restauration, der erste Kontakt mit der Marke aus Trollhättan oder einfach warum Saab zum automobilen Leben dazu gehört. Was immer es ist, schreibt uns. Wir freuen uns darauf!

2 thoughts on “Project Paul in The Netherlands

  • blank

    Could you explain how you got the stock boost gauge working in a LPT model? On the net its rendered impossible.

    kind regards

  • blank

    Congratulations Robert with this fine story. I do admire the work you did and hope you can soon finish it and start enjoying your very special 9-5 Aero from 2002. You now can call it a 9-5 Aero, 2016 🙂

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