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Which Car Do You Want to Be Remembered For?

My grandfather drove a Ford Taunus, my cousin an Opel Ascona and my uncle a FIAT 131 Supermirafiori. Well, of course they all owned other cars both before and after those mentioned, but it’s that Taunus, Ascona and Supermirafiori which I primarily remember them for. There will of course be several reasons for that, but the amusing thing is, I don’t quite recall what made those three cars stick in my memory. Apparently, that’s just the way it is, and there are multiple other examples outside of the family, where it’s one particular car which has etched itself into my memory as practically defining a friend, colleague or neighbour.

As most of you will know, I’ve owned a fair few classic cars and I genuinely feel I’ve made a real effort to ensure that there has been a lot of diversity in my choices. Biased as I am, I of course think they’ve all been interesting in their own unique way. But what if I could only be remembered for one of them?

The question arose when I recently happened to bump into an ex-girlfriend. We have both moved on in our lives, but we still took the opportunity to catch up and even chat about what had been. That’s where I discovered that she remembered me for my SAAB 90. While my mid-eighties SAAB was white, it’s probably obvious to all that there was hardly a prince on a white stallion analogy hidden in the story. At the time, she owned a BMW convertible and to me there were many similarities to be found between the two – sublime ergonomics, high build quality and so on… Though her BMW was black.

My 1985 SAAB 90 – in white. Not the most photogenic of cars, but back in 2014 / 2015 I covered an impressive 50,000km in the Swede which proved a very enjoyable acquaintance.

It was never put into words – and frankly, no interesting and respectable woman would be so platonic anyway – but I had a feeling that my white SAAB 90 was perhaps a contributing factor to our relationship never really evolving. I did in fact try to explain what it was with a SAAB, but it’s almost as awkward as trying to explain a joke. I’ve since remembered a comment made by one of our Danish followers on ViaRETRO’s Facebook page, where a comparison between Volvo (the other Swedish variation of the automobile theme) and sex concludes that both are safe but boring. I suppose the BMW-driving ex-girlfriend would have wasted no time decoding the front wheel drive SAAB as something even more uninspiring. Was that where it all went wrong?

Yet it doesn’t change how I felt and still feel about my old SAAB: It was a lovely youngtimer. But just like that ex-girlfriend, I’ve moved on since the SAAB as well. Which leaves me wondering whether there might be other cars which I would rather be associated with. Well, how about my Jaguar XJ12? See, that’s a vehicle which is bound to elevate me to husband material par excellence. Or how about my Honda CRX of the first generation – mmmm… the modern and dynamic man!

Or something entirely different…?

So this Friday’s big question is one of those deep and life defining ones: Which car would you prefer to be remembered by?

I’m fairly certain that this SAAB playboy never actually existed in real life. Rolled up sleeves in a SAAB? Pffff… never!


5 Responses

  1. yrhmblhst

    Interesting question Mr Ebberfeld… been thinking about it most of the day so far.
    Specifically, you asked what car we would prefer to be remembered by; thats a tough one. In my case, would it be my RoadRunner? Straightforward, muscular, somewhat brash with a sense of humour and thoroughly American. Or maybe my GTV6? Exceptionally stylish, slightly dramatic, intelligent and an aural delight with a hint of exclusivity? Or maybe the Alpine GTA – fun but weird. Surely one of the big Chevy pickups would be ‘me’; utilitarian, rugged and always ready to help [? ] Maybe my first Corvette? Loud, fast, bright, rough and good looking… I considered my SAAB 9.3 – quiet, quirky and capable. One of the 442s? Nuclear Truklet? Hmmm…
    Then it hit me – must be my Jeep. Utilitarian. Reliable. Intelligently designed. Up for most anything. Nice looking, considering. American. Much more capable than most would imagine. And square.

    The question intrigued me enough to make a couple of calls and emails; friends seemed to answer either the Jeep or the {yellow} Corvette. [tho I doubt for the reasons above…] One said Alfa. Another said “anything non -japanese”. One, who I thought was my friend said ‘that little green car’ [TVR] due to an embarrassing incident. Jerk…

  2. Anders Bilidt

    An interesting question indeed. And also somewhat amusing that there’s someone out there who associates you @Claus primarily with your SAAB 90. Not that there was anything wrong with your SAAB. After all, as you know I’ve always been quite fond of SAABs myself. But still, with all the classics you’ve owned, it’s funny that it’s the SAAB. Personally, I would probably more associate you with one of your Triumphs as that’s where you started. Maybe your racing Spitfire or perhaps the old MkI 2.5Pi Saloon which I ended up buying only for you to later buy it back from me…

    @yrhmblhst, I’m impressed with your dedication to the cause – actually calling and emailing friends to find out which of your classics you are mostly associated with. Well done!

    For my own case, I think there can’t be much doubt there… It’s bound to be my Verona red ’73 BMW 2002. The first car I ever bought and mine for 27 years now. That car practically defines me!

  3. Tony Wawryk

    Having only owned two classics, and still in possession of the second one, most of my friends would probably remember me for my silver E9, or one of my 996’s. Give it another year or two though and with the assistance of social media over recent years, it will undoubtedly be die Zitrone.

  4. Claus Ebberfeld

    @anders, I would have thought the Triumph 2.5 PI too, but there you go. My colleagues back in the consultancy days would probably point to the Triumph, though: It’s Damson Red colour was my signature colour in our planning spreadsheets.

    @yrhmblst, a Jeep. And for THOSE reasons :-). Well chosen! I would certainly not like to be remembered for an ugly small Danish electrical vehicle, that’s for sure…

  5. Dennis Lucassen

    I would have loved being remembered for my Saab 900 Turbo cabriolet, my Alfa Romeo GT, or my Jag, but I never owned one. In fact I more or less only drove very boring company cars. I now drive one of my dream cars, a 911 SC Targa, and I would love to be remembered by this one too. But I wont, because I know that all my close friends and ex girlfriends will only remember me for my very first car. A yellow Toyota Starlet from 1980, with a big green “paint splash” on the front hood. Boy we had fun in that car!!! Pulling an auto camper (with 18 boxes of bear) to the beach a 70 km/hour, or when we removed the doors and used it as beach buggy, or when I taught a friend how drive out on the country side. Hmm, you know what, it’s not so bad as it sounded :)


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