Legal driving age (ages 16-18)

Let’s not even discuss the moped I had.  Basically, mopeds are great unless your friends see you riding one.  Case closed.  Well, when I got my drivers license I stumbled upon a 1972 Saab 99 EMS – Brown metallic, a car that I thought was great.  Saabs are quirky cars, at least they were until GM bought the brand and stripped the companies soul to sell less than stellar vehicles under the multi-brand umbrella.  Saabs used to have their own platforms, weird styling, ignitions between the seats and the one I had even had directions for sleeping in the car with your head in the trunk and feet in the car.  Those crazy Swedes.My family helped me buy the car and it became a real Saab story.  Two weeks into it and the transmission decided to no longer transmit and shortly after fixing it, some type of driver failure (like that!) caused it to have frame damage.  Being on a limited budget, yours truly found a purple body that was painted over in red but really still purple and learned about car repair by transferring everything including motor and transaxle from one car to the other.  It was either that or start walking to High School again.  You never saw a more motivated young guy…I came straight home from school, did homework and then was outside in the driveway with tools.  It was a success…now I had a purple Frankenstein Saab.

Life was good again until my friend Richard and his friend Gary met the Saab.  Their first statement to me was, “When did you become a communist.”  I’m not sure I even knew what a Communist was, but I knew I wasn’t one. Then the Birkenstock jokes followed and well it was not long before I sold the Saab to someone from Berkeley and got a real car:  1971 BMW 2002.  This car was Taiga Green and had been stuffed already in the back, but was a strong car and with multiple trips to BMW Salvage (also in Berkeley) I brought this car back to life.  Richard showed me how to adjust the valves on this thing and my friend Stu Krum, who also had a 2002, helped me make this thing run.  This car would stay with me until my Freshman year at UC Davis.  It was my first of (3) BMW 2002s, each being better than the last.  More on them next time.  Below is the best of the (3) – Colorado Orange.  Also pictured below is a Saab like the one I had except for the more cool Euro headlights.  I still like it.

My favorite 2002

Early 1970s Saab 99 EMS

Saab Story

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