Gilbert with his Saab 900SPG
A man has given his Saab to a museum after it clocked up a million miles.
US driver and travelling salesman Peter Gilbert bought his Saab 900 SPG for $29,000 after getting divorced 17 years ago, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. It racked up 1,001,385 miles and survived eight deer collisions, including one that punctured the rad, before it was parked for the last time at the Wisconsin Automotive Museum in Hartford.
Almost everything on the vehicle remained original equipment, apart from the bonnet and other parts replaced after the deer collisions. Ex-Brit Gilbert was also meticulous about maintenance, including regular oil changes with premium synthetic oil. He replaced the car's transmission at about 200,000 miles, but beyond that the engine was hardly touched.
"I couldn't kill that many deer with a gun," said Gilbert. "When I hit 600,000 miles, the car still wasn't burning oil. That's when I thought it could go a million miles." Saab then videoed the car when the odometer rolled over the one-million-mile mark at a Saab owners' convention in August.
Gilbert fell in love with Saabs when the cars were winning European road rallies in the 1960s. His 900 SPG once clocked 135 mph at the Road America race track in Elkhart Lake. "I was taking the lead in a race for a while," Gilbert said.
He said turning over the car's keys to the museum was like putting an elderly family member in a nursing home, but the frames had rusted badly sue to the salt on northerly Wisconsin's rural roads. Gilbert said there was nothing more to prove.
"But I know where the car is, and I can visit," he said. "And before I took her to the museum, I had a full detail job done. She was like a bride getting ready for her wedding. It was the first time that her carpets were thoroughly cleaned in 17 years."
Gilbert has since bought another Saab -- but with fewer miles on the clock.