“I bought if for $900 from this kid in Hacienda Heights.”
- The Ride
- The Driver: Chris
- Vehicle in Question: 1988 Saab 900S
- Spotted at: Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood, CA 90069
- Odometer: 134,835
- Car’s Nickname: Maxwell
Q: Hi Chris. Thank you for participating in Defend Your Ride Los Angeles. How did you get your car?
A: I bought it for $900 from this kid in Hacienda Heights. The reason I got it so cheap is because his father, who’s like, divorced from his mother, still tries to buy his love in a way. And so he bought him a new car. The kid was trying to get rid of this!
Q: When did you buy it?
A: About two years ago, right after college. I have a website called priceofastamp.com, which is a handy site that reminds people how much postage they need. I made a few sites like this and even sold a blog. That site was the main reason I had enough saved up.
Q: That’s pretty cool. How many miles did you personally put on it?
A: About 20,000, so not that many. I did a year in San Francisco. I did a couple drives up and down doing that. But San Francisco is not a very driving-intensive town, which is why I still have my bike and stuff. But I did a few road trips when I moved there, since all my pals still lived down here.
Q: I really like how you don’t have a wiper on the driver’s side.
A: This is actually kind of funny. That wiper motor is just relatively expensive to replace. They’re hard to get since they don’t make them anymore. It’s like a couple hundred bucks. My mechanic and I just took the one on the left side, unbolted it and repositioned it so that it kind of wipes the other side. It doesn’t rain much here, but I kind of have to drive skewed to the right in order to see, which might not be safe.
Q: Does your car have a nickname?
A: This is actually really funny, too. Coincidentally, my girlfriend said the name came to her today. She was like, “Oh my God, I know the name of your car: It’s Maxwell.” I think it matches because it’s sort of an old man type of vehicle. But she thinks it matches because she thinks it’s like a hipster car and that Maxwell is a hipstery name.
Q: What is Maxwell’s main use?
A: He mainly gets driven to and from work. I work at TMZ nearby. Hopefully, I’ll upgrade to biking a couple days a week because I’m close enough to do that.
Q: Do you ever take day trips in Maxwell?
A: Tomorrow we’re driving up to Malibu, wine tasting. But to be honest, nobody ever wants to do a long trip in my car except for me because they’re afraid that it’s unsafe. It doesn’t have airbags, so I don’t know, it’s probably not safe, I guess.
Q: If Maxwell had a human emotion, what would it be?
A: I’d say he’s just a little awkward. You know, when you’re driving down the road, it’s a louder being inside of Maxwell than like, a nice BMW that’s smooth. He has some rattling that’s going on that’s just part of his personality. I always bring him in to make sure that he’s in tip-top shape. The rattling isn’t a problem.
Q: What do you think your next car will realistically be?
A: I’d love to get a Mini Cooper one day. But honestly, I want to milk Maxwell for all he’s worth. It’s awesome that I don’t have to pay car payments or anything. I just plop down a little cash. There’s some maintenance involved, but it’s not that much.
Q: Is there anything else we should know about your car that you’re proud of?
A: One thing that I love is that when you pop the hood, it comes forward and flips up, which is kind of interesting. You don’t really see that with cars anymore. I also love that the sunroof is manual. I’ve just never seen that before, either. It has a lever and you just push it open. What do you need a button to open your sunroof for? Why waste energy when you can just slide it open like that?
Photos and interview by Michael Shen, blogger of lacantdrive.com
Are you ready to Defend Your Ride? If so, email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Defend Your Ride Los Angeles” in the subject line for submission details.
View previous Defend Your Ride features as well as other great stories for people who love cars at losangeles.CbsLocal.com/Autos.