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Near my office there exists, somewhere, an old 2-stroke Saab. About 10 years ago there was an ad in the paper a “Saab 96” for sale for $750. I called as soon as I saw the ad but the woman on the other end said it was sold. A few years later walking down the street I heard the tell tale “bell ringing” rattle of a multi cylinder 2 stroke engine with loud exhaust. My brain said Kawasaki triple, Trabant or Saab. Since i’m in the Midwestern US, I knew it was probably not a Trabant, and it was cold out, so odds were against the motorcycle. I watched for it, but I NEVER saw it. It was on a street a block off. I’ve heard it 2-4 times since, but only saw it once. It was glorious.
Echoing through a parking garage at the university, I heard it. The rattle that can only be attributed to a Saab on full song. It burst forth from the garage like the sound of a thousand angry bees and launched, slowly upon the street. It passed me at about 15 miles per hour sounding like it was going a thousand. Gray, red wheels, and a little frumpy man with wild grey curly hair. He wore a Glen plaid sport coat with suede patches on the elbows and a meerschaum pipe emanated from the corner of his mouth. It could have been a costume, it could have been a stereotype…shit, it could have been a dream, but that Saab was a thing of wonder.