Monday, March 05, 2007

The Case of the Missing Bumper Extension

Having the day off, I read through the classifieds of several Saab sites and found that an SPG owner was looking for a passenger side, front bumper extension and was willing to pay $100 for it. Hey! Wait a minute! I just pulled wheels off a 1988 SPG in Geneva. Maybe, I could ... . Soon I was on the phone with the fellow who was quite willing to purchase the part once I pulled it.

This was the adventure I needed for today. With an air of excitement, I quickly put on warmer clothes, inhaled some lunch (even skipped lunch!), and jumped into the Saab. The seventeen miles passed quickly and I found myself standing at the parts counter asking what the part would cost. Two men behind the counter looked up a picture of the bumper in a book and finally decided on $20. I readily agreed.

It took a while to get to the car in all the mud, slush, and snow, but my toolbox and I finally arrived and the operation began. Things were a little more difficult than usual since the wheels had been removed last week. But there were several inches under the bumper with which to work. Having decided to purchase both pieces in case someone else needed the other, I began working on the driver's side bumper extension—just for practice, you know.

But things didn't go quite as easily as I had planned. The Torx screw by the wheel well came off with no problem. But the one connecting the piece to the bottom of the bumper was so low that I couldn't see what it looked like. And after breaking a Torx screwdriver and then dropping (and losing) a 1/4" torx bit, I finally realized that the screw was actually a bolt. After attempting several sizes from 7 mm to 10 mm, frustration kicked in and I began to think that just the passenger side piece would be enough adventure for the day.

That's when it hit. After climbing over the rear end of the car and dodging thorn bushes, saplings, and various undergrowth, I became quite aware that something was wrong. What? The passenger side bumper extension was already gone! I looked all around the car thinking that perhaps it had been removed and discarded. But it was not to be found—inside or outside the vehicle.

I climbed onto a nearby car and scanned the yard. Perhaps there was another Saab somewhere. Yes, there was a 1990 900 convertible, two older 900 four doors, and two 9000s. But none of these had that elusive bumper extension. So, I began walking in wider circles. Just about every brand and model were represented in this yard: Mercedes, BMW, Volvo, VW Beetle, Morris Minor, Corvair, and even a Gremlin. But nowhere did I see that one part that was needed. Now what?

After visiting three other salvage yards, I drove home without the part. What would I tell the poor fellow? He was probably already celebrating his lost part being found. What'll I tell him now? While I considered how to break the news to him, I looked about on the internet. By that time, Saabnet and eBay had released their newest classifieds. Would you believe it? Between the two of them, I found four separate people advertising that same part.

If I ever find out which one took mine ...

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