1989, the year I started driving and also the year I realised I had an uncontrollable desire for cars, over the years I’ve owned around 90, but one kind has always intrigued me more than others, Sleepers.
'A sleeper or Q-car is a car that has high performance and an unassuming exterior. Sleeper cars are so called because their exterior looks similar or identical to a standard car'
I started with executive, big engined BMW 5 series, 528, 530 and M5, then I tried an Audi S6 and a few wonderful Mercedes W124 320 coupes, all had the Sleeper feel, but it took my very first Saab 9-5 Aero to fully realise the beauty of a true Sleeper. Exceptional comfort, relaxed cruising, unassuming styling, yet put your foot down and it quite easily surprises many other drivers, even in its standard form and I loved that.
What followed was a growing passion for the Saab marque, but the 9-5 Aeros have always held a special place in my automotive heart, over the years I've owned eight 9-5 Aeros, all saloons and all tuned to at least Stage 3. I love modifying them just enough so that folks in the know, will know, but everyone else will presume it's just a nice looking executive saloon.
Of course there are always giveaways, the lowered, purposeful stance, the larger exhaust, the subtle whoosh from the upgraded induction kit, and in my case, always a set of purposeful wheels, but to the uninitiated, still no hint of what hides under the bonnet, and to me that makes the perfect Sleeper.
The 9-5 remains an underrated car in my eyes, ridiculous value for money with huge tuning potential and has to be one of the most comfortable cars ever crafted, and long may they stay that way, after all that means more for us Saabists to keep to ourselves.