Saab replaces million-mile vehicles to their owners' delight

A traveling salesman who put more than 1 million miles (1.6 million kilometers) on his 1989 Saab is getting a new one from the Swedish automaker - which now says it will offer replacements to other original owners of million-mile Saabs, according to a media report.

Last summer, Saab executives verified the mileage on Peter Gilbert's car. He donated the car to the Wisconsin Automative Museum, but told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel at the time he was a little disappointed he had not received a Saab T-shirt, much less a replacement auto.

The company then decided to provide him with a new Saab 9-5 Aero and offer a one to anyone who put 1 million miles (1.6 million kilometers) on a Saab as the original owner.

"We have no idea, frankly, how many cars that will be. At this point, we only know of Peter's car," Jan-Willem Vester, a spokesman for Saab, told the Journal Sentinel.

The offer runs through 2007. It is not to exceed the value of the new 9-5 Aero, which has a suggested retail price of $38,735 (EUR 30,000).

Gilbert is due to get his early next year, the AP says.

"I am on cloud nine right now. This is exactly the car I wanted," he told the newspaper Monday.

Saab plans to take his old car for a showing at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.

"We thought it would be great to have the car there with a big sign on the windshield that says a million miles," Vester said.

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