Featured: This Saab 96 is the Perfect Fit For Its Teenaged Owner

This Saab 96 is the Perfect Fit For Its Teenaged Owner

By Petrolicious Productions
May 4, 2015

Owner & Photographer: Aidan O’Callaghan

Seventeen-year-old Aidan O’Callaghan ended his note to us with, “I may just have the coolest, and certainly oldest, car at college.” A 1972 Saab 96 isn’t the typical pick of a teenager, however, but there’s a bit of method in the madness for O’Callaghan.

Born into an enthusiast-led family—his father is on his sixth Saab—O’Callaghan has always loved the styling of the 96, especially with rally lights on the front to remind him of a childhood toy: a Saab 96 rally car.

“I’ve always been interested in cars,” O’Callaghan writes, “and this is my first one. It’s in rather good condition for its age, with a few typical problems—it’s not a Concours car but a wonderful driver.”

He bought the car from a Morgan Dealer in Watford, U.K., at the back of the Harry Potter Studios—certainly an interesting location to be hiding some Swedish metal. Now studying agriculture in college, it’s the perfect time machine to indoctrinate nonbelievers into the Saab family.

“What I love about the car is how underrated it is, and how many people want to stop and talk about it,” O’Callaghan says. “When I first bought the car, a few people turned their noses up at it but after seeing it and going for a ride, the car really changes their opinion of the Saab brand.”

With good music on the radio, O’Callaghan says back country roads are where the car shines—and if you’re ever near Bedford, England, they’re where you’ll probably find this teenager in his classic Saab 96.

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SimonBrian HartPhil AuldridgeGavin Clark Recent comment authors
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I had this car in a wagon, it is the 95. What a great car! Tons of fun to drive and it always started. Put almost 50K on it through college, really miss that car!

Brian Hart
Brian Hart

This is my 1964 Monte Carlo clone. Nobody knows what it is and that makes it a Very cool car.

Phil Auldridge
Phil Auldridge

Oh yeah, I just, on spur of the moment, acquired a ’67 Saab 96. This is the original version with 2 cycle 3 cylinder engine. Wildly impractical (you have to pour 2 cycle oil in the gas tank at every fill up), and on paper grossly underpowered, this is just a gem of a car. At only a bit over 1800 lbs (less than my MGA roadster), it is light and agile, and that little “stroker” engine revs like there is no tomorrow, belying its 44 stated horsepower. With 4-on-the-tree, all synchromesh transmission, triple carburetors (one for each cylinder) light… Read more »

Gavin Clark
Gavin Clark

Great car and would be the coolest in most car parks….never mind a college one!