Journal: What Is Your Saab Story?

What Is Your Saab Story?

By Josh Clason
October 1, 2013
29 comments

I can still remember the first time I saw one. Up until that point, I never really thought much about European cars, in general, but when I laid eyes upon the Saab 900, my whole automotive perception changed. When I was in high school, Robbie, a friend of mine who happened to own a 900, needed someone to drive his car home from school. (Incidentally, the 900 SPG featured in today’s video was once owned by Robbie, though it’s not the 900 to which I refer in this story.) Why he needed me to drive his car, I don’t remember now, but I do recall asking what kind of car it was, as I’d never paid much attention to what he drove. After getting a quick rundown on the car, I felt like I had more questions than answers. This car was modeled after jets? The ignition was where? The engine was laid out in what manner? How can you change the clutch that fast?

Sitting in this car for the first time, I distinctly remember that the word “cockpit” came to mind (I’d never had this thought inside of a car before). Although there are many other cars that were built around a driver, this was my first time getting to drive one and of taking note of just how good it felt to sit in a seat like this. I drove the car for only a short five minutes, but I won’t ever forget the drive, the shape of the car, or the feeling the car gave me.

Though the Saab may not be as sporty as a 911 or as iconic as a Beetle, but just like these two cars, it has a shape that you wouldn’t mistake for anything else on the road. After driving one it is easy to see why those who own a Saab refer to it as an addiction: once a Saab guy, always a Saab guy.

What is your Saab story?

Image Source: saabcentral.com

Photography by Becca Clason for Petrolicious

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Pierre Bonmarin
Pierre Bonmarin
5 years ago

500 00 km and 7 years to commuting and travel with my 900 t16 aero 88. So much passion for this car at I went to live in Sweden…

Dave Thomas
Dave Thomas
5 years ago

I lost count of how many Saabs we’ve had. But two of them gave their lives to save our daughters in very serious accidents.

Berk Akar
Berk Akar
7 years ago

i was working as a valet in a hotel 3 years ago and my job was to park cars to the lot which was 500 meters away and bring them back circling from the roundabout which was at additional 500 meters away and the guests were tend to be in a rush in most cases so i needed to be quick, that led me to run, get the car, put my foot down until the roundabout, turn back to the reception. that was my daily routine.

during this job i drove lots of good cars and had to chance to test their performances in that 500m distance. most of the cars were daily drivers but sometimes i flat out with some high end porsche, jaguar, bmw, mercedes models. and that was enough to make my day.

one day, a guest came with a 2001 saab 9-5. it looked very modest so i was totally not expecting what i’m about the experience. first i really loved the ignition being in the middle and the fasten seat belt signs on the upper head panel as if it was a plane. and than i started the cars and put my foot down as usual. the lean back was so intense i had a minor orgasm. i felt my heart rushing to the end and than i stepped on the brake and it’s the same for braking as well.

i fell in love in that moment and since then i’m looking for a same 9-5 in good condition.

Patrick Deschenes
Patrick Deschenes
8 years ago

I was aware of Saabs because my father transmitted to me his love of weird cars. But I never really warmed up to them, did really liked the looks of them. Until I saw the “GM” 900 in the 1994 yearly new car books. I remember thinking “one day, one day…” Four short years later, fresh out of college, my trusty Jetta was rip for a career change and I was due for a change. It was then that I spotted it, resting alone under a light pole at the used car lot: a white 1994 900. Love at first sight! It may have only been a base, non-turbo Saab, but I loved it for 4 years… Until I traded her for her younger, more attractive a much more athletic sister – a 2002 9-3 Viggen.

Oh my. What a love/hate relationship that was. Loved looking at her, loved drving her, hated paying her upkeep! She finally expired on the 401, on the way back from Mosport. Foolish me, I didn’t want to pay -yet again- for her heart transplant. So I let her go. I still see her from time to time in the local classified… Hacked to bit now by a few unsympathetic owner-mechanics…

I still miss that Blue missile. Never should have sold it!

paul campagna
paul campagna
8 years ago

I have quite a few stories about saabs. [url=”http://paulcampagna.com/my_saab-site/Saab-Site/SPG.html”]Here’s my [url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCyTAW5_QbQ”]1988 Saab SPG/ Aero 900[/url]

Paul Campagna Saab History[/url]

[url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aamzBXvhfNg”]Saab SPG with BOV Video[/url]

up to 15 in my life now, with 4 currently. Newest is a Black Viggen.

Jaap van der Weele
Jaap van der Weele
8 years ago
Jaap van der Weele
Jaap van der Weele
8 years ago

See: [url=”http://http://www.spanjaardwerf.nl”]Your text to link…[/url] Yes, it’s in Dutch 😉
Have a look on “Foto’s” (= pics) and the building process of my “Café Racer” (= turbo-CR)

Yanick Kuper
Yanick Kuper
8 years ago

Our Saab 900 S was more of a happy accident.

The Dutch consul general of Hong Kong was relocating to Shanghai and couldn’t take his dog with him. We offered to take care of his dog. While picking up my ‘new’ dog he mentioned he also had a mint Saab 900 S convertible that he had to get rid of. Before I knew it we left the Dutch consul with a Saab [i]and[/i] a dog.

Being an ex-consul Saab, it also rocked a CC sticker (Corps Consulate). In retrospect, those CC/CD stickers sure are something. They bring along a bunch of added benefits. Whether it was a 100\% legal to drive around like that… meh, i’d say it’s a grey area. Good times. 🙂

Valter Prieto Jr
Valter Prieto Jr
8 years ago

More pictures if somebody feel curious about a brazilian 900, with pictures from Paulo Keller:

http://autoentusiastas.blogspot.com.br/2011/03/saab-900-turbo-s-16-aero.html

http://autoentusiastas.blogspot.com.br/2011/03/saab-900-mais-fotos.html

Valter Prieto Jr
Valter Prieto Jr
8 years ago

Here in Brazil there are no Saab importer or dealer. General Motors Brasil imported and sold some 9000 CDs in 1992/93. My black 1991 900 Turbo S came to Brazil for GM market studies, together with a red convertible. So, my car is unique here. There is only other classic 900 from 1983, not in really good condition when I saw it some years ago.
My car was found by a friend, who immediatelly call me. I bought the car the next day, in December 2004, and started correcting some problems.
The bigger one was a broken gearbox, which was changed for a remanufactured one bought in Sweden by other friend with 25 years as a Saab engineer.
I changed the gearbox at home, on jackstands, from below of the car, without removing the powertrain. it was not so easy, but with another great friend helping, my wife and brother, we’ve done it ! The major problem were the costs, as I live in Brazil, [i]The Country of the Taxes[/i].
It is not a car for the posers, as it is not properly beautiful in the purest definition of this abstract concept, but a great automobile for an enthusiast.
Very low on suspension, it suffers on bad roads, but fine on smooth surfaces. The engine and brakes are good, but the handling is really ahead of its time, if you verify the 99/900 project was started in 1963.
Great to see people looking for the badges to identify the car, and the questions them make.

Xander Cesari
Xander Cesari
8 years ago

Interesting, it sounds like your car is an SPG (body kit and lower springs) but marketed as a 900 S.

Pedro Serro
Pedro Serro
5 years ago

Interesting that the only 900 in Brazil is still alive in your garage and well maintened. Did you know that the 9000 cd was the car that took Ayrton Senna from the track, right after his F1 victory in Interlagos? Um abraço de Portugal.

Charles Gould
Charles Gould
8 years ago

Sorry thatthe links were cut off. You may have to copy & paste or try these links.

http://s191.photobucket.com/user/ricobirdo/library/1962\%20Saab?sort=6&start=0&page=1

http://s191.photobucket.com/user/ricobirdo/media/1962\%20Saab/IMG_7764.jpg.html?sort=6&o=15

Charles Gould
Charles Gould
8 years ago

Another Saab Story- Barn Find 1962 Saab Model 96!
Written by Charles Gould
Photos by Gabriele Isenbrand
Chapter One
I have a love/hate thing with EBay and Craigslist. On the one hand, they alert me to interesting cars all over the world. On the other, they do the same for all of the other vultures looking to acquire the same things that I am looking for. As a result of EBay and Craigslist, and also just a factor of time, the majority of interesting barn find cars have been ferreted out by now. However, there are still a few fascinating barn find discoveries to be revealed. Those discoveries are infinitely more interesting when you are the one that discovers them!
I received the email referring me to a Craigslist ad for an old “Bullnose” Saab (1962) that had been in a garage since 1978, which was to be auctioned at 4:00 PM on Saturday, March 6, 2010. Although I wanted to go to see the car in person, I was not prepared to get there in time for the Saturday 4:00 PM deadline. So, I made arrangements to place a bid over the telephone, sight unseen.
I had lost three other “bullnose” “stroker” Saabs, and I did not want to lose another. One was from the estate in Texas, and the seller had promised to sell it to me for $4,500, and then decided to increase it to $5,500, and then decided to get it running first, and then demanded $6,500, which I was still prepared to pay as it had a factory rebuilt engine, and a GT hood, even though it was not a true GT. He then decided to place it on EBay, where it drew 12K or so. Oh well!
So, I was very excited about this New Jersey car, as I really love original cars with years of patina, and I also truly love barn find stories. I was “willing” this to be a nice original car, and although the posts on the Saab enthusiasts’ list were getting pretty discouraging, I did not give up hope.
At 11:00 am on Saturday, I decided that I really needed to see this Saab in person, and that I had to be there to bid live, to be sure that telephone bids did not fall through for a bad reception problem or some other glitch. So, I called several friends and nobody was available to take the 200-mile road trip. So I was getting ready to go alone, when my friends Carter & Gabrielle called to say that they were in town and wanted to visit. I asked if they were up for a road trip, and they set out to my house while I went to the bank to get some cash!
I debated whether to drag the trailer along, because it always seems that when I bring the trailer, the car is always a disappointment, and when I leave the trailer home, the car turns out to be great, and I have to frantically hunt down a U-Haul in the vicinity of the purchase
I did decide to grab the trailer from my shop on the way out, and we bolted down to New Jersey. We arrived at 3:20, and were greeted by four other very knowledgeable Saab enthusiasts, the three estate sale ladies, and some assorted customers buying other estate trinkets from inside of the home.
We were sent out to the garage behind the house, at the end of a long and very narrow driveway, that had long since been overgrown with trees and shrubs which had made the narrow access even narrower, and which would preclude getting the trailer anywhere near to the little Saab which had been tucked away thirty-two years prior.
When we finally got a chance to check it out, I was so excited to climb through the sad and lonely looking little teardrop. As someone else had posted, all four tires were flat, and all four wheels were stuck, so we were wondering how we were going to get it out of there if we were successful. Anyway, our investigation in that dark garage made it obvious that this was a remarkable example, even though it was covered in 32 years of dust and crud, and looked like hell on the surface. This was clearly a remarkably well preserved, time capsule, owned by a woman who was the original purchaser, and who parked it here in this garage in 1978 when she fell ill, and there it sat until being unveiled again in the last thirty days!
There was almost no rust whatsoever, and what little was there, was limited to surface deterioration on the bulkhead, where the mice had nested and urinated on the metal, which contrary to an earlier post, did not penetrate through the metal, but did remove the paint and caused some pretty deep surface rust in the corner near the driver’s side bulkhead.
Also contrary to that earlier post, although a previous owner had bent the steel up above the battery tray to accept a larger battery, they did not cut the metal, and I should be able to bend it back close to original. The plywood panels in the trunk were near perfect, and under the rear seat looked like brand new.

Yes, the engine was stuck, but we are always saying that mechanical stuff is easy to fix, but rust is such a headache. The upholstery and headliner were simply amazing, and even the dash pad was not cracked. The oil change stickers confirmed the mileage and dates, and contrary to an earlier post, the paint on the door seals was transfer from the door, after being closed for thirty years. There is not overspray on the door seals, although I was surprised to see both door striker mechanisms on the jamb were painted. Does anyone know if these were painted at the factory?
There appeared to be some minor body work on one rear fender, but it was done quite well. Otherwise it was remarkably unmolested, and well preserved, and even had the Blaupunkt radio, speaker, antenna and even the grounding straps for the radio installation kit. I decided that I really wanted this car, and when I learned that it would be a sealed bid auction, I got very concerned as there were about three or four other knowledgeable Saab enthusiasts at the site, and three more bidding by telephone. There was also another guy who arrived carrying a 6 amp battery charger, and who had intended to plug that into the garage outlet in the hopes that he could get the stuck engine to spin on the 6 amps of available power!
It was nerve wracking to try to decide what to bid, as I really had no idea what the others would bid. Well, we all must have had a good idea as to value, as four of the six bids were within $200.00 of each other, and my
bid was $99.00 higher than the next lower bid! But we were the high bidder except for one telephone bid that had a contingency that the seller provide a title at that price, which the seller could not do.
So, now we had to decide how we were going to drag it out of that narrow driveway, and figured that we would have to call a local wrecker with a long, long winch cable, until I decided to unhook the trailer and back my MDX down the narrow driveway. Unfortunately, I had cleaned out my MDX last week to go in for a new transmission, and I had forgotten to put my tools, air compressor or tow cable back into the truck before we left, so we had no way to pump up the tires before trying to see if any of the wheels would roll before we called the wrecker.
Now, I have pulled literally hundreds of old cars out of barns, and I am a consummate optimist, so I was “willing” the wheels to free up, as we tied up two ratchet straps to the rear control arms, and hooked them to my trailer hitch, half expecting them to break. As we tugged gently, two wheels rolled, and two dragged for about one foot before the third freed up, and another two feet before the fourth wheel freed up and started to roll. The brakes were still dragging a little, but the wheels were rolling!
We were able to slowly drag the little Saab all the way out to the street without any real problems except that occasionally the wheels would dig in as though the little car was holding on and afraid to be dragged away. I suspect that when he went to sleep in this garage over thirty years ago, nobody collected old Saabs, and he probably feared being dragged to a junk-yard after hiding successfully here in this garage for thirty-two years.
The trailer battery, which runs the winch died before we could drag the little car all the way onto the trailer, but we kept letting it rest and pulling six more inches, until we got the whole car safely up on the trailer. So, within thirty minutes of having won the bid, we had the little 96 loaded on the trailer and we were ready to head off for home in Massachusetts!
One of the ladies handed us the baggie, which had the original owners manual, service coupon booklet, and brochures for the Blaupunkt radio, as well as several period road maps of New Jersey and New York. The three ladies who were running the Estate sale were really sweet, and I had a lot of respect for how honest and fair they were in handling the sealed bid situation. It was really a pleasure to deal with them.
So, on the road again, and headed back to Massachusetts, with almost 100 miles under our belt, with most of those miles spent with me sneaking peeks at the cheeky front of this barn find through the rear view mirror, when we hit a huge pothole on the road that was so big that I waited to feel a tire collapse! Well, nothing seemed to be wrong, so we proceeded up to Rein’s Deli in Vernon, CT, about 85 miles from home for dinner. Reins is a traditional stop for us whenever we return from a car retrieval in New York, New Jersey, PA and anywhere else southwest of us here in Mass!
Dinner was great as usual, but apparently we had developed a slow leak in one of the trailer tires from the pothole, and although we didn’t realize it until we left Rein’s, the tire completely blew apart three miles later on Route 84! We pulled into a small 24-hour gas and convenience store to have some light to work under, as it was now almost
9 pm.
As I had forgotten to put my tools back in my truck before we left, we were stuck with no tools and no spare tire. Well to make a long story short, we could not get the tire off, and with the self leveling equalizer link on the leaf springs between the two right side trailer tires, there did not appear to be any way to get the dead tire off of the roadway, so it looked like our newest acquisition would have to sit out at a rest stop overnight until we could come back with a replacement tire and tools.
Then we decided to jack up the trailer suspension to bias the rear trailer tire down and the front one up, using the MDX jack. Once we had achieved the desired position, we went into the store, and carefully selected a pack of firewood, with one log just the right size to jamb in the shackle mount to hold the proper orientation for the trailer suspension to lift the front destroyed tire off of the roadway, and limped home the final 80 miles at slow speed, and made it home before 11:00 safe and sound!
Now with my back out, and exhausted from the tension of waiting for the second tire to blow, we went right to bed leaving the little Saab on the trailer in the driveway overnight, planning on having a closer look and cleaning it up in the morning. I will provide the next chapter of this saga soon, but please enjoy the photos in the meantime.
http://s191.photobucket.com/albums/z190/ricobirdo/1962\%20Saab/?start=0
All I will say at this point is that I am delighted to have acquired this little time capsule and I can’t wait to start on this project. Thanks to Carter for being such an amazing reference source on this car, and to Gabriel for documenting this barn find retrieval on her digital camera for me! Finally, thanks to both Carter and Gabrielle for all of their hard work, help, moral support and encouragement in chasing down this barn find dream! Please let me know your thoughts and comments after viewing the photos and whether you want me to write the next chapter of this story, and thanks for all of the support on saving this little 96!
http://s191.photobucket.com/user/ricobirdo/media/1962\%20Saab/IMG_7756.jpg.html?sort=6&o=10
Copyright 2010 Charles Gould
chasgould.com
(617) 965-4848

RS Anthony
RS Anthony
8 years ago

No personal Saab history as far as I am concerned. I have always drooled on the 900, but never purchased. Most certainly because of the front wheel drive layout. Yeah, I know.
But everything else I always found very compelling. The 900 does look fantastic. It oozes so much character. Sounds good too. The kind of car I would love to take for a long drive in Europe. Arrowing through the Black Forest.

Stefan van der Weele
Stefan van der Weele
8 years ago

I have owned 4 till now…. 1 injection 3 turbo’s…. they’re fantastic!

Andreas Pihelgas
Andreas Pihelgas
8 years ago

My Saab story began in high school when I started dreaming about my first car. The brand appealed to me even earlier. Saab, by default, was to me a thinking person’s car. I started browsing Saabs history and models in detailed manner and soon found the Classic 900, which at the time was for me just modern enough and affordable. Of course soon after I could not stop thinking about the 3 door Aero version. “There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.” (Edgar Allan Poe) It’s styling stands out and of course the equipment and engine package is very desirable. So after 4 years of dreaming about it and looking for it I finally found one. The head gasked had been failed, so I didn’t get to test drive it, but I did not care – I bought it right away and started to overhaul it. And now I’m living the dream. Every minute in that car is a well spent time and it’s a good place to be in. It’s the first car I ever bought and it will stay with me till the end.

Andreas Pihelgas
Andreas Pihelgas
8 years ago

…and I’ve always been a sucker for red

Peter Byfield
Peter Byfield
8 years ago

Thanks so much for the blast from my past. My Saab story starts back in the early 90’s with my now ex wife and I looking for a car to satisfy many varied rolls, I wanted something not seen that often with performance to match, she wanted something swedish having grown up with a Father who lived for Volvos and we both needed something practical enough to carry around our two Great Danes without looking too sedate and “family” so boxy Volos were out. We found a 900 Aero “TURBO” I still can hear the gorgeous noise, not a whistle, nor a whine when the turbo spooled up. It was never a sprinter, I recall on twisty roads the torque steer made it hard work, but I loved that car, so too did the Great Danes who fitted perfectly in the back with the rear seats folded down. Fond memories indeed, thanks.

Antonio Almeida
Antonio Almeida
8 years ago

When I was a little boy I used to see this cars as exotic cars. Probably the passion for the 900 started growing in me since I was 12 years old. They were something apart those days.

Now I’m 33 years old. And last year I started looking for 80’s sport sallons. So far I own an Alfa Romeo 75 and a Peugeot 405 Mi16. But one day I found as amazing a 1981 3 door 900 turbo… and I could not resist it…. It was the beginning… My father also started looking for a 900 and recently got a 900 turbo sedan. And we are looking for more..

Kyle Hudson
Kyle Hudson
8 years ago

My addiction to Saab started back when I was 5 years old. My family, at the time, stayed in the quaint town of Crofton, Maryland. My father, Jeff Hudson, was a Service Manager for Hunt Valley Saab, a newly started Saab Dealership which wanted to make its name in the big world of Automotive Business. I remember this day quite well. My dad came home with the job, a work shirt, and a smile on his face. He was currently working at Tischer of Laurel, which was a Jaguar Land Rover Volkswagen and Saab dealership. He had just bought Mom (from what I can remember) a 1996 Saab NG900 Turbo SE Automatic, finished in the divine color Ruby Red Metallic. I spent most of my childhood growing up in that car.

Years would pass, my father bringing home countless Dealer Demos. From the finicky 9000 CSE, to his favourite 9-5. He even had a 9-3 Viggen in Lightning Blue! Each car ride I went on with my family revolved around the lovely Swedish Automobile. Granted, through my Schooling Career, I would be teased for liking Saab, as it was not the Mustang or Camaro kids loved driving in the racing games we all played. But I did not care. I loved the car, and I loved what my Dad did for a living.

Fast forward to my 18th Birthday, or rather, 2 weeks before hand. Following the bankruptcy of Saab, I had gotten involved in various Saab Facebook groups, as many of the readers are that frequent this website. I really wanted my own Saab, not a hand me down that was given to my parents. I was stuck driving Ford Escorts, Dodge Neons, and even an Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera S (ironically enough, all were reliable, minus the Neons). With the help of my fellow Saabisti Jim Miller, he directed me towards a 1989 Saab Classic 900, finished in Edwardian Gray Metallic, which had a measly 107k miles on the clock. Ecstatic about the vehicle, I contacted the seller with the info Jim had provided me with, eager for a response and a chance to see the car. Phil Wackerhagen was his name, and a rather pleasant man too. I drove down to Annapolis, MD to where the car was located, only to find that he had the car ready to go waiting for me to show up. I also found that he was the original owner of the car, which assured me that the car was taken care of.

After selling my ’91 Olds Cutlass Ciera S, I was now the proud second owner of this lovely 900. I had a blast with this thing! Granted, it was not a speedster, with the infamous Borg-Warner 3 speed automatic gearbox hindering its performance, but as you can see from the picture she was quite the looker. Everywhere I would go in that car I would be stopped and asked “What year is that?!” or “That looks great!”. My personal favorite was “THATS A SAAB?!”.

A few months pass, and sadly, due to the lack of funding for a power steering rack, I had to sell my beloved 89 900. But, prior to that, I had purchased a 1993 Classic 900 S, Finished in White, mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox at 123k miles. For those who know me, this was the biggest investment of my life. For those who don’t, here’s the story. After the purchase, I had found out that this particular 900 had sat for almost 5 years. And we ALL know what happens when Saabs sit. Slowly, my $675 bargain Saab turned into a financial nightmare. The Steel wheels that were on it rusted out, so I had to replace them with the S trim alloys. Headliner was shot, had that re-upholstered. The front bumper was chewed up by a Raccoon, which I had then hunted down a bumper off a parts car owned by Ian Shure. The Fuel Level Sender went, which prevented the gas gauge from working. TONS of wiring work had to be done. Parasitic Drain was caused due to a constantly engaging Brake Booster Assembly, that too was replaced. 3 Mass Air Flow sensors. Distributor Cap and Rotor, Spark Plugs and Plug wires, Oil Change, and about 3 batteries later (and $5000 down the drain), the ’93 C900 S ran like a champ.

My current Saab is now a 1998 NG900 SE Turbo 5 speed. I picked her up back in August 2012 when I was a salesman at Russel Volkswagen in Catonsville, MD. Someone had traded in the 900 at 132k for a Camry (Yes, I know, WHY!?), and it was sent to our wholesale lot. One of the vallets told me that “Someone traded in a cool Saab you may want to look at”. Naturally, I stop what I am currently working on, and high-tail it to the wholesale lot to see my now current Saab. I contacted the wholesaler, paid $2000, fixed a rear caliper and A/C Compressor, and she was as good as new. She now has a Stage 2 ECU tune by Mike D, a Viggen Intercooler, a Genuine Saab Open Air Intake, and a Saab Sport Exhaust system, sitting on 16″ Talladega Super Aero Alloys on Sumitomo All Season Tires.

I also own a 1989 C900 Turbo Convertible 5 speed, and a 1989 C900 Sedan, 2.1 N/A 5 speed parts car.

Vintage Son
Vintage Son
8 years ago

My friend has a Saab 9-3, later one, and it had a cold air kit on it. Well, one day there was a flood and he went through a 2 inch deep puddle. Well, what he thought was a 2 inch deep puddle, it was more like a foot and a half deep pedal. Know where this is going? Yea, hydrolocked his engine. He got a new one, or rebuilt it, can’t remember. Later when it was very rainy coming up to a puddle, the car shut itself off! I still laugh about that one. He still has the car, and we still joke about his car being afraid of puddles.

JB21
JB21
8 years ago

The first (and to only car) I stole was a SAAB 900 SPG. Actually I only “borrowed” it from a friend who fell asleep drunk, and he woke up to find the car missing, call a cop, and so on. I love every SAAB, even the miserably bad GM 900s and 9-3s. I love everything about them, odd looks (My ex-GF hated 900s, she thought they were butt ugly), stupid ignition location (no other word for it, it’s just stupid, even though I loved it just for that reason), etc. 9000 had the coolest cup holder ever (also probably the most fragile. I have one in my office, sourced from a junk yard), and WTF, the nicest seats in the business – I don’t understand why other manufactures can’t make seats like SAAB did? Did you know, in one post Fleming novel, James Bond drove a 900 Turbo? I never understood why – let’s face it, it never ever was as good as Beemer or Merc of the same era, but sure SAAB had odd, irresistible appeal. GM killed it through mismanagement. I really think we SAAB-phile should have pitched in from all over the world and bought the company, so SAAB could have built new 2-stroke madness.

Nathan Van Egmond
Nathan Van Egmond
8 years ago

Having looking for a 900 SPG for 4 years, I finally found mine a year ago! A grey on grey 87 spg! As soon as i sat in it, despite the seized breaks, oil leaks and flat tires, i had fallen head over heals for it. The smell, the look, the feel, it was all there! 2 months later, re-built the breaks, new paint and fender/rust work and a few other things, the car was mine! Ive owned it for a year now, and I more in love with it than i was when i bought it. Best car. Glad Petrolicious did a video! 😀

motoring con brio
motoring con brio
8 years ago

Not a Saab story, but rather a sob story: this is the car we [i]could have[/i] grown up with had my father been more impulsive and in a position to afford the maintenance on a European car. Instead we got treated to the rakish good looks and inspired performance of the Mitsubishi Tredia. Boo hoo indeed.

Dan Wentworth
Dan Wentworth
8 years ago

When I was a nipper my Dad had a few Saabs, a few 90s that I don’t remember and a 900 which had suffered a crash and was parked in our garden.

I can remember being sat out inside this old 900 pretending to drive for a good chunk of my childhood. Fast forward 19 years and I’m a grown man with a proper job, I bought a Saab 93 TiD as a cheap workhorse to ferry me to work and back in comfort. Something must have tripped in my brain, because less than 6 months later I’m on the search for my holy grail of 900s – the Saab 900 Carlsson.

It comes fitted with a Carlsson body kit, the red-box APC gives it an extra 10bhp (185 to 175 for a standard T16S), the black-on-white pinstripe decals give it the perfect 80s finish. Add in a 2 1/2 inch stainless Abbott Racing exhaust to amplify the burble and you have the perfect car.

It gets positive comments every time I pull up to the pump, whenever I walk up to it I smile. I don’t think I’ll ever be voluntarily separated from this brilliant machine.

Dan Wentworth
Dan Wentworth
8 years ago
Reply to  Josh Clason

Well, if you’re ever in the south of England you’re very welcome to come and give it a drive.

Xander Cesari
Xander Cesari
8 years ago

I just commented this on the video feature, I’ll copy and paste over here.

About a month ago I needed a new winter car and I had a hard time thinking of something that would be an acceptable follow up to my GTV6. I have a lot of Saab fan friends and though I respected their cars I hadn’t been bitten yet. One had an SPG that I had driven with great delight but for some reason owning one just hadn’t become a serious consideration yet.
Then I found this ’88 SPG for short money just a few miles away from my house. I decided to go “look at it”… but I knew I was driving it home. By the time I rolled back up my driveway I had fallen head over heels for it (details, for those who care about these things: 143k miles, shockingly rust free, great interior, Eduardian gray). Immediately gone was my blanket distaste for FWD, replaced with a giddy excitement for turbos and that rock solid, micro-tank, Swedish feel. Clearly, I appreciate cars that are just different and no one does different better than Saab. I was soon doggedly hunting down APC tuning tips and dreaming of Super Aero rims.
The fact that this video was shot at right around the same time is just fate!