5k: Swede Speeder: 1978 SAAB 99 Turbo

The SAAB 99 was launched in 1969 as the successor to the 2-stroke or V4 powered SAAB 96, but the 99 was powered by a Triumph sourced inline-4.  Needless to the say the Triumph engine had reliability problems; SAAB replaced it with a Swedish version of the engine in 1972 and the rest is history.  Find this 1978 SAAB 99 Turbo for sale in St Paul, OR for $4,500 via craigslist.

The SAAB 99 Turbo is one of those cars that doesn’t look that exciting on paper, but strapped behind the steering wheel, it is a different story.   The combination of small turbocharger, short gearing and lively steering makes for a great driver.  This one has a set of cool looking Inka wheels and the mudflaps forward of the rear wheels are there, but it is missing the other four (2 front, 2 back).

The 2.0 liter SAAB B-series inline-4 puts out 145 horsepower from the single non-intercooled turbo setup.  The 99 turbo will get extremely good mileage if you could keep your throttle foot out of boost.  On long cruises they’ll tickle 30 mpg.

Front seats look totally shot and it surprisingly still has the rear seat headrests. Those were usually discarded because it makes rear visibility a little rough.   The 99 uses non-assisted steering with a relatively small diameter/thick
padded wheel which made them a handful if you were trying to autocross

See a better way to rock rear window louvers without looking like a redneck?  tips@dailyturismo.com