Expensive Chop Top: 1997 Saab EX Prototype

It feels wrong to feature cars that are above DT’s self imposed price cap of $25k…particularly when that car isn’t truly worth much more than that…but you know, supply/demand. And supply of one-off custom factory approved Saab prototypes is exceeded by the demand for strange looking chopped-roof things. So that’s the lesson in Supply-chopped-side economics today kids, stay tuned for our next economics lesson which is “don’t spend money you don’t have on Land Rover maintenance”. Find this 1997 Saab EX Prototype offered at auction with an estimate of €60,000 to €90,000 ($64k-$96k) via bonhams (good pork) auctions.

From the seller:

1997 Saab EX Prototype
Chassis no. YS3CC55D4H1026144

  • Unique one-off built in Norway with SAAB factory cooperation and approval
  • Professionally constructed using SAAB parts only
  • 2.3-litre turbo engine (220bhp)
  • Fully road legal, technical inspection (EU control) issued 27.7.2023

The unique car offered here is a special design specially created for SAAB’s 50th anniversary in 1997. Built by Per Ekstrøm in Oslo in collaboration with SAAB Trollhattan and the Norwegian road authorities, it is fully road legal and drives like any sporting SAAB. The car is designed and was constructed in a professional body-shop by experienced personnel, the build consuming a total of some 3,000-4,000 working hours. This car is an amazing head-turner, attracting favourable attention at every filling station or classic car event where it far outshines any commonplace Italian supercar. The VIN/identity is from a 1987 SAAB 9000CC, making it easy to register this car as an ‘Oldtimer’, which is a considerable advantage in many countries.

The idea behind the design was to build a beautiful coupé with the widest body possible and the wheelbase of the classic 900 combined with the best available engine: the reliable 2.3-litre Turbo producing 220bhp. Numerous sketches and a tenth-scale clay model were made and transformed into the final design. The car is built from SAAB parts only, making it easy to maintain, and in complete accordance with SAAB factory recommendations.

As a tribute-car to SAAB through the years, it incorporates curves and details from at least four SAAB generations. A complete Saab 900 II car body was delivered by the factory from the start.
The tailgate is a modified 900 II with glass from the 900 cabriolet; roof is lowered by 7cm, the tailgate lock cylinder is replaced with an almost invisible camera connected to the Alpine stereo; the fuel cap has been moved to the middle of the design-line on the rear right hand side; and the wheel arches are from the SAAB CS 9000, widening the body by a couple of centimetres. The car is registered as four-seater (2+2).

The EX has an exceptional build quality with perfect fit; indeed, the tolerances are far better than in many modern cars. The car is said to run and drive excellently, with everything from suspension to the gearbox and engine working as it should. The engine has run for 154,000 kilometres; the car much less since completion and always proactively maintained. The EX has only had Sunday drives since 1997 and retains its original paint in close to perfect condition. A 10-hour professional coating was performed three years ago, and again this summer. For the last five years the EX has been on exhibition at Leif Gjestrum Larsen AS in Larvik, one of the remaining SAAB specialists in Norway.

All documentation available in paper format and will come with the car. This includes approval from traffic authorities, with comments on the high quality of the work; drawings, calculations and diagrams; dialogue with the SAAB factory; copies of selected magazine articles about the car; and a fresh technical inspection (EU control) issued 27.7.2023. with trophies and also a 40 minute video compilation of the build process from start to finish.

Please note that if this vehicle remains in Belgium, it will be subject to Import Duty at 10% (+VAT) and 21% Import VAT on the hammer price. Import rates to other EU Country’s may vary for VAT rate and an administration fee will be charged to prepare the necessary customs clearances with the Bonhams Customs Agents. Please note that if you purchase as an EU Company, the VAT amount will be calculated based on your registered countries rate. If you have any questions regarding customs clearance, please contact the Bonhams Motorcar Department or our recommended shippers.

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