Simpler Times: 1971 Saab 96 V4

The Saab 96 was a classic aero-shaped front-driver from the guys at Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget and SAAB history buffs will tell you that it was technically the third major redesign of their first car, the Saab 92. In typical Saab fashion, the 96 continued in production long after its planned replacement (the 99) was released, in fact the 96 continued in production through 1980. Today’s example is an “original owner” classic that has a few dents/dings but looks okay for the asking price and is equipped with a little V4 engine. Find this 1971 Saab 96 V4 offered for $6000 in San Mateo, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!

From the seller:

1972 saab 96
condition: good
cylinders: 4 cylinders
drive: fwd
fuel: gas
odometer: 178000
paint color: blue
size: sub-compact
title status: clean
transmission: manual
type: coupe
Up for sale is an original owner 1971 Saab 96 2-door sedan with 177k original miles on the clock and a clean California title. The Saab is powered by the Ford 1.7-liter V4 engine with a 4-speed column shifted manual transmission. Purchased new in Palo Alto, the Saab has remained a Bay Area car its entire life and retains its original “blue plates.” Most importantly with any classic car, this Saab 96 is rust-free.

The Saab was a daily driver for many years, until around 2002 when it was put into storage and registered non-op. However, the car was started each month and driven outside the garage to be cleaned and ensure the engine had a chance to warm up.

Mechanically the 96 is in good shape, as the V4 starts right up and shifts into gear without issue. The original radiator had developed a leak, so it was replaced with a new unit within the last few months. Prior to being placed in storage, the Saab was regularly maintained (the service records will be included with the sale).

Cosmetically the car is in fair condition. Being a 50 year old car, the 96 has its share of imperfections. The most obvious is the dented driver side fender and missing side marker, and the passenger side rear quarter panel has dent along with a couple of missing trim pieces that need replacing. Otherwise the paint has held up well over the years and cleans up nicely with a wash and wax.

The interior of the Saab has held up well for its age. The upholstery is in good shape aside from cracking on the driver’s lower seat cushion and a separation on the dash pad. The rest of the interior is in good condition though, including the headliner and carpet.

With limited parking space and serving as an extra car, the Saab unfortunately must move on to a new home. The Saab would be a great candidate for a light restoration, or perfect to enjoy as-is and fix things as you go. Whether it’s a cars-n-coffee event, or cruising around town, the Saab 96 is a unique and quirky automobile sure to turn heads and put a smile on everyone’s face. Since the Saab is pre-1976, it is also smog exempt, which makes registration a lot easier and allows free reign for any engine upgrades.

Included with the sale is the original set of steel wheels, factory service manual, service records, and original sales receipt. The tires hold air, but are old and should be replaced before the vehicle sees road use again (buyer should prepare to bring a trailer). We hope the little Saab goes to an enthusiast who will enjoy it and give it a new lease on life.

Feel free to send an email with any questions or to set up a time to view the car. Thanks for reading!

See a better way to drive around in a cool old Saab?