I keep hearing crazy stories about blistering cold weather from people in places from Texas to Oregon, and how much it is impacting their day-to-day lives. Meanwhile, everybody in Minnesota or Alaska (where it is 10-to-20 degrees colder) keeps going to work and the store and acting like this is normal. The problem is that people in Texas or Arizona tend to drive vehicles that are setup for warm weather or imported from California, but what they need to do is to start car shopping up North. If you tried to bring some little summer rubber shod convertible to Alaska, you are going to die on the side of the road when the first storm comes through in October (and they won’t find your carcass till next May), but if you bring a 4WD SUV from Alaska to Texas…that is a recipe for getting places on-time and in-one-piece. Find this 2005 Saab 9-7X offered for $5,400 in Wasilla, AK. Tip from Zach.
The Saab 900 Classic was built by Saab from 1978 through 1994. It is a very different beast from the Saab 900 NG (New Generation) that was built on a GM2900 platform. The OG 900 is really just an updated Saab 99, which means you get an engine mounted backwards at a 45 degree slant over the front wheels and a surprising amount of turbocharged performance. From a roll, a vintage Saab 900 turbo will hang with all of the best sports cars from the era in a straight line and the double wishbone suspension means it will also take the turns better than most of the junk on the road. But the best part of this next car is the louvers. Find this 1988 Saab 900 Turbo SPG offered for $10,000 in Reading, PA via craigslist. Tip from Cory & Sean.
The Saab 9000 was built on a shared Saab/Fiat platform that was also used in the 1984-1998 Lancia Thema, Saab 9000, Fiat Croma, and Alfa Romeo 164. This next example of the Saab/Fiat Type 4 platform features an unbeatable combo for a sub $1k car — executive class luxury, front drive safety, and Giorgetto Giugiaro styling. Tow it home, fix it stock, or start pushing up power with the easy to modify Saab B-series 4-cylinder. Find this 1996 Saab 9000 CSE offered for $600 in Castle Rock, OR via craigslist. Tip from Zach.
This next Saab comes from late in the era of GM produced Saabs. The 2002-2014 Saab 9-3 had more in common with a Chevy Malibu than it did with the original Saab 99…not that its a bad thing. But the interesting thing about the 9-3 Turbo X is that 280 horsepower from a turbocharged 2.8 liter V6 goes into a 6-speed manual gearbox and eventually to all four wheels. Find this 2008 Saab 9-3 Turbo X bidding for $6,000 in Orefield, PA via carsandbids.com.
The Saab 9-3 Viggen (1999-2002) was the last great attempt at refining a recipe built by Saab starting with the 1978 Saab 99 Turbo. This recipe starts with a front wheel drive Saab with long-hood styling, sprinkle in some fighter jet inspiring interior, then add a small turbo that focuses on low end grunt and torque steer. I owned a Saab 99 EMS for a few years, and it was a great little car, but it needed more power…more thrust…more turbocharged 252 ft-lbs of torque. Maybe I need a Viggen. Find this 2001 Saab 9-3 Viggen offered for $9000 in Plymouth, MI via craigslist.
The Saab 9000 was the final vehicle designed in house at Saab and brought to market by the funky Scandinavian OEM before it was fully acquired by the machine known as General Monster…errr Motors. The 9000 was built on a shared Saab/Fiat platform that was also used in the 1984-1998 Lancia Thema, Saab 9000, Fiat Croma, and Alfa Romeo 164. The Saab/Fiat Type 4 platform features executive class luxury, front drive safety, and Giorgetto Giugiaro styling…but the best part is that they are cheap and easy to modify to go fast, if you can find one. Find this 1994 Saab 9000 Aero offered for $4,800 in Brooklyn, NY via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
This next car comes as a tip from tipper Zach who writes: It’s always sunny on Thorsday! Worth it or not? No idea. Undoubtedly fun. Probably more so than my 9000 Aero. Oh yes, it is not just always sunny on Thorsday, it is also always Thorsday on days that end with “y”. This next example of Swedish delight is an OG 9-3 (Saab internal designation of 9400) and was the last Saab to use the H-engine, which was just a redesign of the Saab B-engine, which was just a redesigned Triumph slant-4 that was first used in the 1968 Saab 99. So…whatever is new is actually old, and whatever is Saab is actually a Triumph. Find this 2000 Saab 93 Viggen offered for $7,200 in Anchorage, AK via craigslist.
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. The Monte Carlo version was a celebration of Saabs rally racing success and fitted a triple carburetor to the two-stroke 3-cylinder engine and was sold as the GT 850 in 63/64 and afterwards was called the Monte Carlo 850. Today’s example is fitted with a Taunus V4, but the seller includes a 2-stroke 850 (or…841?) and most of the parts needed to get this thing back to MC850 spec. Find this 1965 Saab 96 Monte Carlo 850 bidding for $7700 reserve-not-met with buy-it-now of $15,000, located in Pound Ridge, NY.
There is an art to squeezing the maximum amount of money out of your customers. It is actually an art and a science and there are people called marketers who spend their entire career trying to get the consumer to pay more for less…which is the unfortunate reality of a really well prepared used car advertisement. The more time a person spends trying to lure you into buying their car with glossy photos and catchy prose, the more money you are going to have to shell out. On the other hand, a poorly created ad with bad photos is, more often than not, the best way to buy a used car. Always remember, the condition of the car is more important than the condition of the advertising photos — that is something you can take to the bank. Find this 2005 Subaru 9-2X Aero offered for $6,000 near Boise, ID via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
This next car comes as a tip from Johnny Bouncewell who writes: Man, I don’t NEED another Viggen but this one sure is tempting. Right number of doors, OEM wheels, and the proper six speed transmission. Yes JB, you are correct, the combination of a 2.3 liter turbo-4 boosted to 230 horsepower is cool, but only […]