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.
The Saab 9-3 was built on the GM2900 platform which was shared with the Opel Vectra, Saab 9-5 and Saturn L-something-that-you’ll-quickly-forget. Anyway, the 9-3 was a replacement for the outgoing Saab 900, which had transitioned from classic Saab platform to some GM based thing in 1994…but the 9-3 still kept a degree of Saabiness that is clear and appreciated by Saab fans. The Viggen model was a nod in name to the Swedish fighter Jet, but it was unmistakably a reincarnated Saab 99 Turbo. With 230 horsepower and gobs of torque in a 2.3 B235R turbo 4-cylinder, this was a car that had more forward thrust that it’s competition, particularly in the 40-70mph range where turbo Saabs are known for spanking sports cars and muscle cars alike. Find this 2000 Saab 9-3 Viggen Convertible offered for $7200 in Boise, ID via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
The Saab 9000 was built on the Type Four platform, which Saab shared with Alfa Romeo, Fiat, and Lancia on the 164, Croma, and Thema, respectively. It was not, however, shared with Subaru, so the addition of a rhino horn 2004 STI hood scoop is somewhat jarring at first glance, but maybe makes more sense when you consider that Subaru did later partner with Saab to make the 9-2X. The scoop can be removed, but those wheels need to stay. Find this 1994 Saab 9000 CDE Turbo offered for $6000 in Broomfield, CO via craigslist. Tip from Zach.
Parts availability for the Saab 900 platform isn’t as plentiful as it was back when ever other college professor drove one of these things, but it isn’t bad for vintage Scandinavian oddball. But if you were really concerned that you couldn’t find some diaphragm or hard-line used in one of those early Bosch fuel injection systems, you could consider upgrading to something more common, like an entire Ford Mustang drivetrain. Say what? Yeah, this next car might look like a Saab 900, but it has been competely transformed from front-wheel-drive backwards-engine Saab rally machine into a Weld Wheel shod supercharged 5.0h V8 powered drag strip speed machine. And the interior (and engine bay) is a treat for the LSU or classic LA Kings fan. Find this 1986 Saab 900 offered for $22,500 in Henderson, NC via faceswap marketbash.
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.