4Car freuquently run a number of featurettes. It gives them the chance to say something nice about everyone, I guess, which is a good thing. If you can’t say something nice, you shouldn’t say anything at all (which is why I haven’t written anything on Bob Lutz’s retirement yet)
Ken H sent through a note about one of their latest features, one called Sentimental Attachments, where they list a number of cars they remember fondly and a few of the reasons why.
The Saab 900 is quite rightly remembered thus:
It’s easy to forget how unique the long-nosed 900 looked in the 1980s and how gracefully it aged in the 1990s. In an age of characterless economy-boxes, the born-from-jets design with wraparound windscreen and cockpit-layout dashboard really stood out.
The 900 Turbo was the first turbocharged road car made in any numbers. Purists prefer the early 8-valve version, with wider-spread torque curve, though the later 16-valve models are a little quicker. Both have the requisite Saab quirks, such as ignition situated under the handbrake lever and locking in reverse gear.
So where are they all now? High parts costs and labour charges sent many to the scrapyard, and there are few to choose from in the middle ground between the expensive collectors’ cars and the tatty models in need of restoration. Can’t help but be drawn back to the idea, though.
Unique in design. Unique in engineering.
That’s a much taller order in today’s automotive world, but I’m pretty confident that an independent Saab can do it.
Photo: Trollhattan Saab 900 photo day.