To all that are interested, I’ll post this whilst Swade is away enjoying his family gathering.
– More than I’m willing to spend.
– Tempting alternatives.
– The current leading candidates.
I’ve not posted, nor have I really read much here in the last couple of months due to a searing work load and generally full family calendar. Ditto goes for the Saab shopping as one might expect — not so much to write about.
Read on for more….
First, the disappointment.
Based upon the advertisement, I thought this blue 1990 Saab 900 Convertible would be the trick, so I made sure to see it on a recent trip to Tampa. After all, it had been recently rebuilt — the transmission and electrical components have recently been “gone through”. Whatever that means.
However, when the top has some openings beginning to separate, the headliner is falling, the paint is completely shot in spots and the rust has started eating through the rear, it really doesn’t matter how good it runs unless there are some serious concessions made in price. There don’t seem to be any forthcoming.
On the same trip, I was pleasantly surprised with this little gem of a car. Get this — only 26,500 miles on it. REALLY. It’s a 1992 Saab 900S convertible with only 26,500 miles on the odometer. It is in very, very good condition. It made me seriously reconsider my assumptions that I really would not be satisfied with a normally aspirated car. The owner had it on eBay, and the bids were up in the US$6,000 range when I saw the car on a Friday afternoon. I told the owner that I’d consider bidding, but that I thought that the bids had topped out and that he would end up not selling the car at auction. I left him my phone number with the offer to negotiate after the auction ended if he still had the car (which I fully expected). Even though it was in very, very good shape, I didn’t think that it was worth much more than US$6,000, if it was worth that.
Boy, was I wrong!
I was absolutely shocked to log on to eBay about three days later and see that not only had he sold the car, he’d gotten almost double what I thought that it would draw! That’s right, this 1992 Saab 900 S convertible sold on eBay for $11,500. Two weeks ago. Really.
Then, I took an hour or two to visit the Lane Motor Museum about two weeks ago. And I saw something that I thought that I might like. Not right now, but in the future. A track car, something to flog.
You see, from time to time, the folks at Lane Motor Museum sell pieces of their collection. And, I spotted this little gem, a Citroën rally car, all done up and looking for an owner.
Now, I didn’t even ask about the price. Citroëns are not street legal in the United States, not having passed the emissions and safety regulations as production vehicles; I’m certain that this rally car has even fewer emissions controls than when it was new. The well-known self-levelling suspension on many Citroën models is also illegal here (I’ve never known exactly why). This car does not appear to have the hydropneumatic suspension given that it’s at full ride height while parked, but the suspension is really academic, anyway.
I digress somewhat here, but it’s with a purpose.
Seeing this car set my thought process on a more sporting Saab, one that was to be driven hard rather than cruised. Turning in that direction, I found:
1974 Saab Sonett Modified SCCA racer
For just US$6,500, I could own this little racer:
1.6 liter V4, original front-drive set up. Food for thought, but not really practical, either. Naturally, this isn’t street legal, and I simply can’t easily drive a car this small. Both non-starters.
Then, things got interesting. I stumbled upon a real temptation. Something that really, and I mean really got my wheels turning.
For US$10,000. I could have my very own 1977 Saab 99 rally car. Ready to roll and complete. With some unique provenance, to boot. How many people can say that they own a car with a complete history of the restoration? And there it is, 100% documented in the pages of Grass Roots Motorsports.
This is a real, bona fide alternative. I can register the 1977 as an ‘antique’ car in my home state since it is over thirty years old. No need to worry about any sort of regulations. No emissions checks required, and as long as the car meets the safety standards in force in 1977, I’m in. as an added bonus, the car would actually hold the whole family if we all wanted to go for a drive.
The thought of a track day or two floated through my mind as I considered buying this car. The fun and the perfection of a simple Saab 99 made for sport. After a couple of days, I think that I talked myself back into the convertible basically because it’s an everyday/every weekend enjoyment that the track cars just can’t match.
But I was really, really tempted. One of you reading this right now should seriously take a look at that car and consider how rare an opportunity this Saab 99 represents. In the end, I just wanted a different car. On the other hand, this is one I could live to regret.
So, back in the saddle, I think that this pair of green C900 ‘verts represents the best of the options before me now. I hope that one of them works out soon — summer is here!