Business in the front, party in the back

If you haven’t had a chance to read Tompa’s excellent interview with Christopher Johnston yet, you might want to or you won’t understand the inspiration for this post. In it, CJ stated that if he were at the helm of Saab right now, he’d be interested in bringing back a classic 900 inspired car and a Saab pickup modeled on GM/Holden’s G8. While his dreams haven’t come to pass and Saab is pursuing a different but equally exciting path with a possible small Saab if future circumstances allow, it’s always fun to reflect on the classic concept of the Saabamino, which derives its name from the classic Chevy Camino from the 50s-80s.

That’s where one of our readers chimed in with an email tonight sharing his story of how one of these mythical unicorns of the Saab world came to be. Jimmy had an opportunity to create such a creature from a wrecked 9-5, which I’ll let him explain to you in his own words after the break.

Great minds think alike!Β  CJ and I have the same idea! A Saab pickup truck!
Last winter in the dark days of Saab I decided that in the future I might have to make my own Saabs, so I thought I would practice on a crashed parts car. Using what I had, I created the coolest trash hauler in Santa Fe. It’s still around, we have sold lots of parts from it but the old v6 just keeps driving. It’s really fun to drive with no seatbelt or door! This car hit a tree at about 50 mph at 10 o’clock. The driver walked away uninjured until his Russian wife found out what happened to the car.
Excellent interview with CJ, He has some really great ideas. He is spot on with his description of Saab drivers.
I think a Saab pickup would be cool, and it could have a van version (like that little ford thing) as a brother. You guys are doing great, keep up the great writing. It’s pretty cool with different writers. I’m waiting for the news report of the bus driver missing his stop because he was blogging! πŸ˜€
You can use any and all of this email any way you want.

Cowboy Up!


Big thanks to Jimmy, and I think I speak for all of the writers here when I say how exciting it is to get emails every day from passionate Saab fans who have their own stories to tell. Keep the stories coming.

At first glance, the idea of a literal Frankensteined Saab pickup seems almost comical. On the other hand, they’re extremely badass and entirely amazing. Behold several examples covered here and around the net from the past few years.

This represents of course only a fraction of the vast wealth of Saab flat beds lovingly hand crafted over the years by serious enthusiasts. While at first you might think, “How in the heck could Saab ever translate something as wacky as that into something relevant and sellable now?” I for one have to admit the idea of a Saab pickup at first sounds pretty insane. But then one of our regulars SaabKen chimed up in comments and reminded me that Saab has already designed a solution to combine the utility of an open bed with the character befitting a true Saab, the 2001 9-X concept by then chief designer Michael Mauer.

Somehow, I think I could not only live with a similar solution in a future wagon type Saab, but I’d welcome it if they could engineer it well enough to work. Next up, the Spykeramino…

Just kidding.

12 thoughts on “Business in the front, party in the back”

  1. I would be crying rivers of sadness if saab would start bulding retrocars and pick-ups. Those things are so far away from what saab is all about.

  2. Great to see all of these enthusiasts work. I dont think the idea is totally wrong.
    It can be as right as when Saab decided to produce a Turbo and an affordable cabriolet.
    And look at the concept. That was so good.

  3. plz, plz, plz …. NO RETRO !!!
    There are so many great discussions about saab’s dna and what saab is all about, that bringing up retro renders everything reached so far into senselessness – definitely an infinite step into oblivion …

  4. Hehe, yeah, personally chopped vehicles are fun… it’s another thing when someone from the manufacturer thinks, “Yeah, that’s a GREAT idea!” Saab F150. Built Saab-tough. That greenish-yellow 95 looks the most natural. The others don’t look bad, per se… I’m just not into trucks. Still, I admire anyone who takes the time and effort to put together something like that.

  5. I’ve got to say that the pickup truck idea also makes me pause and wonder “what the heck?”

    Yet having seen those modified / custom Saab pick-ups and the 9-1X Air previously I’m not as stunned as I might be if this were the first time I saw those pictures.

    I’m not suggesting Saab change directions and pursue a pickup model but it is interesting.

    Honestly I feel the same way about the 9-7 and 9-4X – they aren’t for me but if it helps Saab sell vehicles I stand behind them (Saab).

    Heck, I worked in construction for many years and drove both Saabs and American pickups and SUV’s (yuck).

    I LOVED showing up on job sites with our classic 900 or NG900 loaded with materials and seeing the other folks on the job site scratch their heads in disbelief as to how much stuff I can get in an old Saab hatchback.

    I had even thought about one of those custom jobs as our old Saabs aged, but I don’t have it in me to take a beautiful old Saab hatch and modify it like that.

    Accordingly we are most excited about being able to replace our OG9-3 hatch models with new ones.

    But I wonder if a “pickup” would appeal to a new set of American buyers… perish the thought!

    Please don’t hate me for thinking about such crazy thoughts! πŸ˜‰

  6. Back in the ’80s there was a ’70s 99 pickup running around southern Connecticut that was built out of fiberglass from a kit made by a marine fabricator. You cut the back of the roof & trunk off a 99 2dr, and the fiberglass module set in their place and was, I believe, pop riveted in. Origionally owned by Continental Motors, it was bought by one of their former mechanics and turned into a turbo…..I wonder what ever happened to it?

  7. I think they are awesome, especially the red and blue 99 versions. They look tough, but with a sophisticated lineage. A Saab pickup is like the youngest brother in a blue-blooded family who instead lives on a farm, raising goats, painting abstract art, and charming all the ladies. Every dealer should make one from a 2010 XWD Aero lease returns for use in parts delivery, re-painted Independence Orange πŸ˜‰

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