The Saab you never had

I don’t know about you, but there is a certain Saab I always wanted to have. In my case it is not a certain model or a model-year or a certain body style or even a certain engine, in my case it is the colour.

I always wanted a monte-carlo yellow Saab.

In 1999 I bought my first car/Saab, it was a brand new 9-3 with the 2L non-turbo engine as I couldn’t afford more. It was a non frills base model, and the only options I had were 5 spoke 15″ alloy rims and ACC. I couldn’t afford more, and I wanted to own a new car, so I had to go for the most basic Saab.

When I went though the catalogue I saw the yellow cabriolet, and decided just by looking at that picture, that my car had to be yellow, monte-carlo yellow.

I felt very disappointed as I learned that that colour was reserved for the convertible, at least in Germany, so I went for just the opposite, silver metallic.

Years passed by, but I still wanted my yellow Saab, but Saab wasn’t offering yellow cars any more, I don’t know if the yellow Viggen has ever been available in Germany, but my budget wouldn’t allow me to buy a Viggen anyhow. So I decided to go for a motorbike. It had to be a. yellow and b.the brand had to be as charismatic as Saab.

The result was a yellow Ducati monster.

This is not my monster, the picture is from the net, but mine looked almost identical to that. I totalled my monster after missing a red light, and since then the dark side of the force doesn’t allow me to buy a new motorbike.

The years passed and Saab started offering yellow convertibles once again. I was very excited about that, but once again I felt very disappointed when I saw the colour in real life, it was not monte-carlo yellow, it was too palish for my taste.

At that time I was a visitor of trollhattansaab, and Swade started talking on his new to him Monte-Carlo 9-3.

I felt very envious of him, and started my quest for an affordable 9-3 in Monte-Carlo yellow. In 2009 I found one in Helsinborg, and as I was visiting Trollhättan that summer, I decided to make a short stop and have a test ride. At the end, the global economic situation of 2009 didn’t allow me to buy a 3 door 1999 9-3 in Monte-Carlo yellow.

Currently I’m waiting that the Saab situation is solved and after that I will decide if I continue my quest for a Monte-Carlo yellow 9-3 or if I wait for the JC 9-3, hopping that Saab will offer that car in a nice shade of yellow.

(Note: a Monte-Carlo yellow C900 is indeed a very nice car, but one in good condition is by far to costly for me)

So what is the Saab you never had?

A two stroker, a Sonnet, a Viggen or maybe a TurboX?

Does anybody have information about the car on the first picture?

It is not a Viggen, it is a concept car called Saab 900 Coupé, High Performance Concept.

79 thoughts on “The Saab you never had”

  1. I’d love to see a 9-5 in that same yellow.

    I wish Saab had two or three special colors for the Aero-models (still offering dull boring black and grey – yes I find black and grey a bit boring on a car). 🙂

    But I still want a nice dark green 9-5. Think I have to buy a white one and then repaint it.

    • A bit boring? I hate that every second car on the road is grey. To me it is never silver but grey metallic. I had a black car ten years ago – but never now. So please give us some colour! Up Saab!

  2. The very first SAAB I have seen and was driven in was a green 9-3 (I think a 1999 MY). This was before I even owned a car or knew how to drive. Not being much into cars at that time: I am not sure why I was so captivated by it. I just remember really wanting a SAAB at that point in time … it took 9 years after that for me to rediscover my interest in SAAB and actually buy a 9-3.

  3. For me it would have to be a C900 T16S. Im not really that bothered about what colour but I keep seeing a black one here in Vancouver that someone appears to be taking good car of. Given the colour choice I think Id choose silver with that lovely oxblood “red” leather interior. *drool* 🙂

    One day I may replace “Thor” (my current car) with a used TurboX manual or a 2013(ish) 9-3.

    Saab Up!!

  4. Uneless the one here is taken over by someone in the Club here in DK , there will be a 99 MCY Viggen in very nice condition, just run in at 210Kkm for sale in Germany at about €500-1000 cheaper than the others for sale.
    If no interest it will go to eastern Europe.
    Maybe you should try that one 🙂

    Personally there are, except for Viggen, 2 models that would make me extremely happy:

    The 1964 Bullnose TT in any colour and a 99T CC in Kardinalröd..Preferably 5-door, but that would be a real stretch.

  5. Hum… as you may know, Saab Monte Carlo is a piece of collectible car. So expensive is it. The color is due to a flower : Tulip Monte Carlo (that is sulfur yellow). The universal color code for cars is 83383 Monte Carlo Yellow, Saab color code is 231 Monte Carlo Yellow. Perhaps can you offer a bodypaint work to your “anycolor” Saab ? I don’t know how much it would cost. You can find some old 9000 in that color anyway.

    As you mentionned it, Saab has still yellow cars in inventory, for 2004 Saab 9-3 and further. It is called Lynx Yellow (the Yellow Edition convertible), and Lime Yellow Clearcoat for all (too much dark). I saw a yellow 9-3 Cabriolet for sale in Lünen, Inca-Gelb they said ?? 2800 cm³ and EUR 26.990,- oops !

    The Saab I never had : TurboX. Economical crisis prevents me from having one, my professionnal activity is declining.

  6. I had a 2000 9-3 in Cayenne Red (basic 5 door with the 5 speed manual and 185 hp 2l engine). It was brand new, but I bought it late in 2000, as it was one of the last in the region and Saab/Saturn was clearing them out for pretty good discounts. I compared this against a 2000 Audi A4 and never looked back. the Saab was a better car and was quite a bit less expensive.

    But I would have loved the Electric Blue 3 door Viggin, but it was way too expensive. I just looked so insanely fast, even sitting still.

    Today, my 2009 9-3SS Aero XWD in Laser Red keeps a perpetual smile on my face, but I always look on the Saabnet classifieds to see how that Electric Blue Viggin is holding up. It still looks great.

    PS, I always loved torque steer and only bad drivers can’t handle turbo lag. Something that is ancient history with the 2.8 V6 and XWD.

    • Who cares about torque steer and Turbo lag 🙂
      The handling charateristics of a Viggen may not have been optimal at the time and price for first time buyers, but I think it is the closest you can get to riding a powerfull motorbike with the comfort of 4 seats

      It keeps you awake and feeling alive.
      And yes, Viggen looks insanely good

  7. My dad has had a Yellow Viggen in Germany in 2001 i think. And it was a German delivered car. So to your question if it gave the Viggen in Yellow in Germany i can say: Yes!

  8. Very intersting topic! Yellow Viggen truly looks awesome. Actually the first Viggen I saw was yellow.

    My dream Saabs: Black 900 Aero 1984 with tan leather, Monte Carlo yellow 1991 Aero Cabriolet
    and for everyday use 9-3 Sport Combi XWD automatic.

    Nothing wrong with the car I have now though: 900 T16S Aero 1991 and 2008 Aero SC TTiD Automatic, but you always look for something you don´t have, right?

  9. I’d like to buy a NG9-5 in Laser Red. It looks so cool on the Saab USA website – the site where you can change colors and wheel combinations. I looked all over for a Laser Red 9-5 but there weren’t any. So, I settled on a carbon grey metallic NG9-5. It’s a nice looking car but I’d trade it for a red one in an instant.

  10. I like yellow cars, although my first car was a blue daewoo matiz, while the second a black 9-3 SC. And now I have a java 9-5. So no one would guess I like yellow cars in fact.
    That being said, I’d love a yellow 9-3 in 5 doors. I’ll probably have to look for a second car sometime next year, so maybe I’ll find one. Problem is I don’t really fancy convertibles.

  11. So, Red J, what is stopping you from buying a nice used whatever-color 9-3 2.3 Aero or something like that (they are becoming quite affordable now, at least where I live) and have it resprayed in MC yellow? If you want to have it done for another affordable sum, have it done in Belgium. The price of a good respray there is about half of what it costs here (the Netherlands). Sometimes dreams don’t necessarily have to remain dreams.


    • Ivo,
      I maybe should be more specific, I do not search for a Saab in yellow but a yellow Saab, one of those few that were produced in that colour, like a C900 T16 conv, or a Viggen or a 1999 200hp 9-3.

      • Okay, then I’ll get more specific, too. Why not buy a Viggen or a 1999 FPT 9-3 SE and have it totally resprayed in MC? Does it matter what color the car was when it left the factory? Or is the final result what counts?


  12. For me it’s was a red (was it laser red or cayenne red at that time?) 5 door 9-3. I almost bought one, even had it checked with a mechanic just to find out that it was crashed before (although beatifully fixed) and needs a large amount of money to be spent on the engine becuse of the high mileage. I still would have bought it but the seller had not give any discount whatsoever so I was just not worth the price.
    I moved on and almost got a Viggen (maybe I should have), even negotiated it down, just before I spotted a dark blue 5 door one in excellent condition. I was debating for a while, really loved the Viggen, but decided to pick the one being the more sensible choice (5 doors, cheaper maintenance, lower mileage.) and ended up with a more common, but still beautiful car.

  13. I never had a 900 classic 16s (in some markets still called AERO), 9000 Aero. The 900 could be a convertible also 😉
    Just had the driving licence at that time (9000 cs) and not enough money 🙁
    But enjoyd the Saabs from my father.

    But i drove a red 900-II Sensonic. Such a nice car, especially after the postion sensor was replaced to the latest version by Fichtle & Sachs engineers at Saab Germany HQ (they fixed a bunch of cars at that time). Sensonic wasn’t bad if the position sensor was in right shape.
    Also the first 9000 turbo from my father was a highlight. This car was a blast and made so much fun by accelerating 😀
    And now with the 95 (MY 2003) saab-performance i made a dream true. With the new engine i should have a lot fun in the next years.

  14. The saab of the first picture is the concept of the 9-3 Viggen, it’s called the 900 SVO(Special Vehicles Operation), it was developed in the begining/middle of the 90’s, was presented the ’95 . It was developed jointly with TWR(Tom Walkinshaw Racing), the engine it’s the 2.0 liter turbo with 250bhp. It had an specific and beauty three spole wheels, aerodynamic package, modified suspensions and two tone interior seats and steering wheel with the color of the exterior. The other concept unit was a blue convertible. I have a small reportage from a Saab Dealer Magazine from the ’95. Check in google about 900 SVO and you will fond some pictures.

  15. I have yet to buy my first Saab, but I know what I would want to own some day… There are three models I especially like: A pre 1990 Saab 9000 Turbo, preferrably Talladega, in black or platinum blue, a pre 1992 Saab 9000 CDE Griffin V6 with wool seats, in dark blue or dark green, or a 1993 Saab 900 Turbo 5-door in cardinal red. 🙂

    • @ edusaab

      Off topic here, but I noticed the reference to Barcelona. My family will be in Barcelona in late October for a week and I’m looking to rent a car for a few days. But Saabs don’t seem to be an option at most major car rental agencies. I was wondering if you have a suggestion as to which agency (if any) would have a Saab to rent. Feel free to email me if possible to avoid hijacking this thread: oomgiant (at) gmail (dot) com

      Muchas gracias de antemano!

      • Let me check… In Mallorca and some other “coast” places you can rent in some companies the 9-3 convertible. But it’s really hard to know, possibly if you ask to Avis, Sixt or similar they could let you know about it. They will see quite a lot of Saabs in Barcelona, it’s the place in Spain with more Saabs.

        • Thanks….I do appreciate it. Good to know there is a Saab stronghold in Barcelona. 🙂 I will see if I can contact those two agencies to see if they actually have one in their fleet. I hadn’t heard of Sixt before, so I’ll check with them as well. Thanks again!

  16. In times I couldn´t afford a Saab I dreamt of a dark blue 9000 Aero. Never got one but I am a happy Saab driver anyway. 🙂

  17. I’ve scratched many Saab itches over the years 🙂 I’ve had 96s (v4 x2), 99s (1 carb 3dr, 1 Turbo 2dr), C900s (1 carb 4dr, 1 injection 3dr, 1 injection 4dr, 1 turbo auto 4dr), and 9000s (2 injection 5dr, 1 turbo 4dr) so far. I never fell for the NG900 – in fact, I hated the ones I drove when new, sorry) and haven’t really been buying new cars recently. My parents have had a 95 v4, a 99, 3 C900s and a 9000CSE. One of my teachers at primary school used to be very ‘into’ Saabs, and used to give out copies of SaabScene for our reading practice at school!

    I want a 92. And a 99T16S I once saw and didn’t buy, stupidly. One day… and everything I know so far suggests that the new 9-3 might be interesting. I’ll also buy another 96 when I have the space – probably in orange with golfballs or minilites.

  18. Between 2001 and 2003 I lived in the Jamaica Plain area of Boston. On my way to the subway each day, I passed a fantastic looking red Saab 9-3 hatchback parked on the street. (The owner no doubt drove in and then took the subway to work, too). It was probably a MY1999 or 2000. I wanted that car so bad. In fact, I would walk the “long way” most days just so I could see the car. I finally got my very own Saab in 2010, but in black, not red (MY 2007 9-3). The red seemed better suited to the hatchback, somehow.

  19. Yellow is a good color for safety. White and silver are almost as good. Black is not very good. Old people sometimes don’t see the car and say “the car came out of nowhere”. That is why I turn the lights on when I drive a rental car. With a Saab, no need to because of DRL.

  20. I never had a V-4 96 and when I emigrated to the USA in 1976 I had no idea that they we weenot offered anymore in the US market.

    There were yellow Viggens at the Viggen Academy at Road Atlanta and they were put on sale at the end of the Viggen course.

    I deliberately chose a 9-5 Aero Combi in gray because it is very suitable for business and the police leave you alone. My Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde existence is complete with my lazer red Viggen. However I have to be like a fighter pilot over enemy territory on constant vigilance so I don’t get a DWR (driving while red)!

  21. I always wanted a 1977 99 EMS but was never able to get it. Just something about that 2 door non-hatchback body style. I love my 1969 96 Deluxe and would really love to have found a 1966 96 Monte Carlo. We have a 1989 900 Turbo convertible and a 1993 900 S four door. We should have bought the 1997 50 anniversary edition 9000 that we looked at but did not. The 1999-2002 9-3 and the 2002-2006 9-5 wagon seem to be great to me of the newer Swans. The new 9-5 looks amazing.

  22. 9-5sc & 9000 Aero, so I Maptuned my 9000 Anniversary which was a dream car of mine 10 years ago. We have our 9-3 combi which is just perfect.

  23. what is it with you guys… is a standard 9000 not Saaby enough?

    it seems to me that one’s a big time l*ser if he/she’s driving anything else than a C900/92-3-5-6/99-NG900/93/95.

    what’s f***ing wrong with a 9000 in standard trim, or any 9000?

    to me it seems that you’re only ‘in’ when you drive a 9k Aero or 9k Anniversary
    (but remember: the engine in my 9k is the same as in a 9k Aero…)

    i had to get this off my chest, it’s bothering me since i have been driving my Saab 9000 2.3L 16v HOT Griffin

    • There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the 9000 in any trim.

      What happends is that it is the car that seriously divides the Old school Saabs and the New school cars.
      It’s sort of caught in the middle.
      It is an excellent car, with one of the best engines ever from Saab.
      But it is also the first one with traverse mounted engine and a shared platform.
      It is also the first Saab that moved into the Large Car segment for real.

      The problem is that the Old school drivers do not like that, and the New school drivers do not think of the 9000 as an option because it is an old car.

      It is still an excellent car though, and since it has the approx. weight and size of an OG9-3 with the ability to have the B234 engine which can be pushed further than the B235 on stock parts, it is a car that can do nasty things to a Viggen

    • The 9K Griff 2.3 is a great machine, almost non-existent here in Oz. We got mainly the V6. The Anni here was based in the base CS with the LPT engine, that’s what I’ve got. Our first Saab was base ’93 CS sunroof, no turbo. Loved that car and it’s still in the family.

    • The 9000T was the fastest car from 50-70mph in 5th gear sold in the UK market in the 80s. It used to chew up and spit out any Porsche or Ferrari for breakfast. Hows that for abit of 9000 loving? The dash on said car was a masterpiece too but the ignition was in the wrong place.

      • so, let me get this straight:

        even if a car has the Saab-badging, and would be of Toyota/RR/Bentley-quality, B U T the ignition is in the wrong place, it’s not a Saab, according to you. that’s the consequence of the word ‘but’ in the last sentence of your posting.

        if it’s not allowed to be called a Saab, just because of the ignition, then what the heck am i driving in? a freakin’ Fiat Croma saloon??? you tell me.

        but, on the other hand: if it IS a Saab, it’s the best Saab ever made :-p

        • In the nicest possible, ‘what the f*ck are you on about’?!

          Zippy didn’t say any of the things you suggest. Zippy merely opined that, as an opinion, the ignition key was in the wrong place. So what? It is an opinion. Zippy didn’t slate the car at all.

          I would strongly suggest that you calm down a bit and read what is put before responding to it.

          I’ve owned three 9000s out of a total of 11 Saabs; none of them were Aeros. I could quite happily make my 2.0 auto 9000 5dr the fastest thing on the road with the excellent chassis and a few healthy doses of left-foot braking (much easier on the much-maligned auto). My turbo was a not-so-fancied CD saloon.

          All my 9000s were ‘real Saabs’. I didn’t fall in love with them; the trim was a bit squeeky, the cars were too wide, the driving environment – to me – was not as focussed as the earlier cars, the doors didn’t shut with the same bankvault-like sound, the steering adjustors worked loose (not reassuring…), and a few other things. But they had much better gearboxes than the 99s / 900s, much better aerodynamics, excellent handling, good ride, and so on. I admired them, I just didn’t fall in love with them.

          And, no, I didn’t really like they way they looked, and I thought the ignition key was in the wrong place, but that’s just personal opinion – yours is as valid as mine.

          But please, please, stop swearing at people and imagining that they said things that they didn’t say – it really doesn’t help the world go round, and makes you look like an idiot.

        • 9kCDGriffin, I should have added a 😉 after that but! Of course the 9000 is a Saab and it was on heckuva fast and roomy Saab. Dont get too wound up. 🙂

  24. I’ll have a pre-1995 9000 Aero in red, with silver Aero-rims, please! I actually prefer the orange turning lights in front over the white ones, and the huge pilot seats are still (like 20 years later) the coolest car seats ever. Imagine seats like that in a new 9-5… sigh.

  25. I guess I am boring man. I am very happy with the Saab I have. I am lucky enough to get my dream car. However, I could be interested to do some Hirsch upgrade like the engine chip.

  26. I have ordered 6 weeks ago 9-5 SC but now I´m starting to dream also to buy used 9-3 cabriolet… Even using that during the winter (they say Saab cabriolet is ok also in scandinavian cold winter, but not roof open..)

  27. Never had a black car before and didn´t want one either.


    Endless searching for a SAAB 2,3l 9-5 Vector last summer almost made me think that I would never drive SAAB again. No dealers could find me one in a color and condition I could accept.

    So my beuty came along… black as she was… wow. And a friend of mine said: “You know, that is classic. A car should be black.” (as Ford once said).

    Still.. a Monte Carlo yellow… or a Lime green… or nailpolish RED… any color BUT GREY (should be illegal).

  28. A black 9-3 Viggen Vert, even the wife likes them. rare as hens teeth. I love my 9-3 Aero don’t get me wrong but I would chop her in for one of those.

  29. Hello..

    Someone already told about the prototype, but there is a little twist to that story.. the ARM.
    Some of the backbone in the Viggen prototype is ideas from the Abbott Racing 900 T16 ARM which was taken to Trollhättan in 94 for an assesment to the SVO project. Besides that there is alot more story, but the auther asked for some info and to keep it short he can read up on his history here :
    More about the Viggen in good and bad can be found here

    A special car it is indeed, it is at once both impressive, scary and reviving.. I love my Viggen and the way it drives. In my book this must be the only Saab produced af 1993 that could actually lift the heritage from the old 900 Aero. This is the only car I have driven that still brings me that true old Saab feeling.

    However, the car linked some comments above for sale is mine.. one of the 78 MCY Viggens that left the Valmet factory, one out of 14 3door coupé left in this world according to the production numbers I have been able to find. 17 made, but I have also seen 3 damaged beyond repair. Time for me to own something else and put more efftort into the stroker..

    The cars I never had ( yet ) is sonett II twostroke, Saab 93 GT750, 1964 Saab 96 Sport and ofcourse the 99T coupé….

    PS : You want a MCY because you can find it on the parking lot at the supermarket 🙂

    Have a nice evening..

  30. Having been a Saab employee and owner for many years, there aren’t many Saabs that I’ve lusted after and not ever gotten. I’ve had 900 turbos, 9000s, new 900s, old 9-3s and 9-5 Aeros. The Monte Carlo Yellow caught my eye as well and as if by chance I was able to find a ’97 900 SE convertible in that color. It was actually owned by a woman I worked with at Saab and was one of 32 of these unique cars imported to the US for the 1997 model year. It was starting to show its age, one of the door sills had started to rot out and the paint was beginning fade in spots, but I spent the money, had the corrosion repaired and a full repaint done. Since then the car has racked up 180,000 miles on it and still going strong, it’s a blast to drive and always turns heads when people see it on the road.

  31. I’m celebrating 4 years with my 1999 9-3 SE Monte Carlo coupe this month. It’s just clocked up 104,000 km. Not much for a 12 year old car. I sure hope the new 9-3 eventually comes in a coupe/3 dr. and a nice shade of yellow would be good too. Saab generally reserves it yellow colours only for convertibles, but yellow does look good on coupes too. The yellow Viggen looked especially nice. Unfortunately yellow Viggens veren’t available here in Australia.

    If you hunt on youtube, you’ll find a piece that Swade shot some years ago on that yellow 900 that was the Viggen prototype.

    • I forgot to mention, the Saab I never had was a C900 16S Aero. I tried for years to buy one, but it never happened.

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