Phillip’s Classic 900 Restoration

Today I received a nice email from Phillip who lives in New Zealand. He is restoring a classic 900 and I wanted to share his story with you.

We have a 2003 9-3 convertible in mint condition with only 20K on the clock and a 2003 9-5 3.0 which is used as the main run about car.  So we didn’t need another car but I have always wanted a classic two door Saab 9000.  I knew we would end up spend more money upgrading a 900 than the price to purchase but on a rainy Sunday a few months back a 1992 Saab 900 i 2.1L came up for sale and we brought it on the spot.     The person selling the car had been gifted it because her close friend had passed away in an accident whilst on a trip to Mexico.  So the car had a lot of sentimental value and the seller was happy that it was going to a Saab fan.

We liked the ruby colour with the same coloured aero body kit.   The car had 140,000 kilometres on the clock.  There were a few scraps on the outside but it was in pretty good condition inside and mechanic Hans Berben from Saabspecs said that her engine was one of the better ones.  We are lucky in New Zealand because we only have snow on the ski-fields and the climate here means that cars can last longer than some other parts of the world.

We had the car serviced, fixed the air conditioning, re-gassed the back struts, repainted the alloys, fixed a few other things, installed a new radio (unfortunately the original radio didn’t work but the speakers still work great) and drove her around for the next few months.  I continue to admire the shape and style of the car and the superb road handling for a twenty year old car.

Now we have started on some major upgrades.   The car is currently being repainted, front window replaced, rubbers replaced and a better second hand spoiler will be installed.

Here are some photos from the work in progress.

We have also ordered new leather seats from Don from Saabstuff in the US.   These have arrived, look great and will be installed when the car comes back.  New springs are also waiting to be installed.

So that’s the story so far and we will send more photos in when Ruby is back on the road.

Phillip Paton


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Nice work. I have the last of the 900 2.1i models, 1993. It is used sparingly now as my Audi can do the mule work. The Saab is only used on nice days. It has 207000 km, and is in near mint original condition. It only has steel wheels though.
Check it out here:

Angelo V.

I can’t wait to see more photos as this progresses. This is a great, inspirational post at a time when we’re so stressed out over the pending sale.

Jesse Crandle

Looks nice, it’s good to see it’s getting a nice restoration done! If anyone was at Carlisle this year and saw the 1986 SPG for sale I’m the fool who bought it, for $800 I couldn’t say no. It has some nasty rust, but I’m hoping to get it fixed up slowly but surely as money allows. 260,000 miles plus (odometer quit working) but she runs strong as an ox still. Really rewarding to drive, always worth it to fix one up! 🙂


Nice. Please keep updating. I would love to see the progress and the finished product.


Wow, I love that shade of red on the 900


Ruby is a beauty!! She deserves another go looking like a super star Phillip. Nice work!!



Martin T16s

Very nice work Phillip! I did a resto on my Classic 2dr Saloon and it is an extremely rewarding exercise. Your work looks to be very thorough, well done, she is a beauty!


Re; ” I have always wanted a classic two door Saab 9000.”

I’ll have one too, would be quite different.!!!!!!

This 900 is a nice colour.

Rolf Hägg

Best Saab in my oppinion! Nice work!

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