Future Classic, Collector Or Both

After reading Tim’s post about the auction to be held by KVD, it got me to thinking of the two Independence models being offered for sale and how rare of a car they both are.

In making such a model, the plan was to build 366 of these cars to have 365 for the number of days in a year plus one for the first year of independence and making them a very limited vehicle. This was to be a formula for Independence models going forward and to add another car for each year of independence but not necessarily being a convertible every year. So needless to say, the 2012 Independence convertible was going to be a very rare car even if they built all 366 of them.

1 of 38 in the entire world

Obviously this never materialized and only 38 were ever built and some countries were left with orders that were never to be filled. Springman’s Saab in Langley, BC, Canada had 2 of these models sold to customers who wanted a piece of such history as the first ever Independence model offered by an independent Saab. People who were already Saab fans and owners felt a sense of pride towards a car that represented what they had wanted for so long, a Saab independent of General Motors.

The question is, is the 9-3 Indy going to be a classic car, a collector car or both?

A classic car by definition is an older car, but the exact meaning is subject to differences in opinion. To me a classic car should be defined by the word classic. Something that is a perfect example of a particular style, something of lasting worth or with a timeless quality.

A collector car is an older car which may not fit into the category of a classic car or a milestone car, but it has nostalgic appeal. Also a collector car should be something that is not easy to find or buy. It should be something that you have to search for to find, if it is easy to find then there is no reason to collect and the nostalgic value to me is lost. I look at anything collectable and think there needs to be a reason for collecting such an item. For instance, I would never think that a 1987 Chevrolet Cavalier is a collector car yet I could get collector insurance plates for it because it is 25 years old and over 1500 were produced.

These definitions are subject to personal opinions and can mean different things to everyone but where would you put the 2012 9-3 Independence convertible?

For me, I see the Independence models being a bit of both classic and collector car. I think that as a classic they are a perfect example of what a convertible should be and without sacrificing safety or style and they have a timeless quality to them. The 9-3 sold for many years with little style changes and the 9-3 convertible still has the style of a new car and looks as good or better then any other available at this time. As a collector car it has all the qualities that matter to me. It is a milestone car as it represents everything that Saab and its fans had dreamed of, freedom and the nostalgic value attached to Save Saab rallies which made this car the poster model for what we had hoped Saab to be. It is also the newest rare car around being a 2012 and something that any Saab fan would love to be able to afford collecting.

As I type, the highest bid for one of the two is 210,000 SEK which is just over $31,200 Canadian (the reserve has not been reached yet) and I expect it to continue to climb a little. I would expect they both will end up in the mid $30s in Canadian dollars and I still think they will be a great buy. If it were something I could afford, I would be bidding, who wouldn’t want to say they have one of 38 ever built? Pretty sure I wouldn’t have a problem finding this car in a parking lot.

What’s your thoughts, classic, collector, both or other?



23 thoughts on “Future Classic, Collector Or Both”

  1. Have seen one in traffic in Stockholm. It does not stand out in my eyes. Color is in the eye of the beholder. Wheels NOT Saab specific. Just from the BBS shelf. Interior with the silly orange (dutch) does not cut it. Go for the skyblue SC instead. The whole idea of independence…. well I test my case You honor.

    • I saw one in 2011. I was on holidays and breezing into Cannes to see what the fuss was all about. Within moments of arriving, I saw the Independence Edition saunter by on the opposite side of the road. It was a bright sunny day, so it looked well. Would I have spec’d the car that way? No, it’s not my thing, but I do agree with the idea of the IE. And, although I don’t really remember Cannes, I will always remember seeing the IE : )

  2. One rarity… the body 9-3 CV 2004- has been made in how many tens of thousands? I would doubt the 38 CV in the last batch would fetch the status of a exotic car brand making real low volumes special cars.

    • Well, to each their own Jorgen. I disagree on many levels. Wether you like the Dutch color as you say or not isn’t in question or the BBS wheels which have sold well to Saab owners who love that style of wheel. The whole point is that these cars have a story and were meant to have a huge meaning to the future of Saab and will be vehicles that people will talk about when they see them at car shows and such. I don’t look at them as exotic at all, I see them as a collector piece and a future classic.

  3. I liked the idea of the special Independence edition….until I saw it. Why does it have to be some off the wall (not pleasing) color combination? At the time it was announced I wanted to order a new 9-3 convertible, my dealer said they were in line to get a couple of these and wondered if I was interested. I said no after seeing the photos. I’d have never seen it delivered anyway if I did order it. Actually I much prefer the interior of my ’08 convertible with black seats and parchment inserts, much more refined looking than the orange skid mark on the independence. I also don’t think the wheels are that nice, I could have bought some of them very cheap recently but the spokes just seem too thin and they don’t impress me. I much prefer the asymmetrical spokes on the ALU 81 wheels. Collectible like in investment collectible?….Maybe if Mueller would have signed each one that’d be kind of interesting and ironic at the same time, maybe if you got some kind of special presentation documentation album showing it being made and got the names/signatures of the workers that worked on the assembly. Independence from GM though? Hardly. The soul of the car is Saab but one only has to look at marking of many parts to know that it is still GM at its heart which I, by the way, don’t think is such terrible thing as my 6 GM era Saabs I have owned and driven have been progressively better cars with each successive model year. You can argue about GM’s lack of plan and direction and how it doomed Saab but the cars are/were actually very good, not perfect, but not the abortion that the purists and the media made them out to be. GM just didn’t update them frequently enough, in my humble opinion.

    • Fully agree about the GM-era Saabs, @BMW_Rider. 7 of my 12 have been GM-era. Not as quirky-classic as the older ones, but very good cars and, as you say, getting better. Saab might have disappeared long ago if it weren’t for GM!

      As for the 9-3 Cabrio Independent – classic and/or collectable – it’s rarity will guarantee it some “collectibility” in the future, and the unique colour scheme will enhance it’s specialness. Classic? We’ll have to wait 20 years for that! 😉

      • Romac, You are so right. Media today says just about everything is a classic or is historical when it happens, could be a product or a soccer game. Lets wait and see, time will tell.

  4. I actually had a IE Vert on order with Charles River Saab. Would have a been a rare bird indeed as I had mine spec’d with a manual transmission. I was told less than 10% of the 366 were to be built with a stick. But since the order was cancelled I have bought a mint Viggen convertible (Stage II Maptun) and a near mint Classic 900T and still have an extra $30,000+ in my pocket. I ordered the IE as a statement of my support for Saab at the time. Can’t see paying a premium any more. And I always wondered what my thought would have been seeing a car in the flesh for the first time. Have to admit the interior didn’t do much for me, particularly the “skid mark” seats. But I did think the BBS wheels looked great on this particular car.

  5. Having seen #2 at SOC’11, I thought the car looked very contemporary and the Hirsch interior trim pieces added a premium touch. I’m surprised to see one w a tan top. I’m not fond of the color or wheels to own one (nor is the 2012 sky blue or 2006 anniversary blue my thing) but I appreciate that the cars stand out in those hues.

  6. Jason: As a long time English car collector I have few thoughts on the future status of these DH’s. First and most importantly the future value of these cars depends almost entirely on what happens to NEVS and the future of Saab. Why? Because future collecters always come from the young. If there is another generation of Saab buyers, then these cars have a very bright future indeed. On the other hand, if Saabs are not sold again in Europe, or north America, then they will trend in the direction of Fiat, or Renault. Orphans do not due well in general, unless they were very expensive, or tried to historical figures. With mass produced cars this is hard to pump up the value beyond the lifetime of those collecters who fancy one car brand over others. Having said that, as most Saab car collectors are at least 30 or so today, these cars have a strong collector value for the next 30-40 years.

  7. Despite it’s history I think it will be both. Around 455 9-3’s in total got the 2012 facelift so that’s noteworthy at itself. Today in the Netherlands the 900 classic GT or ‘limited number last edition’ is worth more than € 1000,- regardless of the state that the car is in. Untill I read the above comments I did not think about the orange colour beiing a reference to Holland. I simply thought it was a nice change because the other ‘anniversairy’ 9-3 convertible was in bright blue with an equally blue stripe over the seats. Had nothing to do with the Swedish or American flag right? And orange is almost never used by Saab in the entire history.
    To me the indipendance edition will always appeal. Someday I want one. It stands out like a first class convertible should. It has nice performance upgrades and looks, the colour is not gray, black or dark blue so it will stand out especially on a sunny day. However in Germany there is an aero griffin convertible in java brown with a beige convertible top. If I’m going to buy a convertible and that car is for sale on the same moment that an ‘independance’ edition is for sale… That will be a tough decision…
    If the independance edition is number 1 or 007 I’ll go for that but what are the odds right;)

  8. I would rank this Independance car as a COLLECTOR’s item.
    Unfortunately all recent cars, including my 9-5NG do have so much electronics in them that I do not see these cars develop into classic cars and never into vintage cars.
    It is sad but I do not see a way arround that.
    That is why I love the classic Saab cars while you can maintain them so they have a chance to become real classic and even vintage cars.

  9. I think the car is a trend-seter and as always more advanced design wise as the rest.

    GM has been the first to admit it by creating the Opel Cascada, a 4 seater soft top Convertible, and expect to see a Cascada with aBuick emblem in the US.
    And now VW has also admitted that hard top belongs to the past, and they will replace the VW EOS with a slightly bigger 4-seater soft top cabriolet.

    Too bad Saab was not allowed to bring the next gen 9-3 convertible to the streets.

  10. Bell & Colvill have number 32 in their showroom for sale in Surrey in the UK. Being right hand drive it is probably even more rare and I believe it is un-registered.

  11. I’ve just realized number 001 of the Indepencence Edition cars is being auctioned out as well. The winner will be one lucky person…

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