Restoration of a Classic: 99 Turbo 4-door sedan (Part 1)

99 Turbo 4 DWhen I picked up the car in 2012, in really bad condition as seen.

SaabCars is now selling a 4-door Turbo Sedan model of the 9-3 generation II on the swedish market. Saab Automobile production came to an end with the 4-door sedan of the 9-5 generation II. But when did Saab start to sell their very first 4-door sedan with turbo powered engine? For those of You who know Your history books that was with the 900 Turbo sedan in 1981. Well not quite so. There where a few 99 Turbos with rear passenger doors. And that was 4 years earlier. Here is the story and the restoration program. A restoration that You can follow here on SaabsUnited. Hopefully some of you get the inspiration to do something similar to save an old Saab.

bild 2Some of You have most probably read my prevoious postings on Saab History and classic Saabs. You might recall the Saab 99 Turbo Rally cars I have built and competed with over the last years. Also my recreation of the Pearl white 99 Turbo replica, the very first 99 Turbo from the 1977 Inteational Frankfurt Auto Saloon. That car is now under construction/restoration.

One and a half year ago I found a super rare 99 Turbo and to my surprise it was a 4 door saloon. I was at first somewhat reluctant if this was a true 4 door. Saab has never sold the 99 Turbo in that configuration just 2 door sedan and CombiCoupe (Wagonback).

I picked up the car in southern Swedish province of Skåne. Then I drove way up north to find a not so rusty donor car, since some parts on the turbo where really rusted out and had damage from a collision.

What one of the other 9 4 door cars did look like picture taken from a Saab 99 Turbo sales brochure from 1978.

Now I have again started a historical research that has been part of all my car renovations since I always do unusual and spectacular cars. This car was not different in that respect. It was Test vehicle no. 970 in the One-hundred series. Test fleet vehicles that Sab built before the offical launch of the 99 Turbo CC in 1978. Through a good friend who was a manager at Saab-Scania both in Sweden and The US in the heydays, we started a collaborative work to make the registry of the alluring 100 cars as complete as possible.

We still work on that list. What we know just about nothing about is the cars sent to europe (EU) excluding Sweden. The 100 cars whare sent to the US, Sweden and rest of europe. Of the 4 doors 10 where made and 5 has survived only one in traffic. The one rolling has been modified extensively, has a history as a track-racer, tuned 16V engine and a Airflowkit registration plates GEM943.

April 2014 / Part 1

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Saab Festival(s) – my views of 3 days

My first Saab festival or Saab Jubilee as it was called was way back in 1987. Still remember driving my olive green 1966 MonteCarlo V4 back to its birthplace. This was way before the present time museum etc. We met at the gravel parking lot near Saabs Training and fitness center just south east of the production plant. I will not bore You with this history in details but the highlights was at that meeting the Monster driving and reving its 6 cylinders and the first show in 22 years of chassis number 4. More on that car in particular later in this write-up, since it reappeared at this years festival (have a nice interview with the present owner).

The crew of the SaabsUnited had done extensive preparations Till printing stuff, Tim erecting tents and so on. Most of the crew met on thursday night having alight dinner and drinks near the channel in Trollhättan. I had driven down in the afternoon top down in the convertible in the 35 Celsius degree temperatures, stopping by in Örebro to talk with our friends at Maptun. It turned out also to be gathering point for two other companies RBM from France and Neo Bros. UK.

Fridag morning the Festival gradually started whit cars and people rolling in from the whole world, so many nationalities and great know and not so know Saab people. In a randomly taken video shown here You can pretty much see how international the crowd was. I could count US, Canada, Israel, Italy, France, Switzerland, Austria, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Estonia, Great Britain, Poland, Check Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Russia, Finland Norway and Sweden. If I have missed any nation here make Your voice heard in the comment field.

The theme this year was Sport & Rally. That was the name and logotype created by Saab in conjunction between the marketing and competition departments in the 70 ies by Saab to market the BIG aftermarket tuning and development parts and kits even complete engines and gearboxes aimed for customers competing or just wanting to make their standard Saab just a little or much faster and agile on the roads and out in the forest. Successful then at the time when the only electrical accessories would have been the co-drivers map reading light…. Today it is the other way around when “tuning” and tweaking modern turbo monster up to 1000 BHP just like the white 9-3 SS shown by Mr. P-A.

Some more notable historic competition Saabs where on display. A 96 V4 ex-finnish works team driven en by Simo Lampinen, http://youtu.be/midWjYw5pUY , Anders Norstedt had brought his 99 Turbo replica of Saab works notchback from 1979. Another unique car that showed up and placed far away of the museum was Lennart Nilsson´s V4 Rally works car that Stig Blomqvist drove in Swedish Rally 1971 ( see pictures). Nico Gasparatos brought his 900 track car he have competed in with Per Eklund on german tracks Tidö Racing team and their Norwegian driver had the STCC racer on display on saturday afternoon.

For the good of increased general knowledge of Saab a nice list of lectures could be attended, listening in on the past and a little bit of the future.

Remember the mentioning in the beginning of chassis #4 92. I had a chance to talk to the brother out of three who have owned and owns that very car. Lennart Gustafsson bought the car from his brother who bought it in 1965 after the car had been modernized with a trunk door. The engine was not so good after having had too little oil in the gas so the cat was put 100% unrestored into the business office room in St. Levene not far from Trollhättan. The brothers where all active in the car sales and the car was brought out of the office for the Jubilee in 1978. First time the Saabworld got to see the car again. Now again 25 years later out in the sunshine. Lets hope we do not have to wait another 27 year to see it again. The interview is mostly in Swedish and It happened to be parked just next to a NG 9-5 SW. That sportcombi could be the 4th car from the end of production who knows.

Talking about the future and the question many Saab owner has; what will happen to Saab? When will production start etc. etc? I had a handful of really good talks with people working both for NEVS and subcontractors and the puzzle I have laid in my head is very promising of course some bits are not present and some bits might not be in right place but the overall picture is really good. We will look forward to car production in Trollhättan again. New state-of-the-art technologies is tested an couple of promising patents on engine technologies is in the pipe. My personal feeling is that Saab is truly is rising again (under new stewardship), who said that the Saab had more than 9 lives?

The festival was drenched in sunshine and no rain, but that is just what a Saab Festival is al. So what is next? More festivals? For sure there will be in the future. Looking forward to a REALLY big meeting/jubilee in Trollhättan 2017 when Saab celebrates 70 years of success. Looking into my crystal ball I see the following.

– A range of at least 3 model lines from SAAB (NEVS Corporation) not only at display but also for sale.

– A sports car under the name of Sonett made in Sweden with the old classic Saab virtues, lightweight, aerodynamic, driver-oriented

– A super museum for a limited time, bringing in private owned cars and from other museums of significance, that are not in the museum collections and have that show.

– Create a Saab Fairground (the largest grass lawn) in Trollhättan with plenty of space for a array of activities for young and old.

– Track day at the KinneKulle Ring racetrack just like at some previous festivals. Saabs are meant to be driven….

– A BIG gala Dinner with seating for a BIG international crowd (great tents could possible cut it if there is a lack of bing buildings in Trollhättan)

A BIG thank You to all the nice people that came to Trollhättan with and without Saab cars, You are the people that made up the Festival.

Welcome back!

Johnny Johansson And His Story

A few weeks ago we had a SAAB Of The Week that featured a 9-3 Independence model that we were pleased to find out was owned by a former SAAB employee by the name of Johnny Johansson. This past week Johnny was kind enough to forward us his own personal SAAB story and it is quite the read. As I said before and will say again, thank you for all you did with Saab Johnny and thanks for sharing your story.

My Saab Story

Some weeks ago, my Saab 9-3 Convertible IE was ‘Saab Of The Week’. I got a lot of attention, not only for the car, but also because I worked 39 years at Saab. I was asked if I had any interesting story from Saab or the cars I have owned. Then an occurrence came to my mind, something that nearly made me loose my job, but also shows how the small Saab could hold its own against the big GM.

After eight years at Saab, I got my dream job. In April 1981 I became a modeller in the design studio. It was a very interesting job, building clay models of the future Saab cars.

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Left image: I work with the cover of the C-pillar, 9000. Right image: I am not sure, looks a little like the front of the EV-2, a concept car from the late 80’s. A reportage about EV-2 in the Swedish magazine Automobile, #4/2008.

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Saab Spirit Lives On Final Days

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The final days of the Saab Spirit Lives On at the Simeone Museum are here. If you haven’t had the chance to go or if you were wanting to go again, head on down while you can. Final day is March 17th which is this Sunday. Admission is as follows, $12 adults, $10 senior, $8 students and children 8 and under are admitted free. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Don’t miss this opportunity to see all these great Saabs under one roof in North America. For more info and directions, click the photo above and you will be redirected to the museums website.

SAAB Spirit Lives On And Then Some

This past Friday night over 250 of Saabs faithful came together under one roof at the Simeone Museum to share a night talking about the cars and people that make Saab so different. This is an event that will not be forgotten by those in attendance that got a chance to speak and listen to the former head of Saab Cars North America and present head of Saab Parts North America, Tim Colbeck. Victor Muller former owner of Saab Cars and present owner of Spyker was scheduled to have attended as a speaker but had to withdraw at the last minute which sounds like a big let down and to some I’m sure it was but Tim Colbeck did an amazing job of taking over as a main speaker and his personal stories really showed everyone how dedicated he is to the Saab faithful and brand. Tim along with John Moss and Bill Jacobson were great and very appreciated by those in attendance.

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Photo: Andrew Taylor

When I spoke to Harry Hurst from the museum this week, he had said that Dr. Simeone had said of the event:

“This was the biggest – by a factor of two – event of this nature that we’ve ever done. It is a testament to the loyalty and love that Saab owners have for their cars.”

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The 9-1, as designed in 2008

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I have been going through trademark registrations today as I ran into those pictures. They are part of a registered design patent that GM filed in 2008. A quick check back confirmed that it shows what was referred to as “a small Saab” back then. I have some angles that I like a lot and some that I find a bit odd, but that’s no surprise with those computer drawings.

To me it looks like a 9-x Air with a roof so it is nothing all new. But it is a nice thing to look at, not only on a Monday.

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A Special 1990 900 SPG For Sale On Ebay

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This 1990 900 SPG was once owned by one time Saab Cars USA president Dan Chasins(2000-2002) and was also part of the GM Heritage Collection and has only 54,450 miles on it. I found a little post on Jalopnik about this car being offered for sale from a Lotus dealer in Jersey and it really is a chance of a lifetime to own such a beauty. On a side note from this story, the Lotus dealer has a number of fine Saabs in their inventory.

Back to the meat of this story. The vehicle was listed on the Lotus dealer website for as low as $19,990 and is now up for bids on Ebay where as of right this moment it is being bid at $23,532 with over 60 bids putting it there and the auction bidding ends tomorrow. Nice position for the dealer to be in, to have offered it for under $20,000 on their lot and to then be getting more then $3,000 over asking is like a dream come true.

If you would like to own a part of Saab USA history, get into Ebay in the next 24 hours and make your bid count. This would appear to be the absolute best SPG available with a history that separates it from any other and you will never have an opportunity to own a piece of Saab USA history like this again. I would love to see this car be picked up by one of the Saab fans on here and if it does, please send me photos of your car in its new home.

There are a few photos below and on the dealer and Ebay links above you will find over sixty different photos of this car.

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Follow Up To The Saab 006

 

 

A little while ago I wrote a post about the Saab 006 kids car which was offered for sale in 1986 with a very limited number available. After posting this piece, I received an interesting email from Jan Martens.

Hello Jason,
I’ve  read your article about the Saab 006.There were two kinds of models. One small version like in your article,and one large version with big wheels.
I own one small version complete in very good original condition. Also I have the complete handbook ,and the prospectus in German language.
But the most interesting thing that I have is the following : I have the  ten of the last new bodies for sale and one large Saab 006 large version without engine for sale (restoration project).
The 10 bodies are in the 4 original colors(white, silver, red and gold) like you can see in the pics.
If anybody wants more information or wants to buy one or more of the bodies, they can contact me directly.

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