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.
Some 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