Graeme Lambert – “Saab Turbo’s forced infection”

Graeme Lambert, our Saab mad friend who used to work at Auto Express, has written an article at Retro Classic Cars about how his affection or affliction with Saab was started.
Below is an taster of his writings, the link to the whole story is below the picture.

It’s a cliché, but Saab owners are a terribly loyal bunch, often appearing misguided and blinded by their love for the brand. The bug has bitten many, myself included, and no matter what happens with the company’s future you can guarantee it’ll continue biting.

As a 12-year-old petrolhead who had grown-up around a series of Volvos, the announcement that my father fancied a change of brand instilled a sense of brio in me. The prospect of trawling round the local dealer network, scooping up scores of brochures as we went, was one of pure un-rivalled excitement.

It didn’t take long to end up in the Saab dealer, and after examining various 9000 hatchbacks and saloons I sat back thinking my job was done. Until the weekend after when I discovered a sales sheet for a Volvo 460GLEi. Betrayed, there were tears before I informed them they’d made a mistake. Two years later my tantrum was justified, and the ever-troublesome Volvo got the boot, replaced with a black Saab 9000.

Click this link for the full story http://retroandclassiccars.com/2012/03/25/your-cars-graeme-lamberts-saab-turbos-forced-infection/

Saab 900 exhaust videos – love that sound!

One of the things I miss most about my old 1985 Saab 900 Aero is the sound. It sounded like a beast.

The car had a 3-inch exhaust system that used to scrape a little on our driveway as I backed in. That was a problem, but there’s no way in the world that I would have changed that exhaust because it provided the ultimate soundtrack.

Fooling around on YouTube earlier today, I came upon a few Saab 900 videos and it occurred to me that there are people out there who are relatively new to Saab, and may not have experienced the aural phenomenon that is the original Saab 900. For mine, it’s about as close to a V8 sound as you can get with just four cylinders (yet another example of Saab’s rightsizing 🙂 ).

Enjoy – and if you feel so inclined, go out and find one to preserve.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ubh6lVxqb8c

The music cuts just in time on this one….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SKhreJJxIM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-29QFrc1nFk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_sPoqQ5PBQ

Wanted: Saab 900 Decor Panel

I don’t usually do wanted ads like this, but the Saab 900 Carlsson is one of my all-time favourite Saabs so I figured it was worthwhile helping a brother out.

This comes from Toby K, in the UK.

For what it’s worth, Toby, I emailed a few 900-owning mates here in Oz – all three of whom have the decor plate – and they all say the same thing: keep an eye on Ebay.

——

I am after a very quick bit of help from you and the esteemed readership here at Saabs United. I need the SU eagle eyed folks out there to help me track down a very rare part.

Would anyone know where I can find a rear reflective décor panel for a Saab 900 normally found on Carlsson or Jubilee variants? It looks like a red light bar joining the rear light clusters and houses the number plate.

Photos from SaabCentral and Maptun.

Believe me when I tell you I have searched and telephoned virtually every scrapyard in the civilised world today – yes that does mean the UK/US/Netherlands and Australia, all with the same result, it’s a little depressing!!

The 900 is a classic and at over 20 years old and is facing a real scarcity of supply in a lot of parts so I figure this is normal now for a classic 900 owner. After many hours of searching I have only found 2 but those hopes were dashed…one is sold £70 [UK] and the other US seller is unresponsive.

The reason I ask is that “Scarlet” – yes that’s her name (her previous owner told me) was being restored and this process was very near completion. After a lot of paintwork she was polished then washed by hand but unfortunately during this process the pressure from the hose was too much and the body shops carwash guy was a little careless, the old brittle plastic gave way at the top right edge. Even worse we were unable to find the corner that had snapped off. The car wash guy didn’t seem upset at all about it until I said I wasn’t going to pay him! I was pretty peeved, in fact I still am…having the work done only to end up with another difficult job to complete-sort of one step forward one step back.

After today’s research I feel it is time to reach out to the Global Saab community for any advice or assistance they might offer.

It would be good to get Scarlet finished off, she had sat in a barn and a field for most of her life up in Scotland having done just over 100,000 miles in her 20 years. She was trailered down to Oxford and into Belsyre Saab where most of the moss was removed along with a sycamore sapling, some hazel nuts in the whale tale were also removed (presumably the work of a Scottish squirrel) and once the battery was connected she started first time!

Since then I have given her a newer interior, a re-spray in Talladega Red, got new decals and the correct emblems for her-it’s just a final service and THAT DÉCOR PANEL away from being finished. I have probably spent way more than she’s worth (around £6000) but original Carlssons are very rare now so I figure she’s worth it, if not now then one day.

Some folks don’t even know what it is and they literally just stop, thinking “What the…?” –This is a problem if they are crossing the road at the time-believe me it has happened they would sooner look than get out of the way, I do love people’s reactions to her – its wonderful!

So that’s the story so far on this one, but if you can help or know of someone that might be able to assist with the décor panel it would be great to hear from them.

Best Regards

Toby – another Saab nut in Oxford (UK)

Gasparatos Saab 900 of DW-world.de

Deutsche Welle is the place to go if you want German news in English but they don’t just do news. Apparently they have a good motoring program as well, called Drive It!

This week they have a section on the program where they take a good look at a racing Saab 900. The car is owned by a guy named Nick Gasparatos.

Gasparatos 900

Gasparatos Automobile is also a Saab tuning house in Germany and this 900 is a fine example of the company’s work. It’s heavily modified but from the video, it looks like it’s a dream to drive with it’s 300hp output, fully adjustable chassis and gear settings.

The video is in English, of course, and you MUST watch it, if only to hear the sound made by the engine in this car. It’s a four cylinder symphony.

Thanks CraigSu for the tip!

Aussie Saab 900 rally car gets down and dirty

There’s a guy up in Sydney, a Saab nut named Steve Emanuel. He used to run a workshop called Saab Serve and I think he even worked on my old silver 1985 Saab 900 Aero before I bought it. He got out of Saab Serve a few years ago and is now one of the Aussie parts gurus, running a business called Saab Salvage.

Steve recently used all of his Saab experience to put together a ripping Saab 900, which he drove with some success in the Kidney Kar Rally here in Australia.

Saab 900 Kidney Kar Rally

Steve entered the rally with his co-driver, Paul Laing, and together they brought home three pieces of silverware for the trophy cabinet – Best Presented Car, Top Rookie and Second Outright amongst the entire field. Not bad for a first effort, eh?

Of course, the best success of all is raising money from the event, which is used to support Kidney Health Australia in running a group of camps for kids with kidney disease. A great cause!

A friend in Sydney, Wayne G, recently sent the following through about the event:

The Saab was built ground-up from a 1985 900 AERO turbo. over the last 7 months at Steve’s Saab Salvage business in Sydney. It ran 15psi turbo boost, modified gearbox ratios and shifter, and the Dunlop Direzza rally tyres on 15 inch rims were superb over very rough roads. Their only mechanical issue was a cracked gearbox bellhousing on the final day, as rocks pushed the sumpguard rearwards. The car now occupies pride of place in Steve’s office showroom, unwashed after the event, but looking brilliant.

As a result of this successful run, Steve and Paul have been invited to run in next year’s AMSAG Southern Cross Rally Series, which should be a whole lot of fun.

The car currently sits as a display vehicle in Steve’s Saab Salvage offices, unwashed and proud from the Kidney Kar event. Well done to the lads.

A comprehensive gallery is included below.

Click to enlarge.

Pearl Saab 900 Aero protoypes restored

These images have just popped up on the Dutch Saab Forum and whilst they’re not the same car, it seems they’re related to some images and stories that were told back on Trollhattan Saab, starting in 2007.

At that time, we met a guy named Peter who’d just bought one of the original 1984 Saab 900 Aero prototypes, with the first 16 valve engine and painted in a beautiful pearl finish. There was a lot of work to be done on that car and I hadn’t heard an update since July 2008, when progress was looking very good.

The Dutch Saab Forum photos feature another one of the Pearl 900s that’s been restored recently – and what a magnificent job!

Pearl Saab 900 restored

Pearl Saab 900 restored

This restoration has taken around two years and represents some fantastic work, important to the preservation of Saab’s history.

You can see more photos of the car over on Garaget.

But that’s not all……

It seems the owner of this car also knows Peter, who’s Pearl 900 we originally featured on Trollhattan Saab. He’s identified some other Garaget photos as being of Peter’s car, which means we have a partial update available, even if not from Peter himself.

When we first saw Peter’s car, it looks like this:

Saab 900 Pearl

A year later, things had moved along quite nicely…..

Saab 900 Pearl Peter

I don’t see an “on the road” photo amongst the Garaget ones just yet, but it looks like it’s getting very close…..

Saab 900 Pearl Peter

It’s really important that landmark models like these are preserved and these guys have not only built great cars for themselves to enjoy, they’ve done a wonderful service to the Saab community at large.

Kudos on a couple of jobs well done!

Thanks to Rutger and Jacco for the tips!

Saab 900 Enduro bound for Targa Tasmania?

This is one that’s of special interest to me, being here in Tassie.

The full story appears on Saabworld.net.

In short, one of the Melbourne-based Saab owners who posts there called into his mechanic’s workshop and saw this on the hoist….

Saab 900 Enduro

It’s a Saab 900 Enduro, one of only 12 built by Saab Australia back when the 900 was still pretty new, in 1980. The Enduro version had a rather radical (to say the least) body kit, water injection, an uprated wastegate (17psi boost!), improved suspension, better instrumentation as well as phat Simmons wheels and appropriate rubber to fill out those huge wheel arches.

Another Enduro, in non-racing garb….

Saab 900 Enduro

Only around half of the Enduros originally built by Saab Australia are thought to still be in existence and are highly collectable.

What aroused my curiosity straight away in the top photo is the name “Kingsway Motors” on the back. That was before I noted “Hobart” written underneath. Kingsway was the celebrated Saab dealership here in Hobart, one of the best dealerships in Australia and winner of several Saab Service Awards.

According to the post at SaabWorld, this 900 Enduro is being prepped for an appearance in next year’s Targa Tasmania, our top-shelf tarmac rally, which is held in April each year.

I would love to know more about this car.

Thanks to Wulf for the tip.

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