Out front of the Saab Museum – Part 3

So far in the “out front” series, I’ve taken you for a drive in the Saab Museum’s own Saab 92, as well as their pristine Cardinal Red Saab 99Turbo.
Out front of the Saab Museum – Part 1 (Saab 92)
Out front of the Saab Museum – Part 2 (Saab 99T)
I’ve saved today’s instalment ’til last because it really was the eye-opener, and my favourite drive of the day. If you know how big a fan of the 99T I am, then you know that’s a pretty big call.
So what is this magical car? Is an early 1960’s Saab 95 wagon!
The green Saab 92 that I drove before this was a two-stroker with an old three-speed gearbox that had no synchro in 1st gear. It was a privilege to drive, of course, but boy was it difficult.
This Saab 95 was a two-stroke as well, but in driving it I could really see all the advances in technology between the late-40’s-early-50’s and the early 1960’s. That Saab 92 left me wondering how Saab survived with that car as its only offering.
This Saab 95 left me wondering why Saab ever stopped making two-strokes!!
I’m running from memory here (have lost my notes) but I believe this car was fitted with the 850cc three cylinder engine and a fully synchronised four speed gearbox and it was an absolute blast to drive!
Where the 92 seems quite hard and jumpy, the Saab 95 was actually quite smooth and racy by comparison. You just wanted to plant the foot and get the revs up again to hear that glorious sound (see the video of my ride in the Sonett for an example of that sound).
I’ve heard some of the old-timer Saab fans sing the praises of their old two-strokes and I’ve been in a few strokers before, but I have to say I never quite ‘got it’ before this ride.
Having driven a properly sorted stroker with good power and a good gearbox, I can now say that I finally understand the high regard they have for Saabs of this era.
You think turbos and hatchbacks are unique and distinctively Saab? I suggest you grab any opportunity you can to get a ride in a good stroker. It’ll give you a whole new level of appreciation of this very special little company from Sweden.
As you can see from the images, the car is in fantastic condition inside and out. Again, it’s a credit to the Saab Museum that they manage to keep all these cars so presentable, and keep them in running order. The Museum is blessed with the services of a few retired Saab engineers who keep the cars in as good a running order as possible.
Once again, I have to pay homage to Peter Backstrom and all the staff of the Saab Museum for an absolutely brilliant day.
I wasn’t sure how much was left for me to see of this company when I rolled up that Friday lunchtime. Over the course of an afternoon, however, it became very clear that there are plenty of great things still unexplored.
There’s a whole heap of Saab left to uncover – and I can’t wait to get back there and peel back a few more layers.

Saab 93 oldtimer video

Etienne and Golfhunter have tracked down a fantastic video featuring the classic Saab 93 from the 1950s and early 1960s.
The video is in German (I think) but don’t let that put you off. The pictures speak more than 1,000 words. Apparently there might be an overdub in English some time in the future.
If you’re not in to oldtimer Saabs at all, then you should be. The company’s identity is built on them. If you’re still reluctant, then there’s two reasons why you should click through and give 5 minutes of your life to this video:
1) To see how an old-time Saab window wound down. I remember being amazed when I first saw this on a Saab 95.
2) To hear the Saab advertising jingle near the end. Priceless!
The Saab 93 is a beautiful car in it’s own right. I especially love the red piping they used to use on the vehicle. Uber-classy. They could bring that piping back today and I’d be a happy camper.
Watch the video now over at Saabhuy. I guarantee you’ll be singing the jingle for the rest of the day
Get a Saab in your life and then you’re really living…..

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