Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Saab Thoughts

Saab filed for bankruptcy a few days ago. It's a sad ending to a car company that for most of its life built unique, thoughtful cars. As I've mentioned before, I owned a 9000 back in the early 1990s. It was a nice car. My only mistake was not getting a turbo. It was a little slower than I would have liked it to be.

For those of us who like older cars, Saab's bankruptcy is not all bad news. Prices usually drop on orphan vehicles, at least early on.

In the short term, getting parts shouldn't be much of a problem. Used parts will be plentiful as will NOS parts. As time goes on I would expect to see Saab specialists creating some of the parts (especially body parts) that start to become scarce.

Some of the best bargains will be the NG (New Generation) 900 cars. Designed and built after GM's takeover of Saab, they were never really loved by Saab enthusiasts, but sold quite well. There should be plenty on the market to choose from.

The NG900 was introduced in 1994. It's built on an Opel Vectra platform and uses a number Opel / Vauxhall parts. It may not be as "pure" as the first generation 900, but there's still enough "Saabiness" about it to keep it entertaining.

I'll keep my eyes open for some good NG900 bargains and post them over the next few months.
Back in 1986, Saab took 3 9000s to Alabama's Talladega Speedway to prove the reliability of the then new car. Saab set 12 world records for speed and durability.

In 1997 Saab did it again, this time with 6 NG900 cars (turbos, V6s and non-turbos). When all was said and done, Saab had set 40 international speed records. (You can find a Motor Trend article about the event here.)

In 1997 and 1998 Saab offered a Talladega edition 900 to commemorate the event. It came with a front spoiler, different wheels, a two-tone interior and a few other items not found on the standard 900.

The car pictured at the top of the post is a 1997 900 SE Talladega. It appears to have been well maintained and in nice condition. It's located in Goodyear Lake, NY. You can find the Craigslist ad for it here.

A big thanks to Dan M. for sending me the link to this car.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hate to see SAAB go, but what I felt was telling was the fact when I was in Sweden on business about 5 years ago, I saw very few SAABs on the road. Lots of Volvos, but SAABs were scarce. If the Swedes weren't buying them ...