Dumpy Weekend Edition: The Saab 96 looks best in brown

Could this be the best-looking promotional image of the Saab 96? The earthy brown suits the duck-billed late model car so very well. Browsing through these shots, I am just imagining how it would have felt like to drive around the nordic fields in a factory fresh little Saab.

Unlike the Allegro, the Saab 96 was a development from decades way earlier than the 1970s. Still, it manages to capture a certain ’70s feeling better than cars born in that time.
It’s likely the 96 wasn’t designed to be a fashion statement, but somehow it appears to be a style icon of the time.
This is the last Saab 96 V4 built, and it was finished on January 3, 1980. The rally legend Erik Carlsson drove it from the Uusikaupunki factory in western Finland to the Trollhättan headquarters in Sweden.


  1. In 2004, I was shown a factoryfresh example with less than 100km on the odometer. It was won somewhere n the late sevennties in some sort of lottery. It had spent it’s time untill 2004 standing in a barn somewhere in Karelia because the lucke elderly lady didn’t drive cars. I wonder if it’s still there and what it would be worth in the meantime.

  2. The Saab 91 through 96 models are (to me, anyway) the most endearing cars of the last century. Living in France in the 60’s as a dependent in a US military family I remember my first sighting of a 92 passing our Rambler station wagon at 60 mph and thinking “wow, what was that?” It looked so…right.

    1. Didn’t they even seat seven? Hood fitting is the result of typically abusive ownership*.
      *confident theory.

      1. No, they really do fit that way from the factory. There is no way to bring the hood and fenders into closer alignment; they’re simply not the right shape for each other. I’ve never encountered a convincing justification for this.

    1. A friend of mine had an early 99 in the same color. Looked absolutely fantastic.
      I had no idea the 96 was still in production after the 99 started.

  3. My science teacher had the wagon in a wedgewood blue. I loved the pointy tail fins on it. For some reason, that car reminded me of a chipmunk.

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