Sold Off, Priced Accordingly – 10 Picks From the Saab Museum Auction

The Saab Museum, for sale. Some assembly required.

Hello, and welcome to yet another edition of Killing Saab Slowly With His Song. Today, it’s not the future of Saab that’s in jeopardy, but the past. We’ve (alright, some have) waited to know what will be the last Saab built; this listing enclosed here includes the first ever Saab built. In addition, here stands nearly every single milestone that has ever existed in Saab’s history.

It doesn’t matter if Saab is ever resurrected – if the museum’s contents are sold off to anybody who comes up with a qualified offer and scattered around the world, there will be no history onto which any future can be built on. I don’t doubt for a minute that the most important cars here will end up in good hands, but still in my mind they should remain together, for they are the cars that built the company – however sorry and farcical the end is.

Now that the required wrist-cutting with a Saab brochure is done, let me pick out the ten cars I would scavenge for myself were there a brick building and the required funds.

Download the PDF here and have a look at the listing. If you have any Swedish skills, the comments on some of the cars are the cherry on top. There are concept cars, racing cars, display cars with little more than delivery mileage – and then there are complete beaters that require some restoration to even be able to be kept indoors. You’re very welcome to pick out your choices and dissect the rest; the stage is yours.

Here are the cars I would save:

1. 1980 Saab 96 V4, page 26

96 number 730 607, VIN 6002820. The last Valmet-built 96, odometer reading 1330 km. Driven from Finland to Sweden by two Swedish motoring journalists. Worth saving; the first Finnish-built 96 stayed behind in Finland and this should complete the pair. The first one was also donated to the then-president of Finland, Urho Kekkonen. He wasn’t much of a car guy and didn’t have a licence, so the first Finnish 96 remained un-hooned just like this last one.

 

2. 1977 Saab 99 Turbo, page 50

Frankfurt Motor Show display car ’77. Otherwise fine and almost unused, but has damage from being driven against a tree by a motoring journalist.

 

3. 1987 Saab 90, page 52

The last 90 built. The 90 was somewhat of a mongrel with a 99 front section combined with a 900; it was popular amongst older gentlemen and relatively attractively priced. Again a Finnish-built car, so a part of Valmet history.

 

4. 1981 Saab 900 Turbo / SAAB 007, page 59

One of my childhood dream cars. A 900 Turbo fitted with James Bond gadgets in England; bullet proof glass and tires, armoured body, HUD, tear gas system, rotating number plate, infrared goggles, the works. I still have the original Finnish car magazine article saved somewhere. Described as not being in a very nice condition and doesn’t start, but hey – I would snatch it in a heartbeat.

 

5. 1984 Saab EV-1 Concept, page 62

The first concept car Saab built. Based on a 900, but has a 285-horse engine. One of the best-looking concept cars I know and a serious dream car for me. Patinated and in need of a respray, comment: “Terrible ground clearance.” Interior has been sun-baked.

 

6. 2003 Saab 9-3 Aero Cabriolet, page 77

Last 9-3 Cabrio built in Finland, and thus the last Saab built here. Done less than 1000km and rightfully should be returned to Finland.

 

7. 1986 Saab 900 Aero, page 63

Since I would be planning to actually use some of the cars I would be buying, this 100 000 km 900 Aero in good, useable condition would be my choice. Fitted with 9000 seats and has had the chassis strengthened.

 

8. 1992 Saab 900 cabriolet Turbo, page 66

With less than 1000 km on the clock, this grey cabrio was built to celebrate the 10 000th drop-top 900 built. It has a special upholstery and should be in as-new condition; of all the 900 cabrios here this is my choice.

 

9. 1987 Saab 9000 T16, page 87

One of three/four (two are on the list, and a fourth car was used as a test vehicle/camera car) Talladega cars from the Long Run endurance drive in 1986. Saab completed a 23-record-breaking run at Talladega Superspeedway, with three 9000:s running constantly for days, completing a 100 000 km journey with the average speed of 213.299 km/h. Even if all the cars made the run in full mechanical health, the two cars here have had their powertrain renewed.

 

10. 1996 Saab 9000 Aero, page 95

A test vehicle, and the second of my choices that would see daily driving. Described to be in nice condition, but has “awful synchro on 3rd”. Wonder if it’s been beaten? Odometer reading: 18k kms.

 

Bonus: Car number 11, 1976 Saab Elbil, reg. nr BRZ 659, page 109

This yellow electric car is Blake Z. Rong’s choice. If you see him driving around in it, selling ice cream, tell him I said hello.

 

Photo credits: Delphi.se, Saabhistory, Paul Townsend, cabsaab900@Flickr, headline image: Saabism

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