SOC – One guy’s view

Thanks to Greg, we’ve got some photos from the Saab Owners Convention held last weekend at Stratton Mountain, Vermont, USA.

Greg has a whole album of photos here, but I’ve made a certain selection to show you here (call me biased).

As requested, Greg writes:

The 99 turbo’s are great because it was a landmark car for
Saab – the first Saab turbo, a watershed event. It’s also a rare
car, only 4400 (or so, if I recall correctly) were imported into the
US in 1978.

From a driving standpoint the 99 turbo is also the best of both
worlds – the 99’s generally have a tighter feel than the 900’s,
because they’re shorter and a couple of hundred pounds lighter. I
have been told that the 99’s were the last Saab that was completely
rigid from front to back, because the 900’s were the first Saab to
include crumple zones. As a result the 99’s lack the slight, but
very familiar body flex exhibited by the 900’s. So the 99 turbo is
lighter, tighter and more agile than the 900, but it has 900 turbo
power (well, 145 hp, but still). What’s not to like?

The one thing about the SOC that surprised me was the relative lack
of 99’s — there were only about 5 or 6, compared to the sizeable
number of 96’s and Sonnett’s. I think 99’s are underappreciated —
the classic 900 fans think of them as baby 900’s, and they’re not
“vintage” enough for the vintage Saab fans.

Hear Hear!!

So, first up, a selection of those few-and-far-between 99s at SOC. Click on any of the images to enlarge.

Greg99blk1.jpg

A beautiful black 99 Turbo. Is there a more beautiful sight (other than my Mrs)?

I’d just like to say thanks very much to Greg for allowing me to show these shots. You can view the entire album with 96s, 900s, Verts, a Saab drag racer and even a Saabo caravan by clicking here.

Greg992.jpg

Winner of the 99 concours – a very sweet EMS.

Greg993.jpg

A colour that I’ve never seen for a 99T. Looks quite nice though.

Greg994.jpg

Another red 99. Love the turbo stripe!! I swear – if Austin Powers was based in Sweden, he would have driven one of these.

Greg995.jpg

The silver 99T in detail. I like the clear lenses……very much.

Greg99ute.jpg

How could I resist this?

A non-99 special:

The 218th Saab ever made. A 1950 model 92.

Greg92fr.jpg

Sensational.

Greg92rear.jpg

Note the lack of a trunk in the back.

greg92int.jpg

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15 Comments

  1. My experience at SOC ’04 was sort of like dying and going to SAAB heaven. And yes, other than the sight of one’s own wife, there’s not much better sights out there than a gaggle of Saabs, particularly 99Ts and SPGs !

  2. Hi Swade,

    I didn’t realize that silver is an uncommon 99T color. I know of at least two in the Seattle area – one is mine. 🙂

    (If I may brag – my 99T was second place in the 99 concours at the SOC in Kirkwood, CA, in 1996.)

    Alan

  3. Alan, you may brag.

    I’ll have to get in touch next time i visit Vancouver. Would love to come down to Seattle and see your 99.

    Re: the colour, I’ve heard of black, red and white. The silver was new to me though. Looks good.

    Ken, have fun in Germany. You going Autobahnning?

  4. Alan,

    All of these 99s seem to have the clear indicator lenses at the front with orange globes. Is this common there too? My lenses are all orange on top and clear on the bottom.

    I’d love to get mine set up with these clear lenses. Being white, it would really suit.

  5. Actually just found out today I won’t be going this time around …. trip is for the techies per se. I’ll likely be going later in the year with a bigger entourage of um ….. non-techies (not that there’s anything wrong with that !).

    Alan – you in local Saab Club of Seattle (SCS) or Northwest Saab Owners Club (NWSOC) ? Both have their fair share of 99 enthusiasts.

  6. Swade – For sure, let me know when you’ll be up this way. I may or may not still have the 99T depending on how ambitious I am. I haven’t been driving it much (’97 900 Talladega is the daily driver, ’96 9000 Aero is the ‘road trip’ car) so I’ve been toying around with the idea of selling it. Then again, I’ve been toying with the idea for a year or two and have yet to actually do it… (click on the link for a pic)

    I don’t think we got 99Ts in white (well, at least I’ve never *seen* a white 99T). In addition to red, black and silver, we also got a darker charcoal silver.

    The clear lenses are standard issue on all 1977-1980 99s in N.A. (I think – Ken, do Canadian 99s have them?).

    Ken – I’ve been in and out of NWSOC for 20ish years (currently out) and I do lurk on the SCS list. Do you recall Eiknarf, the 99EMS that Dennis and Gregg parted out three or four years ago? That was mine.

    Swade – When you’re up this way, you really do need to hook up with the semi-sane bunch of Saabists that make up SCS…

  7. Hi Alan,

    Yes 99Ts came in white to my best knowledge, one of our local SCWC Saabers had a ’78. And yes, Cdn 99s have the clear front lens cluster with orange turn markers.

    Hmm, I guess now we all know we know Kevin Bacon

    ….. Yeah I recall chats about Eiknarf ! I joined the SCS forum around late 2000 a good year before buying my ’93 9000CSET. I even went on an SCS run to Whidbey Isld with James, Craig, Dennis and others in ’02. Yeah some of the SCS folks are sem-sane, which I guess ChrisX would not qualify ! (inside joke).

    In ’04 some of us went down to the PACCAR open house in Mt. Vernon and met up with the NWSOC folks. LOVE Dan Morley’s 99T ! See pics here:

    http://www.saabwest.ca/photos/thumbnails.php?album=1

    That’s me in the yellow #55 stock car after deciding my 9KT is waaay too slow 😉

    Swade when you come over SCWC and SCS should do a joint meet/run !

  8. Ken, Alan, I’d definitely be up for whatever could be organised. I’ll let you know when we firm up our plans, which will depend wholly on whether we buy a new home or not. If we do visit, it’ll likely be around this time next year, give or take 4 weeks.

    I’d love to get some of those North American lenses. Can you source them new over there?

  9. No, 99Turbo indicator lenses, like the ones on the vehicles in the photos. Apparently they’re standard issue in NA. Aussie/Euro lenses are orange on top clear underneath.

    I use Nikon too 🙂

  10. Of course, indicator lenses …. what was I thinking ?!?

    I believe the clear ones were standard issue in NA for later 99s, ‘tho I’m no expert in 99 geneaology. See my SOC ’04 pics:

    http://www.saabwest.ca/photos/thumbnails.php?album=48

    … and see:

    – Eric Carlsson standing beside his own original ’61 Monte Carlo rally 93 in Files #25-#27;

    – my own Matilda at the front on File #32;

    – handsome folks of SCWC (with Maple Leaf) on Files #1 and #36

    Ken

  11. Boy, those pictures bring back memories. My first SAAB was a 99GL that I bought new right after graduating from the University. It was red with a 4-speed manual and absolutely no options. I had it for 12 years before I traded it for a car with A/C and 4-doors for the daughters’ car seats. By then the paint was more orange than red, and the upholstery was starting to crumble from being parked outside in the Utah sun (no tinted glass!). It was a great car, though.

  12. Kurt,

    I think it’d be quite rare to find one for sale nowadays. Your best chance is probably to get in touch with one of the Swedish Saab clubs. Most of them would be located in Sweden or nearby European countries.

    Good luck.

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