The Silver Beast

I’m meant to be focused solely on blog maintenance, but I couldn’t resist this…..


A recent poll conducted by asked 007 fans, “Which car from the James Bond novels is your favorite?” From a selection that included an Aston Martin DBIII, a Jaguar XK8, a Porsche Gambella, and four different Bentleys, the surprise winner was a fuel-efficient, mid-priced, Swedish-made “everyday” car, the Saab 900 Turbo.

I’d heard of James Bond driving a Saab in several novels, but didn’t really know anything about it. Thankfully, a website seemingly devoted to all things Bond has decided to do a write-up on it. The 900 Turbo was referred to as “The Silver Beast” and was kitted out in typical Bond fashion, though notably not by Q Branch as is usually the case in the movies. Apparently this was Bond’s personal car and he contracted an outside firm to customise it.


So which refinements did 007 feel was necessary in the field?

* Water-cooled turbo engine modification….producing a top speed in excess of 170 MPH.
* Modified fuel system capable of running on gasoline or gasohol.
* Halon 12 fire extinguishing system and fire-proofing.
* Digital heads-up instrument display.
* Remote text-messaging system via black box phone hook up to landline.
* Mobile phone.
* Four external tear gas ducts.
* Filter to stop deadly gas from entering the car’s passenger cabin.
* Oxygen masks under the seats in CO2-operated compartment.
* Several hidden compartments in dashboard containing:
-TH70 Nitefinder goggles (for driving without headlights),
-one unauthorized Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 Magnum revolver,
-and one Browning automatic handgun.
* Fully armor-plated body.
* Bulletproof glass.
* Steel-reinforced ramming bumpers back and front.
* Heavy-duty Dunlop Denovos tires self-sealing even after being hit by bullets.
* Side gunport.
* Remote starter kit.
* Rotating license plates.
* Two Halogen fog lamps.
* Aircraft headlight hidden behind front license plate.

Go read the full article at It’s a must for Bond-lovers and Saab-lovers alike.

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  1. Did you know that the Swedes back in Trollhattan have actually built a car with all these features and now you can see it in the Saab museum in Troll-n as a Bond’s car?

  2. Notice the Inca rims on the Silver Beast.

    Just the ones on my 99 turbo.

    Inca’s. Coolest Saab wheels ever. I would love it if someone made modern Inca’s for the 9-3/9-5.

  3. Greg – they are cool aren’t they? They look absolutely sensational when they’re repaired and resprayed. My old rims are looking pretty tired now, but the refreshed ones on my red 99T were absolutely sensational. Worth the effort.

    Pavel – Thanks for the extra links. I’ll update this post shortly.

  4. I remember actually reading the Bond books in which 007 owned the “Silver Beast” when I was a pre-teen (these books were written in the early 80’s). I thought it especially cool since at the time by grandfather owned a 1978 99 Turbo.

    The Bond car at the SAAB museum is one that was made by the publishing company for a special promotional book tour. It was decked-out with many of the gadgets from the novels, including the tear gas canisters under the wheel wells and HUD.

    My favorite feature (not mentioned yet here) from the Bond SAAB of the novels: he had dimmers on his taillamps so that when trying to outrun bad guys at night he’d slowly dim his taillights to give the illusion of gaining greater distance on his pursuers. He also had night vision goggles he’d wear while driving with his headlights off at night.

    His SAAB was a 1981 SAAB 900 Turbo 3-door. It also had water injection.

    Being a long-time Bond fan as well as a SAAB fan, this was a match made in heaven for me.

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