Back in February I wrote an article on one of our local Tassie Saab nuts – Bill H.
Back then he had 5 Saabs in the stable, as follows:
I’ve been back up there today, and in the months since it’s fair to say Bill’s been doing a little shopping.
Photos and story after the jump…..
Last time we visited with Bill, he had a couple of 9000’s, one 900, my old 99Turbo and a 1973 99E.
Since then he’s traded the 9000 Airflow for two more 99 turbos. One of these was basically a twin for my old 99, in Arctic White, but with minilite wheels, aircon and no sunroof.
The other 99T he got in the trade was a black one with only 70,000 kilometers on the clock. That sounds like a pretty good car, except this one lived on the northern beaches in Sydney for 20-some years and unfortunately the salt air has done irrepairable damage to the car. Every panel had rusted out and a replacement bonnet was sourced when it was bought from Sydney to Hobart. That bonnet has now been salvaged for a restoration being done by another club member. The black 99T is below, with a substitute brown bonnet installed….
The reason for getting this car was the powertrain. It was purchased in Sydney by another Tassie club member, Drew B (he’s now got the Airflow 9000). As mentioned, it’s only done 70,000 kms and after a little fiddling about by Drew this afternoon it started up and it still runs as sweet as a nut. The engine and gearbox will be transplanted into one of Bill’s white 99 turbos in the future.
Here’s some of the rust. This is the back window surround and it’s representative of a bunch of spots around the car.
So with one 9000 down and 2 99T’s added, that’s a net addition of 1. There’s more to come though.
A 1986 900 Aero. Needs a fair bit of restoration work, but the interior’s not too bad. Future uncertain.
A 99 GLE four-door sedan, purchased from South Australia. It’s hard to tell from this shot, but it’s painted in a charcoal grey metallic finish. The black wheels were originally black and gold, but have been blacked out completely and don’t look anywhere near as good as they could.
The interior has also been re-trimmed. The photo’s a bit stark, but the contrasting interior really does look pretty effective (and it’s nowhere near as pink as it looks on my monitor).
Another 99 in the collection is this early 70’s EMS. The body’s a little faded but the engine is in fantastic running order.
A study in Finnish quality control…..
We have a car club event coming up this Friday and we’ll be displaying a group of owner’s cars at the local Saab showroom for the evening. One of the cars on display will be the white 99T that Bill received in the trade for the 9000. The main point of concern with the car for the display is that the paintwork on the bonnet is a little bit spotty. It’s the original paint and it’s weatherd a little with time.
Bill was doing a few jobs on the car today in preparation for the event next Friday. One idea we had was to remove the bonnet off the car and replace it with the one off my old 99T, which whilst not perfect, was absent the spots that were prevalent on the other one.
Two removals and one re-fit later, we stood back rather amazed at the differences.
Both cars were made in Finland in December 1978. They have very similar VINs and the same paint code, Arctic White, which is white with a green tint in it. I couldn’t photograph the differences effectively, but Bill’s newer 99T seems to be 2 or 3 shades greener than my old (his older) 99T.
In addition, the bonnet didn’t seem to fit too well. Neither car has ever been in a front end accident or any serious accident for that matter, so logically speaking the bonnets should have been readily interchangeable. I’m sure there are some adjustments that we could have tried, but at first fitting, we got one side lined up nicely but ended up with a full half-inch of underhang on the passenger side:
A lot of Bill’s cars are works in progress and some are purely for parts. it’s been rather astounding to see the collection grow however, and especially the interest in 99’s. I first met Bill around a year ago and at that time he had two 9000’s and a classic 900. Not a 99 in sight!
Times have changed.