I’m really not sure what to make of this. On one level, it seems to be quite possibly the silliest vehicle I’ve ever seen, yet on the other there’s something about it that makes you want to take it home and call it your own.
Imagine your Saabo caravan just isn’t big enough for those quiet getaways anymore. It’s not too hard to picture, the Saabo’s a pretty small conveyance after all.
Enter the Biltjanst Husbilen (I think that’s what it’s called – forgive me if not).
Which way’s forwards?
No, it’s not a Saab strictly speaking, but underneath that interesting exterior beats the heart of a Saab 95. The whole concept began in the early 1960s using a Saab 92 as a base. This prototype never passed its inspections, however.
The next prototype was more like the one we see here. Built on the 95, it had a body over two meters wide being lugged around by a little three cylinder two-stroke engine! The grille was composed with halves from a Volvo Amazon and a middle section from Saab.
Note the early Saab centre grille
The result was thought to be so good that in September 1965, Biltjänst as the company was called (and still is called) begun to speculate in terms of series production.
Unfortunately (I think) this didn’t happen, despite Saab following the project with some interest.
The driver’s seat…..and the mechanic’s access.
Note the old-school gauges.
The van lost its two-stroke engine in the early 1970’s, being replaces with a Saab V4. There’s been several other restoration items over the years as well in order to keep things weatherproof and working OK.
The original article, which I’ve tried to translate and summarise (quite inadequately) seems to indicate a top speed of around 100-110 km/h. I’m not sure I’d like to see it at anything over 60 though. Especially in a corner.
The write was taken for a ride in the van and I’d imagine this would sum up the reaction wherever he went:
Through the the broad batch square, an entire round is visible half open mouths.
My expression exactly!
Original OEM mudflaps.
My thanks to Hans for sending me the original link. A great discovery!