Chris writes the following in comments:
….being a SAAB lover and saab mechanic for many years now, I have loved the c900, loathed the 9000, and cried at the GM direction (especially since I am rather fond of ford, and many saab innovations that led to the 900 came with help from ford) – I must ask the question, could they not dust off the old dies, and start making the mono-body of the old 900, and upgrade everything that attaches to it?
I have never seen a better automotive superstructure than the c900, and it seems to me that the “retro” cars make a massive hit these days, at least here in the U.S. But maybe I am just a fool for longing for the old days, afterall, if it didn’t have a SAAB badge on it, I would think the 9-3 Aero was a very hot car, but the SAAB badge on a GM product fills me with anger, you would think having the saab name on a nice car, would only make me like it more, who knows?
But it doesn’t matter, because my black 91 vert runs great, and I know how to fix it 😉
Well, the GM side of this I’ll leave well enough alone, as many of you know that I’m positive towards GM’s ongoing stewardship of Saab.
The point that I drew out of this is the thought of a retroSaab.
If you’ve got a few minutes to spare, take a peek at this. It’s James May from Top Gear driving a modernised Jaguar XJS:
It goes to show that a great car can have new technology applied to it and be made even better.
Chris’ point about taking the classic 900 and making a modern car out of it takes this story one step further and it’s been something that I’ve given many a thought to over the last few years.
My favourite older Saab, however, isn’t the 900 but the Saab 99 Turbo. With it’s shorter nose and in either 3-door or 2-door form it’s beautifully proportioned and is capable of quite a bit of attitude.
My ideal retroSaab do-over would be a modernised car based quite firmly on the 3-door 99Turbo, with all modernised suspension, power steering, a B235 engine and a modernised interior.
A modernised version of Simon A’s pristine 99T would make the perfect new Swademobile.
It’s just a dream, however. Those old dies wouldn’t meet today’s standards for fit and finish and one wonders how good that chassis could be by modern standards.
Maybe when Saab get around to that 9-1, which I still believe will be around 2010, they’ll make it a real successor to the c900. Or if I’m really lucky, it’ll be a shorter-proportioned car like the 99.
One can hope.