99/900 dreaming….

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.
red99Tsotw800-thumb.jpg

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.

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7 Comments

  1. I have mentioned several times in my comments, but nobody reflected: is it so unreal that the entusiast Saab owners wordlwide join to buy Saab shares and push them to make things better?
    Or just found some investors, fund a shareholding company to reproduce the old Saab classics?

  2. Correct me if I’m wrong, but there not any Saab Autmobile AB shares since it’s wholly owned by GM. So that mean buying GM shares… 🙂

  3. You’re right, ctm. I bought GM stock a few years ago because Saab stock wasn’t available.

    As to the idea of remaking the c900, I’m all for that. As long as it’s not made in Mexico or Brazil as was the VW Beetle.

  4. I wouldn’t expect GM to do it, but it isn’t that farfetched of an idea. A US company is now selling complete bodies for a 1957 Chevrolet. (It may not mean much to non-US readers, but the 1957 Chevy is an iconic model amongst American hot rodders.) So you can, in effect, build a brand new ’57 Chevy with all the latest technology. The company created it’s own stamping dies, etc. All it would take for someone to do the same for a Saab 99/900 is sufficient demand.

  5. Sam’s right — it isn’t that hard. You can also buy a ‘new’ Shelby Cobra and a ‘new’ 1967 Ford Mustang.

    Somehow, when I said it, Gunnar jumped all over me. When Swade says it, it’s a whole different thing. A new 99 or 900 would sell, but how much?

    I’ve got to think that the 99 would be better for today’s technology — certainly the car would use a transverse-mounted engine, therefore there would be little need for the additional length of the 900.

    Other than that, one could leave well enough alone.

    I’d dub it the 909 — except that Peugot has the lock on the ‘0’ numbering scheme. So what to call it? The 999? The 99x? (Sounds like a radio station. In Atlanta. Not that I’ve heard it or anything.) The 9-9?

  6. Eggs, don’t recall Gunnar’s jumping, but it’s probably the short nature of comments vs the longer nature of a post, with video.

    Anyway, it’s a nice pipe dream but unrealistic unless someone poured a truckload of money into it.

    And I’d just call it the 99, perhaps the 99R (for reissue).

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