Sunday Monday Driving

You gotta love Easter holidays, huh? Especially when the weather’s good.

Given that things were looking good and that we hadn’t been for a spin in a while, a couple of we Tasmanian Saabisti got together to stretch the legs a little. There was only three cars in the group, but it was a great run through some beautiful countryside.

In the group were Bill H (Saabill) in his 1993 c900 Turbo 5-door and Drew B (with his parents and grandmother in tow) in his 1977 Saab 96 Souvenir Edition. Oh, and your truly in you-know-what.

Following is a bunch of photos from the day, snapped from all three cameras. Click on any of them to enlarge.

We took off around 11am and headed south, down to the region known around here as ‘the Channel’. Drew led the way in the fully loaded V4 (fully loaded with people, that is), that way we were assured of hanging together.


There’s not many pics of the drive as the drive itself was too enjoyable to be fussed with cameras. After an hour or so we stopped at a pub in a town called Cygnet for lunch (porterhouse steak for me), And after that started to wander home.

Bill and I exchanged keys after lunch. I drove a leg of the trip home in the 900 and he took the Viggen for a spin. It was really good to get back in a 900 again. I used to own one, but it was an auto and never delivered many thrills. This was actually the first manual 900 Turbo I’ve driven in quite a few years. It was great fun, but soooooo different to the Viggen.


I mean no detriment towards the 900 at all when I say this, but I’d become complacent about a few things with the Viggen – until I got out of it and drove another car. The 900 seats are incredibly comfortable and Bill’s car is one of the most solid-feeling Saabs I’ve driven. There was one tiny dash rattle, from a speaker, but other than that the car is totally tight and feels great.

Back in the Viggen though, I was able to appreciate the progression from the 900 to the next generation. The seating position, the armrests on the doors that sit where your arms actually are, the shorter shifter and the brakes – oh, those big brakes that I’d just thought were normal.



Drew’s 96 was fully loaded with all the family, but just kept on going and going. He mentioned that it didn’t feel much different fully loaded than what it does with just him driving.

I certainly looked great on the road and attracted a number of admiring/puzzled glances as we drove along. It didn’t miss a beat all day.

Photos ahead. Enjoy.


Drew mentioned that I might photoshop some more hair into this one. I didn’t, but you can feel free to import some famous hairstyles and then email them to me. I’ll forward them on and maybe we can even do a Drew gallery!

This is the man himself and his 1977 Saab 96 Souvenir Edition. It was one of the last 150 produced for the UK market.



The family in the 96. Love those driving lights. Original accessories and quite hard to get in good condition, if at all.









Bill hanging out with his 900.

It’s a 1993 model and turbo’s are actually rather uncommon in that vintage. most of the 1993 models here in Australia were the 900i model with the 2.1 litre non-turbo engine.




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  1. A NSW branch tour of Tassie at Easter next year??? We did a couple of Targa roads today and they truly are excellent.

    Might even be able to talk PT and Richo into tagging along!

  2. Good drive! Thanks guys I needed that. BUT.

    My 1993 900T demonstrates in many ways that it is the end of a line of cars that started back in the 60’s with the 99. Lots of things are changed from those early 99’s, but many things are the same. Love evolution. Some aspects of cars have improved over the years since 1993, such as ergonomics, but ability to build a car is not one of those things.

    The Viggen is certainly a fun drive. Plenty of power, bags of torque, a bit of torque steer (which doesn’t particularly worry me), looks good and a nice cockpit. But with less than 100,000 kms on the dial I wonder what it will be like when it has the 237,000 km on it that my 900T does. Will it be on the original motor, turbo, gearbox, suspension?

    An early 90’s old gen is also quieter and more solid on the road than a late 90’s new gen!

  3. All agreed Bill. I knew there was little way of saying what I meant without sounding like I was detracting from the 900 in some way, which I wasn’t meaning to do.

    The point you make about solidity after 237000 kms is so true. I hope the Viggens are as solid, but I have my fears and doubts.

    There’s a reason the classic 900 is called “classic” and I didn’t mean to detract from that at all. But lets just say that I welcomed many of the ergonomic improvements that were built in to the next generation.

    And the brakes….

  4. Fellas, you should think yourselves lucky that things have evolved since the days of the V4! No turbo, no radio, no electric windows, not even a clock! Drum brakes on the back, front discs that are prone to fading. A column change like a broken fairy wand, coupled with the performance of a ride-on lawnmower. Dogs rush out to attack it when I’m driving along, thinking it’s the local postie bike approaching. Awe inspiring stuff, I know.

    I probably should mention that my father spent all day moaning about the harsh ride, hard seats, wobbly clutch, poor brakes, bad gearing, etc, etc, etc……. he frequently used words like “horrid” and “bloody crap”, reminding everyone how good Mercedes cars are in comparison. On arrival at home, he said he had a “splitting headache caused by riding in that old crap”, following which he went for a lie-down.

    Grandma thought it was all wonderful, although I did hear her say that I was “going a bit fast” when the needle hit 70km/hr. I glanced down at to read the tacho, but realised there wasn’t one……..


  5. Big differences between 900T and viggen.

    I wonder how long the 900t tranny would last putting out 250+ ft lbs of torque. See how it’s hard to compare? Even if they are of same ‘quality’ the viggen would naturally run into more problems me thinks…

    Our ’86 900s has 230k MILES, thats close to 370,000 kimometers. Original, un-rebuilt engine, transmission, clutch (but that’s only cuz im the most skillful driver around), and suspension ( except for those lower control arm hiccups). But, the engine only puts out 130/130, if that…

  6. What a cracking day grommit!

    BTW – Somehow Tassie seems to do a very good impression of Sweden.

    BTW, I think its this car of Drews ( although possibly one of the others that was there at the Shannons show last year) which actually has a ford engine. Somehow it makes my GM V6 seem that much more legitimate.


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