Some more on that beaut Saab ute.

I featured a brilliant modified Saab in the Saab O The Week section last week with a promise for more – and here it is….

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As mentioned, the ute belongs to a guy in Estonia named Anti. He runs his own Saab workshop and I’m sure this is the perfect practical advertisement for his skills. Here’s the rebuild story in brief:

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The idea to construct this kind of car occurred to me back in the mid-90s. Originally I planned to build a pick-up out of a SAAB-900 Classic but I didn’t find a proper platform for development as the Classics available those days already had rust problems.

In September 2002 I was offered a crashed SAAB-900 NG, 2.0i, MY94, 5-door with a manual gearbox. The left front corner of the car was damaged. The car had been properly serviced in my company before the accident took place and I did not dare demolish it for spare parts. I was also confident with the car’s repair history and good technical condition.

Initially, the car was garaged for 1 year. Meanwhile I designed the 900 Pick-up. When the drawings were ready I started the body works.

The body reconstruction started in 2003. The damaged body parts had to be straightened up, the damaged details to be replaced and the new ones fixed. Then I cut the roof, welded up the rear doors, fixed the center wall, figured out how the tailgate would open and made the reinforcements to support the bed. That took a lot of time.

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In springtime 2004 I started the body parts finishing works. That included the covering of welding points with lead cover, endless finishing and paintworks. Late 2004 the 9-00 Pick-up body works were finalized. Then the project was in a stand-by status as I had no time for it.

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Late 2005 I ordered a custom made rare triplex glass and a new windscreen. I also purchased another SAAB-900 NG for spare parts. The nice beige leather interior and a lot of other things, that otherwise would have been expensive to buy, were take from that car.

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The bed interior was cut out of aluminium riffle sheet according to models and fixed to the bed reinforcements. As the tailgate now opens downwards I had to make new electric wiring there.

In September 2006 the car was in a state where I could start up the official registration. The technical experts studied the car most thoroughly (including the bed reinforcement constructions) and finally the Estonian Dep. of Motor Vehicles registered it officially as a pick-up vehicle. After the registration the car underwent the regular technical inspection without any problems.

Then I decided to mount a hardtop cover to the bed. The construction of this was not easy as I had to solve the problem of how not to spoil the overall design image of the car, how to keep water out of the bed and what kind of hinges to use to ensure strength.

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The bed cover was ready in April, 2007.

As per now I can say the SAAB 900 Pick-Up vehicle is almost ready.

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That’s one heck of a piece of work. I’m always amazed at some of the things I see people do with their Saabs. I’m so incompetent when it comes to handiwork. And completely jealous, too.

Anti’s promised to let me know when the car’s complete and I’ll post an update here on the site at that time.

It’s looking 1st class already.

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7 Comments

  1. I have seen some Saab 9000 pickup’s in Sweden, but they usually look strange. This one is really good looking!

  2. That is beautifully executed. I had a ute before the Sportcombi and really miss it. Front drive alleviates the problem of an unloaded rear; my ute had 260kw and was quite tail-happy.

    I wonder if this one has serious lift-off oversteer problems or whether there is so much metal in the back it’s tied down well.

  3. Beautiful. Anti, you can make one for me anyday.

    Turbin: Lift off oversteer — is that associated with rear-drive or front-drive pickups? I wouldn’t expect the front-drive Saab to oversteer.

  4. What a neat job, very well done! At first I thought it was based on a cut-down cabrio, but after looking at the pics I realised the front doors were too short. The smaller front doors of the sedan body seem to make much more sense and aren’t so much of a hassle.

    Hope to see more pics when it’s finished!

    Swade, should I bring the oxy set over on the weekend? ;o)

    DB

  5. Eggs,

    Can and does happen, have experienced it in the Sportcombi under controlled test conditions. Google it.

    Will normally happen with a heavy rear end that suddenly becomes unloaded during throttle lift-off mid-corner when the load transfers to the front and there’s a lateral force at play that swings the tail around. Think Corvair.

    Saabs Re-ax is designed to reduce this, but I still had the combi go from serious understeer to lift-off oversteer in one cornering manouvre. This is with ESP off of course.

    I would expect that a light rear end on a front-wheel drive could experience something similar with the lateral force overcoming the tyre-grip due to reduced vertical load in the back.

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