900 loving – long-term convertible love

This is a great restoration story, one that turns an already beautiful 900 Convertible into an absolute stunner!

The story comes from Aaron E, and it starts right after this photo. As always, click the photos to enlarge.

Saab 900 Cab

In August 2001 (six years ago!) I purchased my first car, a 1987 900 Turbo Convertible. Two things made it stand out from others I’d seen: the SPG ground effects had been added, as well as Carroll Shelby 8-spoke rallye wheels, bodycolored with polished lips. I was in love! The car was in great mechanical shape with only 89,000 miles but needed lots of cosmetic help. I have done 99% of the work on this car with my father in our garage.

After replacing the front fenders, convertible top, leather seats, and many other maintenance parts it was ready to drive. It wasn’t long till I felt a need to increase the performance, so a K&N filter, tweaked APC and 3.0 bar fuel pressure regulator was installed. The car stayed in this form through most of college.

I was in an accident in 2004 that claimed a hood, fender, bumper, lights, grille, but the car was lovingly rebulit (for saving my life) and was back with new paint to match.

Saab 900 Cabriolet

In 2005 I acquired a rear airflow bumper from a junkyard, and searched the rest of the year for a matching front bumper and wheel arches. By January, the car had a complete Airflow kit and new Edwardian Grey paint. With it, I also installed a volvo FMIC to increase the performance a bit.

Saab 900 Cabriolet

When I finished college, I began increasing the car’s performance. I started with a custom FMIC mounted in the airflow bumper, then a 2.5″ magnaflow exhaust. I then replaced the failing turbo with a Turbonetics T3 Super 60 unit with a custom 3″ divorced downpipe with a TiAL 38mm external wastegate. I increased the fuel with 34lb/hr trionic redtop injectors and a Stage II fuel chip from JSP. I added 17″ wheels, cross-drilled & slotted rotors, Intrax springs (trimmed for more drop) and got on the dyno. I made 215whp and 270 ft/lbs on a stock APC box

Saab 900 Cabriolet

Shortly after I upgraded to a Swedish Dynamics Stage 4 APC box, 2.3L head & 2.1L intake manifold, N/A intake cam and 1985 900t exhaust cam, and a Swedish Dynamics sintered iron/kevlar clutch with uprated pressure plate. Getting back on the dyno in September and looking forward to a significant increase in power.

This car has always been and currently is my daily driver, however it’s quite low and impractical so I purchased a 1987 SPG to restore to original and be my daily runner. So far my convertible has 130,000 miles and is ready for more. I’ve gone through 4 transmissions, 3 paint jobs, and every single removable panel on the car has been replaced save for the doors. I love this car and will never sell it.

Saab 900 Cabriolet

Saab Cabriolet

Saab 900 Cabriolet

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That’s one beautiful looking 900 convertible.

Actually, I’ll have to have a look back through these 900 posts as I have a feeling that the ragtops are probably outnumbering the tin tops at this point.

If you’ve got a story for the month of 900 love, then send it in with a couple of photos so that we can share the love around.

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9 Comments

  1. Very nice sled and great story! Always enjoy reading about your updates on the various Saab forums too Aaron!
    cheers from down under
    sab and the silver sled

  2. I have never seen a Saab look like that. It seems to have a really unique stance. The colour scheme is pretty original too.

    Nice work. Inspiring actually.

  3. What a great job!
    I would like to tune my edwardian grey 1990 convertible, too. But where to start? And how much to invest, if you’re not a mechanic and can do it yourself?
    How did you manage with the 17″ wheels (I thought the maximum possible was 16″ from the 9000)? Do you have manual gear shift or automatic?

    Thanx for this great website – I come here very often! Hello from Austria (not to confuse with Australia 🙂

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