C900 month begins!!

It’s August where I live and if you’re reading this there’s a very good chance it’s approaching August where you are, too.

And that means that the month of classic 900 loving has begun!!

The months of Saab loving are meant to be an opportunity for owners to share their stories about the model and tell the wider world why their Saab is so freaking brilliant. Previously, there’s been a month of Saab 9-5 loving (unofficial), a month of 900/9-3 loving, a month of Saab 99 loving and a month of modified Saab loving.

Now it’s time for that eternal model in Saab’s lineup – the classic Saab 900.

When I was growing up, all my mates had old Holdens or Fords. It was like a rite of passage for a young Aussie bloke. It’s probably similar with Saabista as well. If you haven’t driven or owned a classic 900 yet, you should give some consideration to spending some time in one. Saab built it’s entire modern-day existence on this car and it’s probably the most instantly recognisable Saab there is.

So send your photos and stories through to me at swade99-at-dodo.com.au (you know the deal, change the ‘-at-‘ to an @).

Allow me to kick off proceedings with a great shot I found on my Flickr feed. This was taken by that French purveyor of all things vintage Saab – Golfhunter. His full Flickr account, complete with heaps of Saab pics, is here.

A great shot of a great car. Don’t you just want to jump in and head for those hills?

Golfhunter 900

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  1. I wish it was in Turkey, i would actually go somewhere else than my usual summer house to go visit saabers :). i think france?

  2. I want one very badly. I really want an SPG, I almost got one but it turned out that there was a major problem with the accelerator.

    Speaking of almost, I was one click away from buying a late 70’s BMW 320i. But I didn’t.

  3. You know what’s strange? If they made that exact same car again, exactly as it was, only brand new, I’d buy one. I don’t know of any other car I could say that about. I still think the 900 is such a classic design, it doesn’t look outdated. Perhaps that’s just personal bias, but I don’t think so. It’s one of the most beautiful automobile designs ever. I especially always loved the twin taillights (two on the car, two on the fifth door).

  4. Aaron: the thing is that the C900 design is almost 30 years old and if you consider that it was based on the 99 it’s even older! The look is definitely timeless, as it looks like nothing before it (except its SAAB predecessor) and nothing since.

    Being a C900 owner myself (1985 900T) I understand the love for these cars. But I wonder if we could quantify exactly what about the C900 it is we love. Is it the exterior styling? The driving dynamics? The practicality? All of the above? Personally it’s sentimental value as when I was a child my grandfather owned and drove me around in his 1978 99 Turbo and then in the ’85 900T he handed-down to me.

    You’ve got to think that SAAB should be just as capable today of making a car as beloved as the C900, but in a modern car (with a modern engine and modern suspension, and modern safety systems…). I think the 9-1 has the potential of being that car. It should be unique enough that it could only be a SAAB, IMHO. I certainly hope that it’s roughly based on the 9X concept. That would be a great mix of uniqueness, practicality, and driving dynamic. Look at the 9X. It looks like nothing else on the road. You wouldn’t mistake it for anything else. And you could still fit that bookcase from IKEA in the trunk!

    The 9-1 has the potential to be the next SAAB classic if they do it right.

    Open challenge to all: quantify what exactly it is (one thing if possible) you love about the C900.

  5. Gripen – I love the shape.

    Of course, the shape wouldn’t be worth much if it didn’t have the power to go with it, so I guess that’s not REALLY one thing…

  6. I bought my first Saab a few months ago, and looked at every model under the moon. Even though I settled for a brilliant 9-5 Aero (5 speed of course!), I always kick myself for passing up a 1993 900 Commemerative Edition Turbo I drove 2 hours to see. I can’t offer a great excuse for why I didn’t buy it…though it was over-priced to the “average” Saabophile.
    The fact that I STILL think about that car makes me realize the Saab 900 isn’t only the best Saab of all time…it is one of the best automobiles ever built.
    Saab needs another car like the original 900. That’s not to say they still don’t make good cars…I would adore to have a 9-3 Aero SportCombi in my driveway, and my 9-5 is an awesome design, and very comfortable to own…but the 900 to many people IS the brand. A modern-day SPG would show everyone what character really is, and why Saab makes BMW look like a silly choice.

  7. For me it was initially the styling. I was 15 when I saw my first C900. I was traveling in Europe in 1986 with my father and I saw it in Belgium. It was a beautiful black C900. For sentimental reasons, it has to be black for me. I remember as we were driving to Luxembourg I day dreamed of a black C900 driving along side through the snow covered countryside. That’s how I have always viewed the C900. Much has to do with the romantic notions a 15 year old has with cars.

    I currently own a 2003 9-5 and love it, however I would feel more complete with a C900 in the garage. Actually, two. I think the C900 ‘vert is the best designed ‘vert ever.

    I believe that timeless design is a big part of it, but I believe there is a great amount of sentiment and nostalgia that is generated by this one of a kind desgn. That can be said of all of the classic Saab. For many of us we remember the first Saab we ever saw, whether it be a 92,96, 99 or 900, etc. and that will always be our favorite. That is what makes the brand unique. No other car I have owned, including 2 of the big 3 germans, has enchanted me so much.

  8. I guess when you have a design that is so different from anything that’s out at the time you have one of two things that could happen — either the design ends up looking totally dated, due to certain cues that may have been “stylistic” during the design era, or it ends up continuing to look fresh because it was so different from anything that has existed. Plus, some classic designs can always seem fresh. Jeep has had a version of the boxy-styled Cherokee around for what, 25 years or more now?

    It definitely is part nostalgia on my part, yes. I still remember driving our first Saab home in 1981. To look at the seats now, the sculpting looks tame, but it was pretty advanced at the time. The expansion tank for the radiator was pretty cool. The clamshell hood continues to be one of my favorite styling features. Plus, there was that “Saab sound” — that throaty warble that you could tell coming down the street before you even saw it. We didn’t have a turbo, but I loved the weird positioning of the spoiler. One kid in my class had one of the metallic maroon turbos with the louvred shade on the back window. I thought that was the coolest.

    The thing that kept me from buying the SportCombi was the overall feel of the vehicle.

    I’ll always remember my mom taking the Saab out for a first test drive. As soon as she drove it, she loved it. When I got my license, I knew what she meant — the whole car just felt solid, as if it was one big hunk of metal. It held the road like a fine european automobile, and took the horrible New Hampshire back roads like a car that was heavy, but nimble at the same time.

    I didn’t have that feeling when I test drove the SportCombi. It was probably the most disappointing test drive I had ever taken. When I eventually test drove my Mazdaspeed6, I had the experience that I had when I first drove my mom’s car (and I have never been a big fan of Japanese automobiles). The Mazdaspeed was a solid car, big car feel with smaller car handling. Felt like it was made for a tall driver. I knew the minute I drove it that I wanted it.

    I wish that the Saab had made me feel like that, but it felt little different than my old Chevy Lumina. It just felt so much cheaper than it looked (still loved the styling). I have written about this elsewhere. Perhaps I needed to live with it a little while, but I was thinking it should’ve been screaming, “I am a SAAB” to me. It didn’t.

    I am hoping beyond hope that when I test drive the 2008 SportCombi XWD that I will fall in love again. I miss being part of the Saab family and hope that GM have finally gotten Saab’s act together. It certainly sounds like GM is finally starting to listen to the Saab fans…

    18 months left on my lease, then I buy the Speed6 for a good payout. My hope is that it will be on Ebay or in the local paper after that, for sale, because I’ll have a new SportCombi XWD in my driveway, having test driven it and fallen in love all over again.

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