Saab 900 – quick restoration story

It’s the month of classic 900 loving, where 900 owners can share their pics and c900 stories and revel in the classicky classicness of their classic Saab.

This first entry is from Drew B, a fellow Tasmanian Saabnut whose work should be familiar to long-time lurkers at this site. I thought i knew most of Drew’s Saab adventures, but I’m pleased to say this one’s a story I’d not heard about a car that I’d not seen.



After reading that this was the month of 900 love, I dug through my archives and began to reminisce about my first Saab purchase some 15 years back………..

I’d gone off to a local insurance salvage auction with the intention of buying a damaged motorcycle to repair, but instead got lured by a manual 1983 Saab 900 turbo in silver; a nice looking 4d with blue velour interior, power everything, and wearing its original TRX spoked alloys.

Drews 1st 900

It had belonged to a local doctor who had the misfortune of leaving it unlocked one evening, and was duly stolen by some passers-by looking for a joyride. That they did, ditching the car in a paddock a few kilometers away with a ‘broken gearbox’, stuffed ignition lock, busted windscreen, and key scratches in a noughts-and-crosses pattern across the roof panel. Oh, and they’d nicked the wiper arms and radio, just to top things off nicely. What morons.

Still, the car was repairable, and its excellent condition and low km’s made it an attractive proposition at the time. With only a couple of bids, it was mine, and that afternoon it arrived at home on the back of my mate’s tilt tray.

Fixing it was a pretty straightforward affair. The ‘broken gearbox’ that the insurance company had written the car off for turned out to be nothing more than a broken outer CV joint, which was a real bonus. Once running, I sourced a new shifter housing and ignition lock, sourced an original radio, and fitted a new front windscreen.

I used the car for a few months before refinishing the roof, and took the opportunity at the same time to repaint the LHS and rear in 2-pack to remove several annoying small defects.

Drews 1st 900

Drews 1st 900

That done, she was immaculate once again, and by far the cleanest of its type that I’d seen……..but driving it was just something else; it flew, and I can vividly remember driving uphill on the East Derwent Highway near Hobart and blowing away four beanie-wearing bogans in an old HQ Holden V8. The spool up of that Garrett turbo was certainly a sweet sound, and had me hooked on Saabs in no time.

Drews 1st 900

Pretty soon I found myself looking for a later one to buy and repair in a similar fashion, so I advertised the car and sold it to a mature gentleman who appreciated its condition and offered it a good home. I can still remember farewelling it as he drove off, thinking that I’d somehow rescued it from certain fate and given it another chance at life. Very satisfying.

With the car sold and the garage empty, another 900 soon found its way to me…….but more on that one later!

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  1. ahhh thats how Drew got the Saab bug! 🙂 How is your collection going? Must be up to about 12 cars now right?
    Say hi to Cher for me!

  2. Drew, maybe you can help Swade’s insurance company with what is actually wrong with his car and how cheap it is to fix it before they just write it off… 🙂

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