Saab 900 wheel loving

There’s a guy here in Tasmania who has not only cornered the local market on Saab 99s, but has also gathered quite a collection of rims over the last few years.

I refer, of course, to “Saabill”.

In a previous post about the 900 Aero I’m picking up later this week, it came to my attention that I most likely wouldn’t be able to put Super Aero rims on it. When Bill linked to an auction with some Minilites for sale in Germany I joked that I should photoshop the Aero to see what the Minilites would look like on it.

Bill’s gone one better and emailed me a bunch of pics of his ’93 Saab 900 T16 with a variety of wheels fitted so that we can all get a look. The 85 I’m picking up is a different color and is a little more like a 99 with it’s flat nose – but these make for quite an interesting comparison and a set of silver minilites wouldn’t look too bad at all. I’d retain the Aero rims as well, of course, but the ability to have a little variety would be nice.

Click on any of the images to enlarge.

First, the original “softspoke” alloys that came with the car:

Saab 900 1993

Second, a set of 16″ cross-spoke alloys. Classic look, but tedious to clean IMHO:

Saab 900 1993

Third, a set of Super Incas, which I think were first seen on EMS versions of the 900:

Saab 900 1993

And finally, a set of Minilites. Perhaps the 99T to the left gives a better impression as to what a set of these might look like on my 85 Aero. It’s lighter in color, like mine, and has the flatter nose like mine.

Saab 900 1993

Interesting stuff.

I’ll be in Sydney for a day when I pick up the car and Melbourne for a day on my way back to Hobart, so it might be a good chance to check the Saab recyclers and see if there’s some there.

Just in case.

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11 Comments

  1. I don’t like any of those wheels, personally. I like the Aero wheels that are on the car already.

    Or, go for some Fuchs, just buff off the logo in the middle :p

    It would be neat if we could post pictures directly in the comments.

  2. Hey Swade,

    As you’re driving from Sydney to Melbourne, stop in at Wangaratta. It’d be my honour to buy you a coffee.

    If you think you’ll have time, email me!

  3. super aeros wont fit on a 85 900 aero, as the hub design changed after 1987 if i recall correctly, also the hand brake is on the front for pre 87 cars aswell

    al

  4. Those Fuchs look great. Probably heaps of them available compared to SAAB wheels too I’d guess. But, every mechanic that I speak with thinks that Saabs ( or any car really) go better with original wheels.

    Go the minilites.

  5. Hardly ever seen a 900 in Sweden with the cross-spokes or super incas, and I personally don’t like them. The minilites are classic, and looks really good on both 99 and 900. So, “go minilites” from me too.

  6. Swade,

    Keep the car original. If you re-read the 900 brochure that you posted a few days ago, you’ll see why the 15’s are historically significant on this car. The contemporary Mercedes S-class came with 14’s, so it really was a big deal.
    If you install a larger rim, you will mess-up your handling (more unsprung weigth) and lose acceleration (weight and greater circumference). 9 times out of 10, people who get bigger rims also end-up putting really nasty tires on them because they can’t afford decent tires in a larger size. So they end-up with Chinese imitation tires that can’t be balanced, don’t grip in the dry, and really really don’t grip in the wet, connected to a suspension that’s operating outside of it’s design specifications (never mind the lowering kit that can’t be alligned).
    That may be o.k. for a teenager with a Honda (or Holden), but it’s just no way to treat a classic Saab.

  7. I tend to go for the easiest to clean and maintain, which as it turns out are the original 3-spoke wheels. The Ronal/Minilite wheels look really neat on Bill’s car also, and probaly better than the original short-spokes. Incas I don’t go much on, and the cross-spoke 16’s are the most horrid wheel to do anything to. Go with the originals, I reckon, and just get them spruced up with some new paint if need be.

    DB

  8. PT – I photoshopped those Fuchs on, more as a joke than anything else, but I DO think they look really good. Do 85 SPG’s have 4 or 5 bolt wheels? Fuchs come in both varieties but the 5 bolts look much better.

  9. Jeff: All C900’s are 4-bolt.

    There are a number of aftermarket wheels available from Ronal. Check it out — their version of the ‘cross spoke’ (they call it mesh) looks to be a little easier to clean. Plus, they are not as expensive as Super Aeros anyway.

    But then again, those Super Incas…..

    PS. The comments above are correct. 1987 and older have a slightly different wheel fit than the 1988 and newer (and the hand brake moved to the rear, too). That was a factor in selecting my 1988.

  10. Dang. The 4-bolt Fuchs don’t look nearly as good, after looking at them a second time.

    Not that Swade actually would put Porsche wheels on his Saab, but it’s fun to think about.

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