The Saab 9-3 Monte Carlo

All this sales stuff, critiques of crappy ads, frustration over a lack of development – well, it all fades a little when you step back, take a breath and check out a car that you love. And this is one of those cars for me. This is a 1999 Saab 9-3 Monte Carlo.

I was actually looking for a Monte when I bought my Viggen. As you’ll see from the article below, there were only a limited number of them here in Australia, so finding a good one proved to be difficult. I love the color, and there’s just something about the whole package, along with the exclusivity, that just works.

Saab 9-3 Monte Carlo

Saab 9-3 Monte Carlo

If only I had the money and the room…..

I was sparked into writing about this as there’s one for sale here in Australia at the moment and it looks alright, if a little overpriced.

I still love these Montes. There were only 50 of them released here in Australia, each of them numbered. There were three-door and five door versions released. The three-doors were predominantly manuals and the five-doors were mostly autos.

That Australia got 50 of these was a little surprising given that there was only 195 made of them for the worldwide market. I’m curious as to who got the rest of them.

For those of you who are interested in learning more about the modern Monte, there’s a good article here at Autoweb.

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9 Comments

  1. Don’t know why we can’t get reviews like this for the curen models…

    Sounds more like a rehash of the sales brochure to me, bit good all the same. Wouldn’t have been long before the Viggen was released.

    Also, $17???? Is that guy serious??? He’ll sruggle to get 12.

  2. I’d go $14K or maybe even $15K, but the $18 he’s asking is just too much. If it’s in good nick then $15K for a HOT 2.0 with that sort of exclusivity isn’t too bad. Precursor to the Aeros, which are still selling around $20 and upwards.

    Then again, maybe I’m an idiot.

  3. This car has a B204R engine. That’s a Trionic 5 200bhp engine with T25 turbo.

    That is the same as my Saab 9-3 Sport SE (HOT) in the UK.

    The colour is known as Monte Carlo Yellow, and was available on the Saab 9-3 Sport for model year 1999. This Monte Carlo model from Oz has the same 3-spoke 16″ alloys, the same seats and same bridge spoiler as the 9-3 SE Sport in the UK.

    This car is effectively the predecessor to the model year 2000 Saab 9-3 Aero. From 2001 on the Aero then got the Viggen body kit and larger 17″ alloys.

  4. The linked article says the HOT engine was 147kw which converts to 197hp (or 200 as John pointed out). That surprises me. I thought they would put more horses in a Monte Carlo.

    Swade, did your Viggen have 220 hp?

  5. 225hp, Andy, IIRC.

    As John mentioned, this was basically a 9-3 Aero before the Aeros came out officially.

    Each of the 50 here in Oz was numbered, too. I’m pretty sure #47 is here in Hobart. And if I remember right, the one I was looking at a few years ago was #17.

  6. I saw one of these in Hobart yesterday (I could only just read the ‘Monte Carlo’ badge on the back) and was going to shoot Swade an email and ask about them – what a coincidence! That colour is very striking. Fantastic looking car.

  7. I wonder if the Monte Carlo Yellow and the Electric Blue which were signature colors for the OG9-3 were supposed to emulate the colors of the Swedish flag. Am I reading too much into it?

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