GM Heritage collection acquires Saab Friction Tester

I’ve had a few emails draw my attention to the fact that the GM Heritage collection has now acquired a Saab 900 equipped as a friction tester.

About a week ago I started getting a whole heap of hits from a VW forum – VW Vortex. It turns out that a guy from VW Vortex saw a Friction Tester parked on the street and looked up what a Saab friction tester is, landing here in the process. He posted an article on it there, complete with some photos.

A month or so before that, though, a guy posts on a forum called “Dubs in the Buff” about the new oddball car in his collection. It turns out to be the same Saab Friction Tester mentioned above, complete and seemingly in working order.

The car has since been put up for sale on Ebay. The auction finished abruptly on December 4, with the car selling for $3,400. The buyer was “cas5545” and he’s only got one feedback item.

It turns out that cas5545 is Custom Automotive Services, the group that does GM’s restoration work. Apparently they got the link to the auction from some Saab folks who saw that it was taking place, they hit the Buy It Now button and the rest is history.

The end result is that some time next year I’m sure we’ll all see photos of this baby restored to its former glory.

Consider these the “before” photos!

There’s a few here and a whole bunch after the jump….

Saab Friction Tester

Saab Friction Tester

Saab Friction Tester

Saab Friction Tester

Saab Friction Tester

Saab Friction Tester

Saab Friction Tester

Saab Friction Tester

Saab Friction Tester

Saab Friction Tester

Saab Friction Tester

Saab Friction Tester

Saab Friction Tester

Saab Friction Tester

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9 Comments

  1. I saw two 9-5 wagons (painted bright yellow) being used as runway friction testers at the Salt Lake City airport. Couldn’t take a pic since we were already taxiing for takeoff…

  2. I’m a professional pilot with Scandinavian Airlines, and often rely on the friction-numbers provided by the SFT – it is the only frictiontester that gives accurate readings in the difficult conditions around 0 degrees celcius, and the only reading we could use under these conditions (until recently that is, new research and rules are being implemented). 🙂

    I particullary remember the green 900 they had in Bardufoss, while I was at flight school. It was operated by the military, and was absolutely immaculately maintained! I had a black 900 from around the same period (early eighties model), and used to wish the military could do some maintenance on my car as well… 😉

  3. I was begging my friend to lend me the money for the buy it now price, but I was also hoping someone who would give this car a good home would pick it up, so I’m glad its going to the Heritage collection. I find interesting is the US DOT lights, but it has the European instrument cluster, I always wanted the liter fuel gauge (however I could do without the primarily Km/H speedo 😉 )

  4. SAAB007:

    So you were came to my home town, eh? Makes me feel proud somehow that they have a couple 9-5s in use at my airport. 🙂

    I’m glad the GM Heritage folks picked it up- I think it will surprise a good number of people once they restore it and put it on display.

  5. I saw a black & gold 95 estate in use at the Sapporo airport ( forget the exact name) in Hokkaido, Japan last year. COuldn’t tell what for but it was on the apron with flashing lights so something official.

  6. I had a 1981 900T with that 85 mph maximum speedo. Got a speeding ticket with it pegged once on the freeway at like 2 a.m. I couldn’t tell how much faster than 85 I was going, but the officer wrote me up for 80 mph or something like that because faster than that he’d be obligated by law to arrest me for “reckless driving”! 😮

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