As part of the 25th Anniversary of the Saab Convertible, we’re covering the development of one of Saab’s most iconic models. If you missed Bob Sinclair’s story on the birth of the Saab Convertible, then make sure you hit that link and check it out.
As mentioned in that story, there were two convertible concepts produced for evaluation by Saab. One of those was made by the American Sunroof Company in Michigan, USA. If you notice a similarity between this car and the original Saab 900 Convertible from the mid-1980’s, that’s because this is the concept that was chosen for serial production starting as a 1986 model.
The Saab Convertible made it’s world debut at the 1983 Frankfurt Motor Show. This is that car. It now lives in the Saab Museum in Trollhattan, Sweden.
This is a studio image of the original convertible concept. it’s better than any image I could have got at the Museum yesterday.
I won’t go into too much detail on this car as it’s one that Saab fans would be quite familiar with from the production model, but there are a few differences. Let’s dive in an take a closer look…….
The interior is the familiar ‘Oxblood’ interior that was well known in the mid-1980s, this time with a black dashboard…
The rear seats and an overview of the convertible top cover…..
A close-up of the cover, which is trimmed in oxblood leather….
Moving to the other side, with a portion of the top cover removed, we can see the convertible mechanism in place. The top isn’t operated regularly now and would require some service before being operated again.
Rear seat passengers got a window switch of their own on the convertible concept….
The center console got window and roof switches….
The interior was trimmed in original Bridge of Weir leather from Scotland….
And for the real convertible boffins, a look at the roof connecting points of the concept convertible.
As mentioned in the original convertible story, the concept built by ASC was a ‘production’ concept, not a car merely for show. Their brief was take a 2-door Saab 900 and figure out how to make a convertible that could be mass-produced. Their concept is therefore very similar to the final vehicle that was released for sale in 1986.
The other concept car was made by a Swedish coachbuilder named Leif Mellberg. This is the car that not so many people have seen before and we’ll take a much closer look at that car very soon.