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Tag: Saab

Swede Week: 2008 SAAB 9-7X Aero

So the GM-takeover of SAAB is to be completely lamented? Not so fast. A few really cool vehicles came about as a result of SAAB’s combined efforts with other automakers; the 9000 is probably the best example, but the Viggen, the ‘SAABaru’ 9-2X, and 9-5 Aero are also popular alternatives to the normal German performance rides out there. Today, though, I want to take a look at what many consider the low point of SAAB’s GM connection and try to unearth a diamond in the rough – because there was one.

The ‘Trollblazer’ was just that; a SAABafied version of GM’s GMT360 Trailblazer. It was really just a light reskin of the vehicle and was even assembled in Ohio. That doesn’t sound too exciting, as indeed the Trailblazer was not the shining star of GM’s catalog nor its best example of vehicle dynamics. But late in the run, GM upped the game with the ‘SS’ version of the ‘Blazer, which added a 400 horsepower Corvette-sourced LS2, giant wheels, and suspension and body tweeks that somehow made the mundane grocery-getter instantly cool. And for good measure, just over 600 were changed into SAAB 9-7X ‘Aero’ models:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 SAAB 9-7X Aero on eBay

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Swede Week: 1971 SAAB Sonnet III

Continuing on the Swede Week theme, here’s an instantly recognizable treat that is unfortunately seldom seen today. Like Volvo’s P1800, SAAB’s Sonnet lineup attempted to add some sport to the company’s brochures with exotic Italian looks and an odd combination of DNA. Although the above Sonnet’s lines are familiar to most Euro-centric automotive enthusiasts, this was actually the third version of the car, which had emerged from a ultra-low-production roadster into a similar and striking Coupe design in the late 1960s. 1970s saw a full exterior redesign but it remained very much a unique look, with a long, low hood punctuated by a Kammback tail. Power had developed in the second series cars from the original two-stroke inline-three to a Ford-developed V4 borrowed from the European-market Taunus. The result was 65 horsepower, which doesn’t sound like a lot – and wasn’t. 0-60 was an uninspired 13-second affair, but hey – just look at it! Who cares how fast you were going, most would mistake this for some oddball Maserati or Alfa Romeo were it not for the badges.

Bruder Unboxing MB Arocs Snow Plow ...
Bruder Unboxing MB Arocs Snow Plow Truck 03685 - Bruder sneeuwschuiver strooiwagen uitpakken

These cars are quite rare – far less were produced than the E30 M3, for example – and as a result hold reasonably strong value today. This ’71 sure looks nice!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1971 SAAB Sonnet III on eBay

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Swede Week: 1992 SAAB 900S Hatchback

If the Volvo V70 from yesterday moved the company into a new performance level and group of buyers with a modern performance platform, this SAAB 900 represents the last throes of Swedish independence. The 900 was introduced in 1978 and production ran all the way until 1994 and it was replaced by the Vetra-based 900NG, but the reality is that it was a development of the earlier 99 that was introduced in 1968. Yet somehow the 900 still looked as futuristic and different in 1992 as it did in 1982, or even 1972 for that matter. And though the chassis was rather dated by the Grunge-era, you wouldn’t know it stepping into one. These were solidly-built, well-engineered cars that dared to think differently, yet worked well. SAAB did an excellent job incorporating (and going above and beyond) safety regulations of the day, and the 900s integrated these features arguably much better than most despite their rather small production numbers. And, they were steadily upgraded over their production to breathe new life into the aging DNA.

Such is the case here, with this later 900S Hatchback. The ‘S’ introduced the 16V head on the backwards-mounted B201 2.0-liter inline-four to create the B202. Power jumped from a modest 116 horsepower to a slightly-less modest 128 horsepower. But in 1991, SAAB upped the ante again with a new 2.1-liter version called the B212. With another 10 horsepower, performance was at least on par with most of its contemporaries, and the 900’s low center of gravity belied its looks; these were good handling cars and offered great all-weather performance despite their front-drive only platform.

Of course, it was inside where the 900 really shined, offering copious interior space with a massive amount of storage available in the rear. I had a friend with one of these at the same time that I owned a Mk.II Golf, and the fit, finish, ride quality, and cabin space was so far above that of the Volkswagen, it felt as though I was in a luxury car. Today, clean examples of the 900 are harder to find, but this one looks nice:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 SAAB 900S Hatchback on eBay

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1991 Saab 900 SPG

Every time we feature a Saab or Volvo on GCFSB, the chorus of “that’s not a German car” makes itself heard. We know. We’re aware. I’m always on the hunt to find the unexpected and interesting feature and this 1991 Saab 900 SPG fits the bill. These Swedish machines have a lot traits in common with their German counterparts, such as luxury, durability and safety. This would be the final year for the SPG in the US market, finishing with just over 7,600 examples sold since its introduction in 1985. These cars were sold at a time when the BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 were in showrooms, along with a variety of other machines which were using turbocharging similar to this Saab (see the Buick GNX, Merkur XR4Ti and Ford Mustang SVO). The Saab was a car for those who did things a bit differently. A thinker’s sports car, if you will. If you’ve been wanting to relive a bit of nostalgia from this defunct brand, here’s your chance.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Saab 900 SPG on eBay

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1997 Saab 9000 Aero

If you look at my vehicle history prior to my current vehicle, everything has been German. However, after years of flying the flag for the Fatherland, I’ve found myself wanting just a bit more. Something different. For years I took Saab for granted but when they finally closed up shop a few years ago, I shed a tear. Saabs were both obscure and sensible, with sometimes a heavy helping of performance. Such is the case with this 1997 9000 Aero for sale in New Jersey. While I was a bit saddened to scroll through the ad and find out it was equipped with an automatic, it’s a rare instance that you see one of these Q-ships in such great nick. This car represents the final year for the Aero, a model that featured a color-keyed body kit and spoiler, heavily bolstered Recaro seating, sport suspension and special 16 inch alloys. This automatic equipped example keeps the standard turbocharger for an output of 200 bhp, while manual equipped Aeros had a larger turbo capable of producing 225 bhp.

Click for details: 1997 Saab 9000 Aero on eBay

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