IMPORTANT NEWS: National Electric Vehicle Sweden has agreed to buy the assets of Saab Automobile and the sale is expected to be finalized during the summer.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Daydreaming of the Saab 99 Turbo

Lately I have been thinking much about the classic Saab 99 Turbo. Maybe it's a decease that affects Saab bloggers? I know that fellow blogger Swade is also a huge 99 fan.

Saab has made many great and memorable cars over the years, but for some reason the Saab 99 Turbo has grown to be the mystical and mythical Saab for me. The Sonetts and the 96 Saab Sport are cool cars, but there is something special about the 99 Turbo. It was a Saab where the complete architecture, including the engine, was designed by Saab. And with the turbo engine, it was revolutionary and took everybody by surprise when it was launched in '77. I wouldn't be surprised if it was the 99 Turbo that was the origin of the expression "turbo rush", and maybe even "torque steer"?

Anyway, lately I have been day dreaming about buying a classic 99 Turbo to use on sunny weekends during summer. I have been searching the web trying to figure out what the market value should be. On ebay I came across one for sale in the US. I do not plan to import a car from the US to Norway, but I read something very interesting there in the description of the car. It said that the market value of the 99 Turbo today compared to the retail value back in 1978 is higher! And the value has increased more in percentage than a classic Porsche 924 Turbo!

Today I came across a great road test from AutoCar:

AutoCar Saab 99 Turbo car review
Here is their verdict: 
Very occasionally a car comes along which shocks the staff of Autocar out of our complacency: a car which is not simply fast, but one which is unpredictably thrilling.Such a car is Saab's Turbo. It's not the quickest car we've tested, or the best-looking. But we will remember it long after many exotica have faded from our minds. For it is such a surprising package, full of interest and excitement.Yet the Saab is essentially a very untrendy design. It will be sought after by those who value engineering quality rather than style, and relish the thought of owning a powerful car that is, for the present anyway, so mechanically unorthodox.

Wow! Isn't it almost unbelievable that a car from an established car manufacturer like Saab could be such a surprise for the car testers? Today it seems like no car can surprise and shock the testers. It's like they know everything about the car before they drive it and then they churn out a review that could have been written without testing the car. Full of clichés and confirmations of accepted truths. This classic review of a classic car was a breath a fresh air. And it made me want a Saab 99 Turbo even more! And maybe most importantly, for some strange reason it gave me hope that Saab can do this again with the next 9-3.

So do yourself a favor and visit AutoCar and read the review and dream that Saab can recreate the same shocking surprise with the next Saab 9-3!

Also check out Eggsngrits' photostream of the 99 Turbo in the Heritage Collection.