SOTW: Saab 900 Turbo(s)

Immaculate on a 'G'...
Immaculate on a 'G'...
The first time I experienced scuttle shake properly was, perversely, in a Saab 900. A friend of mine at university had a late turbo 16-valve hatchback version that was so lacking in bracing structure, owing to the cavernous space behind the rear seats, that the CD player skipped if you drove over so much as a discarded cigarette packet.

And yet I always had a soft spot for the car. It was fast, it was unusual and it made a great noise. Admittedly it was not entirely standard - but even without the straight-through exhaust my mate had fitted (to his car, I ought to point out) the old triumph-derived slant-four still made the sort of God-gargling-mouthwash thrum that also makes old Subarus sound so good.

I was smitten. Who cared if it had enough torque steer to switch lanes via the throttle rather than the steering wheel?

By the late eighties, Saab had also managed to get rid of (some) the huge gobs of turbo lag that made the original 99 Turbo such an unpredictable beast.

...or tattier but on an 'L'? Choices, choices...
...or tattier but on an 'L'? Choices, choices...
It might also have been a little down on capacity and cylinders compared with six-pot efforts from the likes of BMW, Mercedes and Audi, but with the aid of that turbo it was far from outgunned. Its 175bhp and, more significantly, 201lb ft of torque gave the 900 enough poke to deal with the 0-60mph sprint in less than eight seconds and to hit a maximum of 130mph.

Provided you could keep the thing in a straight line, the mid-range punch from the turbo meant overtaking was a bit of a doddle too.

Genuinely cheap, clean 900 Turbos are getting rare these days, but Shed has managed to spot two likely-looking candidates in the PH classifieds for below the magic £1k barrier. Both claim to have a full history, and both have plenty of MOT. And the differences? One appears to have been snapped in a scrapyard - and happens to be 200 quid cheaper.

Other than that and a small mileage difference there's not a lot to choose between them. Apart from the fact that the more expensive one looks a little bit more shiny...

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Advert for the 1989 car is reproduced below:

Saab 900 t16v (1989)
150,000 miles £950

...older car looks tidy inside...
...older car looks tidy inside...
1989 Black with grey trim and grey cloth interior in very clean condition.
150000 miles with lots of service paperwork. The car drives very tight due to new bearing , bushes and link arms all round, she is a great driver and i am only selling due to me relocating to a remote location were four wheel drive is more suitable.
MOT till June tax though has just run out.

 


Advert for the leggier 1993 car is reproduced below:

...but no cabin shot of the younger car
...but no cabin shot of the younger car
SAAB 900 T16S (1993)
175,000 miles £750

FOR SALE IS MY SAAB 900 T16S. THIS IS THE LAST OF THE RUN OUT EDITIONS 1993 ON A 'L'PLATE IN GOOD CONDITION WITH ALL SERVICE / MOT HISTORY. THE CAR IS MOT TILL SEPT 2011 AND TAXED UNTILL FEB 2011,

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (192) Join the discussion on the forum

  • phoniex65 11 Apr 2012

    1986 Saab 900s wimbledon sport, used to drive one of these back in the day, All the Sports were late "B" or early "C" reg they only came in White, with colour coded wheels, Wipers-arms, Door Mirrors, rear spoilers,and gutter stips,they did not have the rubber strip up the side as on normal saabs, they had a Decal the length of the car with SPORT on the front wing, they also had three gauges in the dash instead of the radio and the radio was in the centre console,they had Manual sunroofs with windy windows and non electric aerials. but went like stink.;)

    Edited by phoniex65 on Wednesday 11th April 11:30


    Edited by phoniex65 on Tuesday 9th October 14:07

  • Jobbo 15 Dec 2011

    85/86ish I think Mike. Only just recognised your user ID you name changing dawg wink

  • s m 15 Dec 2011

    Jobbo said:
    It's only a small advert, half a page I think from memory. I'll try taking a photo but I only have a phone camera (iPhone 4 so reasonable quality) just to see if it's any good. Got to dig it out of my archive in the garage first too...
    What year was it roughly Simon?

  • Jobbo 15 Dec 2011

    Spyder3400 said:
    No probs whenever you get a chance.

    Is it worth considering taking a digital photo of the mag pages, and crop them on the comp.....get a really good quality that way?
    It's only a small advert, half a page I think from memory. I'll try taking a photo but I only have a phone camera (iPhone 4 so reasonable quality) just to see if it's any good. Got to dig it out of my archive in the garage first too...

  • Spyder3400 15 Dec 2011

    No probs whenever you get a chance.

    Is it worth considering taking a digital photo of the mag pages, and crop them on the comp.....get a really good quality that way?

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