PH Carpool: Saab 900 Carlsson

Name: Dan Wentworth (twosaabs)
Car: Saab 900 Carlsson
Owned since: April 2012
Previously owned: Mk1 Fiat Uno, Peugeot 306 D-Turbo, MG ZT+, Saab 93 2.2 TiD (current)

Twosaabs by name...
Twosaabs by name...
Why I bought it:
My dad owned several Saabs when I was young, a pair of 99s and a 900. I grew up pretending to drive a broken down 99 which we still had in the garden. Something must have stuck because I got distracted while browsing the classifieds for a BMW E30. A few months later and after some missed opportunities I ended up with G837 KOG.

What I wish I'd known:
Most of the bad points about these cars are well known and fairly obvious (weak gearboxes, sagging headlining). One of the previous owners has added some non-standard buttons. I wish I'd asked the previous owner what they do, because I still have no idea, other than make an LED blink.

Dan with his treasured Carlsson
Dan with his treasured Carlsson
Things I love:
The noise and the smell. The smell of the interior is magical, it must be something to do with the materials used at the time but the smell reminds me of my first car - vinyl with a hint of petrol. The noise is addictive, the low burble of the slant-four combined with the whistles and rushes from the turbo and big pops and crackles on the overrun. The stainless exhaust fitted by a previous owner helps too.

Things I hate:
Keeping it clean. I hadn't fully thought through the implications of owning a white car. Any time it goes through a dirty puddle causes an immediate countdown to getting out the buckets and microfibre cloths.

It's of its time but oh-so-cool
It's of its time but oh-so-cool
So far costs have been low. Insurance was nice and cheap from Adrian Flux on a classic limited mileage policy. The fuel economy is actually pretty good, especially compared with the MG ZT I owned previously. I tend to service most cars myself, however I intend to pay a trip to Jon Saab in Poole for a check-over. Most parts are shared with the more common Saab 900 T16s and the car came with a spare body kit, so I'm not too worried about the cost of parts in the future.

Where I've been:
Our biggest adventure has been to the PistonHeads Sunday Service at the Vauxhall Heritage Centre. I usually take it out closer to home, around the Blandford/Shaftesbury area and out to the New Forest. I'm hoping to be able to drive it to Le Mans next year as well.

What next?
I think I'll be hanging on to the Carly for a few years yet. The previous owner did a good job at touching up paint to keep rust in check, but the finish wasn't always the best. I'd like to get it resprayed at some point in the future if I can find a set of replacement decals.


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Comments (43) Join the discussion on the forum

  • tomoleeds 13 Aug 2012

    the flashing led is a 80"s thing to make it look like a car alarm for a £5

  • chazwozza 13 Aug 2012

    Mate of mine bought one of these when we left school about 14 years ago for a laugh, mentally quick at the time and too cool for skool.... big acid faced thumbs up

  • hwajones 13 Aug 2012

    Turbo Power!

  • Leins 13 Aug 2012

    My first car was an '85 900i Sedan, but was always dreaming of a Combi Coupe, preferably a T16s or Carlsson. Might have to scratch that itch myself soon

    Lovely car btw!

  • Frimley111R 13 Aug 2012

    Nice, rare car! (Although please remove the black corner rubber things!)

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