SOTW: Saab 9000 Carlsson

Shed is not one to shy away from a barge - as regular Shed fans will know - but a 20-plus-year-old Saab is a bit rich even for Shed's blood (although not unknown).

But the 9000 Carlsson is a little bit special. In markets outside the UK, it was known as the Talladega in honour of the 19 endurance records set by three standard turbocharged 9000s at Talladega Speedway in the US in 1986. In the UK, however, it carried on the tradition of the Saab 900 Carlsson and took its moniker from Swedish rally legend Erik Carlsson.

As well as a revised ECU (to allow for higher turbo boost pressure) and a twin-tailpipe exhaust that together liberated around an extra 30bhp or so from the engine (bringing it to 204bhp), the Carlsson was endowed with a less-than-subtle bodykit of colour-coded sills, bumpers and tail spoiler. Among the more appealing visual tweaks are a leather Momo steering wheel, and 16in alloys that are either cross-spoke jobs or the classic three-spoke Saab efforts.

The first Carlsson that caught our eye was this red one, up for £600, which really looks the part, and is the later 'sloping-nose' model with the 2.3-litre lump and traction control. Sadly it has been off the road for five years and thus, we suspect, rather breaks SOTW's T&T rule.

But, having got the taste for a Carlsson, a brief spot of extra trawling brought up a black hatch - complete with MOT (just) for £595. It needs a wee bit of TLC (the seller admits as much) and is the earlier 'flat-nosed' model with the 2.0-litre engine, but still represents a lot of turbocharged Swedish fun for the money

SORN'd Saab 9000 saloon ad is reproduced below

Saab 9000 cd carlsson turbo 2.3 For Sale (1991) £600
for sale is my carlsson which i have owned for 12 years it has been off the road for 5 yrs it has 130 k no mot no tax still starts and drives and is complete there is no rust just the odd minor blemish here and there it is solid underneath no welding required it needs handbrake sorting out and some bulbs are missing it will drive anywhere with no problems.the tcs needs re calibrating so it is a bit juddery but this will make a cracking car with little effort reluctant sale but i need my driveway back it has been dry stored all the time i have owned it loss off premises forces sale i have old mots service history

Hatchback 9000 Carlsson ad is reproduced below

SAAB 9000 Carlsson For Sale (1989), £595
SAAB 9000 Carlsson, black with dark grey leather interior. Circa 155,000 miles. MOT until mid August, and I dont believe any work will be needed to renew. Looks stunning, and goes extremely well. In good sound condition, but needs a bit more tlc. There are a few jobs that need doing but these are easy DIY type jobs. It does however need a new headlining.
This is a genuine flat fronted Carlsson which can only go up in value
Please phone if you are interested - Emails bore me!
Drive away for only £595 - so be quick!

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (99) Join the discussion on the forum

  • IsItACatInAHat 13 Aug 2010

    Drove one of these (Admittedly the non-Carlsson version) to Rome and back no problem last year. Great car, faltered a bit in the high altitude around Stelvio Pass, ate up motorway no problem, but drank more than my Porsche does!

  • 900T-R 13 Aug 2010

    "TCS is a bit juddery".... uh-oh. eek Best to get a non-TCS ECU and cable throttle housing, then...

  • Truckosaurus 13 Aug 2010

    I had one of these, in black J-reg, hatchback.

    Good car. I recall they advertised it as "the world's fastest car" (in 5th gear between 2 certain speeds (50-70?)) as it was pretty much the only turbo engined 'normal' car.

  • The real Apache 13 Aug 2010

    We had a 98 fpt in black, it was really rapid in mid range, I mean really rapid. The engines are tunable and tough so they make for an excellent base for a sleeper, I am still looking for an excuse to get one

  • FWDRacer 13 Aug 2010

    The real Apache said:
    The engines are tunable and tough
    Aren't these SAAB motors based on the old Dolomite Sprint motor/block or have I been at the cheese again?

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