My Saab story

I'm probably NOT THE biggest SAAB fan in the world, but definitely one of the biggest. I got infected many years ago when I was a young boy and every Friday at noon I rummaged through the car dealerships in the city to collect leaflets.

Saab 900 1996
Swedish elegance, Saab 900 II Coupe

The local SAAB dealer changed the owner and the place from time to time, but he could not escape me! In this city in the Netherlands (Zwolle) there was and still is a SCANIA assembly plant. An acquaintance of my father worked there and when one day arrived with an 900 turbo (that must have been so 1983) I was finally forgiven.

SAAB is not my only favorite brand. I have a soft spot for brands that are definitely not mainstream and somehow have something special like brands like Lancia or Rover. Unfortunately, these brands are very difficult to survive because they sell only small quantities. I am currently working in the product strategy of a German premium brand and know how expensive it is to develop a completely new vehicle.

Sometimes I get a little smile there, but firstly I don't care - I stand by my passion - and secondly I'm not the only one. I am particularly interested in SAAB's reduced Swedish design and turbo technology. The safety concept and environmental awareness complete the picture.

As a Ingenieur Fahrzeugtechnik, I found the turbo engine ever more intelligent and progressive than a large-capacity vacuum cleaner. It is much more demanding for the same drivability to get much power and torque from a small engine with less displacement than from a large. The small engine is much more efficient! Beginning of the 80-he still an exotic one, find today in the modern automobile almost exclusively turbo engines use, but could also Per Gillbrand as he started in the 70er years with the development, certainly not suspecting.

I own 2 SAAB with turbo engine (185 PS) namely an 900 Coupé and an 900 Cabriolet. Both are model year 1996, so this is the 900 II. In the SAAB fanbase, the 900 II is sometimes not considered a true SAAB. Yes, the car is based on an Opel platform and has some Opel parts. But without GM and the technical base, SAAB would not even have survived the 90ers in my opinion (see the book "SAAB 900 - A Swedish History"). I think that the development team led by Yngve Larsson has been very successful in integrating many typical SAAB elements into the design and the 900 II is therefore a true SAAB! Especially the coupe I find very attractive by the arrow shape and the very sporty C-pillar, which is very reminiscent of the 900 I. Now underrated, but I'm sure the 900 II will be a classic as well!

My coupe is in a very good original condition and is further equipped with the ingenious Sensonic system. I love switching myself, but getting in and out is sometimes annoying. Especially in the city or in traffic. The Sensonic has already reliably supported 140.000 km and 15 years in the switching work. The 900 II turbo-charged coupe and Sensonic should now be very rare and I would sell it for no money in the world. I recently got in SAAB Museum met in Trollhättan the developer of the transmission. That was a very interesting conversation. Thanks Peter Bäckström!

My convertible is an American model but has never been there. It was first registered in the Netherlands, probably an American diplomat who bought the car. How then the car came to Germany, I still have to find out. It is the top model with full equipment. Even the electric seat adjustment is on board. Curiously, by the way, in the US, the V6 was more expensive then the 2-liter turbo and thus the actual top model. The feeling of driving a SAAB Cabriolet in the summer in good weather is indescribable. Although I also open at lower temperatures! Thanks to good heating, heated seats and wind deflector, this is not a problem.

To protect the two 900 I bought a 9-3 model year 2000 for the winter as Daily Driver. I just can not keep it from 5 months to drive no SAAB! Despite its 17 years, 200.000 km, 2-liter sucker and automatic drives the car very well. I have arranged myself with the automatic, it still shifts very soft. The car slows down tremendously and is ideal for commuting to work and cruising.

Apart from cars, I collect all the publications about SAAB. I have almost all sales brochures from 1960 to 2012, from 95 / 96 to 9-5 NG. Otherwise I collect books, press kits, so everything I can get. In my cellar I have built a small automotive archive on 30 m² and so the SAAB virus will continue for a long time!


Thanks to Herman for his Saab Story! This is one of our exclusive Saab boarding files on the journey. Do you also have something to tell about Saab?

The story of an unforgettable holiday trip, a restoration or another event in life with the cult brand from Trollhättan?

Then please be patient ... Because the deadline for submitting our Saab board files was the 31.12.2017. Missed appointment? The next action will definitely come. Before that, however, we are going to release some Saab stories from the year 2017!

11 thoughts on "My Saab story"

  • A delicate topic. Opinions vary widely. Allegedly an inferior component from the GM shelf was responsible for the unreliability of Sensonic. Therefore, many vehicles have been converted, owning a survivor is a real rarity. A conversation with Peter Backström on the next visit to Trollhättan could answer all your questions

  • Dear fellow SAAB friends,

    How the pictures are alike. Also we have old 2 SAAB, both red, an 96 from 1978 and an 900 II coupe from 1997. The 96er we have been for 30 years, have made many holidays with it and gehzeitzeitet. With 900 I GLs, we lived 25 years ago in 1,5 years ago in Norway.

    Unfortunately, my job and other restoration projects (3 motorcycles, 1 Vespa) and my wife's Fiat 500 leave me too little time for our SAABs. Maybe we have to sell the 900 II at some point (it needs a rust removal), because we want to be more public in the future.

    Anyway, maybe you meet at one or the other exit.

    Uli from Munich

  • Thanks again. I have already watched the video several times ...

    ... and did a little research myself. Apparently the Sensonic was only available in 1995 and 1996. And only in the 900 and only in connection with the turbos. So a rarity is guaranteed.

    And I feel a little better now. You can't know everything that SAAB has ever done. Especially not everything with rarity value ...

    Apparently it is NOT a viscous coupling, but a decent as the hand switch. Only that it is electro-hydraulically operated automatically and should be faster and more precise than a driver could ever be.

    Ergo there shouldn't be any negative impact on consumption values ​​and the performance should be optimal. Turbo and Sensonic seem to fit like a fist. Sounds great! ! ! Want this too …

    It would be interesting to know why the Sensonic did not catch on? Technically vulnerable? Demand? GM? Who knows …

  • Thank you! Great what the trolls could think of. Brilliant! I keep learning.

    And I like handsets, but I do not need a clutch.

  • There was once a great promotional video for Sensonic, Tom will definitely find it somewhere, ... so only as much as you (man) don't need to kick! 😉

    .. but the same time looking for yourself, but maybe there is somewhere where ne better quality:

  • A nice story and very appropriate to the trilogy. In addition, here with professional background 902 driven
    It almost looks like at home, there is also the silver turbo coupé and the convertible, albeit in scarab green - hopefully winter will be over soon 🙂

  • Great timing!
    The "right" story at the ideal time:
    Yesterday SAAB Saga II, today the lived company with plenty of heart!
    Thanks to the eager writer!
    Yes, the photos also show great classics, noble, timeless and elegant.
    Have fun with the SÄÄBen ...

  • Wonderful story! Thanks to Herman. That's what this blog lives from.
    Greetings to all Saabfahrer!

  • That was a great story. Many Thanks!

    But I will not shake the feeling that there are other stories behind it. About the Sensonic!
    Quote: “That was a very interesting conversation. Thanks Peter Bäckström! "

    To be honest, I do not even know what the Sensonic is. Is this a semi or fully automatic? Or is she something completely different and her own? Is she some kind of automatic clutch?

    Whatever it is, it seems to be an in-house development by SAAB, has not established itself on the market and that makes me very, very curious ...

    So thanks for the story, but please, please more of it and more ...

  • Hello Herman,
    very nice and especially interesting story. I also have 2 Saabs, including a 9.3 convertible from 2000, 50 models, 20 books, countless brochures and 9, full folders with publications. Plus all sorts of other things around Saab.
    Maybe we could contact Mal, but how?
    Maybe there is something unknown for everyone.

  • A very nice story ... My heart opened while reading it. I will never voluntarily part with my 93 convertible. No rust, no problems and the automatic shifts wonderfully smoothly .. I'm looking forward to the next stories.

Comments are closed.