A very special Saab 2 Turbo stood in a barn in Jämtland for around two decades. Disregarded, maybe even forgotten. One of the very first to be built in Trollhättan. A pre-series vehicle that was produced in May 99. For further testing, it was approved for the Automobile Division of Saab AB. The moved the 1977 slightly disguised as EMS for more than a year. In the summer of 99 it was finally sold to its first private owner. At that time, series production had already started in Sweden.
The turbo saves Saab
Saab in the 70s. The products were considered rock-solid, but also not very spectacular. Demand was subdued and production was poorly utilized. Once again the brand was in crisis. There was a lack of innovations, a brilliant idea. That came with the turbo, which brought Saab out of the crisis. The manufacturer from Trollhättan became the brand that democratized turbo technology. The 99 took on a role as a pioneer in engine history.
In 1978 it was not unusual that pre-series vehicles came into customer hands. No particular value was attached to the circumstance. The cardinal red 99 was driven in everyday life for 22 years. It was serviced regularly, but not particularly spared. The last inspection for the time being was given in 1999 when the odometer reading was 249.957, and around 2.000 kilometers later it was put away.
More than € 20.000 for a restoration object
He then parked in a barn in Jämtland for 20 years. Its condition was not good, as is the case with normal consumer goods. Rust in the usual places, signs of wear, defects. But at least complete, not tinkered with no missing parts. Usually a basis for a restoration that would not be too expensive to buy even as a turbo. Not so with this vehicle. Its low VIN and verifiable history made the barn find part of national automotive history.
What is the find worth? The question is exciting, because Saab is now more important in Sweden than it was years ago. One can also say that the longer the company has ceased to exist, the higher its esteem rises.
The pre-series Saab 99 Turbo was offered for auction on Tradera. The interest was overwhelming. More than 50.000 people saw the ad and 342 bids were submitted. In the end, the offers were hardly expected at 216.000 crowns and thus just over 20.000 €. A record price for a 99 Turbo in need of restoration. Of course, the price level is due to the documented history, because how many vehicles from the pre-series will have survived? It should be less than a handful.
In general, the Saab 99 Turbo is enjoying growing popularity. His role in history is recognized and collectors value him as a technology pioneer. For years, prices have only known the way up, not spectacularly fast, but always reliable.