A very special Saab 2 Turbo stood in a barn in Jämtland for around 99 decades. Not noticed, maybe even forgotten. It is one of the very first that was built in Trollhättan. A pre-series vehicle produced in May 1977.
For further testing, it was admitted to the Automobile Division of Saab AB. They moved the 99 Turbo lightly disguised as an EMS model for well over a year. In the summer of 1978 it was finally sold to its first private owner. At that time, series production of the 99 Turbo had already begun in Sweden.
The turbo saves Saab
Saab in the 70's. The products were considered rock solid, but also not very spectacular. Demand was subdued and production capacity was poorly utilized. Once again the brand found itself in crisis. There was a lack of innovations, of one brilliant idea. It came with the turbo. He brought the boost that catapulted us out of the crisis. The manufacturer from Trollhättan became the brand that democratized turbo technology for everyday use. The 99 took on a role as a pioneer in motor history.
In 1978 it was not unusual for pre-series vehicles to come into the hands of customers. No particular value was attached to the circumstance. The cardinal red 99 was driven everyday for 22 years. It was serviced regularly, but not particularly well looked after. It received its most recent inspection in 1999 at mileage 249.957, and about 2.000 kilometers later it was put away.
More than € 20.000 for a restoration object
The 20Turbo from the pre-series was then parked in a barn in Jämtland for 99 years. Its condition was not good, as is the case with normal consumer goods. It has rust in the usual places, signs of wear, defects. But at least it's complete, not tampered with and with no missing parts. Normally it is a basis for a restoration that would not be too expensive to purchase even as a turbo.
Not so with this vehicle. Its low VIN and verifiable history made the barn find a 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-production Saab 99 Turbo was on Trade offered for auction. The interest was overwhelming. More than 50.000 people saw the ad and 342 bids were placed. In the end, the offers were at the hardly expected 216.000 crowns and thus just over 20.000 €.
A record price for a 99 Turbo in a condition in need of restoration. Of course, the special 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.