Red paint and red leather - a hot Saab 900 Turbo

Frankfurt, the classic city. There he is in front of me! Red leather and red paint on which yellow pollen has gently settled. Without question, a special, hot Saab 900 Turbo. One of the good guys, the kind you don't find very often anymore. The 900 comes from the Ratzmann collection.

I was allowed to borrow it for a day and am looking forward to this special car like a little boy.

Saab 900 Turbo in the classic city
Saab 900 Turbo in the classic city

A hot Saab 900 Turbo

The 900 Coupe was the brand's top model when it was delivered in April 1987. Manual air conditioning, the paint in cochineal red, which is subject to a surcharge, and heavy leather in Colorado red. A bold taste that comes across as really strong today.

The package was garnished with an automatic transmission with incredible 3 gears and a sunroof. The 900 Turbo, whose history is unbroken, was bought from Saab Zillmer in Berlin. Zillmer no longer exists, Saab specialist Pinkowski now takes care of vehicles from Trollhättan in the same place.

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The owner treated his car well. As was customary at a time when you acquired property that you cared for and valued. Checkbook maintained at various Berlin Saab bases and maybe a little more. It is known that the 900 driver opens the doors after car maintenance or driving in the rain so that water can drain away. The whole thing can be increased by inserting small pieces of fabric into the drainage chinks so that they are really dry. Like in this case.

A few kilometers and a great patina

However, the Saab was allowed to age with dignity. Technically 100% maintained, the vehicle headlining became detached over time, and the paneling on the doors also showed a tendency to become detached. At the rear end there is a dent that has been touched up in a slightly different color. All of this gives a wonderful patina, which is supported by the fact that the Saab 900 Turbo is an underground car. Reduced UV radiation in connection with a few kilometers - that gives a very special charm.

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There are less than 80.000 on the clock in 33 years. The dashboard is without cracks, the thick leather smells like it did on the first day, and the seats, with the exception of the driver's seat, do not have the slightest trace of wear. Wonderful, because there is a lot to discover. The sun visor on the driver's side! The factory drive-in regulations are still stuck on! Or the smog sticker on the windshield, which the Berlin Senate once issued.

Turbo and 3-speed automatic

The Saab is incredibly great. Very original. A rare piece, and the red lacquer with red leather make it the exotic among all the black 900 turbos. Under the hood? There is the legendary 2 liter turbo with 8 valves and an intercooler. I like the 145 HP 8 valve engine more than its successor with 16 valves and 160 HP. He does his job confidently, the need for more performance never arises. With the 3-speed automatic it should still be good for 180 things. That too is sufficient.

Oh yes, the automatic. Nobody really seems to be able to make friends with her. Manually switched copies are traded much more expensive. Is that justified? I'm unconditional, I've never been in a classic 900 Turbo with an automatic transmission. So how does he drive?

Time to turn the key and start the Saab.

Let's go, out of the classic city (Link) through the Frankfurt rush hour traffic... To be continued.

7 thoughts on "Red paint and red leather - a hot Saab 900 Turbo"

  • A very nice car that was really always meticulously cared for. I can judge it because I am the previous owner!
    The Saab was my sanctuary for 14 years after I was able to acquire it from a first owner in Berlin when I was 16. Under my direction, he saw rain a maximum of 5 times, never snow. Even when on vacation, it was always ensured that a garage was available - this was the only way to completely avoid the tiresome subject of “iron oxide” with this vehicle.
    A good time, but at some point I got the urge to do something different and I sold the Saab 900 to Mr. Ratzmann. Because with him I knew that my "baby" was in good hands.
    I am now accompanied by a (also red) diva from Italy, but I still like to think back to the time with the 900.

  • The automatic in the 901 really does not fit the engine, it takes away all sportiness. However, it is very suitable for relaxed gliding. Fast driving leads to quick death from overheated automatic oil. With the 3-speed BW there is the anecdote that the temperature (in ° C) of the transmission oil is the same as the speed (in km / h) ...
    As far as the performance of the TU8 is concerned: higher performance is always the enemy of sufficient performance 😉
    I drive the TU8 with optimized 170PS, because you don't want the 145PS back.
    Saab made a (printing) error with the stickers on the sun visor. A 5W10 is recommended as engine oil ...

  • @ Tom,

    I'm curious in any case ...

    Either way, the Turbo is not a Benz and the traffic and demands today are different. Even the old Benz vehicles are now on the road with H-signs, among other things, and are now pleasant road users who like to have their machines switched earlier (no longer a notorious kick-down).

    I like her now. But I didn't want to roll out my comment that far ...

  • What a SAAB! The color combination is unbelievable if it weren't for reality. Fantastic “treasure”, continue to treat with care. Just driven in with 80.000 km ...
    Enjoy the SuperSAAB!
    Oh yes, I'm looking forward to the next report, of course! 😉

  • Nice car, especially the interior.

    I'm an Automatic friend, four of my five Saab have Automatic, but I can't imagine a 3-speed automatic now! So I'm excited about the driving report in Part II.

  • continuation

    I'm curious. Nice car! Very nice even ...
    In terms of automatic transmission, viscous coupling and 3 gears, however, I am very biased - I have to admit.

    I just can't forget how back then in Berlin it was predominantly Benz who kicked down from one red to the next at every traffic light ...

    Thanks to the viscous coupling and thus the delayed grip, the crates already roared at 3.000 rpm in the first few meters. Depending on the distance from the next (red) traffic light, the entire route was completed completely in 1st gear, with a maximum of one gear change, perhaps partially in 2nd.

    We always drove at least 80 km / h according to the speedometer, because at that time after deducting the tolerance it hardly cost any money and didn't mean any points ...

    Can everyone imagine how loud and hectic the traffic was when some participants were consistently in 1st gear at up to 75 km / h. In fact, in 3-speed automatic systems with well-motorized petrol engines, the first shift point is in the kick-down.

    In other words, some Benz was constantly, very loudly in 3.000st gear on the main city streets between 6.000 and 1 rpm. Nevertheless, their owners considered themselves to be fine people.

    Under the framework described above, I developed my deep-seated aversion to automatic transmissions.

    Now I'm even more excited to see how the red feels today. Maybe the (old) automatic system fits surprisingly well into current traffic and the current catalog of fines?

    • 3-stage machines are one thing. The other, important, the engine that depends on it. Turbo engines combined with automatic machines have long been considered a very difficult relationship. Saab was one of the first companies to do this well. So you can look forward to the early work of the combination of automatic and turbo. 😉

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