Get in with the entry-level model - the Saab 900c

Entry-level model, that sounds like sacrifice and privation. Sure, an entry-level model is cheap, stingy with amenities and is generally suspected of not being fun. This may be. Things turn around with the years. Then a frowned upon beginner can be interesting. Because it is rare. And because being Spartan also has advantages. Because what is not there cannot break either.

Saab 900c - the entry-level model
Saab 900c - the entry-level model

A Saab 900c from 1988

Saab and the entry-level models. An eternally open flank that people tried to fill in various ways. There was the Saab-Lancia 600, which surrendered in the cold Scandinavian winter. Or the Saab 90, which was the entry-level model for 99 years as the Saab 900 and 3. The Saab 900c presented another attempt.

Basically a normal Saab 900 that was available with 2, 3 or 5 doors. The motorization was the B201 engine with carburettor and 100 hp, there was no injection or turbo. The equipment was accordingly lean. Power steering was standard, nothing more was possible. Of course, the 900c could be upgraded with accessories, for example air conditioning was available as an option in those years, which the Saab dealer built in.

But who would want that?

Because the classic 900 is one of the rare species of vehicles that can be driven well without air conditioning. In any case, the Turbo always stood for prestige, the 900 with the small “c” on the rear was only the budget model. The cheap model was not made in Trollhättan. The choice was between the plant in Arlöv and production in Finland. The factory in Arlöv, Sweden achieved notoriety with the 900c.

Nowhere at Saab was the quality worse and less attention was paid to rust prevention. The consequences were fatal. Arlöv cars rusted through after a few years and quickly disappeared from the market. Survivors from this factory are a rarity today.

Good Saab quality from Finland

Things were completely different at the plant in Nystad. The Finnish Saab production had a good reputation for a reason. At Saab Valmet, the best new cars in the group rolled off the assembly line. Maybe the clock speed was lower, maybe the Finnish employees could have been more motivated. Rust only becomes an issue for cars from Nystad in old age, if at all.

A Saab 900c from 1988 and Finnish manufacture is in Sweden auctioned. A version with 2 doors, which makes the car particularly individual and maybe even iconic. It has signs of wear, a hanging sky and the usual blisters on the glove compartment lid. But for his 32 years he is in very nice condition. The paint should be original and since he was on the road in Norrland and was always cared for, rust is not an issue.

The estimate is low, the equivalent of less than € 2.500. Exciting, because the odometer only shows 132.920 kilometers. At least now, with the possible H approval in mind, a thought process could begin. Entry into the classic world with the entry-level model appears attractive.

Because of frowned upon entry-level model.

6 thoughts on "Get in with the entry-level model - the Saab 900c"

  • PS

    Look at the side view of this 900.
    The relative long legs and the enormous ground clearance at the rear and front.

    It hasn't been around for a long time now, although people thought something about it back then.

    Such a car is simply wonderful, should you have had it once in your life. Is a completely different driving experience with many positive aspects.

    The highest cornering speed with the lowest side inclination is not one of them, but when someone scratches the front apron on the curb again in the parking harbor next door or even crunching loudly along with the fog lights, then you know at the latest that there are good reasons for the old construction.

    I could go on forever with countless examples - from winter, for example. Or the advantages on unpaved roads. Practice is much better. It's really good fun.
    Have an old (but Gothenburg) rough leg in the fleet and enjoy the contrast between and the respective advantages of old and young. I can really recommend it - be it Saab or Volvo.

  • @ StF,

    1.000 thanks (measured in horsepower and still almost 740 thanks in kilowatts ...). That was exactly my question.

    I have owned several Swedish 4-cylinder with Zenith-Stromberg carburettors myself and have ridden even more.

    Possessed 2.0 to 2.3 liters with 82 to 115 PS and in between 2.1 with 100 PS. Dangers ... oh, let's leave that, it would get out of hand ...

    In short, I'm personally through with the subject. Otherwise this offer would cost me sleepless nights and be very irritating.

    I see it just like Tom. This Saab is the perfect introduction to both the Saab world and the classic car scene. 2 birds with one stone. 100 hp in a relatively light car? That is always enough. On dirt roads, it is probably even faster than many new cars including several SUVs. I'm curious about the price ...

    Hopefully the blog will report again on the outcome of this auction.

  • From memory I can say that the carburetor engine must have existed until at least 1987, because the Saab 90 was phased out in that year for which the 100 hp carburetor engine was the only available power source.

    If you do an Internet search, you won't find anything about Saab carburettor engines until you get lost on Auto-Data. According to this page, the 100 hp engine was in the Saab 1988 until 900 (https://www.auto-data.net/de/saab-900-i-combi-coupe-2.0-c-100hp-11974), but unfortunately no distinction is made between markets.

    Accordingly, the vehicle offered must come from the last model year for which carburettor engines could still be ordered.

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  • @ Saabansbraten,

    Thanks for the information. In D only until 1986, in Scandinavia until the end of the 80s?
    According to this, a 900 Sedan from 1988 with a carburettor would actually be one of the last and youngest of its kind.
    Or have I misunderstood that?

    Does it keep showing up? May be so. But also applies to whales that are dying out. The chance and quality of this offer (rustproof & below 150.000) should not be lightly dismissed ...

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  • 900s with carburettors were available from SAAB until the end of the '80s. I mean, the last model year in Germany with a carburetor offer was 1986. Especially for the Scandinavian market, the carburetor models were built a little longer.
    The single-carburetor Spar-900 was also available as a “900” without the additional 'c' (for 'carburetor') in the name. And they were also available as a four-door model.
    Such specimens appear from time to time, I wouldn't approve of explicit rarity.

    @Mr Hürsch / Volvaab Driver:
    The sedan was also produced into the last model year of the firmly closed 900 (1993) - the specification for 1991 is then incorrect.

  • Simple

    It's just beautiful. One question: when were the carburetors discontinued at Saab?

    The Sedan rolled off the assembly line until 1991 (according to Wiki), but unfortunately there is no data on the carburetor.

    Is the offer one of the last or penultimate of its beautifully simple and honest kind?

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