Saab 99 Series 1 - Swedish classic second hand

The classic car hobby has a reputation for being exclusive. It doesn't have to be. There are inexpensive classics that are fun. The Saab 99 is one of those. It is almost never expensive, especially when there is no turbo under its hood. It arouses sympathy, is socially acceptable and guarantees a starting place at the next classic car event.

Saab 99 Series 1 - chrome grill and bumpers give the sedan lightness
Saab 99 Series 1 - chrome grill and bumpers give the sedan lightness

The advancement to a higher class

For Saab, the 99 was the second completely new development since 1947. It came onto the market in 1968; its design was drawn by the legendary mold designer Sixten Sason, who was no longer able to witness the premiere. The shape of the 99 shaped the design of Saab until the end of 2011. The shell-shaped design of the bonnet was later continued on the 900, 9-3 and 9-5. Brand DNA that Sason launched in the 60s.

Also nice - the narrow taillights
Also nice - the narrow taillights

Much more important for Saab, however, was the promotion to a higher vehicle class. Until then, the Swedes from Göta Älv only built small cars like a Saab 92, 93 or 96. The 99 was a middle class and, as a magazine wrote at the time, the brand's first real car. In the beginning, the 99 still had a Triumph engine under the hood, which led to problems and almost ended vehicle production.

Later, an improved real Saab engine derived from the Triumph Original was used. It became known as the B engine and was also used in the Saab 1981 until 900. The 99 was a milestone for Saab, at times more than 60.000 vehicles a year left the brand's plants.

The first medium-sized sedan from Göta Älv
The first medium-sized sedan from Göta Älv

A second-hand classic

The first series designed by Sason is the most beautiful in terms of looks. The models with chrome grille and chrome bumpers have a certain lightness that the later versions lack. A touch of exotic sportiness gently blows into it, maybe a little bit of Italy and Fiat or Alfa.

In any case, the first series does not have the seriousness of later models with their safe, massive, self-repairing bumpers. This is exactly where the appeal of an early Saab 99 lies, which has also become very rare. You hardly ever see one, and if a 99 is present at a classic event, it is often a turbo or a late model.

A classic that arouses sympathy and is socially acceptable
A classic that arouses sympathy and is socially acceptable

A second hand Saab 99

There is an interesting example in the Netherlands Sales. Old license plates, mud flaps with the Saab airplane symbol - that is always fun. If the description is correct, then the Swedish mid-range sedan from 1971 had only two owners in almost 50 years. An older restoration in 2000 brought a repainting and renovation of the sheet metal. A thick folder with the documentation should be available.

The Saab should be rust-free, which is crucial. Because sheet metal work is rarely available for a slim thaler, hardly a 99 drives through the area without rust. You can cope with it if the driver's seat is not the original. It is there, writes the seller. But must be re-covered.

The speedometer of the Saab 99 reports 38.000 kilometers. They are not proven, but the private seller considers them to be credible. In the end, it doesn't really matter whether it's 38.000 or 138.000. The decisive factor is the condition and the absence of rust.

Then the Saab 99 in its early version would be a very attractive temptation to score points at a classic event next spring or just to have driving pleasure.

Pictures via Autoscout (4/4)

4 thoughts on "Saab 99 Series 1 - Swedish classic second hand"

  • You just need space for such a darling

  • Nice article, written with interest and enthusiasm.
    But an even nicer car that will hopefully continue to roll the streets in its ingenuity and dignity for as long as possible.

    Oh man, if only I had enough space - otherwise the price would definitely be worth the 99 (to me)!

  • An ingeniously beautiful specimen! If you could take over the antique license plates and move the 99 in Germany ...

    Oh, that would be a dream that unfortunately won't come true. But yes, it would be too good for bad weather, since you could rent an electric car for little money. And then hope for good weather, I think the old combustion engine is simply the car that would have more style.

  • Beautiful & suitable for everyday use

    The latter, at least seasonally. I wouldn't drive such a pearl in salt winters.

    This is how it was once thought, this is how it is most beautiful. With Volvo it was just like with Saab. At the end of the 1960s, cars were drawn with lots of charm and chrome, small taillights and narrow bumpers. The youngest and most modern and the last of this kind ...

    As soon as they were on the market, a security mindset set in that the coherent drafts and designs often distorted a bit - at least that's how I perceive it.

    In the mid-1970s, one or the other mutant was built in Sweden. I also find the years of construction before and after exciting, but more beautiful and coherent.

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