Posted in majorette

A Swedish Saga

With technology that literally used to fly, Saab’s vehicles were never fearful of being quirky, bold, and innovative. Which is perhaps why people nowadays are shocked to learn that Saab underwent twenty years of slow decline under General Motors before succumbing to bankruptcy.

 

Being innovators of the turbo-charged engine, front wheel drive and stupidly angled engines, you can see why, when GM told Saab to reproduce their Cavalier, Vectra and Insignia models, the Swedes might have scoffed a bit behind GM’s backs.

Unfortunately, it took its toll on the Detroit giant.

I have to admit jealousy when I see the pretty green Saabs of other collectors, but every car has a story behind it, and I find a certain charm in my own play worn models. My Saab Turbo is a little worse for wear, but his suspension is still working and his doors hold tight, so what is there to complain about but for a bit of surface damage?

It makes me feel sad to think that when this model was released  (mid 80s or late 70s, perhaps?) Saab were at the top of their game, producing fantastic vehicles like the 900. The character of the vehicle is portrayed wonderfully in the Majorette scale version. The details are nice, with plenty of attention paid to the swoops on the doors and various other stylistic features. It has the metal base and classic floaty majorette suspension which is the main reason I collect them. And of course, the French being the great caravaneers of Europe, he has a towbar attached.

This ends up easily being one of my favourite models.

saab2

Saab 900 Facts

  •  It was introduced in 1978 and continued in production with face lifts until 1993.
  • Throughout its production, the body shape remained virtually unchanged.
  • The engine was inserted “backwards” so that power was driven through a crank at the front.
  • It was front wheel drive, something that, for the day, was unusual.
  • Its inline-four engine was slanted at a 45 degree angle.
  • The advert isn’t all bogus – the 900 had a curved windshield and aircraft-inspired dash.
  • The Saab 900 Turbo could be distinguished from other Saab 900 models by its unique hexagonal pattern grille.
  • The turbo engines were phased out in the North American market in 1984, while non-turbo versions continued to be sold.
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Author:

Graphic designer, writer for Classic American auto magazine, journalist.

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