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Home Pick of the Day Pick of the Day: 1996 Saab 900SE Turbo convertible, still looking trendy

Pick of the Day: 1996 Saab 900SE Turbo convertible, still looking trendy

The handsome Swede appears ready to relive its glory days

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There was a time, not so very long ago, when a Saab 900 convertible was the trendy car to drive and to be seen driving.  They were attractive and unusual, and they imparted something about an owner’s eclectic taste and relative good fortune.

The Pick of the Day is a 1996 Saab 900SE Turbo convertible, the top model for the erstwhile Swedish automaker, that looks to be in great original condition and driven just over 65,000 miles in a quarter century.   Decent performance is provided by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 and, favorably, a 5-speed manual transmission.

saab

Saab fanatics will be quick to point out that this model-year 900 isn’t really a Saab but an amalgam created while under ownership by General Motors, when the 900 was redesigned and based on the chassis of the Opel Vectra, another GM product. 

That happened in 1994, the result being called the “new generation” 900.  The Saab fans called it the beginning of the end.  Gone were some of the Saab 900 touchstones, such as the quirky styling with the deeply curved windshield and the longitudinal “backward” engine placement. 

Yet, the transition from pure, unadulterated Saab to a GM-influenced product also meant that some of the gremlins that plagued owners of previous 900s were addressed, in particular electronic woes. 

But be all that as it may, this red 900SE is a good-looking car, and they drive great with the solid feeling of a quality build.  This was a premium ride with a unique interior that’s packed with features, including a power top and just about all the other accessories available at the time.

saab

“The little cruiser comes loaded with features such as air conditioning, power seats, power windows, power steering, ABS, alloy wheels, heated seats, cruise control, keyless entry and a CD player built into the radio,” notes the Milwaukee dealer advertising the Saab on ClassicCars.com.

Sadly, Saab finally went belly up after years of financial hardship and negligent captivity by GM, and its name is now part of a nascent effort to produce electric cars in Sweden via Chinese ownership.  So it goes.

The asking price for this Saab survivor is just $10,000.

To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Hagerty
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

3 COMMENTS

  1. We had a 99 Saab and it was the best little sp orty car
    The stero and cd were unreal Harmon kardon. It cranked. And the power was spiffy

  2. I owned one once and never again. The understeer was woeful. To drive at anything above conservative speeds meant cranking on handful after handful of steering lock.
    Quirky? Yes. Fun to dive? No.

  3. saab was nor a bad automobile the probleml simply put they were too small to survive and could not financially diversify their lineup in the way the big players could a good car but it is all about money is it not ltr

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