It’s now been five years since Swedish car company, Saab, declared bankruptcy, but they left behind a legacy of well-built, stylish cars that still excite many today. One of Saab’s most successful cars was the 900; their showcase model that was manufactured for 20 years. There were two generations of 900, the first of which was produced from 1978 until 1993, and the second generation was built between 1994 and 1998. The latter was based on General Motors’ GM2900 platform, the same one utilised by the Vauxhall Vectra.
The first generation, or ‘Classic’ as it’s often referred to, was based on the Saab 99 chassis and is of the most interest to investors today. It came with a range of engine options and the Turbo model was the pick of the bunch. The two-litre originally produced 145bhp, reaching 60mph in just over nine seconds, but it wasn’t until 1984 that the new and improved 16S Turbo went on sale in the UK. Now producing 175bhp and reaching 60mph over a second quicker than the previous model, the 16-valve turbo was an immediate headline grabber. Performance, handling and aesthetics had all been improved, and the 900 Turbo was now well and truly able to compete with the biggest names in its class, winning a lot of fans in the process.
Over the last 10 years, the number of 900 Turbos remaining on the roads has dropped off significantly. These cars had been underappreciated for some time, but recently we’ve started to see prices rise. So why the interest? The answer is straight-forward; the original Saab 900 Turbo offers enthusiasts an affordable, attractive and charming car that can be used all year round, with an authentic driving experience to rival some of the best cars from the time. Flat and stable cornering, powerful brakes and plenty of mid-range power, all wrapped into a tough and resilient cocoon with unparalleled styling, unsurprisingly make this car the number one choice for many Saab fans across the world.
And why are there so few remaining? Well, although they were built to last, we’ve got to remember they are still over 25 years old, and with age always comes issues. Rot is one of the biggest, particularly for cars here in the UK, and many of them have simply rusted through, often with owners not even realising there’s a problem until it’s too late. Gearboxes can also be a concern and there are a range of other intricate issues to look out for, but if they’ve been looked after throughout their lifetime then they’re capable of well over 200,000 miles. Although the manufacturer no longer exists, there are still affordable parts available via a network of Saab experts, so many of the issues that owners come across are fixable, and each year it’s becoming more and more economically viable to do so.
So if you’re looking for an investable car, is the Saab 900 Turbo a realistic option?
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