I used to wonder why some people loved SAABs. Surely it couldn’t just be because the ignition was situated between the seats. Curiosity eventually got the best of me so I started reading all I could about the Swedish manufacturer. Well, it turns out that SAAB was an innovator who enjoyed a long and successful history in motorsport. There are very few books that document their racing pedigree, but I found a good one.
The book is Saab 96 & V4 by Graham Robson and it covers the development of the cars and the people behind them. It is part of a series called Rally Giants, so it shares a format with the other books. That means that the sections jump around a bit. For example, there is a section on the cars, a section on the people, and another on race results. That means that you have to keep track of dates to figure out where you are in the timeline. Everything is well organized though so it is more of a nitpick then a problem.
All the different models of two-stroke 96s had always confused me. Sport, Monte Carlo, 850 GT… But this book cleared that all up in a paragraph. It also helped me form a deep appreciation for the pre-GM cars and the people who built and drove them. The 96 was an amazing rally competitor and in the hand’s of talented drivers, it was able to beat much more powerful and sophisticated machines. SAAB truly was a David taking on Goliaths.
So, if you want to learn more about SAAB or would just like to know why anyone would ever want to drive one, we recommend this book. You can pick it on Amazon or over at MotorBooks. Just be careful because you may start lusting for a 96 of your own. I for one have been on craigslist a lot more since reading it.
So, anyone out there with a 96 they would like to get rid of?