UPDATE 1/6/12 – This 93 ended up selling for $2,901 with 32 bids.
With the recent announcement of Saab’s tragic demise, we thought it was fitting to feature a car from the company’s heyday, back when they were still innovative… and profitable. Saab was still spelled SAAB and they built cars that were good at what they were meant to do. They may seem a little quirky today, but once you learn why they were the way they were, you will appreciate them as much as we do.
The curves may not be as beautiful as a Pininfarina penned design, but this body was created by aircraft engineers to be slippery smooth when gliding down the road. Many people still hold on to the fact that Saabs were influenced by airplanes, but it had more to do with the body than the cockpit. The aerodynamics of these early cars helped cut down drag and that was an important thing because there wasn’t a whole lot of power on tap.
If you look under the hood you will notice a tiny three cylinder engine peeking out up front. The engine was mounted in front of the axle and the transmission sat directly behind it. The radiator took up residence behind that. Seems sort of backwards, doesn’t it? Well, there was a reason for all of this. These cars were constructed in Sweden and in Sweden they get a lot of snow. By having the engine out front driving the front wheels this car was capable of handling slick roads much better then its rear wheel drive brethren.
The quirkiness doesn’t end there. The whole underside of the car acted like a big sled so it could glide right over snow drifts. The engine was a two stroke, so you never needed to change the oil. The transmission had a freewheel device to keep the engine from blowing up while improving fuel economy. The list goes on and on and that doesn’t even include the safety innovations.
Now that Saab has gone bankrupt, we can only hope that someone will swoop in and save what is left of the company. Hopefully they will be able to start fresh while looking to their rich past for inspiration. We have a feeling that if they build a car as innovative as this one was when new, that they would become a success in the future. If you prefer to stick with the past though, you could always pick up this 1960 Saab 93 project here on eBay. The seller claims it ran when parked in California and that there isn’t “much” rust. Bidding starts at $200 with what we hope is a realistic reserve.