Low Mileage Turbo: 1988 Saab 900 SPG

This 1988 Saab 900 is a rare SPG model, short form for Special Performance Group. This was the Motorsports group of BMW or Special Vehicles Team from Ford – but in a distinctly Swedish package. The 900 SPG blended all of the famous quirks of the Saab brand with legitimate performance courtesy of the company’s liberal use of turbocharging. This example has survived in incredible condition and is listed here on eBay with bidding over $10K and no reserve.

While a 900 Turbo hatchback is already near impossible to find, an SPG in anything approaching showroom form hasn’t been possible for some time. What I mean by this is supply was limited from the day it rolled into showrooms, and modern owners don’t very much want to let their cars go. This SPG has under 60,000 original miles and very few – if any – blemishes.

The interior is the best I’ve seen in a Saab of this vintage in quite some time. Despite Volvo interiors being fairly hard-wearing, I always feel most junkyard Saabs I come across look like a Lotus inside, with materials quickly disintegrating after even just a short period of neglect. This 900 SPG comes with a black leather interior in outstanding condition, even for the low-ish miles.

The seller notes all of the various power equipment still works and that the 900 drives as a 900 should. The SPGs received a host of performance upgrades, including a stiffer suspension, a unique body kit, and increased horsepower over the stock turbocharged models. They are exceedingly rare to find in any form today, especially in survivor-grade shape like this one.

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Comments

  1. Superdessucke

    5 figures for a Saab?!?! I think we’ve just jumped the shark gentlemen.

  2. BTG88

    I’ve got a 1991 SPG (last year available) and it’s a great driving car. Not as pristine as this example, as it has over 200k miles on it, but rust free and has a couple of factory extras this one does not – whale tail and rear vent covers.

    If you have the money and the desire, this is the car to get – super low mileage and California-clean. Good Luck with the sale, the prices on these continue to go up.

    2
  3. SebastianX1/9

    I think $10-12K is perfectly reasonable for this beautiful little masterpiece given what 911s, E30s are trading for.

    1
    • Superdessuckes

      I’m at a bit of an advantage as former owner of a rare and nice Volvo 850R wagon. Trust me, you cannot be thinking in terms of measuring these against other collector cars, unless you want to lose half your investment and have a most miserable time selling it!

      Saab and Volvo enthusiasts are an entirely different world. Put any miles on this at all and you would learn that at selling time.

  4. Eigil

    Ignition key between the seats.. Chain driven transmission.. Forward folding hood, had a coolant leak once and popped the hood as I was driving and the hood jumped up and forward a few inches, cooling issue solved! Floating calipers.. Btw, Hägglunds used the Saab caliper for its one service brake..
    Eurly Saab and Volvo turbo’s had the carb mounted right on the turbo, which produced a very fine and even fuel mix, directly to the intake. No intercooler garbage of course, as this is the most redicilous idea in automotive history, yet everyone “believes” in it. Just like Smokey Yunick said: heat is the obvious answer to most effective combustion possible.. Saab even had the given option of water injection, on its eurly 99 turbo’s. Expansion factor of water: 1:48, you do the math.

  5. J_Paul Member

    My stepfather’s pride and joy was a 1989 900 SPG, very much like this one except in dark gunmetal grey. I drove it often, and it was equal parts brilliant and confounding. But it was never boring!

    While the practical part of me can list any number of things that aren’t great about old Saabs, the emotional part of me wants this car very, very badly.

    1

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