Dreamy Turbo Swede: 1978 Saab 99 Turbo

Brian BirknerBy Brian Birkner

Arguably one of the most desired and appreciated cars to come from Sweden, the 99 Turbo was a thrill to drive all while maintaining the quirkiness that makes a Saab, well, a Saab. Recently serviced, and having 132,700 miles, this 99 has a nice original appearance, and is ready to be enjoyed. This first year turbo Combi Coupe was offered for $8,450 but the seller has dropped the price to $6,500! Take a look at it here on craigslist near Manchester, Vermont.

Although in nice survivor condition there are some minor condition concerns to mention. The carpeting is discolored, and a bit worn, but does not appear to have any rips. In the seating department the seats are in fair shape, but the driver seat is well ripped in the center. Despite this issue the seller claims that he has new interior material that will be included with the sale. Beyond those details this interior seems quite nice after 39 years of use. Sadly there are no photos of the recently serviced 2.0 liter turbo engine, although I would suspect the engine could stand a detailed cleaning based off of the exterior cleanliness of this Saab.

Described as “rust free” there is at least one area of rust that can be seen in the photos. That one lone area is by the driver side taillight. Beyond that small rust concern, this Saab is remarkably rust free and straight. What appears to be original paint is very reasonable as far as shine and presentation, but there are a few areas where the paint has failed on the hood. The only other issue to point out is a small dent on the corner edge of the body line by the passenger taillight. Otherwise this is a very nice 99 Turbo. Although this is not the fastest turbo car you will ever drive, the 99 Turbo is definitely a car you should have on your bucket list of automotive experiences. Packing quirky looks and a ton of character, is this the Swede’ of your dreams?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Does anybody remember the movie “Crazy People” with Dudley Moore?
    http://www.imcdb.org/i003837.jpg

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  2. DrinkinGasoline

    I do remember the movie….and SAAB automobiles are still ugly.
    Different story though when it comes to their aircraft/aeronautics production, defense contracts, etc.. Like Isuzu and Daewoo, they should have stuck with what they do best.

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  3. larry

    DrinkinGasoline, if you think they’re ugly…they’re ugly! You know EVERYTHING!! The buck stops with YOU! Thinkin of buying a new blender. Any advice?

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    • DrinkinGasoline

      Vitamix for the blender Larry.

      0
  4. Bryan Corey

    Buy a Saab now,
    Sob later….

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  5. Rick Matisak

    Actually they are asking $6500

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    • Brian Birkner Brian Staff

      The seller must have dropped the price, as when I wrote the story up, it was $8,450. I found this car for sale via a Saab group where a few of the members were grumbling over the $8,450 price tag. $6,500 seems much more reasonable and realistic in the current market. I am sure someone will snap this one up quick!

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  6. Tirefriar

    Did they legalize crack in Vermont?

    1+
  7. Doug

    Saabs are an experience! I drove a 900 turbo 16v modified that was a dream!
    Later owned a twin turbo diesel remapped by SAAB and loved it too. If you have never driven one.. try it… very quirky but great!

    3+
    • Brian Birkner Brian Staff

      I agree, Saabs are an experience all to their own with lots of character! I have yet to experience a 99 turbo, but V4 Sonnets are a blast!

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    • Tirefriar

      I bought my one and only Saab in 1997. It was an ’88 9000 Turbo auto. I bought the car for my wife after I couldn’t find a reasonably priced Volvo 850. It was a good car but the turbo combined with auto trans made this a rather mellow performer. in 1999 leased my wife an ML and took over the Saab. Sold it in 2000. Just to clarify, I’m not hating on Saabs but I feel that this car is way overpriced. Wouldn’t mind a stick 9000 turbo, make mine white with charcoal leather.

      1+
  8. Tirefriar

    Better name would be “Dreamer’s Turbo Swede”. Trying to figure out what’s happening in the photo with the driver’s sill/hinge pillar… The condition of the car is nowhere close to matching the asking price. So what if it’s a turbo? For those whi have not experienced early Saab turbo application, I have two words for you: turbo lag.

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    • Donek

      Just curious, what do you mean by ‘Trying to figure out what’s happening in the photo with the driver’s sill/hinge pillar’?

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  9. Greg

    Well I like SAAB’s, and all their quirkiness! But I like different, quirky cars, like pre 80’s Volvo’s. GM ran SAAB into the ground. These cars are fun to drive and have a unique personality. If it was closer, I’d go take a look!

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  10. Pa Tina

    I’m curious as to what would make this car worth more than $1500. Full disclaimer and fairly obvious, but I know nothing about SAAB’s so I really am curious how these cars are valued. Seems to be in “fair” shape at best and of interest only to a small group. I don’t get it. I am prepared for the usual snarkfest that greets a question like this, so fire when ready.

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    • Greg

      Well, there aren’t many around because of low import numbers at that point. And the price seems somewhat in line with what the Hagerty Price Guide places it at, although maybe a little high. For a SAAB enthusiast, these don’t come up for sale often.

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      • Pa Tina

        Thank you. Living in Buffalo during the 1980’s I knew three people who owned SAAB turbos. I thought they were more common back then based on my small sample.They were definitely different and kind of cool.

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  11. Kurt W. Krauss

    These were only imported in ’78 giving way to the 900 turbo which was new in front of the A pillars. Original advertised list price was $9998. They are not the easiest to get parts for now, but the internet helps. I agree these really only appeal to a limited crowd – Saab people which I have found to often cheap and complain about pricing. I’ve owned about 20 Saabs since 1980 including many 99s and early 900s but no 99Ts.

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