Mystery Rally Car: 1960 Saab 93F

1960 Saab 93f Rally Project

One of the best way to get into vintage racing is to find a car with race history in its past. You could use any old car for racing, but having one with some heritage might make it easier to get into more prestigious events such as the upcoming Monterey Motorsports Reunion. When reader Mark P submitted this 1960 Saab 93F we took notice because it could possibly be an old rally car. Find this Dallas Texas based project here on eBay with bidding at $305 and only two days left.

1960 Saab 93f Rally Project Interior

Saab 93’s were unique little cars with their front wheel drive two stroke engine and column mounted shifter. This one was rescued from a scrap yard, so the seller does not have much information. There are hints of its past though such as the painted number circles and reinforced rims. These steel rims were known to crack and rip away from the hub so they had to be strengthened if used for racing.

1960 Saab 93f Rally Project Engine

This car is going to need a complete restoration and is missing many parts. A new engine would need to be sourced along with many of the interior and trim parts. The body looks rusty too, but the seller claims that there are no holes. This project is for someone with a lot of experience or at least a fat wallet.

1960 Saab 93f Rally Project Drivers Side

The number circles and rims do not guarantee that this was an actual race car, but they do make this find much more interesting. If this car was raced when new it may be well worth restoring. We have not been able to track down any information about this car’s past, but if there is anyone out there that knows something about this car please let us know. The chassis number is 74235, but beyond that we do not have many tips to provide.

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Bob

    junk

  2. Jon Hochstetter

    Maybe junk, maybe not. Might be historic. Saab brought a number of cars over to North America after being raced/run in Europe. One such ’60ish 96 exists in Crystal Lake, IL. Another 1960 model 96 was part of an estate sale in Minnesota. New owner started restoring and found a number of interesting things, three point harnesses, and driver’s seat sat more rearward than “normal”. The underside of the bonnet had holes welded over/filled from the holes of number plates. After some serious investigation and research on both sides of the pond, the car turned out to have won the 1960 British RAC (Royal Automobile Club) rallye driven by none other than Erik Carlson. The car was restored and eventually bought by Saab Cars USA.

  3. Dan

    Your motive would have to be love, because it would cost a fortune and you would never get any kind of return on the money you spend.

  4. Bob

    There is a lot of # 3 Herbie the love bugs & General Lees….don’t make them movie stars..lol

  5. Sean Mullady

    Dan, the guy who restored historic rally car that Jon Hox refers to at the end of his post got a great return on his efforts.

  6. Sean Mullady

    Also, I see no mention that this is definitively a rally car. Reinforced rims were also used on road racing 93s, including those enduranced raced at Petit Le Mans (when it was at Lime Rock) and its bigger brother.

  7. Jon Hochstetter

    I should have nored the RAC winning 96 was in much better shape.

  8. Doug M Member

    Hey, I would take on a project like this… if it had important history, all you need is a good donor car and a bunch of time (if you do most of your own work -which I do enjoy). The rust is pretty light and the car looks pretty solid overall. But that’s just my take on it.

  9. His Royal Flatulence

    Ever the optimist, I think the body actually looks pretty good – quite straight and clearly from a dry climate. But if this car had serious race or rally history, wouldn’t it have needed a roll cage or roll bar, or was that not a requirement for closed cars back in the day? I’d expect some evidence of that. Number circles and reinforced wheels aren’t really enough to go on; it could have just been someone’s boy-racer. At the current price, it’s certainly worth gambling on, but only for someone who’s willing and able to do a lot of research.

  10. Mark P

    Full disclosure: I’m currently the high bidder on this car, and will rescue it if nobody else wants to.But I already have a 93F, and I can tell you that they’re not as expensive to restore as you might believe. The shells are STRONG, and even when there are holes to be patched you’d have to cut out a LOT to have any risk of weakening the body in the process. This one looks like all surface rust and I’d be surprised if anything needs welded.The shells are also very light. With one helper, I was able to move my stripped 93F shell easily around my shop. As in you can pick it up and move it. This makes it a lot easier to restore than a 1959 Eldorado . . . . . These cars are so simple that anyone who knows right from left and has basic hand tools can totally dismantle one in a day. The shell is very simple, so sanding or blasting it to get the surface ready for paint is really not bad at all. I did mine in a weekend with a basic sandblaster on a weak compressor. The worst part was using a propane torch to heat up the thick waxy undercoating to remove it, but if this car has been sitting in the Texas sun for 20 years that may not even be an issue, because expansion and contraction tends to do that for you and it will come off in big chunks. Finding an engine might be a challenge, but they’re around, and if you found a core, the 2 stroke only has 7 moving parts, so the rebuild is fairly straightforward. It was designed for rural Sweden, where your village mechanic might fix a chainsaw one day and a car the next. We’re not talking Ferrari valve clearances here . . . there are no valves. :)The gauges and electrics are pretty robust, and not at all exotic, so finding someone to rebuild components isn’t too hard, or too expensive.Like most any car, you could spend a fortune on a vintage SAAB to build a truly perfect and “original” restoration. But at the prices you can get these things, they’re not a bad first project at all. It’s not like you’re messing with a Bugatti 35B or a Continental R, where you’re destroying an artwork if you mess something up . . . .I’ll save it if nobody else does, but if I do, it’s going into storage for a long time, and that would be a shame. I think someone should “go for it” on this one……

  11. Jon Hochstetter

    I wonder if the dentist from Louisiana knows of this car. He’s already resurrected more than a few strokers. He even has a D class road racer. Of note, he owns the race engine from the previously mentioned RAC winning 96. According to a couple of others that engine has a very narrow powerband – almost near the redline. Those who have inspected the race engine closely, say it shows more than a bit of tweaks to the ports and make the ports very clean for gases to flow.

  12. Sean Mullady

    Hox, he was the first guy I thought of due to proximity…

  13. Eric van Domselaar

    Mark P this chasis # 74235 is that the only VIN # on the car? I would like to check some specs on this.Thanks Eric

  14. Tim Winker

    What has become of this barn find. Is it under restoration yet? I recently started working on a 1960 93F ice racer that I bought in 1991. Yep, 21 years ago. Got the engine running and have replaced the brakes. There are some minor, non-structural rust issues, and I’m sure I will have to replace some seals and bushings, but it should be driveable in a day or two.

    • Barn Finds

      I would like to know what has become of this one too Tim. I would also love to see your ice racer. Please send in some photos.

  15. FWDan

    Dan in the west

    Some of these cars were contestants at Bonneville, Straighliner racers. I think they held records for awhile, but not sure. Worth looking up.
    Not saying this one was or wasn/t. The time frame was like early 60’s.
    I had a 96, which followed the 93. Very solid car. It was different!!

  16. Dave

    I am the current owner of this car, it has become a rusto-mod and is daily driven in good weather and frequents all the local car shows.

    Like 1

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