No Reserve Survivor: 1992 Saab 900

This 1992 Saab 900 hatchback is a well-preserved example that has survived incredibly well despite not having lived in a museum all of its life. While the 88,000 miles on the clock is certainly low for the year, it’s not the time-capsule grade mileage you’d normally associate with a car this clean. The seller is clearly a Saab enthusiast, and given the number of classic Saabs models he has owned, it seems like he may know a good one if he sees it. The Saab is listed here on eBay with a boatload of recent maintenance that should make it a reliable driver for years to come. Bidding is up to $4,050 with no reserve.

Not surprisingly, the seller claims the outside of the car is one of the major selling points – in fact, he even says it’s better than the interior. The 900 of this era could be optioned with a turbocharged engine, but this is the naturally aspirated mill that produced just under 130 b.h.p. Certainly not robust, but perfectly fine for everyday driving. The 900 was a car that seemingly lived in higher quantities when a university was nearby, clearly a favorite for the tweed jacket with elbow patches crowd, along with young drivers who inherited the family vehicle when they left the nest. This one, thankfully, never became a collegiate beater.

The interior isn’t bad, but you can see what the seller is referencing by indicating it’s not as tidy as the exterior. The seats are worn, but there are not tears in the leather. However, the headliner and door panels both need replacing, the former starting to fall down and the latter just looking like they either got wet or the clips behind the panel have given way; regardless of cause, the door panels are definitely an eyesore. Fortunately, they sold a lot of 900s, and you should be able to source replacement door panels without too much issue. The A/C still works, but the seller notes that the controls to adjust the direction of the air do not function properly.

Fortunately, the gripes are minimal, as the seller has done much to improve the mechanical health of the Saab. Recent work is extensive, but it includes new outer CV boots; new fan switch; new passenger door hinge; new airbag and clockspring; replacement battery; and more. The work was performed by a Saab mechanic, and all paperwork of the work done is included with the sale. Plus, the seller has upgraded the lighting to the desirable H4 European headlights, which should greatly enhance nighttime driving. These classic 900s are getting harder to find, especially in condition as nice as this one.

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Comments

  1. RedBaran

    Might just be me, but I rank this car right up there with the Pontiac Aztek as one of ugliest cars ever produced.

    4
    • BTG88

      It’s just you. : )

      15
    • Oregon_Guy78 Member

      Definitely you

      8
    • Doyler

      Defintiely an acquired taste.

      Full disclosure, I’ve acquired it.

      2
    • Wolfgang Gullich

      Yup, totally you… the Classic 900 is prob one of the more subjectively beautiful car designs of the 80s having been designed by actual aerospace engineers.

      1
  2. Wade Treadway

    It still leaves me baffled that a company could produce such incredible cars like the 900 and the 9000 and then be destroyed by GM. I owned every model Saab over the years and felt the 900 was one of the best cars I ever owned. I had several deferent models of the 900.

    11
    • That AMC Guy

      The problem is that Saab never really figured out how to make money selling those cars. When GM bought into them Saab had no funds to develop new models. Even the 9000 was a result of platform-sharing with Lancia because they could not afford to engineer it themselves. I recall reading Saab’s only plans moving forward pre-GM involved cutting down the 9000 into a new 900, which would have made a rather odd wide small car.

      Although GM ownership wound up producing bad jokes like the 9-7X, without GM it’s likely Saab would have collapsed a lot sooner.

      1
  3. Sam61

    I remember going to the 1985 Chicago Auto Show with my, then, fiance who was a new teacher looking for a new car to replace her used Chevette. We had fun looking at cars…had our picture taken in front of a yellow Corniche convertible. I tried to talk her into a new base 1985 900, similar to the subject find. She opted for a new Chevy Cavalier that was $1,000 less. Fast forward 35 years…divorced a few years…follies of youth.

    Nice find…$4,000 to $5,000 would seem to be top dollar for a non turbo hatchback.

    3
  4. alphasud Member

    The Saab 900 was a love or hate it kind of car. When I started working at the Saab dealer in the early 90’s my draw to the dealer the dealers other brand Alfa. But the Saab brand was my primary work load. I liked the 9000 more initially but as I grew to understand the 900 it quickly became my favorite. In the 3- door versions they had extreme versatility. They handled very well and were fun to drive. This model with its 2.1l engine was torquey and the last version of the 5-speed was the best shifting of the lot. 900’s were not the most reliable but not the worst. They did however keep me happily employed with their mechanical needs.

    4
  5. Louis Chen

    This looks great plus all of the recent work done would be great find! Living here in Texas since 1979, the only “SAAB” mechanic are fairly hard to find. Since I live Houston, it helps because the only true SAAB trained mechanic was from a dealership that dealt in high end cars-MB, Lotus… and they still have some O.E.M. SAAB parts! I’ve worked on these cars before and they’re fairly easy and straight forward to work on especially replacing the clutch! It would be nice car for the next owner and before buy this car one must consider parts availability and qualified SAAB mechanic. Remember this brand is no longer around, too bad thanks to GM, they destroyed the quirkiness or their cars!

    2
    • alphasud Member

      Unfortunately Saab was heading into financial trouble when GM bought into the company. They still allowed Saab to work independently of the mother ship but the time needed to assemble the 900 was a lot longer than industry standards cutting into the net profits. When they used the Vaxhaul’s chassis for the new body 900 the sole of the brand was lost. When the 9-5 came out I think they gained some of that back but with so many niche marquee manufacturers once you move mainstream you loose the core of what the brand stood for.

      2

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