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Pre-Turbo: 1976 Saab 99 EMS

Before the Turbo was introduced in 1978, Saab offered the 99 EMS to customers wanting something sporty. It also provided the base for their rally cars in the seventies. This 1976 Saab 99 EMS is claimed to be a two owner car and looks to be in great shape. It is located in Miami, Florida and can be found here on eBay with bidding starting at $1,000.

EMS stood for Electronic fuel injection Manual transmission Special. It featured a stiffer suspension and a 1985 cc four cylinder which was able to generate 108 horsepower. The soccer ball alloy rims were also included and paint options depended on model year. This particular car has no sunroof and no A/C so things probably get a little steamy down in Florida.

There is nothing spectacular about the interior of these cars. The pedals do sit a little closer to the center which makes the driving position unique, but once get headed down the road you will not even notice. The shift knob is attached to a four speed so driving this should always be fun, but could make things even sweatier in warm weather.

The shape of this coupe may take some getting used, but you have to admit that there are few cars on the road with similar profiles. A few extra parts and service manuals are included with the sale and this could end up being a bargain beater if bidding doesn’t get out of hand. Then you just have decided if you should keep it stock or go all out and build a rally car. Which route would you take?


  1. Karo

    This car did have A/C, but maybe it’s been partially removed. The second set of vents between the wood-trim and bottom of the dash were for A/C only, and the fan and temp controls are the two knobs on either side of the seat belt light and just above the radio. One quirk of these cars is that the alternator and A/C compressor are located at the REAR of the engine, next to the firewall.

    My dad had a ’76 Saab GL hatchback in that yellow color that exactly matched American cheese, with a sort of rust-colored interior. Great in the snow (front drive, heated seats/rear heat ducts and very narrow tires), but with only a 4-speed transmission it was a bit buzzy at higher speeds.

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  2. Kev

    Holy HUGE front turn signals!! Looks to be in nice shape though- a great find for the right person.

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  3. Sonett43

    Those turn signals are half the size of the following year(s) 99s….

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  4. Dolphin Member

    These are a puzzle to me. They are loved by lots of car guys who swear by them and keep them forever. Being designed and built in Sweden, that’s not surprising. But they have an……unconventional shape, let’s say. I guess that’s why this is under the oddball heading.

    I can appreciate and respect quality as well as the next guy, but for me both the shape and the front wheel drive are big stumbling blocks. As a performance car person, I prefer RWD, so I have never owned a Saab. Too bad the company is no more. Who knows what they might have built if they survived as an independent carmaker.

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  5. Dan

    I have two SOB stories, both about 99’s, We drove from Whittier 400 miles to Mammoth Ca. to go skiing a very long time ago. We came out the next morning and the car would start, but immediately die. Lots of Saab mechanics in Mammoth, but this was one of the first electronic fuel injection cars and no one locally could work on the car. We were told that the nearest garage equipped to handle fuel injection was in Whittier Ca. We took a Greyhound bus home; towed the Saab back the next week. Our local garage, said that they could fix it but they didn’t have the part. The part was one a ship in L.A. harbor and normally they would have it in a week but unfortunately there was a dock workers strike going on etc. etc. We eventually got the car back, paid what was then an enormous bill, but it was never the same car.

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  6. cass

    I really enjoy the shape of these cars, this one in particular is increadbly handsome and sporty, I would love to beef up suspension, boost horsepower, and maybe use it as a daily driver but on weekends do supper cross events on oorr vintage scca circuts, I think this car would be greatly suited for such appications \, I event like the color combo

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