Pro Street Swede: Supercharged V8 1986 Saab 900

As I have shared on occasion, I purchased a rare 1991 Saab 900 Turbo SE convertible wearing Monte Carlo Yellow paint last year. It’s still being worked on and has plenty of cosmetic needs to sort out, but it will be an ideal summer cruiser when its back. I’ve learned a few things about Saab owners of this vintage, primarily that they don’t like major alterations to classic models like the 900. That’s why this heavily customized 900 hatchback listed here on Facebook Marketplace caused so much consternation when it was listed for sale with a Ford 5.0L V8 under the hood and wild interior, not to mention fat slicks stuffed into the wheel wells. The asking price is $22,500 and it’s located in North Carolina.

The Saab community has many purists, and I’ll be honest – I’m closer to being one of them than I am to building something like this. But I absolutely love this conversion, as it’s seemingly very well done but is also the kind of work you so rarely see anymore. Like network TV and sports teams, everything fits a safe, standard mold these days, and coloring outside the lines is verboten. The original builder of this Saab 900 didn’t play by those rules, and while there are certainly some details I’d change, I still applaud the work done to make a Swedish hatchback into something that most enthusiasts would never even consider building.

Now, the interior is not for me (and it’s not for a lot of people, based on the feedback in the Facebook group where this was posted.) The color combo is the main issue, and I suspect if it was a color scheme less offensive than purple and yellow, it may have found more favor. The bucket seats look like high-end sport seats to me, and the piping and two-tone upholstery could not have been cheap to make. The same goes for the door panels, which match the custom look. There’s even yellow inserts on the Momo steering wheel and a custom shift knob that is – you guessed it – yellow! If you just changed this to a more subdued arrangement, everyone would be talking about the high-end custom cockpit.

All of the parts are seemingly high-end, including the Weld wheels and a supercharged V8 under the hood. The seller notes the original builder ran a Saab shop and oversaw all the work, which consist of all Ford-derived running gear. More details on the transmission, suspension, and fuel system would be helpful for assessing whether the $22,500 price is fair, but I suspect it is given you’d be hard-pressed to replicate the work and the likely significant amounts of custom fabrication needed to replicate this build. A supercharged V8 Saab 900 is not for everyone, and especially not for wallflowers – but if you’re a fan of hot rods from the 1980s, this one is hard to resist.

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    Looks like a ton of work went into this one. Being a former factory Saab tech I’m surprised they didn’t go the GM route for the engine swap. GM bought a good portion of Saab back in 1990. I would be curious to see what it looks like underneath. There are certain cars that are unique due to the sum of their parts. The old generation 900 is like early Citroen to me. Quirky but makes no excuses for itself. I didn’t like the early 900’s when I first started working on them but grew to love the model. It’s nice to see people’s visions but I prefer these cars in their original form.

    Like 13
  2. Hall-z Member

    I absolutely love this car and what it represents. This car was built by someone that wanted to do it their way and have fun as well. While I’m not a huge fan of the color, that’s not the point. The builder/owner liked it and did it. Production cars and colors are pretty bland these days, and it seems like customs have gone a similar route. This Saord is unique and shows someone with vision. Driving it would be a blast.

    Like 17
  3. angliagt angliagt Member

    Well……..if you’re a Vikings fan…..

    I wonder how it corners? With those slicks,I’d think that
    all it’s good for is going in a straight line,& getting very un-SAAB-
    like mpg.

    Like 4
  4. Ian C

    Well, I’ll be dipped! It is a Saab I would actually allow into my driveway! Didn’t see that happening today.

    Like 3
  5. Matt c

    I thought Saab Ignition switches were in the … oh wait … theres 2! No waiting

    Like 1
  6. Josh

    I’m a little confused. Is this thing now RWD?

    Like 1
  7. Steve Clinton

    Clown car.

    Like 2
  8. Kevin

    Lmao,a hippy, hot rodders delight, I actuallylike the old Saab 900s,but no way,no how on this..

  9. SaabGirl900

    This is the infamous SaabStang, built by Dave Holzinger of Lincolway Saab of Abbotstown, PA. I can remember seeing this car at Carlisle way back in the early oughts…….as Dave drove it past a bunch of Audis, he set off each and every alarm that was set.

    Nice, but I have five Classic 900s that I’d rather drive……..

    Like 1
  10. martinsane

    Its very cool. Well sorted, i love the purple block and yellow lightning hoses.
    Id buy and it is so unique and dare i say different than your standard fare and that makes it even better.

  11. Logan

    My grandfather was the second owner of this car. He bought it from Dave Holtzinger in PA, who built it. I used to ride with him in this thing when i was a kid. It’s probably one of the most exiting cars I will ever ride in. It’s honestly what got me into Saabs even though the only thing Saab about it was the body. I remember it ran super hot because there wasn’t a lot of room for air to get to the radiator. The two red toggles were for big push/pull fans that if you ran them too long at idle drained the battery. The car was made to move in a straight line…fast…. and didn’t like to sit and was easily a single digit quarter car. I was happy to see it on here and wish I could afforded it but was happy to let him know that I saw it again.

    Like 3
  12. Bryan P

    I’m very curious about the build process.
    Was a C900 chopped and mated to the fox body “chassis” or were the Ford parts modified to work and fit in the C900 body that was converted to RWD?

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