Save This Custom Wagon! Saab 99 Turbo Combi

When it comes to one-offs, we often associate whatever wild automotive creation we’re staring at with some sort of factory-backed skunkworks. The reality, however, is many oddballs like this wagon-bodied Saab 99 Turbo were built by private individuals to satisfy their own curiosity (can I build my own car?) or to address a perceived gap in the manufacturer’s lineup (who wouldn’t want a turbocharged Saab 99 wagon?) This example has popped up here on Facebook Marketplace, with the original builder chiming in via the comments that he built it in the early 90s – however, the current owner claims to be overwhelmed by projects and is stripping the car with plans to eventually scrap it. Can it be saved?

The listing states that the Saab features a trunk area that’s wider than a Volvo V70, the estate-bodied example of Volvo’s bread-and-butter sedan. I’m not sure how that frame of reference should work in terms of explaining whether the Saab has more or less cargo capacity than expected, but it’s certainly a wider opening than what the hatch area of the original 99 body would have afforded. The listing features a photo (below) from a magazine feature when the 99 was first unveiled in its wagon form, sporting a set of sweet Saab 900 Turbo wheels and other OEM enhancements that are now long gone.

In general, the “99-Combi” was far cleaner than it is now. The bodywork has clearly been ravaged, with the front grill missing, the lower air dam askew, the bumper hanging off, and the SPG-style side panels removed. Between that and the missing wheels, it looks like a shadow of its former self – and the current owner isn’t done dismantling it, sadly. This makes so little sense to me, as the entire purpose behind buying a vehicle like this is to preserve the one-off nature of the design, not to use it for a parts car for a standard 900 or 99 hatch. While the Italy-based owner indicates the rust behind the SPG panels and inside the door frames makes it unsaveable, I beg to differ.

Here’s another photo of the 99 Turbo van in its previous glory, which shows that while the design was far from elegant, it seemed to be constructed to a high degree of quality. The current owner outlines his challenges and current progress in dismantling the custom wagon on this Italian Saab owners forum, where many enthusiasts are decrying his efforts. He has begun stripping out the interior and various mechanical bits and intends to then send it to the scrapyard. Surely, someone has a connection with a Saab enthusiasts group who can help save this wild Saab 99 wagon?

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  1. Mitchell Gildea Member

    Restore it and take it to Radwood when it’s completed. You’ll steal the show

    Like 6
  2. Skorzeny

    I don’t even like SAABs and feel bad for this forlorn beast.

    Like 4
  3. Dusty Stalz

    The current owner has the right idea, this is a parts car. But why anyone would want to poach parts from this to fix another Saab of this year make and model is anyones guess. Some people just like to waste money I suppose.

    Like 2
    • Ian Scott

      Why not? What are you into?

      Like 2
  4. local_sheriff

    Just as with Volvo projects, Swedes are attracted to SAABs naturally. Looks to me the tailgate and hinges here are donated from a Volvo 245. Christian Ivarsson, the ‘mastermind’ behind this wagon seems to have been fairly active creating one-offs based on SAABs, like the shortest/ longest/
    amphibious etc SAAB

    Like 2
    • Skippy

      There is something ironic about the Swedes firing off the first Saab-Volvo….It’s a Salvo!

      Like 7
  5. Steve Clinton

    One of a kind…I can see why.

    Like 1
  6. Lance

    Once again beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

    Like 2
  7. Bryan Cohn

    If the Salvo was located in the USA I’d own it and it’d be on the way to my shop already…..


    “…Surely someone…” not if he dont wanna. Currently the person who owns it decides. To my shagrin – even it wrongheaded~

    I maintained my ex’s ’92 900 Turbo and it was an excellent car. Had my ’93 Wolwo wagon and wished the SAAB was so configured…here’s one done already !

  9. fran

    OMG, I thought the Mustang was the Pinnacle of UGLY, Thank you, you out done the world in ugliness! LOL

  10. Steve Clinton

    This is a real Saab story.

    Like 1

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