Single-Owner 1970 Saab 96

 

Saabs aren’t the most common vehicles, especially ones from over 50 years ago, but we’ve seen a handful of 1960s and 1970s-era examples here recently. Another one has popped up for sale, this time a one-owner 1970 96 that is in original condition with 135,000 miles. Located in Solvang, CA, this Saab can be found here on eBay with a current bid of $3,100.

Saab has a history of making cars on the quirky side, both in looks and technology. For most of us we either love them or hate them, but overall Saab has a very loyal fan base. For much of Saab’s history, they manufactured cars with 2-stroke engines with a freewheeling clutch (take a look at this video which does a great job of explaining the dynamics of driving a vintage Saab). This 96 is the first time that Saab ventured into making a four-stroke engine – the 96 was produced from 1960 through 1980, and the V4 engine was introduced in 1967.

The seller doesn’t specify the engine size, but it is likely the 1700cc version making approximately 73 horsepower, coupled with the 4-speed column-mounted manual transmission. In the early 1960s, Saab had a lot of success in rally racing with the 96, so that tells you it’s not just about the horsepower! The seller claims this is currently running and driving well, but it appears like there are some newer and errant wires running around the engine, so hopefully there aren’t any electrical gremlins to deal with.

The interior has definitely seen some use. There isn’t really any single major item that is damaged (other than a patch on the driver door panel) but everything looks tired and worn out. I also see some continuation of the random wires, similar to the engine bay, so there’s definitely some work that has been done. DIY electrical repairs aren’t always done correctly, so the next owner should take a close look at this. Fortunately, aftermarket parts for this Saab are easily found, so a new carpet, seat cover set, and a couple of door panels shouldn’t be hard to come by, and would really clean up the interior.

The body on this car looks to be in fantastic shape. I don’t know if it has had a repaint or has just been well-maintained. The seller makes a reference to the car being damaged in the driveway 22 years ago, and receiving a salvaged title because of it, but he says it was bought back and kept driving. So, perhaps it received a fresh coat of paint then. Either way, that dark green color looks fantastic on vintage Saabs, and thanks to the California climate there is little to no rust on the body or underneath. I also like the rear mud flaps with the tribute to Saab’s history of building planes.  While there are a few things here and there to take care of, it seems this Saab is more than ready to continue serving its next owner.

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Comments

  1. Steveo

    In Solvang, of all places. A Danish village in California seems perfect to have a Saab somehow..

    Like 1
  2. That AMC Guy

    Neat car down to the aftermarket “Dole light” hanging off the top of the trunk lid. Minor nit, Saab didn’t make the V4 engine, they bought the engines from Ford of Germany.

    The engine was originally developed for the stillborn Ford Cardinal of the early 1960s which would have been a front-drive U.S. subcompact. Ford pulled the plug on the Cardinal at the last minute and instead it became the Ford Taunus in Germany. When Saab went shopping for a 4-stroke engine the compact V4 was a perfect fit.

    Like 6
  3. Paul B

    This is a 1971 Saab, not a 1970. All I f the trim, bumpers and paint are 1971 spec. And under hood is a 1.7 liter engine developing 65 horsepower. 1970 was the final year of the 73-horsepower, 1.5 liter engine for the USA. It had blue-painted valve covers and some other differences.
    This car also carries two different types of wheels. On the driver side are wheels supplied from the 1972 model and later. On the passenger side are wheels used through 1971.
    The car looks nice, but a PPI would be a good idea.

    Like 4
  4. jwaltb

    Cool car. Much more interesting to me than most of the rusty junk and nicest one left POS cars BF is littered with these days.

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