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Solid Swede: 1960 Saab 93F

The demise of Saab robbed the automotive world of a manufacturer with a history littered with interesting and innovative automobiles. There seems little chance that the brand will rise from the ashes, leaving it to classics like this 1960 Saab 93F to carry the brand’s torch. This beauty was restored under the care of a previous owner, but the slightly tired paint suggests a light cosmetic refresh wouldn’t go astray. It is rock-solid and drives well, allowing the new owner to perform the work when (and if) they deem it necessary. The Saab is listed here on eBay in Bremerton, Washington. Bidding sits below the reserve at $5,600, although there is a BIN option of $25,000 for those who view this gem as a “must-have” vehicle.

Saab introduced the 93 for the 1956 model year, and it remained in production with minor updates until 1960. The most significant change occurred in late 1959 with the release of the 93F variant. The suicide doors, which had been a hallmark of the range, were replaced by more conventional front-hinged versions that improved access to the back seat in confined spaces. The seller indicates a previous owner treated this classic to a thorough restoration, but it is unclear when. The Red paint is beginning to look tired, but the lack of panel damage or other issues means that a light cosmetic refresh should be straightforward. It is worth noting that these cars were designed to withstand harsh Swedish winters and prolonged exposure to ice, snow, and moisture. Therefore, Saab concentrated on rust prevention strategies, and it is not unusual to find rust-free older models. That is the case with this beauty, while the excellent trim and glass mean that the winning bidder won’t face a mountain of work returning this classic to its former glory.

The waters become slightly muddy with this Saab when we raise the hood. The 93F rolled off the line powered by a 748cc three-cylinder two-stroke powerplant that sent 38hp to the road via a three-speed manual transmission. Engine performance wasn’t staggering by the standards of the time, but the 93 achieved considerable success in rally competition. One quirky design feature is the radiator’s placement. Saab aimed for a low and aerodynamic profile for improved efficiency, choosing to move the radiator from its conventional location to the back of the engine bay. The cooler local climate meant such a setup didn’t negatively impact engine cooling, but a pully-driven remote fan helped to keep things in check. The confusion with this car stems from the seller’s description of this powerplant. They refer to it as the “original 3-cylinder two-stroke 850 Monte Carlo engine.” I’m happy to be corrected if I’m wrong, but it is my understanding that the 93 never received that 841cc motor. If that is the case, it suggests either an error on the seller’s part or a transplant by a previous owner. Whatever the truth, this Saab runs and drives well, ready to provide the new owner with immediate motoring joy.

One aspect of this Saab requiring no TLC is its interior. It will comfortably seat four and presents superbly in a combination of Red, White, and Gray vinyl. There is no wear, physical damage, or signs of neglect. The painted surfaces are spotless, while the gauges feature crisp markings and clear lenses. The wheel is crack-free, and there are no aftermarket additions. This interior doesn’t score points for luxury appointments beyond a heater, with in-car entertainment provided by a round of “carpool karaoke.”

Automotive history is littered with brands that have fallen from the sky, and even the company’s aviation history couldn’t save Saab from that fate. This 93F is a sweet little classic with no pressing needs. That will leave the new owner to choose between preservation or restoration, with either approach valid. I think the seller might be overreaching with their BIN figure, and it would be interesting to monitor the auction to see whether the bidding passes the reserve. The chances of the new owner parking next to an identical example at a Cars & Coffee are remote, but being different is a large part of the attraction of any Saab. Don’t you agree?


  1. Howard A Member

    I think the coolest, oddest car made. Perhaps it’s because it’s the 1st car I ever drove( down a long driveway, blitz fogging the area) I, um, shall I say, admire the French for their oddities, but the Swedes are right behind with this. It’s just plain cool. Okay, I don’t care for the ring-ding, and your neighbors may not either, but period correct. So many things, the fan looks like out of grandmas kitchen, the little chain by the air cleaner, raised and lowered a shade like device to block the radiator, my Volvo 444 had that too, speaking of which, why I like the Saab so much, it wasn’t too far from my Volvo.
    A fantastic example here, the 3 banger may be an annoyance to the line of cars behind you, and modern oils will limit smoking, but it’s still horribly underpowered for any road travel. “Monte Carlo” motor or not. Be a hoot in the local Walymart, however. Great find.

    Like 14
  2. Nostromo

    My friend’s mother had one. It may very well have been a 1960 model. It was the mid-’60s. We kids were driven to the local movie theater in that Saab a number of times. The enduring memory of that car’s interior is that it felt like the inside of a Piper Comanche. The only reason I know to draw the comparison is that my parents would take us on skyrides at Hortman Aviation in Morrisville, Pennsylvania. We’d head-up into the air, sometimes with Yvette Hortman at the controls. The lady is remembered as ‘Bucks County’s Amelia Earhart’. That’s my impression of the early-’60s era Saab automobile.

    Like 7
    • Richard c arra

      My first car. I really was pissed when my dad made me buy this for my first car, especially after my brother’s and sister had either mustangs or cougars. However, I grew to absolutely love that car, it went everywhere. I learned quite a bit working on it, especially after use to much clutch on crazy nights. I just couldn’t believe you had to pull 5he engine to get to the transmission. On the inside, the cold Chicago winters had nothing for the best heater there ever was

      Like 4
  3. mike

    Very nice bullnose.The Monte Carlo version was a different Saab.Even came with a dash mounted Halda Speedpilot.

    Like 3
  4. Bill

    In the 60’s growing up in the muscle car era I absolutely hated these cars until my freshman year in college. My roommate had a friend who owned one and would take us with him to a place with abandoned railroad beds. I learned to love the Saab as it would expertly traverse these trails. I also began to appreciate why European rallies were so popular.

    Like 4
  5. Dennis

    My brother had one. I like the single overhead fanshaft and the combination generator-water pump.

    Like 4
  6. Ken

    Given the single carb and lack of an oil tank and pump, it is definitely not powered by a Monte Carlo 850 engine. The MC850 had triple carbs and oil injection.

    Like 10
  7. SaabGirl900

    That is definitely not a GT 850. The 850 was available after 1963 in the 96, which was the successor to the 93. The 93 would have had the 750, so either this car had a transplant or the seller had misidentified the engine. Ken is correct….the 850 would have a triple carb setup, which this car does not have.

    $25K is swinging for the fences with this car, but I am seeing the prices of older Saabs, including the real 9.3 (1999-2002) take off. You can’t touch a C900 convertible or a C900 Turbo for under $10K, Viggens of just about every stripe are going for crazy money, and if you own an SPG, you probably think you’re sitting on a gold mine.

    The strokers are not for everyone…..they are not fast, they hate being stuck in traffic (they overheat), you have to remember to add oil to the gas every other fillup, but they handle like they are on rails and will laugh at a snowy road. One other plus, you will kill every mosquito within a three mile radius of the car.

    Erik Carlson was the master of getting the maximum out of the minimum and won the Monte Carlo rally in a ’63 850 GT, which descended from this car.

    Good luck to the seller, but I doubt that anyone will pay his ask……

    Like 8
  8. JamesHGF

    The first Saab GranTurnismo, a 750 debuted at the New York Automobile Show in April 1958. Go to SAAB World web site to view photos of a perfect 1960 93F GT 750 – part of Heritage Collection Saab USA.

    The 1960 93F in the eBay add appears to be standard 93F without hint of 750 GT spec.

    BTW Road & Track magazine in ’59 or ’60 published a comprehensive road test with a white with twin blue stripes color photo insert.

    Like 1
  9. Big C

    What brand of spray paint did they use on this thing? For 25 large? It better be Rustoleum.

    Like 4
  10. Per Jensås Member

    I have owned 2 pieces of this type of car. It was my first car. Never got stuck on snow/*icy road. I just turned the car around and backed up a bit. But this has been repainted in a very bad way.

    Like 2
  11. William Miller

    I met Eric Caarlson in Connecticut. We went to the SAAB convention in New Haven fir several years. I learned stick in a 93! I’m 70. Lots of SAABS, We had one of the first 99s.

    Like 4
  12. MikeH

    Saab didn’t kill Saab. General Motors did. GM was the kiss of death for many brands.

    Like 4
  13. Chess

    One late night, chasing around with some friends, I rolled my 63 Saab 96, proving the value of the integral roll cage, which ended up with a sizable V from the curb I hit upside-down. After putting it back up on its wheels I drove it home and parked it in the backyard. It was not fixable. A friend of my father knew someone with a drive-trainless 59 Saab 93. My father and I towed it home with a rope. I removed the 850cc engine and trans from my wrecked 96 and transplanted it into the 93 in my backyard (a true shade tree mechanic saga). I seem to remember I only had some basic tools, cinderblocks for jack stands, and no hoists were involved. Saabs were simple, well designed fun little car. Mine was black, but this car brings back some memories that were tucked in the back of my 75 year old brain. This is a Ring-a-Ding-Ding popcorn machine whose front-wheel drive was an absolute oddity in SE Pa in the 60s. I had many more Saabs over the years. Too bad Saab didn’t survive.

    Like 7
  14. JamesHGF

    Correction to earlier comment: The September “1958” issue of Road & Track has the Saab Gran Turismo road test with glossy center section photo

    The 750 GT was equipped with a twin carb 45 bhp engine and a special tuning kit was available. The interior similar to my 1963 850 GT, but with a dash mounted Halda Speed Pilot for use by the co-driver/navigator who also had a reclining seat with headrest. Factory installed Halda Speed Pilot was a 750 GT exclusive.

    Around 605 GT 750s were built from 1958 through 1960 with 546 delivered to the US.

    Like 2
  15. Chinga-Trailer

    Danger Alert – Danger Alert Will Robinson!! – Cosmopolitan Motors at work here. Those who know are those who go . . . away FAST!

    Like 1

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