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Swedish Survivor: 1983 Saab 900 Turbo

This 1983 Saab 900 Turbo hatch is notable not only for being in wholly decent condition but also for having seemingly every cool factory option available. The listing notes it has been in long-term family ownership and comes equipped with the preferred combination of a turbocharged engine and a 5-speed manual. Find the Saab here on eBay with bids to $5,500 and the reserve unmet.

The turbocharged Saab 900 is a cult classic among enthusiasts, offering a punchy drivetrain with a front-wheel drive layout that proved formidable in the winter months with a proper set of snow tires. Of course, you don’t want to drive a classic like the 900 in the snow anymore, and it’s clear the long-term owners of this 900 didn’t leave it outside for months at a time in the Connecticut winter. Check out the rear window louvers on this example, one of the more sought-after factory accessories.

The bucket seats offer very little in the way of bolstering support but they are still supremely comfortable. The seller notes that inside the Saab, you’ll find the dealer-installed Panasonic sound system, one of the few options available for a Saab shopper in 1983. The interior is also in near-mint condition and has never been smoked in. The dash appears to be crack-free which is a bit of a holy grail in the Saab world.

The exterior shows off a few other desirable accessories as well, such as the factory fog lamps and the “Saab Turbo” bumper insert in the middle of the bumper. The engine bay is bone-stock and photos show a stack of paperwork that likely indicates years of regular specialist service by the previous owners. The seller notes the shifter linkage bushings will need replacement in the future, but aside from that, it seems like a turnkey driver/survivor example of a turbocharged hot hatch.


  1. alphasud Member

    That’s one of the cleanest early 900 turbos I have seen. I don’t think we ever saw a turbo in beige with beige velour interior. Very refreshing. The shifter bushing the seller mentions is the rubber shift coupling. Oil leaks would saturate and swell the rubber causing failure. As techs we were busy repairing oil leaks on the old 900’s. They loved to leak oil. Good times though as a Saab tech. The industry has changed quite a bit.

    Like 10
  2. JE Vizzusi

    In 1985-1990 I drove a light blue SAAB 900 S Sedan non turbo. 5speed, no air conditioning, fast, fun to drive. I added foglights and a sunroof as well as a rear trunk spoiler. I blew a head gasket and warped the head as well as a transmission. I spent about 4k extra than what I paid but while I had it and it ran, loved it!
    jv – smash palace

    Like 2
  3. Fred Seelig

    “Shifter linkage bushings” probably actually means the shift guide spring needs to be replaced. The spring itself costs about 30 cents, but a Saab specialist takes about 9 hours of labor to replace it. Ask me how I know.

    Like 2
  4. Marques Dean

    Excellent Saab in great shape. It’s a shame how that company died. Between the 900 Turbo and its successor the 9-3 both of those cars offered value for the money.

    Like 4
  5. John Lane

    I once owned one. Total blast to drive. Handled like it was on rails. Had to sell it because the Saab dealer broke three sockets trying to remove the pulley bolt to replace the oil pump. Since the engine is backasswords the bolt was exposed to corrosion. I was devastated.

    Like 0
  6. Eric L.

    If you read the details provided by the seller you’ll see he reference’s a stationery passenger side window. I had no idea what that was so I contacted him. He claims it was a Saab “option” that year. The window switch is on the dash but there’s no wiring and no regulator in the door, The glass is fixed in place. Who in their right mind would ever order this and why would Saab even build it that way? Something just doesn’t seem right but I hope any Saab experts reading this will weigh in.

    Like 4
    • Charlie B

      I was a salesperson and sales manager at a SAAB dealership from 1975 through 1984. Never heard of or saw SAAB offer the “stationary passenger side glass”

      Like 0
  7. chrlsful

    I B membah when SAAB was “the turbo car” and Subbie was the “awd car”.(Then they put the boxer ina areo or some such model). Nxt gm bought ‘m. o0OP, there they go~ Fun wrenchin on my wife’s 900. Great cars got upscale near the end. Wish the co. was still at it. Sad, same w/wolwo – no longer swedish but at lest stilla round …

    Like 1
  8. Jean-jacques Tay

    I had for many years the same 900 turbo. But it was a1984. Same color, same inside and back louvers. I always missed it after I gave it to my son who was i need of a car and not much money. And I still miss it now. The only trouble i had was the red rubber hose connected to the turbo unit was getting loose and disconnected. And all the power was lost. The car was shipped to him in Florida and this trouble happened to him on the freeway . So his wife conveinced him to sell the car. So sad. I’m tempted to place a bid for this 1983 one . $5500 see s a little high with the shifting coupler needing repair. Any general opinion on this would be appreciated? Thanks

    Like 0
  9. Tony C

    Not a bad example, though I preferred the sedan configuration to the hatchback. My ex had an ’84 sedan, also turbo’d, manual sunroof, automatic transmission, power steering/windows/locks…and an insufferable ignition problem which we never resolved. I kind of suspected even back then that the Hall-Effect distributor was to blame, but with chaotic decisions she made and convinced me to make I could not resolve it.

    On a side note, years later in Germany, I had an ’89 Audi Series-80 with Hall-Effect ignition, and it gave exactly the same symptoms as the Saab. I learned that those distributors needed to be outright replaced, as they were not designed to be repaired in the car (but they were rebuildable, so the part store issued a refundable core charge). Replacing the distributor in Bessie (the Audi) cured the problem. When I fixed that, I had recollections of the ex’s Saab and imagined how easy it would have been to fix that car. But, she wasn’t worth the effort (the ex, that is).

    I’m sharing all this with hopes the prospective owner will be mindful of that possible issue with this car, even if it isn’t causing problems yet, and know what to do to resolve it.

    Like 1
  10. Adam

    My dad was a Saab head honcho until gm fired everyone so we had a lot of Saabs including the first of the 9000s. My mom loved her hatchbacks and the dealerships loved getting her cars back because they were immaculate.

    Like 0
  11. Richard

    I had 1971 99EA SAAB. It NEVER ran OK more than a week without breakdown.
    Needed NEW ENGINE at 1,000 miles
    ( 3 weeks ).
    A really good mechanic finally shoved it off a cliff in Colorado. 😃 😊

    Like 0
  12. Garyjay

    I have an 86 flatnose with a sunroof 5-speed and enjoying the Arizona sun. I recently attended thr southwest SAAB Association show in Tempe, AZ. Its great so see this brand has a great following. This looks to be a great flatnose example that I have found to be rare.

    Like 0

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