Two For One: 1958 And 1959 Saab 93

It’s rarely good to see a vehicle sitting on a dirt floor for who knows how long, but overall these two Saabs, a 1958 and 1959 93, somehow look solid. They’re really interesting cars and they don’t come up for sale too often in any condition. These two cars are listed here on eBay in Marion, Kentucky and there are five bids bringing the bid price up to $610 so far and there is no reserve.

Ahhh… that’s better! Here’s the older one, the 1958 Saab 93, the blue one in the opening photo is a 1959 Saab 93. It’s hard to believe that these cars were roaming the wilds at the same time as gargantuan Cadillacs and Chryslers, probably the equivalent of a Smart car mingling with so many SUVs on the roads today. I really like the classic bullnose look on the Saab 93, which would go away after 1960 when the Saab 96 was available.

You can see an interesting feature of the early Saab 93B here, having rear-hinged doors. The Saab 93 came out right at the end of 1955 and lasted until the 1960 model year. This auction is for both cars, of course, and the seller says that they also have a replacement floor pan that goes with the sale. The bodies on both cars look pretty straight and solid to me. Jay Leno has a perfect example seen here on YouTube. Very cool.

The earlier Saab 92 wasn’t too well known in the US and over six or seven years beginning in 1950, just over 20,000 were sold. In contrast, the Saab 93 sold over twice that many cars and they were much more user-friendly. Both of these cars need a full restoration as you can see but the interior in the white 1958 car looks much better, the steering wheel isn’t missing parts and I’m sure that most of the Barn Finds family of readers could mix and match and come up with one nice car out of these two.

The engine is out of the white car, sitting in the trunk in the photo above. They say that it was rebuilt by the late Larry “Stroker” Williams, a famous name in the Saab world. If that’s the case, and we don’t have any reason to not believe the seller, that’s a benefit.

The engine is in the blue car and both of them are Saab’s famous 748 cc two-stroke triple which had around 35-38 horsepower. We don’t know the story on these cars but the seller has a few other Saabs in the background so they must be big fans as a lot of us are. Their eBay user name is “all-about-saabs” so yeah, they’re fans. Are any of you early Saab fans? Any thoughts on these two 93s?

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Comments

  1. Barney Fife

    Well I’ll be dipped in nuclear waste…what an incredible find in Kentucky.

    Like 4
  2. Kurt

    I hope the previous owners added oil when they filled up.

    Like 3
  3. Bob C.

    Roaaaaaar! Pop pop pop pop pop pop pop!

    Like 6
  4. steve

    The “rear radiator” SAAB has a “single overhead FANshaft” engine….

    Like 5
    • Elanguy

      steve, yes they did, just like the earlier Fiat Topolino. I wonder if Fiat (Dante Giacosa) came up with the idea or it was common back then.

      • Bill McCoskey

        If I remember correctly, it was DKW that first used the rear radiator and fan shaft system.

  5. Richard Kirschenbaum

    My 1964 Saab 96 has conventional doors but indeed is a Bullnose. I got a 1959 Model 96 parts Saab in too far gone condition that I had to cut it up although I saved the roof complete with windshield and window cavities and a strurt welded between the A&B pillars to keep alignment. It is free to anyone who can use it

    Like 2
  6. Burger

    Interesting cars ? Perhaps a curiosity, at best. Styled to look like a turd on the lawn, and performance to match, these were the anti-social “Prius” of their day. I guess there is always “that one guy” who thinks POS cars are cool.

    Like 2
    • Kurt

      Yup. SAABs jets are a lot prettier!

      Like 2
  7. Don

    I guess Burger doesn’t know what he is talking about!!

    Like 19
    • Burger

      Burger doesn’t need to taste the turd to know it’s a turd. LOL !

      Like 3
      • Derek

        He does, ‘cos it isn’t a turd.

        Advanced aerodynamics and features that weren’t common at the time. Besides, there’s a 3-cylinder stroker.

        (sez an ex – KH owner…)

        Like 5
  8. Nsuracer

    #1. I think that 58’s had a split windshield. #2. The engine in the trunk is a 850cc engine. I have had 9 2 stroke Saabs and they were great little cars. They just didn’t handle “stupid” very well

    Like 3
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Nsuracer, the 1955-57 Saab 93 had a split windshield but the ’58 93B had a one-piece windshield, according to the info I saw online. Thanks for the information on the 850 engine in the trunk, good eye!

      Like 3
  9. Barry

    These are off spring of the actual 93 that won overall in all classes
    Of the monty Carlo rally. Winning overall the above all the high
    Performance cars that year.
    Over the years I have owned 6 SAABs from the shrike 3 cyl 96s to
    Old 3 cyl 96, 2 V4 96,s and still own restored 1974 Sonnet medel 97.

    Like 2
  10. Martin Horrocks

    Pity it’s not 1957 which is Mille Miglia eligible. Saab 93 won it’s class in the final year of the MM. I had one, am sure that was a one piece screen car as well.

    Saab 96 was bullnose until 1966. SAAB always changed the front on one model (92 to 93), then the rear (93 to 96). It was same with 99 to 900.

    Like 1
  11. chrlsful

    yup, guy round here is a great SAAB (all caps) mechanic (Somerville? Revere?). Seen his ‘go rescue’ vids. Nice Sonetts.

    Love the Monti wagon (an ol roof rack w/wooden slats would really set it off). Top of Mt. Sunapee mid ’60s U could C da ice races B4 a ski down. Winners usually the monte carlos. Think of these in the rallies pre Lancia D.I. Evo and ford RS200. 1st few yrs (’48+) w/’suicide dor’. Designed after the Tatra (CZ) T87 as wuz mr. porche’s early cars…just like music – ‘wuz there ever a new note played” or how ever the saying goes?

    2 cyl onto 3 cyl both 2 strokes and then my fav, the bent4 (evolved inta da bent6 in manya fordusa/europe and german car). Like the other europeans needing to go upscale to sell here my wife hada 900. Subie, known as the 4WD, SAAB got the ‘turbo’ nomenclature (’78) & even hada subie motor upgrade ina oem produced car (during the early GM ownership daze). Unfortunately got wiped in the ‘just gettin good era” of the 9000, Aero, Vriggen and XWD. Poor Burger not aware of da good stuff or great history I guess~

    Like 2
    • Geoff

      I live near that mountain and I own a ’64 SAAB 96 (Bullnose!) that I bought from one of the Barn Finds writers.

      Like 1
  12. BOB SACCONE

    yup I had ’61 way back when. I bought it “real”used a real rust bucket but licensable. I remember 4spd on the column, a lever for “freewheeling” downhill. Also remember that the generator and water pump shared the same shaft seperated only with a gasket. Pretty much of rube goldberg, right down to a pull down shade in front of the radiator for winter driving and as I remember it pretty comfortable seats.

    Like 2
  13. Royal

    These were great little fwd cars in their day that were designed from aircraft engineers who saved Sweden from German and possibly Soviet Occupation.

    92 model was never exported to the states or any other place for that matter.

    93 and the 96 model, which came out in 60, both had the same Bull Nose one piece hood until 64. In 65 Saab redesigned the front end to accommodate the coming of a four cycle engine whi h they were unsure of which it would be. They eventually went with the Ford Cardinal V4 in 67 with models being available in late 66 as 67 models.

    In 68, Saab changed the body by making the windshield and rear window larger to allow better availability. 1.5 v4 was upgraded to a 1.7 for better efficiency around 70 to 71. The epa killed this car from being imported here due to efficacy issues, but SAAB wanted to push the 99 here which was a new larger car for them offering four doors.

    Like 1
  14. Howard A Member

    Saab lovers relax, Burger just messin’ withcha,( I think) they DO look like a turd. They aren’t too far off saying it was the “Prius” of the day, much to the dismay of Prius owners, however, there’s more than one person that likes them, and they are far from a POS. Swedish cars catered to a different type of person. ( me) I love ’em, and a 93, 2 stroke was the very 1st car I drove,,,at 12, in a big yard. In the 60’s, my folks had friends in Franklin, Mass. and were a bit odd, and they had Saabs. While I’m a big “ring-ding” fan, just not in cars, and back then, the 2 strokes were offensive to be behind, as they blew clouds of smoke, and not much power, so usually stuck behind them on a hill, like a VW. The V4’s were a much improved car, and would love to have a wagon. Something like this,for me, is parts only. There are much nicer vintage Saabs to buy and come up from time to time.

    Like 3
  15. Kurt

    The author Kurt Vonnegut was at one time a salesman for the two cycle version. On Comedians In Cars Drinking Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld took Fred Armisted for a ride around Portland OR in a pristine two cycle version, and the car seemed to fit right in with the vibe of that city.

    Like 2
  16. Mark_Mitchell Member

    I had an incredibly nice ’59 93B back in the ’80’s. Once got pulled over for excessive smoke, and had to appear in court and explain the differences between 4 stroke and 2 stroke engines to the judge. I was unable to convince him – he just couldn’t grasp the concept. I was forced to pay a fine and get the car “fixed”!

    • Geoff

      That happened to my uncle when he was living in California. The cop pulled him over and presented him with a ticket and a Polaroid of the smoke from the tailpipe.
      I run synthetic in mine and it doesn’t smoke. They make scented two-stroke oil these days. I’ve always wanted to dump some in a friend’s car. “Hey, why does your car smell like strawberries?”

  17. john

    My thrift minded uncle owned two of these (a late 50’s and a mid 60’s) just for his wife (my aunt) to drive. Only she eventually hated it and stopped adding oil to the gas tank while gassing up. And yes, destroyed the engine. I found out two teenagers can easily remove and install the Sears and Roebucks rebuild and don’t even need an engine hoist, whilst Uncle Al supervised the wrench spinning. He eventually swapped vehicles with her. As I remember it had a 4 speed on the steering column. And he sold it around 1970. I felt it looked like a VW sucking a lemon…..

    Like 1
  18. Kurt

    How about cannabis scented? Patchouli?

    Like 1
    • Geoff

      When I searched for “scented two stroke oil”: Yup, someone makes a “Reefer Madness” scent.
      What will they think of next?

      • Kurt

        😉

  19. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: these Saabs sold for $5,700.

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