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Very Clean 1992 Saab 900 Turbo Convertible

This is a very nice 1992 Saab 900 Turbo convertible, for sale on Craigslist in Belchertown, Massachusetts. The asking price of $11,900 might seem kind of high for a List of Craig ad, but it’s right in line with the results we’re seeing at other venues. I sold a similar one with 79k miles a few years ago for the same amount.

As the current owner of a car very similar to this one, and the past owner of two others, I feel qualified to say the vehicle on offer is pretty nice—albeit docked by some enthusiasts for having Borg Warner’s three-speed auto instead of the favored five-speed manual. With the turbo two-liter, it produces 160 horsepower, or 180 in the SPG version (not this one). Convertibles came out of the Valmet plant in Finland. This being a late car, it will have both ABS and a driver’s airbag—both of which are prone to failure.

Very little needs to be done to this one. If any dash lights are on, the owner doesn’t say. Said owner claims that the Saab has “been recently cosmetically and mechanically reconditioned.” The work includes a new insulated Cambria convertible top, four new Uniroyal tires, fluid changes, a tune-up, a new battery, a cat-back exhaust change and more. The air conditioning “will require a professional recharge,” but we all know that sometimes it’s more than that.

The interior looks fairly nice, with the original leather seats “completely treated with Lexol leather treatment.” Two “almost imperceptible small cracks” are admitted to in the dash. Jay Leno’s premium products were used in the recent detailing! (Sometimes sellers go overboard, don’t they?)

The windows and the top all go down properly, and the tinted glass is unmarred. Everything works, and the trouble-prone original Clarion stereo (cassette and CD both, sometimes) has been replaced with a Kenwood head unit and speakers.

“This is a very nice, and now hard-to-find vintage and collectible Saab 900 Turbo Cabriolet, previously owned and now by me, two Saab aficionados, devoid of any rust or accidents, and starts, and drives wonderfully,” the owner says. The title is clean.

The classic Saab 900 Turbo, whether in coupe, four-door or convertible form, is on the upswing. The 1985-1993 models were a Hagerty Bull Market pick for 2023. “The 900 somehow still offers what Saab promised all those years ago,” Hagerty said. “It may not be new, but the look of performance sure has aged gracefully.”

These cars can keep up with modern traffic and are reasonably reliable if maintained. The latter is important! They tend to rust, especially East Coast cars, so this one should be inspected carefully.


  1. alphasud Member

    The leather looks a little dry. I was talking to my upholstery friend and he said once leather gets like this it’s really hard to bring it back with modern leather. Car is in otherwise really nice condition and finding a low mileage Saab 900 is not easy. These cars were generally driven well past 100K and 900 owners are a very loyal bunch. The automatic does hurt the resale on these but I remember they received some improvements which made them shift nice and if fluid changes and band adjustments were made periodically they can last well over 100K. Problem is when it’s worn out very few know or want to touch these units. Most likely parts are no longer available. I rebuilt a few a number of years ago. Not the easiest to service.

    Like 2
    • SubGothius

      I’m not sure if Saab used the natural top-grain leather favored by most Euro marques or the coated leather favored by most American and Asian marques, but if it’s uncoated natural leather, it may respond well to a generous application of mink oil (the actual liquid, not the boot paste).

      Quick test: find a relatively unweathered horizontal surface and put a drop of water on it. If it’s coated, the water will just bead up and stay there or roll off, but if it’s uncoated, it should eventually soak in.

      Like 1
  2. Ward William

    When you say the airbags are prone to failure, do you mean not activating when needed or activating when not needed? Big difference in consequences although both scenarios may kill you. Lol

    Like 3
  3. SaabGirl900

    Regarding the airbags……the cassette (the part in the middle to the steering wheel) is attached to a connector by a very wide ribbon of wires. If one of those wires breaks, it activates the SRS light and the bag won’t activate if needed.

    I have a ’90 Turbo ‘vert that was born an autobox. The box grenaded at about 105K and the car was more or less abandoned at the shop in Charlotte, where she was quickly becoming a parts donor. I sweet talked the shop owner into doing an auto-to-five-speed conversion as part of getting the car back on the road. Fiona is now proudly sitting in the barn, waiting for spring. I have had to replace the airbag cassette three times in the 16 years that Fio has lived with me. Fortunately, I’ve never had any issues with locating the cassettes.

    The slushdrive is the dealbreaker for me……even though the Borg-Warner box is a big improvement over what I have in my ’77 99GL (also a Borg-Warner unit), these boxes are prone to failure when the torque converter gives it up somewhere between 90,000 and 110,000 miles. You’ll get plenty of warning….the gearbox will start whining like a banshee and forward motion become hit or miss. The five speed is definitely the way to go with any C900.

    Like 4
    • Dan neil

      Nice car except for the slush box. I’ve done two conversions in my life but was definitely worth it .

      Like 1
  4. TaDah Member

    In 1993, my 1986 Saab 900t convertible gave up its automatic transmission at 116,000 mi. My mechanic convinced me to put in a 4-speed manual in place of repairing the slush box. At the same time that was being done, it had a complete cosmetic refresh down to the metal and up again. 3 months later, during winter, it had its top replaced. It was driven to 173,000 mi when my ex-wife took possession of it during a divorce. She turned around and sold it to a friend for $1,000. If I could find that car again, I would buy it back and let the good times continue to roll.

    Like 0
  5. SaabGirl900


    The leather in most classic 900s was Bridge of Weir from Scotland. Natural, top grain leather that smells divine when it’s properly cared for. What a lot of Saab people do is slather the leather in conditioner, roll up the windows and let the car sit in the sun on a warm day. The conditioner soaks into the leather, leaving it supple and looking good.

    Like 3
  6. Michael Tischler

    Are parts getting hard to find,very few Saabs here in Phoenix.

    Like 0
  7. Richard

    Our SAAB sucked immediately upon delivery. Needed new engine at 2 weeks.
    Lots went wrong in next 10 months and needed new transmission plus more.
    Just a sob ⚠️ warning.

    Like 0

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