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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Drive My Car : The Saab 900 Turbo as sanctuary

"Chekhov is terrifying. When you say his lines, it drags out the real you. Don't you feel it?" So says Yusuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima), an actor-director who's been given the honor of guest-directing a production of Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/entertainment/drive-my-car-the-saab-900-turbo-as-sanctuary/
19 REPLIES 19
ROBBO99
Detailer

I owned a red turbo 1986 and loved it as a sporty coupe . Had a lot of great driving memories for the 3 years i owned it .
Jimb1967
Pit Crew

I had an 85 Turbo SPG, one of only 200 imported that year (2 per dealer). I drove it for 9 years and 180,000 miles and then traded it on a 93 9000 Aero, another rocket. Overall we had 4 Saabs over 24 years, all manual gearboxes and enjoyed each of them. It's a shame they are out of business.
dougsaab
New Driver

1,469 SPG's were imported in 1985, and were only available in black.

SteelyDan
Intermediate Driver

Drove Saabs from 1973 to 1988. A sweet '70 99 surprised family and friends with its nimble handling, comfort and engineering way ahead of malaise era compacts. A '75 99 Wagonback went almost 200k miles until the 80 Turbo- a hot ride in its time. A 84 Turbo was my last-by the time it needed to get replaced, GM had watered it into a weird Opel. Designed by an aircraft company, they were wonderful
MoparMarq
Advanced Driver

A coworker had one when we were in the aerospace biz back in the early 80's. Silver Turbo. He loved that thing. I never understood it. Too tall. Long overhangs front and rear. Weird shifter. Weird key location. Just weird.
LarryT
Pit Crew

Until you drive it. Then it makes sense. I will never forgive GM for ruining Saab.
RS255
Pit Crew

A Tom Hanks movie is beginning production in Pittsburgh in Feb, it is a remake of a Swedish movie A Man Called Ove which won awards.
This is what the movie is about.
For Ove, Saab has a cult status, and there is no other car brand for him, and he tries to impose this attitude on others, especially on his neighbor Rune. The conflict between Rune and him related to cars is hilarious – while one drives a Saab, the other drives a Volvo, and as the car industry progresses, so does their friendship go downhill.

Rune is not tied to the car brand, at first he is in favor of Volvo, but then he accepts car trends and clichés. In contrast, Ove does not give up on his Saab.
I guess we will see if Hanks kills it with a Chevy vs Ford feud.
Nojodas67
Pit Crew

Here's the link to the original movie, which anyone can watch for free (subtitles in many languages).
https://www.divicast.com/watch-movie/watch-a-man-called-ove-2015-online-free-11165.5358562
MATTMERICA
Technician

I was working in northeast Philly in 1997 and a really cherry 1993 red turbo inexplicably failed to yield and turned left into my oncoming lane. I T-boned the car just in front of the passenger door hinge and everybody's airbags went off. My maxima was drivable but the saab was dead, totaled. The guy driving it was house sitting for somebody and wanted to take the car for a quick spin. Every time I see one I think of that crash and how glad I am to be out of north east Philly lol
Eric
Hagerty Employee

don't miss the crab fries at Chickie's?

fueledbymetal
Advanced Driver

A 1991 Saab 900 turbo convertible was the first fast car I ever drove. It totally melted my 18 year old brain having learned to drive on a dodge caravan. 🍺
RallyeRalph
Detailer

I used to be a Saab and Lotus dealer. Should have called it Don Quixote Motors, GM bought Saab and held them for eleven years when Saab had 4-cylinder turbos. Lots of late model GM cars have 4 cylinder turbos. A co-incidence, I'm sure. At that time GM also had an intereest in Subaru and sold the Saab 9-2 which was basically a rebadged Impreza (which made for a classy AWD compact) and the 9-7 which was a rebadged Blazer (built in the Swedish part of Moraine, Ohio) which made a classy SUV for folks who wouldn't be seen dead in a Chevrolet.
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

Back in the '80's Saab had a special place for enthusiasts. You didn't have to be a Saab guy to like them. It was sad what GM did to them.
Nojodas67
Pit Crew

By the time I was 20, I had worked on every brand automobile in my parent's garage after school and in-between classes, to finance my college education; I worked on friends, neighbors and professor's cars. I worked on VW, GM, Ford, BMW, Porsche, you name it. My aunt had a 1984 Saab 900 turbo sedan for several years before I finally got behind the wheel of it, to run an errand for her. At the time, I had a 10-year-old Porsche 911 for summertime fun, and daily-drove several common cars that I would purchase, drive for a while, then resell for a small profit. I will NEVER forget that first drive in the 900T; it accelerated, it handled, and it outperformed everything I had driven in the past. The 2.3L 4 cyl. could blow the doors off any V-8 Mustang or Camaro or Mopar of the time, without breaking a sweat. It could also stop and corner better than any of the fore-mentioned. From then on, I've had at least a couple dozen Saabs and prefer to drive nothing but Saabs when I have to go somewhere. that day was the last day that I drove anything else as a daily driver; I've had many many, modern cars since then, but ultimately I prefer to drive any of the 7 Saabs I currently own, which include 3 manual 9-5 aero wagons (2001, 2007, 2009), a 2001 9-3 turbo convertible, a couple of 9-5 sedans and my first love, 1984 900T which I persistently pursued, and finally convinced my aunt to sell to me a few years later. Oh, almost forgot to mention, I retired as an aerospace engineer for Boeing so I really got the "Born from jets" thing.
Eric
Hagerty Employee

this is a pretty wild story. Shoot me an email. Eweiner@hagerty.com

Tcoradeschi
Intermediate Driver

1991 900T - the first new car we ever bought. 15 years and 180k miles later, a 4 car pileup caused it to roll 360 degrees and spin 180 degrees. I shut off the engine, took off my seatbelt, unlocked the door, opened it and got out. Yeah, built to last...
RS255
Pit Crew

Right on Nojodas67 you know where it is at , people just don't know just how good Saab cars are especially the c900 and I am grateful for that because I bought all of mine for next to nothing.....well that is changing.
SAG
Technician

The '82 "China Blue"
Glass H/Lights
Great design
BillG
New Driver

"Quirky", "Issues with the electrical components". Ah, the memories!
Bought a '92 900 Convertible for my 40th birthday-mid life crisis, drove it for almost 14 years. I got very good at taking those little switches apart and cleaning the teeny-tiny contacts. Then, on a whim, I sold it and bought an '01 Camaro SS rag-top . Both stick shifts, both very cool cars. I've long since moved on from the Chevy, but years later I still kick myself when I see a nice 900....