• Introducing my Saab 900 turbo and the garage that i like to hide away in.

    First up the Saab. There's a lot of backstory but for the purposes of this thread i'll try and keep it brief. Saab's have been in my family all my life and my dad has owned and worked on many models including 99, 900 and 9000 turbo's. This one is a 93 900 16v turbo LPT (low pressure turbo) purchased around 8 years ago for less than £1500. Dodgy repainted rear quarter aside it was a very genuine, solid example with very little rust. My dad had held on to a lot of spares from past builds so in a short amount of time it was fitted with an Aero 16s bodykit and all the engine ancillaries to take it up to FPT/Aero spec. Retirement was boring so what better way to waste time than do a full engine and gearbox rebuild. A very well priced special edition Ruby interior was found locally and I think the total rebuild including interior came in around £400. He then found a very tidy 900 turbo convertible (for silly cheap) so agreed to sell the freshly rebuilt 900 Turbo to me.

    Under my ownership it's had new tyres, Aero leather steering wheel, new Aero spec front springs, Bilstein B4 shocks, upgraded hifi, a few genuine Saab accessories and of course a few services with my dad. Adding it up i don't think i've spent much more the £1.2K in the time i've had it.

    Living in London i don't have much need for a car to get around but my partner and i share the insurance and tax and we use it almost solely for longer trips out of London. Over the last few years it's done a half dozen trips to Cornwall, Peak and Lake districts. A handful of trips with mates to BPW, plus numerous trips to Bath/Bristol to see friends and family. Yes it's old and isn't the cleanest or most economic car. But it's the newest car i've owned, has never failed an MOT, is kept on the road using used parts where possible and has been a life line for my dog who isn't well suited to public transport.

    Sadly, the car has taken a battering over the last few years. Hit 3 times whilst parked outside my house, one hit and run on the circular and countless carpark knocks so it's in need of some TLC. The good news is i finally decided to claim on my insurance for the last hit and have just cleared £2.5K to put towards a rebuild.

    Build plans to follow, here's a few pics of it looking better than it has done lately

  • Forum regular popping up there! Bikes on the roof presumably, can't imagine they go inside?

  • With the back seat down it'll take two MTB's plus a bunch of kit.

  • Awesome, subbed.

  • Great story, lovely car, subbed!

  • You either like saab 900 or you are wrong.

    The 99 and the 900 are what I associate with saab in the UK.

  • Great taste in cars obviously means great taste in green mtb’s too?

  • yes yes, what a machine! wish I could have one.
    never sat inside something more satisfying, and the storage with the seats down is unreal.
    look forward to seeing it get better and better!

  • Makes my 9-5 look even more like a POS. Very very nice. The 900 Aero's are soaring in value stateside. This isn't, but might fetch a hefty sum nonetheless if you sell.

  • Love a Saab. What’s getting parts like now they’re defunct?

    I always wanted a Saab 9000 leather chair. Supposedly the comfiest car seat ever produced.

  • Thanks for the nice comments everyone.

    @CptnBigNose don't think my good taste in cars extends to bikes, that @platypus green Cotic.

    @Thrust these are the glamour shots, when i show some of the current horrors you'll feel better. That said after following the market lately this is one of the rare occasions where it may be worth putting money into a respray to make a profit further down the line. More on that later...

    @Light_EDDed i generally look for good condition used parts as pattern stuff rarely comes close to the quality of the original. Saabits are doing some good quality repro stuff but it's getting thin on the ground. Yeah the 9000 Carlsson/Aero chair is the one to get but i'm not a huge fan of them fitted in 900's. They don't have the tilt mechanism which makes them a ball ache in a 3dr and they're too bulky IMO. I'm on the hunt for a good non aero 9000 seat to steal the foam from as it's the same design as the 900 but they produced them for a few years after the 900 stopped production. More on that later...

    @lynx my dad's 99 turbo was/is probably my favourite car of all time. Turbo pod on dash, mad ejector seatbelt release and a red velour/vinyl interior that i was cooked alive on driving through France to Spain during a heatwave in the late eighties.

  • Not a huge fan of Tesla or this Jason bloke but this video does capture quite a few of the things i like about Saab


  • And here's a one off photo of the garage without all the shit everywhere. Planning to copy a lot of what @jambon has done with his plus a few ideas of my own.

  • Looks like it has lots of potential.

  • I've been trying to button down a solid build plan for the Saab to share but i suspect details will change as work starts and the money runs out.

    As noted previously the bodywork is scruffy but essentially very solid so initially this was going to be a non cosmetic refresh with a budget of around £1K. But the most recent whack was beyond acceptable and some proper bodywork and going through my insurance was going to be unavoidable. With older cars blending in repairs is always a challenge and a rear quarter smash was going to necessitate a lot more work that my insurers expected. Thankfully they were keen to pay out cash in lieu of repairs as no bodyshop was willing to undertake the work. After a bit of back and forth i cleared £2.5K and with the £1K i'd already put aside i now around £3K to work with (with £500 set aside to cover premiums).

    The tricky question atm is where to put that money. A full respray would probably be the most sensible move but finding a decent bodyshop willing to take on the work is proving very difficult. Even if we deliver the car stripped of everything bar the glass i think i'm going to be looking at £4-5K for a matching colour repaint and redoing the bodykit and bumpers. I'd then have all the other jobs i wanted to do on top of that and i'm looking at double my budget.

    So instead i'm going to do the original jobs i had planned prior to the smash and start addressing the bodywork one area at a time. This may end up costing me a little more down the line but it keeps the car on the road and the work manageable. Currently i have the following on the list;


    Repair rear quarter damage. Step one will be to bodge it so it's tidy enough to live with. Step two will be to find a bodyshop to do a local repair or buy a new welder and do the work ourselves.

    Remove dents from doors and rear tailgate. Tailgate i'll do myself, doors i may get a pro to do them if anyone has a good recommendation.

    Source rust free bonnet. The most notable bit of rust is on the bonnet and whilst it's non structural i hate seeing it. Finding a bonnet in a matching colour will be nigh on impossible but i have a hook on a few options that mightn't be too offensive. May even go the matt black route for a while.

    Restore bumpers and bodykit. The bodykit covers a significant portion of the car so getting an undented rear bumper and having the whole lot resprayed in OG finish might be the best option for tidying up the car at the moment.

    Repaint black trim. There's a lot of black painted trim on the car (wipers, handles, window rubber inserts etc) that is now looking very scruffy. As above getting this lot repainted in original finish may significantly tidy things up.


    I'd like to get the drivers seat trim restored and refitted onto a less worn seat. Pending price i may look to getting the passenger and rear seat tidied as they need some minor repairs. Again if anyone knows of a good trimmer that isn't too expensive i'd be very keen to get some details.

    Mechanics and electrical

    Plan here is to get the car running as good as it came out the factory but with a few more modern improvements. Lots to think about but so far work includes;

    The lighting is getting a full revamp with resilvered reflectors and better lamps.
    New rear tyres and rear springs, laser tracking setup.
    Rolling road session to maximise power output and driveability without fudging fuel economy/emissions.

  • “Ratlook” bodywork courtesy of a flat bed truck that didn’t stop

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  • Dented doors, rusty bonnet sides and a dented tailgate

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  • And a war between old and new paint on the roof currently brewing

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  • This lot arrived prior to the rear quarter getting smashed. Genuine resilvered headlamp reflector (to match another one i already have), fuel/oil/air/cabin filters, fuel pump, OEM window motor, high output H4 lamps, repro bodykit seals and trim clips, expensive iridium plugs (or not as it turns out, exchange in bound), exhaust clamps and aero wiper blades. To give you an idea on prices this lot came in at less than £300 and there's no labour costs.

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  • Good stuff, sounds like you know what you're after. Good luck with the work!

  • I had a 2 door one in black BITD. If you turn up the boost, don't go mad, because 5th gear will snap.

  • 5th gear will snap

    Yeah the gearboxes are fragile, especially with modern rubber not loosing traction like old P6000's. I'll be keeping BHP close to stock and i very rarely hit full boost (especially not in 5th).

  • First job on the Saab is to get the rear quarter tidy enough to ignore for now. I'd had to trim some of the sharp ripped edges but otherwise the metal work was good enough to wack crudely back into shape with a hammer and dolly. Bit gutted to find a bit of rust in the inner wheel arch but as this'll get sorted properly at some point some basic rust treatment will do for now.

    What was left of the obliterated inner trim piece was then fixed in place and then a spare Aero wheel arch trim went back on to hide the mess.

    Scroll to the bottom first...

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  • The car has had a some badly applied paint at some point so whilst it was in the garage i thought id see if i could tidy it. The panel was in a pretty shit state so i figured i had nothing to loose if i attacked it with some wet and dry to try and cut through the new paint and find the old stuff (hoping it was still there).

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  • And after less than 2 hours work including the wing repair i was left with this. It's not perfect but a lot better than it was. I'll take a close up of the aerial base to show how bad the new (old) paint was!

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Project roll neck, Saab 900 turbo and the garage it doesn't fit in

Posted by Avatar for jono84 @jono84