Saab 900 Cabriolet: For individualists

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D he grief over the fate of Saab is not quite ours yet Faces have given way, the encounter with the rustic Saab 900 convertible seems like a spring-like Easter ritual of resurrection.

Lovable brand of intellectual weirdo

Saab lives on somehow. As an aircraft manufacturer Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget anyway, as a car brand far away in China and firmly in the hearts of individualistic fans. Architects, designers and other distinguished freelancers will lavishly and fully restore the last barn finds of the 49,000-times built convertible in 30 years. Saab will then be like Borgward, and the open-top Saab 900 will be as adored as an Isabella Cabriolet. But didn't Saab, the lovable brand of intellectual weirdos, fail earlier due to the common parts dictation of the new owner General Motors?

Yes: Exactly 20 years ago, when the second Saab 900 generation built the platform with the had to share common Opel Vectra. A good car, the Opel, without a doubt. But when the Saab spirit is reduced to a bizarre design and a central ignition lock, then the brand becomes marketing. Saab, the master of aerodynamics, front-wheel drive and efficiency, does not deserve badge engineering. As a niche brand with a small development budget, Saab has always made the best of on-board resources with its Genius.

Undiluted Saab veteran

The Saab 900 convertible, built from 1986 to 1994 in Uusikaupunki, Finland, knows as a pure Saab veteran, no dilution through joint ventures or platform strategies with other automobile brands. It owes its existence to two favorable circumstances. On the one hand, the solvent, brand-loyal Saab customers across the Atlantic who wanted a non-iron, open model, and on the other hand, the American Sunroof Company from Detroit, which helped pull the padded fabric roof over the head of the Saab 900 Sedan. A little later, the guys from ASC also gave the Porsche 944 a black cloth cap.

Initially, the exclusive version of the Saab 900 Cabrio cost 900 Turbo 16 as a two-liter 16-valve engine with 175 hp (G-Kat 160 hp) a hefty 67,000 marks. For only 4,000 marks more, there was already a Mercedes 300 SLR 107 including a coupé roof.

But the Saab trumps with four seats and full equipment. Fine leather armchairs also in the rear,an electrohydraulic convertible top with a real glass pane, all-round windows, cruise control and the dignified workmanship on all sides transform the once rustic mid-range model into a luxury car for friends of well-groomed understatement.

Robust, roaring four-cylinder

The engine of the Saab 900 Cabrio is a solid piece of solid Saab mechanical engineering. A pithy, roaring four-cylinder with two overhead camshafts, durable duplex chains and a fine bucket tappet valve train sits in a striking incline directly above the front axle, promoting traction. The five-speed gearbox with locked differential lives one floor below. In old age, it more often surrenders to the grueling 270 Newton meters of the agile turbo engine.

This, a few thermal turbo problems and a bitchy convertible top hydraulics are the only problems of the valuable car, rust is not an issue with careful handling. The Saab 900 Cabrio is a long-term car with a solid door sound and a torsion-resistant body. Lots of strange design details nevertheless create a rounded total work of art that women also like.

More harmonious with less power

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