The big story
Classic Saab values
When it comes to superb build quality and reliability, most classic enthusiasts will think of the W123 Mercedes-Benz range. That, or the W124 successor, or perhaps the Volvo 200 range.
But also offering that hewnfrom-granite air, combined with a more sporting approach than any W123/W124 or most Volvo 200s (GLT models excepted) is the Saab range. Any 99 and onwards continues to offer great value, with later 900s and 9-3s delivering a great driving experience while giving the owner a warm ‘I’ve not gone with the flow’ feeling.
For a relatively small company Saab offered numerous body permutations: three- and five-door hatchbacks, the late-introduction estates and the convertibles, which offer full four-seat space and, with the hood up, saloon car comfort.
The more modern cars are on the cusp of collectability and the drop tops are still very good value, but for anyone wanting to future-proof their outlay it’s a question of biding your time.
Saabs made few appearances in last year’s auctions and have continued to be rare sights so far this year. Going back to 2016 last June saw ACA, Brightwells and CCA all offering post-1987 models: ACA’s tidy 1987 900 Jubilee in Condition 2 made £3150 and CCA’s 1991 900 Turbo in Condition 2+, a strong £11,000. For those wanting a 3-series convertible alternative ACA’s 1999 9-3 Turbo SE convertible (Condition 2) was hammered away for £4200 and Brightwells’ 2007 9-3 Vector cabriolet was bought well at £3740.
Saab’s 1990s 900 model built on the success of the earlier 99, and for those chasing a Saab invariably they will want a Turbo model. The 99 firmly cemented the turbo ethos in enthusiasts’ minds and that lives on with the later forced-induction models, and owners like to keep hold of theirs. One that did escape was offered at H&H last July – a 1990 900 Turbo 16S sold for £5100.
Last month Brightwells’ Modern Classics sale saw a 2004 9-3 Vector Cabriolet make £900 while Barons’ tidy 1999 9-3SE Turbo Cabriolet with year-long MoT test and much work
over the previous three years made £500. The Brightwells’ Tiptronic, electric hood car accurately targetted the burgeoning modern classic philosophy and while some might question its eligibility as a classic, the buyer was ahead of the curve.
‘They offer a hewnfrom-granite air’
A summer of sun in the form of a £500 9-3 Vector.