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Clas­sic Saab val­ues

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

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.

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