CAR OF 1960 SAAB 95/96
If you visited the Earls Court Motor Show in 1960, your attention may have been drawn by the new Peugeot 404, the Lea-Francis Lynx or the Austin Seven Countryman/ Morris Mini Traveller. Some may even have been mesmerised by the Humber Super Snipe Series 3’s four headlamps. Most, however, were attracted by two Swedish front-wheel drive cars – one a two-door saloon with a distinctive streamlined body, the other an estate with a rear-facing third row of seats. They were, of course, the 96 and 95, the first Saabs officially sold in the UK.
57 years ago, £885 2s 6d seemed a considerable sum (albeit one inflated by import duties) for a small car powered by an 841cc two-stroke engine, but the Saab instantly appealed to any motorist who appreciated fine engineering. The Erik Carlsson/Stuart Turner 96 was the car that won the 1960 RAC rally and Motor Sport thought that it was an ‘individualistic machine, the existence of which makes the world a more amusing place in which to dwell’.
Or, as the famous slogan from the 1960s put it, rather more succinctly, – ‘Go Swift, Go Safe, Go Saab’.