CAR OF 1960 SAAB 95/96

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - The Way We Were -

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’.

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