Saab 99 Turbo: Smart Classics

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Saab 99 Turbo Saab 99 Turbo Saab 99 Turbo
The bubble-shaped screen lived on through the 900 series The bubble-shaped screen lived on through the 900 series The bubble-shaped screen lived on through the 900 series
Saab 99 Turbo Saab 99 Turbo Saab 99 Turbo

The 99 Turbo prices haven't gone into overdrive just yet, but with Saab biting the bullet, nostalgic collectors could well soon start seeking out these iconic vehicles

 

Saab 99 Turbo

Although Gottlieb Daimler hit upon the idea of using a gear-driven pump to force air into an internal combustion engine back in the 19th Century, it took a little longer for car manufacturers to latch onto this as a viable go-faster mod.

The 1962 Olds Jetfire, the 1973 BMW 2002 Turbo and the 1974 Porsche 911 Turbo were early exponents of forced induction, but the concept really got traction with the introduction of the 1977 Saab 99 Turbo. What really drove 99 Turbo sales was its sheer versatility. The formula hit the mark, with a charismatic badge backed up by a winning balance of speed, reliability, frugality and load-swallowing capacity. Despite the racy detailing, the 99 Turbo was never a balls-out screamer.

Instead Saab had looked to endow the four-cylinder donk with the smoothness and torque of a six. To keep the driver clued-in as to what the underbonnet blower was up to, Saab mounted a boost gauge on top of the dashboard. There were no numbers, merely white, orange and red zones to indicate how hard the turbo was working.

The 99 Turbo sold strongly and these cars are inherently stout, so there’s still a decent selection for used buyers. Black with the original Inca alloy wheels is the go, but other colours are available.

Look out for rust, tired seats and failing water pumps. Prices haven’t gone into overdrive just yet, but with Saab biting the bullet, nostalgic collectors could well soon start seeking out these iconic vehicles. If you’re a smart investor, you’re probably already keeping an eye on 99 Turbo auction prices.

 

Price guide:

Low: $15,000
High: $40,000

 

- SEARCH Saab cars for sale

 

See our ten smart classic buys list here

 

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