Beige Saab Appreciation Society – 1984-87 Saab 90

“Find me a Saab 90”,  said the esteemed A. Kierstein in a recent conversation, “and you’ll be a legend.” Challenge accepted.

Old Swedish cars are rife in my region, and I was certain it wasn’t going to be difficult to find one in as perfect condition as one can imagine. Saab 90:s have always been sort of old geezers’ cars, well-kept, garaged and all – cars one would buy in the mid-’80s if one were certain it would be the last new car to buy.

So, when I chanced upon this prosthetics beige Saab in near-flawless condition, I was sure to document it detailedly.

Across the street from an old leather goods factory, the Saab sat parked on a very snowy lot. The beige paint matched the buildings, with the undeniably duck-like lines accentuated by slowly fallen snow. It’s a strange bird indeed, the 90; on a napkin sketch the front section of the 99 was married to the back end of a 900, to build a new entry-level model with better passenger compartment design but keeping the mechanicals unchanged.

The 90, like the 99, was powered by the 100hp 2.0-litre H engine. The only option you could have was the choice of four or five speed gearbox. Oh, the bliss it must have been to visit the parts store counter.

Looking at the tail of the 90/900, it always takes me a while to realize how low the taillights actually are. Remove the bumper and the lights are pretty much the lowest part on the rear of the car.

Same goes for the front, the line from the fender corner just rises up to meet the leading edge of the hood – with the bill-like bumper perched on.

Headlight wipers, too. Front emblem has lost the paint, as it always does on Saabs. No exception.

I’m sure it’s alright to park by feel, especially when it’s as snowy as it’s here now.

Same goes for the rear, really; there’s no need for parking sensors with the springboard bumper is of this size and heft.

Saab from Finland. Proudly built in Uusikaupunki. I never fail to mention it’s the plant where they nowadays assemble the Fisker Karma, do I?

There’s the extent of rust on this car. Fuel filler lid and a little bit on the rear wheelarch. Otherwise – perfect. My gut instinct says this car has done less than 150 000 km, maybe less than 100k.

Snapping photos, I noticed a facelift 9-5 passing by.

How do you find this Saab that lurketh, hiding from the tin worm; is it 900 enough or 99 enough, or best of both worlds?


Images: Copyright 2012 Hooniverse/Antti Kautonen

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