Late Night Saab Sighting – 1990 Saab 900S turbo

Last night it was time to drop off my Mitsubishi at the local garage, so it could get a ball joint replaced and pass the yearly inspection. This handily coupled with a chance to get a breath of fresh air, and when we walked back from the dormant garage forecourt, car keys safely dropped in the mailbox, we happened upon this red Saab turbo.

It was so dark outside at 11PM I had to go get the DSLR; it was no good trying to document it with the phone camera. But with patience and some ham-fisted post-processing, the gleaming red Saab made it onto these pages.

A while ago, I posted a green turbo Saab 900S; there was some discussion whether it was a turbo, but with these European OG 900S:s that is the case. Under the forward-tilting hood beats a 2.0-litre low-pressure turbo heart, producing 143 hp. The US-model 900S does without a turbo.

In fire-engine red and in three-door, bespoilered guise, the B-registered 1990 Saab is a yuppie classic – only bettered by the Porsche 944. Despite sitting stationary and despite being over 20 years old, it looks like it could gather boost, take off and fly, were there not the fence present to stop it.

Under the Saab are Penta wheels. They’re known for being a great choice for anything ’70s-’80s and solid-looking; they make ’80s Mercedes just excellent. The metallic-coloured lip on the wheels gives them a racy look, and they’re a great match to the bulky black rubber bumpers on the Saab.

The 900S does look a bit beaten, when you inspect  it more closely. In that sense the late night was a friend to it, as it obscured the Saab’s most worn bits. But still, the passenger side front fender had paint flaking and bubbling under the plastic wheelarch trim; the door bottoms most likely have a good amount of rust on them and the bonnet’s edge has probably trapped in some moisture, resulting in bubbles.

Anyway, I’m adamant the odo reading begins with a 3, as a 20-year-old 900 has by now seen hard use and turbos are never that common to begin with.

So, this one isn’t as clean as the green five door one, but it looks a million times better with less doors and a better color combination. And as it’s parked on the vocational school’s auto shop parking lot, it’s probably a hell of a lot easier to pry from its owner’s hands than the green pristine example.


[Images: Copyright 2012 Hooniverse/Antti Kautonen]

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