Weekend Edition Quick Hit – Here is an unmolested 1976 Saab 99 GLE Automatic on Craigslist…

76 Saab 99 GLE 2.0L w 3spd Borg Warner - Google Chrome 132015 40254 PM.bmp
Let’s continue on with our Foreign Car Weekend with another recently euthanized import and see if it is worth owning over a more reputable (i.e. rather boring) vehicle like a CamryAccordSonataFusionAvenger… (Just kidding on that last one)… This is a Malaise Era Saab 99, built at least two years before the almighty 99 Turbo model made it’s debut. And just for the hell of it, let’s see if anyone can tell me where the location of the Saab Headquarters before GM took over the company…

76 Saab 99 GLE 2.0L w 3spd Borg Warner - Google Chrome 132015 40259 PM.bmp
According to the rather lengthy listing (unusual for Craigslist I might ad):

Top of the line vehicle
76 Saab 99 GLE
2L w/ 3spd Borg Warner Auto
154k miles
brown w/ metallic flake(looks like copper in the sunlight)
original a/c car all components are there and upgraded to 134a
I have 5 SAAB keys all for this car
Old receipts show it was a U.S Embassy car for Bahrain back in the day
Super clean car, Starts right up, drives good, all lights are intact and work front and rear fogs included. Very minor rust behind the rear fenders where the flaps meet but under the car and control arm areas are 100% rust free. It will be very hard to find a cleaner original car for this price, hell how many saab 99s have you seen on the road?
Recently went through the car and replaced with OEM components:

76 Saab 99 GLE 2.0L w 3spd Borg Warner - Google Chrome 132015 40250 PM.bmp-001

-Fuel pump(metal tank is in great shape,siphoned old gas vaccumed inside of tank replaced hose and strainer)
-Fuel filter
-removed and cleaned injectors
-changed oil w/ new mann filter
-thermostat/ flushed coolant fresh green added(cooling system was very clean before)
-exhaust manifold gaskets/collector gaskets
-new + and negative battery leads(battery tray is rust free)
-Air filter
-redline mtl transaxle flush and fill
-Headliner and rear pillars were removed and redone professionally
-Brake fluid flushed 4 corners (nice and firm pedal)
-added refinished period correct super rare 15in Carroll Shelby OEM Saab wheels(original wheels included)

76 Saab 99 GLE 2.0L w 3spd Borg Warner - Google Chrome 132015 40246 PM.bmp-001

Heater core was removed but have the original one was going to get it pressure tested and fit back in the car.
A/c dosnt work because the alternator was replaced and only has a single pulley instead of a dual to run the compressor. Have the belt, compressor isnt locked pulley spins free and a/c is charged so should be a simple fix but frankly its winter like tempratures outside now so woulnt mess with it till spring time anyways.
Transmission shifts through all gears fine but a little abrupt sometimes(shifter cables need adjustment/stall speed adjusted/ it is a 1976 3spd auto maybe thats just how they were) Fluid is nice and ruby and full dosnt smell burned by any means.
Paint is in good shape but cracking in some places
rubber strips in the rear are missing(hardware store for replacements?)

76 Saab 99 GLE 2.0L w 3spd Borg Warner - Google Chrome 132015 40326 PM.bmp

Overall a great example of a old collectors SAAB, I just have too many projects at this time(fiat 124, bmw e30 I still have to get too). Would like it to go to a SAAB enthusiast and a good home because I know how rare these cars are and would like to see it preserved. Call or text the car wont disappoint.
Clean title in hand, Big box of extra parts included(Sealed OEM SAAB brand new parts$$$)

76 Saab 99 GLE 2.0L w 3spd Borg Warner - Google Chrome 132015 40321 PM.bmp
Asking price for this Diplomatic Saab is $4,000. I’m really not sure if there is an enthusiastic buyer at this price because of the Automatic, but I’m sure the seller might be open to offers… See the Listing Here, and tell me if this Saab 99 is really anything to get excited about.
76 Saab 99 GLE 2.0L w 3spd Borg Warner - Google Chrome 132015 40312 PM.bmp

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22 responses to “Weekend Edition Quick Hit – Here is an unmolested 1976 Saab 99 GLE Automatic on Craigslist…”

  1. stigshift Avatar

    The automatic is considered the worst form of molestation.

    1. Mr.Cranky Avatar

      Not everyone can or wants to drive a stick. I think it's time that car websites laid off on the automatic hate.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        Shouldn't those who can and want be allowed to express their wish? I still haven't driven an automatic car that I wouldn't have thought to be better with a manual. Maybe the Tesla S….no gas engine.

        1. ptschett Avatar

          To me it depends on the vehicle.
          For an example: in the summer of 2003 I daily-drove one of my dad's Dodge Dakota extended cab 4×4's with the 3.9L V6 ('95 model year: ~180 HP and 225 lb-ft of torque) while working on his farm during my last summer break from college. The 5-speed manual made a lot of sense behind that engine, it made it more responsive and more fun to drive.
          My personal car at the time was my '96 Ford Thunderbird with a 4.6L V8 (205 HP / 280 lb-ft of torque) and 4-speed automatic. With a more powerful and higher-torque engine in a lighter vehicle, it was fun to just stand on the gas and let the fairly-responsive 4R70W do the rest.

      2.  Avatar

        Exactly, everyone has there own preferences

  2. Smee Avatar


  3. pursang Avatar

    Aye regarding the automatic. We can't expext the rulers of Bahrain to to work a proper stick shift, Can we?
    Great car, post it on saabnet.com for a better response.
    Craigslist is for garage sale queens.

  4. ptschett Avatar

    I expected the longitudinal engine FWD layout in the Renault since it was a cousin to what led up to to the Chrysler LH cars, but didn't realize Saab had longitudinal FWD too, complete with the flywheel end of the engine toward the front of the car for extra quirkiness. (Might make a fun and/or baffling Encyclopedia Hoonatica… vehicles with their engines in "backwards"…)
    I honestly would rather have that late-model Avenger, though. Preferably Pentastar-powered, since that engine is a hoot in that car.

    1. BlackIce_GTS Avatar

      Cord 810/812
      Lamborghini Countach and Diablo, depending on the phrasing of the question. The transmission is in the front. Probably Murcielagos do this as well.
      <img src="http://www.lambocars.com/images/diablo/diavt5.jpg&quot; width=500>

      1. ptschett Avatar

        I'm thinking "flywheel end of the engine is not toward the center of the vehicle" is a good definition for "backwards". Otherwise the RR-layout VW's and Porsches, and practically everything in the skid-steer loader and wheel loader markets would qualify.

        1. mdharrell Avatar

          As is so often the case, the answer is once again Sonett Super Sport:
          <img src="http://rustybolts.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/img_08071.jpg&quot; width="450">
          Although perhaps not immediately apparent from this photo, the radiator is at the front of the vehicle (unlike other contemporary SAABs) and the shift linkage runs alongside the engine from the transmission to the firewall.

  5. Rover_1 Avatar

    How hard/easy is it to convert to a manual?

    1. HSA❄ Avatar

      Depends on how the conversion to automatic has been made. I'd have said there's no such thing as an automatic 99. I've absolutely NEVER seen one even though there were 99s all around in their days.

      1. ptschett Avatar

        The one wiki to rule them all makes several references to the automatic, so I'm comfortable with assuming it was in fact built that way from the factory. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saab_99

        1. Rover_1 Avatar

          Something based on a Borg-Warner 35 stuffed into a transaxle?

      2. paulz67 Avatar

        Q :How many automatic transmissioned 99s were there? A: Too many. The only ones I've ever seen were in GLEs like this one (in both four and five-door flavors).
        To do a transmission swap, finding 99 manual trans bits (pedal assembly, correct gearbox/drivers, etc) is the trick nowadays. The vast majority of 99s were through the jaws of The Crusher by the late 80s and early 90s, after gearboxes blew up, water pumps seized, taking out the idler shafts that drove 'em, etc. Then… there's the R&R job (slightly easier than with a 900, IMO). Remove hood, radiator/support/front of car, drivers from gearbox, then lift the whole engine/trans combo out… separate motor from trans, re-unite, etc.). The pictures and diagrams in the factory shop manual are pretty cool, though. If I were going to go through this sort of pain again in my life, I'd stuff in a 16V 900 (a Turbo would be ideal, but a non-turbo 16v is pretty sprightly in that lightweight of a car).
        The B/W 35/37's essentially the same units as used in the 900, so I suppose one could do it after Frankensteining different axles/drivers/cups to fit the narrower front end of a 99.
        For what little it's worth, finding early Saab 9000 bits is rapidly becoming as tricky as finding 99 bits anymore.

  6. Batshitbox Avatar

    Some things:
    Worn motor mounts o a B-Motor 99 would let the engine tilt back and then the alternator(?) pulley would destroy the "Winter/Summer" lever that locked out the heater core. My sister's 99 had that problem. Not something that would make you remove the heater core, but a SAAB quirk.
    Some sources say all the GLE models were automatics, but my own 900GLE was a stick, so it was available. It's unclear what made mine a GLE, since it had no A/C and it had a clutch and it was a 900 and it was a 5 door. SAAB was quirky.
    Everything this guy lists should be understood as a typical year's maintenance on a 99.
    Those rims are for twits. Nothing but the 99EMS "soccerball" rims really pulls the hexagon in the grille together with the rest of the car.
    <img src="https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2126/2277959502_4d579206d5.jpg"&gt;

  7. Sjalabais Avatar

    A very similar 99, freshly shipped from the US to Norway and in outstanding shape, was being tried sold very close to me last year. Just that the seller asked for 20000$…wonder if he got it.

  8. zetep Avatar

    Extreme slow car with the automatic, I would avoid it anyway I could. If you really think you need a Saab in your life, at least get a manual for some driving fun. I owned a 900 with this transmission, amd were I always prefer a automatic, this is the one car I would rather have a stick. And RWD.

  9. Van_Sarockin Avatar

    Beautiful condition. But I agree with Zetep, that the automatic makes a dog out of a nice car. And, great point about the soccer ball wheels, even though those Minilite-similar rims are pretty nice. I thought that upholstery style only came on the EMS, but it looks fine here, if a little baggy. The mechanical issues raise a bit of a yellow flag, but aren't deal killers.

  10. Gwilson Avatar

    The BW35 transmission was widely used and apparently pretty reliable, but it was DEADLY dull to drive. The 1970 era Rover 3500S P6 had this trans and felt numb and dead compared to the less powerful 2000TC. They used them in Ramblers, too, if I'm not mistaken. The only more disappointing trans I ever had was in a 1963 Mercury, and that only had two speeds. I once spoke with someone who was a genuine BW35 expert who said that if you rebuilt or adjusted it to exact service manual specs they would always run lousy. He would deviate here and there and reputedly made the work pretty well. That was when auto trans rebuilding was an art and there were no computers involved.

  11. Gwilson Avatar

    Just the same, I think the Saab 99 is an iconic automobile, and not every car has to be a sports car.