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· Super Greek Mod
3,434 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1995 900 SE Turbo "SNABB"

Stock engine
Exhaust: SAAB Sport 2.5" cat back
Suspension: polyurethane bushings, Koni Sport adjustable shocks, Vogtland springs, GS steering rack brace kit, GS rear sway bar.
Wheels: Rial Milano Titanium Gun Metal, 16"
Tires: 205/50-16 General UHP Exclaim Z rated

64k miles

Continental cruiser: Alaska to Alabama in comfort, speed and style!


· Registered
29 Posts
the red 3 doors hit my soft spot

· Registered
1,220 Posts
Wow, thank you!!

I feel humbled that my SAAB was chosen, and humbled that mine is the first of the more modern SAAB, first NG900 too. On a site that is heavily geared towards tuned SAABs I am again humbled that my lightly modded 900 was chosen. Thank you!

Here is the obligatory interview sent by Christos:

How long have you owned this car?
-I bought it in May 2010, so about a year and a half.

Is there anything unique about the history of this car?
- The car was bought in Seattle and trucked to Fairbanks, Alaska by the first owner, an older gentleman who owned the SAAB and a full size truck. He used the truck whenever he went out of town and through most of the winter, and the SAAB in town during the summer. Because of that the car gathered very little mileage or wear and tear in its first 10 years. The old man passed away sometime in the middle of the last decade, and the car was in storage for almost five years while the family got the estate settled. When I bought it the SAAB was almost 16 years old with only 32,000 miles. I found one of the previous owner's cassette tape with some old jazz, and that tape resides now in the glovebox, a small reminder of its first owner.

Why did you choose this car to purchase?
- In 2010 I needed a new daily driver, and I wanted a car with no monthly payment. I had a budget of $7000 for a car, and started going through all resources looking for my next road mate. I saw the SAAB on Craigslist, advertised for $3500 with 32,000 miles. I called the seller (the previous owner's son) and asked him if it was a typo, I thought he meant 132,000 miles. He replied no, the car is near mint, but that's what it's worth. I was in his home very soon and liked the car a lot. I remember an old girlfriend of mine whose father had a 1986 900 Turbo that he bought after college. His car was red with a black interior, was very fast, and I lusted after his car. This one reminded me a lot of his car. The price was right, so I bought it the same week.

What other cars did you consider?
- I was living in Alaska at the time so I was mainly considering all wheel drive cars, my main search was for Subaru Forester and Outback, also tried an Audi Allroad with too many miles. I also test drove a 96 Miata with a hardtop. I almost bought the Miata, but then I thought about driving a rear wheel drive car with no traction control or ABS on the ice during Alaska's winter… If I had been living out of Alaska I might have bought the Miata and wouldn't be a SAAB driver now.

What was your objective with this car?
- My main objective was to have it as a daily driver.

What tuning style would you describe this car as?
- Enhanced daily driver. I rarely own a car that stays stock, I like to work on them, whether it's maintaining it, fixing it, or modifying it. So it was with this car.

Who helped you build this car?
- I do most of the work myself, but I have had help from some buddies from work when I installed the springs and shocks. The only time this car has been to a professional mechanic was when I was on the road between Alaska and Alabama and had the oil changed at Dana SAAB in Billings, Montana. My main help, however, is my wife. Although she doesn't really help turning wrenches, she is very understanding when I spend a whole day in the garage.

What makes your car special?
- Mainly the overall condition for a mid 90s SAAB. I have had many people comment positively on the car, and have had SAAB mechanics impressed when they look at my clean engine bay. The car also won second place on a very small car show, which really surprised me.

What is your favorite part/feature/function?
- I love the rush of the turbo, makes the engine feel much bigger when I press on the gas, and yet makes the car very economical on the road out of boost. I love the SID and Black Panel and use both very often.

Who or what inspired the direction of modifications on this car?
- There is not a person who inspired me alone, but just looking at many awesome SAABs here on TSL inspired me.

What don't you like about this car?
- The lack of basic parts at a neighborhood parts store. In the past I have owned cars that had very easy parts availability, from a '77 Mercedes 300D, to a '71 Ford Courier, '98 Wrangler, or '08 Forester. No problem getting parts for none of these, even the old Jalopies. But for the SAAB I have to order everything short of engine oil filters, and wiper blades.

What was your biggest obstacle in building this car?
- Dealing with using it as a daily driver and modifying it at the same time. After I bought the SAAB we sold our second car, a '98 Jeep Wrangler, because my wife rarely drove it, and because it was too damn expensive. So the SAAB is the only car in our home, and needs to be ready to go any day.

How did you overcome the issue?
- I avoid tackling jobs that will require the car to be down overnight. When I lowered the suspension I did the front end one day, drove the SAAB home with stock springs in the rear, and then did the rear the next day. I did the same thing when I put new rotors and pads, front on first day, rear on the second.

What would you change if you could?
- Parts availability.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with the outcome of this project?
- It will never be a ten. There's always stuff to do! Right now the car really needs a good buff and wax, the trip from Alaska to Alabama, and the numerous automatic car washes along the way have left the car lacking some shine. I'd say a 7 or 8 right now.

What would you do to the car if money were no object?
- Sell it and buy a Porsche 911 GT3, a Koenigsegg Agera, and a mint condition E30 M3. For a daily driver I'd buy about five of the new 9-5 Aero. With five of them laying around, parts availability and lack warranty won't be an issue.

Who has been your biggest critic of this project?
- My wife, every time I tell her I need more money for the car.

What do your family and friends say about this car?
- My wife loves the car for the comfort on the road, trunk space, and the fuel mileage. My friends call me the SAAB guy. My boss says I am the only guy he knows who is weird enough to buy a SAAB.

What is your most memorable/humorous/embarrassing moment with this car?
- Two memorable moments: First, when I went autocrossing with it in Anchorage, AK. It was my first time dodging cones in 11 years and I had a blast. I also got first in class. Second, driving the SAAB in Alaska and the Yukon. Couldn't have asked for a better car for a road trip, and thank god the ALCAN was paved!!

Has this car competed in any events? Results?
- It has competed in two events as explained above: the Memoral Day Car Show in Fort Wainwright, Alaska (second place), and the Alaska PCA Bartlett High School Autocross, in Anchorage, Alaska (28 out of 40 overall, first in class).

What is your favorite place to drive this car?
- Back in Fairbanks there was this one road called Chena Pump Road, it is maybe a 5 or 6-mile long loop, but it it's plenty windy with elevation changes, and lots of curves that need to be taken in second and third gear. At a few spots you have a full view of the city, which was especially beautiful during the sunrise. I used to hit that road as often as I could. Summer or winter, even with snow and ice all over.

What is your ideal day with this car?
- 200 miles of scenic, windy asphalt, with a nice burger joint at the halfway point. Make it a road with lots of places to pull over and take pictures, and you have a winner.

Who gets to drive this car?
- Me, myself, and I. My wife doesn't drive stick.

If you had to name your car, what would you name it?
- Snabb. It means fast in Swedish.

What was your previous project?
- The '98 Jeep Wrangler Sahara. I bought it stock with 100k miles, and went to town: 12k Tabor winch, 4.5" suspension lift with adjustable control arms, 1.5" body lift, 33" Wrangler Duratrac snow/mud tires, Aussie locker in the front axle, Dana 44 with an LSD in the rear, CV rear axle, CB radio, tree limb lifters, bikini top, soft doors, etc. It was my off road rig, got 10 mpg in the winter but it was a blast to drive. It pulled an F250 and a Power Wagon out of the mud, it charged through waist deep snow and mud, and went everywhere I asked it to. If I got it stuck the winch line came out. The Wrangler was expensive (JEEP = Just Empty Every Pocket), but it was a blast. I miss it.

What is your next project?
- Don't know yet. Right now my wife is pregnant so I bet my automotive spending will diminish for the near future. What I would like is to keep the SAAB as a daily driver, and buy an older car to restore. Make it a C900, two stroke 96, 95, Sonett, or a Porsche 924, 944, 914 or 912.

What one word best describes your car?
- Mine.

Anything else you'd like to share?
- One of the best features of the SAAB is the owner network. As a SAAB owner I learned about sites like TSL, SC, SU, SaabWorld, FOOR, Platonoff's, and many, many others. There is a wealth of knowledge, camaraderie and competition too (TSL vs SC). I have truly enjoyed owning this car, and the owner network has just made it all better. With few SAAB drivers where I have lived since buying it, being able to share my car here has been great.

· Registered
1,220 Posts
Here are a few pics of Snabb:

100% stock shape, a little after I bought it:

In winter mode, wearing steelies with Gislaved NordFrost tires:

That engine bay:

PCA Autocross in Anchorage. I was wearing my old Michelin Pilots on the stock wheels. The car got plenty of compliments from some of the Porsche Club old farts in Alaska:

Memorial Day Car Show. I spent three hours cleaning and detailing the car, and it paid off:

On the road going south to Alabama, somewhere in the Yukon, Canada:

Some beauty shots

Just for giggles, here's the old Jeep, nicknamed Stimpy, because my nickname is Ren:

Again, thank you!!
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