Monday, April 22, 2013

5k: Grey Ghost: 1987 SAAB 900 Turbo, Carlsson Body Kit, Minty Clean

The SAAB 900 was built from 1978 to 1998, but real 900-philes love the first generation 900 classic that was produced from 1978-1993 and tend to shun the GM Opel Vectra chassis based turd.  Minty clean 900s are increasingly difficult to find as most have been driven into the ground by their original owners or sold to folks who couldn't understand why basic maintenance at a SAAB specialist costs more than the purchase price.  Find this 1987 SAAB 900 turbo with a Carlsson appearance body kit for sale via the website.  Tip from IgnatiusReilly, we hope his valve is feeling better.

The SAAB 900 Turbo is one of the few front-wheel-drive cars we'd recommend to a driving enthusiasts.  It won't drive like a Jet, no matter what the advertising material says, but they are sharp looking classics with an evil side that makes you want to drive them fast.  The 900 shares front drive setup with the original Mini  Cord 810 and Citroen Traction-Avant, the engine is mounted 'backwards' and puts power out the front end, but with the SAAB the power goes down into a transaxle mounted under it.

This 900 turbo is powered by the B201, a 2.0 liter single overhead cam 8-valve inline-4 equipped with a Garrett T3 turbocharger and intercooler.  It was good for 155 horsepower and 173 ft-lbs of torque, which doesn't sound like much, but feels mean when the boost comes on - and is rumored to be able to run with some serious machines at take-off speeds back in the day.

The inside of this 900 turbo looks in decent shape given the 99k miles on the odometer.  The leather looks surprisingly good for its age.

This 900 looks great with its vintage 3-spoke alloy wheels and the Carlsson body kit.  We aren't normally fans of body kits, but this particular aerodynamic treatment was original equipment on a few special edition SAAB 900s in the early 90s, and we think it fits well on this car.

See a better car born from jets? email us here:


  1. ~ i never get tired of telling about meeting a couple buddies for margaritas one evening when one said he had been completely humiliated in 40 to 100mph acceleration contest by a SAAB turbo ... in his 6.6liter Trans Am. several hundred yards-humiliated!

  2. theres something weirdly appealing to me on that almost grotesque 911-ish rear end:)

  3. Engine access is phenomenal making it an easy car to work on. Even clutch changes are easy. Unfortunately it always seemed to need some work, never anything major but its always something.

  4. Wow, looks like a great deal for a clean car. An SPG with the 16V head would be more rewarding, but this one's pretty close and the body kit looks fairly clean. The lag is reportedly worse on these 8V cars, but I haven't driven one.

    I'm guessing the car's on Staten Island.

  5. That is actually a 16-valve engine as the first turbo engine made by Saab was the 1985 900 Turbo and every single turbo engine since then is 16-valve. Regardless the car is beautiful and I would buy it in a heartbeat!

  6. Carlsson was make in UK only 1990-92. This is a very nice aero model


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