Saturday, June 27, 2015

5k: Green Beans: 1971 Saab 96 V4

Cruising around in a driver condition Saab 96 isn't going to get you a spot in the Pebble Beach Concours D'Elegance, or even a front row valet parking spot at your local Sizzler -- but with the money you save (compared to other classics) you'll be able to afford a few hundred to your local Golden Corral buffet.  And if that isn't money in your pocket, I don't know what is!  Find this 1971 Saab 96 V4 offered for $4,500 in Bristol, VT via craigslist.

The Saab 96 was a teardrop shaped front driver that can trace its roots all the way back to the original UrSaab.  It had an impressive 20 year lifespan -- starting in 1960 and eventually being phased out in 1980 -- with restyling only for safety regulations. 

The true Saab enthusiast would find a 2-stroke SAAB, but the Ford Taunus sourced compact V4 engine is the better choice for all around driving (that is correct, a four cylinder vee setup similar to oddballs like Lancia's Fulvia or the 2014 Porsche 919 LeMans Hybrid Prototype racer). The 1.7 liter V4 is good for 65 horsepower and a top speed of about 90mph.

Don't expect much in terms of comfort and luxury in the 96, but a column shifted manual 4-speed gearbox with freewheeling clutch makes for an entertaining, albeit slow, drive.

See a cooler set of classic wheels?

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