Friday, October 9, 2015

2-For-1: 1978 SAAB 99 Turbo

The Saab 99 was released in 1968, some 20 years after the release of Saab's first production automobile, the 92.  Oddly enough, one of the original contributors to the design of the 92 was a Swedish born designer named Sixten Sason, who lead the design of the Saab 99 but did not live to see its release.  A decade later the nuts at Saab decided to release a turbocharged version and the rest is history.  Find this 1978 SAAB 99 Turbo offered for $1200 (with a spare parts car) near Tacoma, WA via craigslist. Tip from Zach. 

The Saab 99 Turbo wasn't the first turbocharged passenger vehicle to be released to the public, that was the '62 Olds Jetfire, but it looked and drove like a regular passenger car and didn't require a special anti-detonation methyl alcohol injection system.  However, when you hit the pedal on the right, there was a short delay and then the push of a small Garrett T04 turbocharger rocketed the car forward like few other cars in 1978.

The secret to the 99 Turbo's success was the basic Saab B-series inline-4 with reduced compression and a turbocharger that boosted power to 145 horsepower.  Top speed was now up to a ho-hum 122 miles per hour, but the 30-50mph passing acceleration was phenomenal.  This 99 Turbo has a few issues, but it comes with a parts car and the asking price is reasonable.

 See another cheap 99 Turbo for sale?


  1. I dunno if I should be happy or sad this is on the opposite corner of the country. I want it, but I really shouldn't.

    1. One of my top 5 automotive regrets was not buying a metallic mint green 99 turbo driver out in Santa Barbara last year for $1k. Forget the ramp truck, use the runner to flat tow the non runner. What could possibly go wrong?

  2. Did the Draken ever sell?

    1. No, dozens of calls, lots of anxious people telling me to save it for them, but not one single person showed up to look at it. Do you want it? Special discount for DT regulars!!!

    2. I would have seriously considered it if I didn't live quite some distance away from Southern California...and if it had working A/C.

      I hope it sells, I know how frustrating it can be when people call but never show.
      Have you put it on ebay? I know I happen to check ebay motors more frequently than craigslist or other sites.

  3. It has the wheels! I would love to have one of these as a long term restoration project. West coast might as well be the moon from where I'm at.


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