Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Draken Is Sold: 1978 Saab 99 EMS

(Update Draken is sold.  Thanks for the interest!) It has been a great year with the Draken, I really can't say enough nice things about this car.  It has never left me stranded...well...there was a time that the key snapped off in the door, but that was my fault and not the electromechanical failures you'd expect from a 70's Saab -- instead it was a fun weekend/daily driver that got thumbs up and smiles everywhere I went.  Today, it is my pleasure to offer this 1978 Saab 99 EMS for sale here on the Daily Turismo for $2,900, SOLD SOLD SOLD!!! located in Redondo Beach, CA. Contact me at vince@dailyturismo.com if you have any interest.


You can read the story of the Draken at this link here (I had originally intended on writing more Draken stories, but life got ahead of me), but the TL;DR version is that I purchased this car a little over a year ago, drove it around, fixed a few things, and am now moving on to something different and wagony (more on that later).  Before we get too far into the details, you can checkout a bunch of hi-res photos of the spleen colored (technically it is the original Cardinal Red) Draken here on flickr.



Draken is a 1978 SAAB 99 EMS -- that last bit means Electronic Manual Special, which combines electronic fuel injection with manual transmission & steering to make something special.  This is the car that Stig Blomqvist first took to victory at the 1977 International Swedish Rally before 4-wheel-drive revolutionized WRC racing.  It might be the 99 Turbo that gets all the glory today, but the simple fuel injected EMS was the first to get Stig sprayed with moose milk on a WRC podium in '77.


What makes the Draken special, aside from the vintage customized California blue plate (that goes with the car BTW) is the stock Saab B-series 2.0 liter inline-4 mounted backwards (clutch is up front, accessories are near passenger firewall) in the front.  The engine is fed via a Bosch Jetronic fuel injection system and produces 110 horsepower and 119 ft-lbs of torque.  Mated to a 4-speed manual gearbox and with a curb weight of 2500 lbs, the Draken won't be king of the drag strip, but it has no problem keeping up with traffic and has a factory quoted top speed of 108 mph.  The engine is all stock except for a high flow muffler that is totally quiet at idle, but snorty when pushed.  Mechanically, the engine is strong, it starts right up when hot or cold and pulls nicely.  It passed smog 1 year ago and should pass smog without any problems today.


According to Archibald Vicar M. Dip writing for UK's Mass Motorist magazine in 1968, "That the 99 is comfortable, well-made, satisfying to drive and well-equipped ought to mean that other makers should take heed. The Bavarians at BMW and Alfa Romeo of Milan also offer small and agile saloons. I would contend here that Saab has the advantage of them, and should Saab choose to fit an even more powerful motor, the 99 could be a class leader in a short space of time."  You tell them Archibald, you tell 'em good!!  The Draken suspension is in decent order, and is free from strange clunks/rattles, etc -- same with the brakes.


The inside is in decent driver condition, it is far from perfect, a few seams splitting on the seats, dash has some rips in its surface, and some of the little plasticy bits have succumbed to the inevitability of decomposition.   The two spider windshield cracks/chips are located in a spot that you don't notice while driving, but Safelite gave me a quote for something like $250 for a new windshield a few months back, I just never followed through.


Most of the interior is stock/original with the exception of the steering wheel, which is a rare (from what I've been told) Saab sport wheel (from the Saab Sport and Rally Catalog) recovered with a basic lace-on leather cover.  It won't win best interior at the next Långholmsbadet Beach Concours d'Excellence and Ice Plunge, but the Lepai aftermarket stereo has FM/USB/SD-car/Aux input capabilities and pumps out something in excess of 20 watts of power into an assortment of speakers.  The air conditioning great when I first bought the car, but stopped blowing cold a few months later, your guess is as good as mine.


Draken is has had three owners since new, before my term at the helm it was owned by master Saab mechanic Walter Wong from Right Solution in Culver City, CA.  Walter owned Draken starting in 1999, when he purchased it from the original owner and his long time customer John Allen in Marina Del Rey -- the Draken plates came with the car when Walter acquired it and then stayed with it. Walter upgraded it as he used it for a daily driver, kid hauler, parts hauler and loaner car for his shop (hence the vestigial remains of a trailer hitch -- it comes with the car).  In June of 2014, I picked up the Draken for $3500 from Walter (which is right about where Hagerty puts a condition 4 car), so that is where the asking price comes from -- (I've said it before and I'll say it again, we (the editors/writers at DT) are not here to make a quick buck from our readers.)


As of now, the 99 has racked up 169k miles on the odometer but wears its original coat of Cardinal red colored paint (no quick respray here, just pure survivor patina!!) with the exception of the front driver's quarter which was repainted at the dealer before the original owner took possession of the car due to some sort of lot mishap.  If you were looking for a 99 EMS to restore, this would be a great candidate because you won't find an ounce of bondo or sketchy repairs on it.  Draken has also benefited from a close relationship with a master Saab mechanic who has swapped all manner of Saab 900 parts into it for easy servicing.  Upper and lower control arms, brake rotors, hubs, pads, master cylinder, axles, radiator core, and fan are all from the prolific Saab 900 and can be easily found at the local AutoKragOreillyBoys, or online.


Sharp eye'd readers might notice the mudflaps don't match in all the photos, that is because I added the twin airplane style flaps after I had taken the original series of pics, and that is what is on the car today. Also with the car comes a few buckets of old parts, trim pieces, interior bits, new door seals,-- an actual smörgåsbord of Saab 99 bits.  The Saab Inca alloy wheels have a few spots of curb rash but are otherwise straight and functional.  The tires are a mix of various brands and ages, but hold air and the car tracks straight. 


The Draken is not without its share of war wounds in the form of oxidized metal, the sunroof shows some surface rust, and you'll find a few spots of rust on the doors, and rear hatch (see pics) --but the bottom (and fenders/frame etc) is 100% free and clear from any rust thanks to a life in sunny Southern California.


See full set of photos here.  If you want to buy the Draken, send me an e-mail vince@dailyturismo.com and I will get back to you.


More background material:
Read this Hemmings article on the 99.
Saab 99 model year changes from Saabmuseum.
A collection of vintage Saab 99 brochures from Saab99.org.
A feel good video where a kid buys his mom a nice Saab 99 and she flips out.

21 comments:

  1. Vince, what is your day job? (General field of work is fine if you don't want to go into specifics).

    I am just wondering how you afford to live in Redondo Beach.

    On topic, I really like the Saab. The interior looks very nice, but I couldn't live with no A/C.

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    Replies
    1. I am a mechanical engineer, did some time in the vehicle (both commercial and passenger) industry, now working for an industrial engineering firm. Redondo isn't as expensive as you might expect given the fancy name, apartments are affordable (compared to most large cities) and homes are pricey, but doable if you have a working spouse. -Vince

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    2. Can I trade you a seat of SolidWorks for it?

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  2. whoever buys it, i will supply hi-rez versions of the below artwork so you can make decals, t-shirts, etc.

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/KYNUMzy.png[/img]

    ReplyDelete
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    1. original saab lion, for point of reference

      [img]http://www.designfollow.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/saab_lion_logo.jpeg[/img]

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  3. Me thinks you may be moving on to a LT-1 powered vehicle...just a guess.

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  4. Somebody buy the Draken so I don't get tempted to take it off of Vince's hands!

    I'm like a craigslist seller with a misguided strategy - making threats that have no consequence to people viewing the ads!

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    Replies
    1. Buy this car, or I am going to fix the AC and paint it with baby seal blood.

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  5. Cool under-dash amplifier, seriously! Never seen one like that.
    I wonder how many watts cuz it sure has some massive heat sinks!

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    Replies
    1. Sorry, got the information.
      I should have read the article before looking at the linked pictures.

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  6. I can't believe Draken hasn't been gobbled quickly by one of the many Sabbophiles out there - pretenders (we) all!

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  7. Bubba -- I am not kidding when I say I've had about a dozen serious interested parties. I've chatted for an hour or so with 6-8 of them and had 3 people tell me to save the car and consider it sold. But...and you know I like big buts...each person has sobered up after some time to think about it and backed out of the deal. So, the 99 EMS gets driven around town and I get to enjoy it for a few more months...good, right?

    Rene -- That is a boat style FM/USB stereo that pumps out something like negative sixteen watts...and looks good while doing it!

    -Vince

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  8. It's hard to imagine a better story about a Saab (derpy cliche avoided). Shame on "Saab enthusiasts" for not snapping this up. Shame! And pay Vince his original asking price too. Who am I to say? I'm the Saab enthusiast who schlepped a set of Inca wheels to Neptune for a 99/900 I don't even own yet!! And yes, I have 4 center caps. NOS. Brand new. No, I won't tell you what those cost, and, no, they are not for sale.

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  9. Not gonna lie, I want it. But, not gonna lie, I can't really have it. I don't have room to park all the cars I currently own. Out of 6 cars I have 3 different hiding spots. I'm paying beaucoup bucks to park one of them indoors (and a bike). I don't have time to drive all the ones I currently own. I bought one in July and excluding the 2 hour trip home, I have driven it exactly once. Twice if you count rolling it out of my storage unit into the parking lot so I could replace a window guide.

    Buying this and road tripping from California back to Ohio would be a ton of fun, but I don't know what I'd do with the thing when I got back. I think before I start buying more cars, I need to look into buying a warehouse.

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    Replies
    1. I too want it and would love the idea of road tripping it back to Ohio, but it would be a winter beater for me, and subjecting such a neat old survivor to the salty winter roads around here would be criminal.

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    2. it's too bad about the salt monster, these drive great in the snow

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    3. Man, I'd be all over this if I had a place to store it! Buddy's warehouse if filled for the winter. Drats!

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  10. Loved my old EMS, but I'm not sure whether I'm prepared to own another K-Jet car, or any post '75 potential-project-car, until the camera I mounted over my smog tech's bedroom pays off.

    If I took this on it'd have to be a trade for something in the fleet the wife doesn't drive...



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    Replies
    1. Dang, Mr. mrkwong, I always thought you were the famous Walter Wong...?

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  11. Thanks for the best blog.it was very useful for me. keep sharing such ideas in the future as well. this was actually what i was looking for,and i am glad to came here!

    ReplyDelete

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