Thursday, November 12, 2015

DeathTrap: 1994 Saab 9000 Turbo Aero

This next feature comes with enough self deprecating humor from the seller that there isn't much I can starts with a post title of  The Fastest, Most Dangerous Car You Can Buy on CL For Less Than $1000 and continues with the opening statement: Is life boring? Is your Corolla too safe? Is a life insurance payout favorable? Do you have a dream of torque steering into a tree? If so, this car should be in your driveway.  Here's your next ride- Find this 1994 Saab 9000 Turbo Aero offered for $800 in West Warwick, RI via craigslist.  Tip from Art.

This car is dangerous before you get inside -- first you have to navigate a gauntlet of tetanus covered rust spots.  Once inside you are now surrounded by heavily oxidized crush zones, but that is nothing compared to the description of the rear frame near the passenger side tire, in the seller's words: The strut is longer connected. You won't lose the tire (it's a solid rear beam axle), but the fact that I had to specify that should scare you.

Powering this rolling deathtrap is a Saab B234 inline-4 that has been turbocharged and intercooled to produce 225 horsepower when stock, but this one has been modified to produce more power with a bigger turbo and a "Stage 3 Mike D Trionic 5 ECU tune."  Expect more power and more LOLS.

See another car where the seller concludes with : If you show up with your children and put them in this car, I will NOT sell it to you. What part about, "ROLLING DEATHTRAP" didn't you understand?


  1. When in one piece, these are fantastic cars. Same platform as the Alfa 164 and Lancia Thema. Saab made the chassis with a lot of reinforcements, so where the Italian cars probably weigh a little less, they're also much more likely to crush you if you roll it down a hill into a forest. The Saab turbo engine probably has a lot more (easily tapped) power potential than any other engine fitted to that chassis. They handle extra boost with aplomb. I've heard of them tripling horsepower with stock internals.

    If I love the honesty about this thing. If I lived anywhere nearby, I'd buy it and make it a lemons car. I'd keep a copy of the ad and breeze through inspection.

    1. I don't know if that is true. Google lists the 9000's weight as 3,250. Since I'm home today, I went and looked in the 1991 164L brochure I picked up in the showroom when I bought my 164. It lists the weight of the L as 3,325. The S weighed a bit more than the L or Base and the 24v cars weighed even more. I'd take the Busso V-6 over the Saab motor any day.

    2. I don't think you realize what you just said. I LOVE the 164 and alfas in general, but that Saab motor...That b234R is such a great motor that you'll take that statement back once you feel the boost come on. And the other guy is correct: these motors make stupid power on stock internals. Just a tune yields 45 reliable HP.

      Souce: I own one and it's successor the b235R which isn't as much of a boost slut.

    3. Sorry, but you are wrong about that. I realize full well what I said and *I* will take the Alfa motor over the saab motor any day. Sorry if I called your baby ugly, but I prefer NA over turbo. I don't dispute the other guy's assertions about tuning the saab motor if you are into such things, but I do dispute the assertion that the saab engineers added more reinforcements to the typo 4 platform. I'd like to see a reference that backs it up.

  2. Two bonuses: One, RI is a non title state. Two, at this age you can slap an antique plate on it and no more inspections! The danger can just keep ratcheting up forever.

  3. Why spend so much time and money acid-dipping a car to reduce the weight? Not only does rust cause speed holes which everyone knows makes cars faster because science, but it's also the cheapest form of weight reduction around. So the more you drive it in the winter, the faster it gets! Win Win!

  4. You're at least money neutral on the stage 3 tune versus starting fresh with a stage 0...

  5. Oh wait. 1994. 4 more years until inspection free.

  6. Who knew this guy was tuning Saabs *and* being a Beastie Boy? Looks like he's got the wrong emblem on his chain.


    Also, in the air-cooled VW world, this would be patina-yo, and you'd clear coat it.

  7. Oh, painful. But yeah, at this point that thing's parts for the right buyer, and nothing more.


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