Junkyard Gem: 1989 Saab 900 Turbo Convertible

I are living in Colorado, the place Saabs have been beloved deeply by residents likely way again to the 96 (and I am guaranteed a few 92s have been offered listed here in the 1950s, even though I have not discovered any in community auto graveyards … nonetheless). By much the easiest pre-GM Trollhättanites to find in Centennial State wrecking yards these days are the 1978-1993 900s, and I stroll by a fifty percent-dozen for every 1 that I doc as a Junkyard Gem. We admired a gloriously brown 900 Turbo two-door a couple of months back again, but modern 900 Turbo is an really uncommon cabriolet edition, the 1st I’ve located in a boneyard in at the very least 15 a long time.

The convertible 900 was available only as a turbocharged variation in the United States when it was introduced for the 1986 product 12 months, and that ongoing by means of 1991. Following that, a normally-aspirated 900 convertible could be bought listed here.

When in pretty awesome problem, these vehicles can convey tidy sums. A tremendous-reduced-mile ’87 900 Turbo convertible just sold for $145,000 a short while ago, in simple fact.

This motor vehicle has extra than 843 periods as numerous miles on the odometer as that automobile, even so, and it reveals each 1 of them.

It is not terribly rusty, thinking of, but the sheet metal demonstrates quite a few fight scars, and the inside is about what you would anticipate with 33-year-old leather-based.

Very last year’s movie adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s brief story, “Generate My Vehicle,” put the Saab 900 Turbo back again into mainstream cultural awareness. However, that auto is a two-doorway sedan the ideal-identified Saab 900 Turbo Convertible in cinema heritage is the one particular pushed by Iben Hjelje’s character in the film adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel, “Superior Fidelity.”

These autos had been rather brief for their time, with 160 horsepower from this DOHC 2.-liter straight-4 in 1989. Getting seen much more than my share of 900 Turbos going up versus identical-period BMW E30s and Acura Integras on street courses, I would set my revenue on the Saab in a wheel-to-wheel race (that is, in a race shorter enough to hold the Swede’s anxious engine alive).

Though a 3-pace automated was accessible on this vehicle, the sort of Americans odd adequate to get Saabs in 1989 also tended to be the kind that required guide transmissions. In reality, I are not able to recall ever seeing a (non-Opel-based mostly) 900 with a slushbox.

Certainly, Opel! Setting up in the 1994 model year, the 900 title went on a auto primarily based on the Opel Vectra platform. Later on, the Saab 9-5 and Saturn L-Series lived on the very same chassis.

Supplied all the luxury characteristics and authentic performance, this vehicle was a very superior price for the value in 1989. The MSRP was $32,095, which will come to about $78,495 in 2022 bucks. A BMW 325i convertible value $33,850 ($82,785 now) and experienced 8 more horsepower from its straight-6 engine, but it weighed close to 100 kilos a lot more than the Saab. The Alfa Romeo Spider Graduate had a $16,700 rate tag ($40,840 today) but had just 115 horses.

If you did not insist on a European convertible in 1989, you had extra very affordable alternatives. A new Toyota Celica GT ragtop shown at $18,318 ($44,800 nowadays), although a Chevrolet IROC-Z Camaro convertible price tag $18,495 ($45,230) and experienced extra energy than the Saab. Though you were wanting at that Camaro, you may have viewed as the Cavalier Z24 convertible, which charge $16,615 ($40,635) but experienced just 125 horsepower. The 1989 Corvette convertible price much more than the Saab ($36,785, or $89,965 now), but not so substantially extra that its mighty 245-horse V8 would not have appeared tempting. Or how about a new Chrysler LeBaron convertible, at $14,795 ($36,185) and boasting 174 turbocharged ponies?

Ditch that hooptified previous Volvo and horrible Swedish climate for a Saab 900 Convertible … just by snapping your fingers!

Wise still crazy spirited.