The Saab 900 SPG was a car I lusted for during my high school years. Saab is a polarizing brand. For years it lived on the fringes of the american consumer’s option list. For a die-hard few, Saab represented the ultimate in understated, somewhat quirky, but wholly solid Scandinavian design. Saab was one of the first to integrate Turbo into their mainstream lineup – mixing 4 cylinder engines with powerful turbo injectors gave the car modest pep.
I bought myself a Saab back in 2000 or 2001. It was the last year they made the 9-3 – Saab’s iconic 3 door (two doors and a big-ass hatch) sedan. It was a 4 speed automatic. It was silver with carbon grey interior leather, a sunroof and other amenities. It also had a turbo. And while not the fastest car by any means, I totally enjoyed the Saab turbo lag to the 10th power. I enjoyed the pronounced whirling noise that crept up from the engine as the turbo gauge went into the red zone. It was a quirky yet utilitarian ride
Alas – Saab discontinued the hatchbacks that helped them carve out a niche. The hatch space was so Gi-normous I could fit most of my windsurfing gear, a bazooka sub-woofer and tons of other stuff w/out every dirtying up the inside compartment. When purchased by GM, their designs were homogenized into a global automotive sourcing apparatus. Subarus and Opels were rebadged as Saabs and sold in the U.S.
Good bye Saab. I enjoyed you for many years and it was nice to have known you.