With Saab almost pushing up daisies - or whatever it is they push up in Sweden, it's prime time to grab a sweet Swede before they're all gone. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe 1997 900 has a claimed 400bhp, meaning that grabbing it will require fast hands, but will its price grab you?
Yesterday's roundel-vajazzled VW Thing, and the fact that we're deep into the Hanukkah candles, got me a-thinking about that movie musical, Yentl, in which Babs Streisand's character disguises herself as a man in order to enter the Yeshiva. Observant hilarity ensued. Yentl won the Academy Award for Best Original Score, but while a possessor of multiple Bug-in trophies, yesterday's Thing proved too expensive to have anyone sing its praises, and it went down in a stunning 96% Crack Pipe loss.
You know who else recently went down? Saab, that's who. Saab is dead, and dead is forever. Also, meat is murder, delicious murder. Saab, the Swedish car maker whose ignition switches are the automotive equivalent of a Where's Waldo? book, filed for bankruptcy this week, thus ensuring that every model built to date could be construed by their owners as ‘limited production.'
Offered up on VW Vortex, this droptop Swede seems a little out of place among all the shaved-hatch rabbits and stanced B6 passats. In fact, it takes a special kind of crazy to advertise a non Volkswagen on the VWVortex, as that's a pit of VW-dom so deep that to fall into it would mean popping out the opposite side in China where everyone drives VW Santanas.
Fortunately, by reading this car's description, you kind of get that its builder is a little nuts. That's necessary because the wack nature of this Opel-based Swede is not readily evident from the outside. Aside from a set of black-painted multi-spoke alloys and a discreet prancing moose decal, there's little evidence of what evils lurk just below its Scandinavian winter exterior.
A peek into the cabin - made all the easier by a top that retracts fully beneath a hard tonneau - reveals little indication of what awaits unsuspecting drivers either. The leather on both the sport seats looks to be in fine condition and the extra gauges added around the dash and pillar aren't too extroverted. However, what those gauges monitor certainly is.
The seller provides a long litany of upgrades that have gone into the 5,000-mile young rebuild of the B204 underhood. I'll let you digest that in the ad because I want to focus less on the means than the outcome, and that is represented in the dyno sheet the seller conveniently provides. On that simple piece of graph paper resides two curves - a tall one for torque, and a flatter, lumpier one representing horsepower, and at around 4K of engine spin, the first line peaks at 501.13, while shortly thereafter the second hits 403.29. That's 500 lb-ft of torque, and 400 horsepower. All funnelling through a
five four-speed transaxle and on to the Saab's front wheels. That blown out fifth gear appears to be the car's most glaring impairments. Still, 400 horses! 500 torques!
How does one say Yee-Haw!!!!!! in Swedish?
This car is like the Swedish Clark Kent, or a discreet mule whose payload isn't a stomach full of black tar heroin-filled balloons but explosive acceleration. Of course all that power with nowhere to go means that torque steer can lead to Saabs running into moose that aren't even close to the road - some in zoos, in fact. That can be countered with a Viggen Rescue Kit - a piece that seems conspicuous by its absence in the seller's parts list.
The seller does relate that the reason for the sale is due to his utter failure at birth control, resulting in the need for a more family friendly ride than a 400-pony topless Swede. I don't know if I concur with that assessment, but I do know that while you soon won't be able to - and shouldn't - buy a new Saab, you can still buy this one - for $6,200. But should you?
What do you think of this dyno-mighty Saab for $6,200, is that a price that makes this a Swede with whom you should intercede? Or, is that price a kronor boner?
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