Attention, Saab owners. It doesn't get much more minty than this. This is a 1990 Saab 900 SPG that's so pristine, it used to be in a museum. And, to answer Patrick's Question of the Weekend from yesterday, it's the greatest hatchback of all time.
Well, when I say museum, I mean it was part of a collection of museum-quality cars known as the GM Heritage Collection. Back when Saab was part of the giant General, they had a bunch of Classic 900s restored and inducted into the group with Corvettes, Eldorados, GTOs and other American greats. The Saab Car Museum in Sweden bought up several of these gems, but the rest have been floating around the auction circuit for a couple of years. Now this SPG is at a Lotus dealership in New Jersey.
If you need a refresher as to what makes the SPG more special than the usual old Saab 900 Turbo, just look in the name. SPG, or Special Performance Group, was offered between 1985 and 1991 as an icing package that included those trademark 3-spoke alloy wheels, less badging on the back and the trademark 2.0-liter turbo engine boosted a bit more than the standard car to 175 mated exclusively to a manual transmission. This particular Talladega Red 900 SPG only has 54,000 miles on it and is said to have been owned by a former president of Saab's US branch before it went to live with GM.
When I see any European car around this age for sale these days, it's often attached with the phrase "great first car," and I kind of want to slap the seller's face when I read that. It's a great first car for a driver who knows about old European cars and actually likes to drive them. It's not for the new driver who can't park and tends to crash into flat walls. There are loads of cheap Nissan Sentras out there, and even they usually have front and side airbags now. Buy that instead, leave the 850s, 328is, 900s, A4s alone.
This one likely won't suffer the same fate. In fact, even a Saabist such as myself won't be in the running for this the way the current bidding is going. With about 5 days left on the auction, bidding was approaching $23,000. In 1990, with no miles, this would've cost around 30 grand. So there's no telling how much this awesome hatch will go, but if it can't be in my garage, I hope it's ends up in someone's temperature-controlled one.