What's better than one high mile hero from Saab? Two of them!
By Matt Bird / Sunday, March 14, 2021 / Loading comments
The word 'Turbo' doesn't have the cache it once did. It makes some people on the internet Very Cross Indeed. Where it used to represent the very pinnacle of performance, the downsizing push has seen everything get turbocharged, and those hallowed five letters found themselves attached to some very uninspiring cars. Heck, 'Turbo' is even on an electric car nowadays – it's a wonder that the world kept turning, really.
Once upon a time, having a turbocharged car was properly exciting, with the promise of both boosted performance and explosive delivery. It was a niche of fast cars ably tapped into by the Swedish car makers, Volvo and Saab making hay with forced induction for decades – and creating memorable performance cars in the process.
Having been an early adopter of the technology with the 99 Turbo, Saab's turbocharged crusade reached its zenith (for many, at least) with the first 900; more characterful than the GM-influenced car that replaced it and less lairy than the 99, the 900 Turbo has become a really collectible classic over recent years. And, yes, one that the clever ones picked up for Shed money not so long ago…
Alongside the turbocharged wallop, the durability of old Saabs has always aided their appeal; at a time when a lot of cars were quite shoddily assembled, so the solidity of a 900 was even more impressive. It also means that there are cars almost 30 years and more than 180,000 miles old that look as good this one, which is nice.
This isn't just any old 900 Turbo, either – it's a Ruby Edition. A UK special edition launched in 1993 – effectively the run-out model, in fact – the Ruby used the Carlsson's upgraded 188hp version of the 2.0-litre engine, though without that car's bodykit. All 150 came with the Ruby Red paint, colour coded bumpers and an interior trimmed in buffalo leather with Zegna pure wool inserts. Presumably that was all the early-90s rage.
Either way, it makes this particular 900 incredibly rare. Perhaps even more importantly, this looks a fantastic Ruby for one of the highest mileage cars on PH – it really has stood the test of time remarkably well indeed. The seats still seem pretty plump, the headlining hasn't sagged, the paint still gleams and the three-spoke wheels look better than ever. There aren't even any rust concerns on the MOT – it's a truly stunning 900 Turbo. As for the selling dealer, who's asking for £11,995, they seem well aware of Saab history and point to the dodgily spaced numberplate that's coming with the car but "really should be changed" – a good sign.
Finally, in a remarkable turn of events, this isn't the only 180,000-mile 900 Turbo currently on PH – like busses, these old Saabs. This black one is being sold privately, with the same higher powered Carlsson engine and a host of recently renewed parts. It's for sale at £14,000. Which, obviously, is more than would have been paid a few years ago; that said, for an authentic taste both Saab and the addictiveness of turbocharged power, it's hard to think of anything better than a 900. Take your pick…
- See the Ruby here
- See the black Turbo here
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