In the 1930s, the Swedes unsuccessfully tried to acquire fighters for the needs of the defense forces from England, France and the United States. The country, which remained neutral, decided to establish an airplane factory, and in the footsteps of the first company, Svenska Aero AB, Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget, better known as SAAB, was also born. As a result of the First World War, the Germans had been forced to move their aircraft factories to other countries, such as Sweden. So were the German engineering skills also used at Saab.
The first passenger car of Saab, the Saab 92, began to be produced in 1949. The philosophy of aircraft design was utilized and thanks to the streamlined design, the car had a drag coefficient of 0.30, the same as, for example, the Ferrari F40 sports car a few decades later.
Saab initially had a two-stroke and liquid-cooled engine borrowed from the German DKW. Even when it had only 25 horsepower, the streamlined small family car reached a top speed of over one hundred kilometers.
Saab’s design, which proved to be successful both in road traffic and in rallies, was continued in 1955 with the introduction of the 93 and again in 1959 with the station wagon model. In 1960, the more advanced Saab 96 was introduced.
Saab was advanced for the 1960s with front-wheel drive, but equipped with old fashioned gears with the lever mounted in steering column and including three- and four-speed with free clutches. Saab was popular in the Nordic countries, the large wheel size and front-wheel drive made it an efficient forwarder even in challenging conditions. Rally success was achieved with a Saab 96 in Sweden by Stig Blomqvist and Erik Carlsson and in Finland by Simo Lampinen.
In the mid-1960s, the two-stroke engine started to feel old-fashioned and Saab was looking for new engine solutions. In 1965, the Saab 96 underwent a complete facelift, which also made room for a larger engine. A couple of years later, Saab got Ford’s V4 engine and advanced front disc brakes. From the turn of the 1960s to the turn of the 1970s, the car was also manufactured in Finland at the Uusikaupunki car factory, and the car underwent constant improvements and modern features and equipment.
This ‘1973 Saab 96 was sold as new to Professor Leo Aario in Tapiola on February 28, 1973. Even the original Scan car purchase receipt have been preserved, the car cost FIM 17,888 and 65 pennies with accessories. Additional equipment included, among other things, inner fenders and a locking fuel tank cap. The car was ordered in period colors with dark green fabric / leatherette upholstery and with Brilliant Gul yellow exterior color that was available only in 1973.
Due to the aging of the owner, the car was driven very little and was mostly parked in the garage. The owner passed away and in 2009 the car was bought from the first owner family by a Saab enthusiast from Vaasa. The current owner, K. Eloranta, bought the car in 2017, when the car had only been driven 28,000 kilometers since new!
From 1973 until today, Saab has been preserved in completely original condition. During the current owner’s time, the car has been serviced, its ignition parts, fuel lines and fuel tank have been renewed and small parking dents on the body have been repaired. The car’s paint and upholstery are original and in excellent condition.
All of the Saab’s equipment works and its engine and transmission work perfectly. The car really feels like a special time capsule.
Saab was inspected in June 2023. Next inspection 06/2025.
The car is located in Vantaa, 25 minutes from Helsinki–Vantaa Airport.
Views by appointment only.
Worldwide shipping with generous rates.