Before General Motors got their hooks into Saab and drove it straight into an iceberg, the Swedish auto manufacturer was an unlikely and awesome success story in the industry. An airplane manufacturer that decided to build cars, the whole enterprise was operated differently than any other company. The engineers ran the show and that meant that ideas led and not design, marketing, or accounting. The little two-stroke machines of the company’s early days eventually morphed into cars like the 99 which really got the ball rolling.
When Saab added turbocharging in the late 1970s, the whole outlook of the company changed. Making little engines work well or maybe even work better than larger engines was the initial goal but the side effect was a little car that hauled ass.
From the 99 came the Saab 900 and that’s the car we all remember from the 1980s. It was a mild update on the 99 but boy of boy did it stick and did they sell.
This is a fun video on a car that had more of an impact than I truly knew. As a kid I remembered seeing Saabs on the road and just staring at them because they were so different. Little did I know I was looking into the future.