Whenever I see a Saab 900 convertible, I assume the driver has stepped right out of the yuppified 1980s: pastel sweater draped over his shoulders with its arms tied around his neck, and enormous plastic-rimmed glasses perched on his nose.
But this one is from 1992, or maybe 1993, after that brand of yuppification had passed onto the scrap heap of fashion history. (Thank goodness.) This Saab is painted eucalyptus green, and those were the only two years you could get a 900 so tinted.
This one’s just how we like ‘em here at Curbside Classic: original and driven. What sins are those seat covers hiding?
The moment the owner discovered this must have been filled with swearing. How the heck does paint get damaged in this way on a hood’s leading edge?
There’s even a little native tin worm evident here. But this is Indiana, after all: I don’t call it Rustopia for nothing. And look, there’s my cameo appearance in this post.
But it was August when I shot this, and wet, salted roads were the furthest thing from this Saab’s mind, if it had one. I found it parked infield at the Indiana State Fair. I admired the owner’s guts for leaving it top down.
A story of life with a Saab 900 convertible: COAL: Classic Saab 900 Convertible – Insult and Injury
Another 1992 900, with a fixed top: CC Capsule: 1992 Saab 900S – Among the Last Real Saabs
Saab: We build jets…and this.
I always think of those ads when I see a Saab of this vintage. And Seinfeld.
I loved when on Top Gear James May was asked about the jet connection.
“Does any of this remind you of a fighter jet?” No.
My convertible top (non Saab) always goes down in May and not up again until Oct. Too much work to put it back up and zip the rear window. You just can’t leave anything worth stealing inside. Never had any problems.
Is your convertible an 83 LeBaron, then?
If it’s not a SAAB.
Call it intitution..if you will.
That was incredible! Try me!
LOL..My Spies can’t be everywhere!!!!!!
Right now..We’re trying to figure out what Vlad Putin did..during the week he disappeared!!!!!
But i think your car is from a Japanese Manufacturer…although it may have been built in the USA and is a top seller.
Am I close ?? 😉
I’ve always loved this color Saab. This is definitely one of those cars I’d consider picking up as a second “fun car” for the summer, had I the space and a little extra pocket change.
My convertible top is down out in the parking lot right now. And I never lock it – why?
I once had a dreadfully intense love affair with the Saab Turbo, about 1985. I got over it, and have never really looked back.
I admired the owner’s guts for leaving it top down.
-top mechanism is broken, parts not available.
-owner is tired of chasing down parts and hopes car is stolen
-owner discovered what the insurance would pay is more than what he could sell it for, so hopes car is stolen.
-the car is stolen and the guy that drove it there doesn’t care.
-the 20 some year old top is pretty much the same up or down.
( I did my own top, not so bad as long as you have lots of time and patience)
variation on your theme:
Top is valuable; interior contents have no value
I can sympathize with many of the reasons for leaving a top down. Lots of sense made. However, two words in opposition: bird poop.
There is actually a 900 turbo convertible of similar vintage that lives in my neighborhood, just a block or two away. Similarly nice condition. While the vast majority of 900’s have gone away at this point, the convertibles are still around in small numbers–perhaps they’ve generally led easier lives. They’ve never been my cup of tea but I can see the attraction.
What I did see a couple days ago that surprised me greatly was a 99. If it’s still parked in the same spot, that one deserves some photos.
Surprisingly I’ve only had to deal with bird poop once in the 12 years I’ve owned my convertible.
I do avoid one tree by my house, as whatever roosts in it has a diet that includes some sort of purple berries. That’s not fun to clean off a white top!
The paint is damaged from someone not taking into account the fact that the hood pops forward when opened! I have seen this exact damage done at a car dealer…chain link fence 1, saab 0!
Probably hoping someone will steal it and hit a tree.
I just ran a Carfax on this Saab using the Indiana tag number. It isn’t a ’92 or ’93 – rather, it is a 1991 and it is indeed a Turbo. I could also tell it is a ’91 because of the gauge font in the instrument cluster, and the grille – in ’92 and ’93, there was a small “Turbo” script on the upper right corner of the grille, which ’91s did not have. (May want to correct title)
But yes, it is a genuine, real Turbo ragtop. Good find.
What in the world is so odd/risky about leaving a convertible top down in a parking lot, especially in the Midwest? I’ve owned a couple convertibles and I never once gave that a second thought, but once in a while people would make comments like yours. Granted, none were expensive cars, but I also didn’t have much money at the time so it’s not like I wanted them to be stolen and I never left any valuables inside them. People who actually have the knowledge to steal cars will take whatever they want – figuring out how to start and drive a modern car without a key is probably far more complex than getting inside the darn thing.
I would sometimes put the top up in bad parts of the city to prevent random acts of vandalism like slashing the leather seats (because yes, that’s a thing that actually happens), but who’s to say that with the top up the same person won’t slash the canvas roof? Paranoia only goes so far until it becomes, well, paranoia.
I eventually decided that owning convertibles altogether was more hassle than it was fun, especially in a climate where it is garaged 5 months of the year. I think that’s why they hardly even offer new ones anymore, after a brief resurgence in the ’80s-’90s.
It was never safe to leave a convertible parked top down in Brooklyn, NY. Some miscreant would always intentionally flick a lit cigarette or cigar butt in it, just for kicks.Especially true if you had a yuppiemobile like a Saab on BMW.
I really really like the looks of this car but the lobotomy removed the obsessive compulsive need to buy one. That and the saab that I did buy. I’m sure there are some good ones out there but that isn’t what I bought.
I think these Saabs are like VWs – great to look at and maybe sit in, but you don’t want to own one because of the repair bills. The paint colour is really nice though.
I always liked these, just for being different. Who else has a backwards mounted longitudinal turbocharged anything in the engine bay?
For the era you mention, the 80s yuppie craze, there’s an Albert Brooks movie, Lost in America, that shows the place of the 900 in the yuppie hierarchy of the time. Brooks’s character drives a Saab 900, but is on the phone a lot with a Mercedes dealer, trying to negotiate on a car. Brooks asks for confirmation that the car has leather seating, and yes (but no), it has “Mercedes Leather.” Brooks quits his job and goes on a crazy RV trip, gets a job as a school crossing guard, and encounters a man in a W116 who sets him straight about “Mercedes leather” and other life compromises.
It’s a fun movie, if you have the required patience for laments about “first world problems.” But my jaw dropped in retroactive horror at the thought of somebody dropping a nice 900 to get his hands on some diesel-chuffing 1981 Benz that would kill a thousand mosquitos to crawl up a hill the Saab would finish off happily. I suppose I have greater appreciation for the virtues of the indestructible W123 now than I did 15 years ago, when I saw the movie…
Oh yes ultimate yuppie car. People who drove this convertible were real yuppies.
Back in 1995, I test drove a mint ’87 with something like 25k on it. Although used, it was in such beautiful condition, the Saab dealer had it displayed in the showroom alongside the new models. Absolutely loved it, except for one fatal failing . . . . . it was an automatic.
Ended up buying a ’90 E30 325is instead.
I appreciate these old-school 900’s more now than I did back then, which is to say I like them. The upright windshield always made the car look like it had a really big “forehead”. I like the rear styling of the fastbacks better (always wondered why the taillight clusters from the coupes couldn’t have been re-engineered, a la VW Rabbit/Golf/Cabriolet, to fit the convertible body), but the convertible, in this color, looks great.
That sticker on the back is from Siesta Key, Florida. I have the same one on the back bumper of my beater ’93 Ranger. I wonder if that has anything to do with the conspicuous lack of rocker panel and lower door rust. Also, I don’t imagine that these Saab verts were big sellers in the Midwest even when they were new. I’m thinking reverse snowbird here.
I chuckle when people describe the stereotypical Saab owner since I do not see my family fitting into stereotypes. It almost looks like the paint on the hood of this swell car is tired of being curved and is trying to straighten out.