Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: 1968 Saab 96 V4 – Harlequin Edition

Staxman has posted pictures of this terrific find in Seattle: A 1968 Saab 96 V4 wearing donor body parts from some of its deceased brethren. We haven’t seen one of these on our pages for some time. In fact, my CC of a very similar ’68 96 V4, also wearing a donated non-matching fender, goes back to 2011 and for some reason, has never been rerun. So I’m going to be spare with my words at this late hour, having just gotten in from a four day trip, and let you peruse the pictures, make your comments, and click on that CC for more details.

Its wearing some nice driving lights regalia, which suits it so well, given the 92/93/96’s illustrious career as a rally racer, and often winner.  And of course very closely behind that grille sits the little 60° V4 that Saab bought from Ford of Germany. It had 1498 cc and 73 hp, enough to make the lightweight 96 quite lively for the times. And its four speed transmission was shifted from the column, which worked deceptively well.

A pea green door on the driver’s side, and a red one on the passenger side, to go along with the white front fenders. A do like those Saab hub caps. Somehow the expression “dog dish” doesn’t quite come to mind when I see them on European cars.


As I wrote about in my CC, a very good friend had one just like this—all in white—that I used to ride in a lot and drove a couple of times. It made a nice counterpoint to my ’68 Peugeot 404 sedan at the time; quite different on so many accounts; about the only thing they had in common was that column-mounted shifter.

The Saab was raspier, rode stiffer, but also was sportier in an overt way. Its steering was also a bit heavier, not surprising, given the weight on the front. But not unpleasant. And one could feel the workings of the front wheels; not sure if the term “torque steer” applies, but there was the sensation of power running through them.  Nowadays, one can’t hardly tell. It’s remarkably difficult to tell that our TSX wagon actually has FWD.

FWD has come a long way, and then the Saab might well have been the first FWD car I drove. I liked it, and could very easily have seen myself owning one.

It’s heart-warming to see one still out and about. There used to be several in Eugene, but it’s down to one very immaculately restores/kept one, and it doesn’t come out to play much anymore.