Cohort Pic(k) Of The Day: Saab 96 – A Bit Of Saab Blues

Photos from the Cohort by Eric Clem.Β 

You may like or dislike old Saabs. Regardless of where you sit on that fence, no one can deny that old Saabs had gobs of character, and I doubt anyone can remain indifferent to them. They’re either charming curious things or weird unappealing oddballs. Love it or leave it, they’re cars that are bound to create a reaction. From their drivetrains to their looks and interiors, everything exuded personality. Even the name, Saab, felt different. Yet it was easy and memorable.

But as we know, character didn’t really translate into sufficient sales. And when GM acquired the ailing brand in the ’90s, that was just the easiest plot to foretell; a tiny conglomerate with tons of character swallowed by a characterless multinational. How would that ever end well?

But I’m delving too quickly into those sad Saab blues. Rather than dwell there, let’s rejoice in this find. Ever rarer and more precious after these many years. Obviously, these 1960-1980 Saab models have been covered at CC before, told by folk far more savvy on their background (links below).

The few times I came across an old Saab during my California days of the ’90s, I found them to be curious and charming. A foreign object that awoke curiosity and admiration. Such different solutions to motoring, in a tight and aerodynamic little body. How could I not like them?

It’s always fun to see a surviving old Saab, particularly if it’s getting some use. I’m admittedly not enough of a fan to know each little variation, and I’m pretty sure this one has a few pieces taken from other members of the Saab family tree. I’ll let Saab experts add to that in the comments.

So yes, I liked these little cars and did get the blues when I learned of the company’s inevitable demise. But a few are still around, and those blues turn nicely bittersweet when a running one still appears.


Further reading:

Curbside Classic: 1968 Saab 96 – Healing the Emotions, If Not The Company

Curbside Classic: 1967 Saab 96 – The Last Two-Stroke

Curbside Classic: 1973 Saab 95 – Now That’s A Real Saab!

Vintage R&T Review: 1967 Saab 96 V4 – More Power, More Fun, More Money

Vintage Review: Saab 96 – Car And Driver Tries Three Cylinders