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Saab 96 two-stroke Short Nose, 1962

Saab 96
Auction Masters
ER Classics Desktop 2022

I traveled to Dalfsen for a very special classic. We are talking about a 96 Saab 1962 two-stroke Short Nose. Special because of the cart, but even more so because of the condition. Now I come across restored classics on a daily basis. Often in this condition too. Rarely is there an enthusiast who brings a relatively simple classic with so much love and attention to detail in this condition. Because of the cost, this is more often reserved for cars from the higher segment. No expense has been spared.

Short Nose

The Saab 96 was introduced in 1960 and remained in production until January 1980. More than half a million copies were built during that period. This was the model that made Saab internationally known. The car was pioneering in its time in terms of safety and achieved many successes in motorsport.


40 year from the first owner

This snow-white beauty is the first series of the model produced for 20 years that went through several changes during its production time. The Short Nose (or Bolneus) version, characterized by the radiator behind the engine, was produced until 1965. But with this dashboard and the three-speed gearbox they were only made for the first three years. This Saab 96 was delivered new in Sweden in 1962 and remained with the first owner for almost forty years before an enthusiast took it over for restoration in Hungary. The owner we interviewed came across the car via via and fell head over heels for the degree of perfection in which the Saab is. But also because of the extensive history of the car and the many original parts that are included. For example, there is an original parking heater (which was an electric engine preheating at the time) and a carburetor heater with the car. Both very rare parts to withstand the harsh Swedish winters.

Like the fire department

We go to the photo location and for that the Saab 96 two-stroke Short Nose is 'turned on'. I hear a perfect moped-like purr and smell old-fashioned mixed lubrication. It sounds nice, but at the same time I don't expect much from the performance of this 750 cc engine with 38 hp (28 kW) and three cylinders. I drive behind the Saab, but am immediately surprised by the acceleration. He really goes “like the fire brigade”! What a nice car. To watch, sit in and ride along. With only three gears, you can almost call this an automatic transmission. And with those cylinders and 750 cc almost modern again.

Also read:
- SAAB 99 GL 5 Speed. Drive with a smile.
- How Saab tamed the turbo
- Saab 96, Aunt Cornely's car
- The SAAB Silver Arrow
- The SAAB 96 "Special", unique Dutch anniversary edition from 1979

6 Comments

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  1. Nice article, I've always had a soft spot for the two-stroke.
    I myself had a DKW F1971 two-seater, convertible in 12. Had a great time and got married. No servicing, refueling and oil…
    Whether this would still be appreciated by the “good community” today? Always had a "plume and smell" around it

  2. Have had one, year of construction 1963, at 100000 km crankshaft bearings defective one evening at a Saab dealer via an acquaintance, placed a new crankshaft, ready again after 2 hours of tinkering. Then wait 10 minutes then the snow had melted and you could continue.

  3. Fantastic car to drive/tour with…..drives like a 6 cyl. (3=6)
    this is a 1964 4 gear, slightly quieter!
    And nice all reactions on the way or at the gas station.....

  4. Not a bad word about the beautiful restoration, but I never understood why SAAB, with their flair and ability to build great Mach-2 fighter jets early on, got involved with automotive two-strokes unlike Volvo.

  5. I remember that time with nostalgia. Was 1972 had to do military service had little money bought a Saab 96 from 1965 for fl. 600,00 guilders drove it and maintained it in the car hobby club at the karzerne in Crailo. Fantastic time, especially the separate refueling of petrol plus two-stroke oil back then from Castrol, that specific air still exists today. Blessed. Yes and then riding the freewheel when you had shifted on and off the freewheel oh my God what a time I enjoy now. Thanks for the nice article. Ruud

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