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The SAAB 96 "Special", unique Dutch anniversary edition from 1979

Saab 96
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Gerard Kramer Klassiekers in Wolvega recently offered an illustrious and rare car, which he sold at lightning speed. It was number 007 of the Dutch SAAB 96 anniversary series, which was released in February in a circulation of 1979 items. There is enough reason to put the SAAB in the limelight, because the 150 is now also officially an old-timer in the Netherlands as an anniversary edition.

The Dutch SAAB importer existed in 1979 for twenty-five years, and the successful and already built 96 was slowly but surely overtaken by current events. Nevertheless, the attitude towards the importer was glowing, and based on the success number in more companies, an edition was devised exclusively for the Dutch market. The basis was formed by the SAAB 96 GL (the RDW describes the version as "L") and it was very nicely dressed. The technique was not adjusted. For example, the engine knew the specifications of the later years. It was the 1.5 V4 engine that generated 68 PK.

Aquamarine blue

What made the anniversary edition from 1979 special was that the historic bodywork was combined with a beautiful color: aquamarine blue. During the last SAAB construction years, the window frame on the flanks was given a matte black color and black striping on the underside of the flanks, and that detailing was also applied to the Dutch anniversary edition. Furthermore, a large spoiler adorned the rubber bumper at the front, but the spoiler was omitted at the rear. There were holes made, which were simply covered with strips, but a rear spoiler was not supplied as standard on the anniversary edition. This also applies to the black color that is visible on some anniversary editions. Originally the tailgate also fully wore the aquamarine blue color. Remarkable: above the license plate at the rear, space was sought for the old chrome handle.

Fine equipment

Unmistakably: the wheels under the Dutch SAAB 96 anniversary edition. The mounted Soccerball rims were made of light metal and very characteristic. The well-known ergonomic SAAB chairs were located in the interior. The driver's seat generated a pleasant form of heat after switching on the seat heating. The standard feature mounted from 1972 in the SAAB 96 is nowadays not commonplace, and the same applies to the wipers on the headlights. Back in. The light brown interior contrasted with the black dashboard, which served the long-term efficiency but was provided with an anniversary shield. And the clock shop was masked by a sports steering wheel with three spokes. For over 20.000 guilders the buyer had something special in their hands anyway.

Nice memories of driving behavior

Anyone who ever drove the front-wheel drive SAAB 96 will, despite the understeer character, have pleasant memories of the stable driving feel, and the fine Ford Köln V4 four-stroke engine (1.5). Maximum torque comes from the power source from about 3.000 rpm to full maturity. From that moment on, we remember that the SAAB pleasantly retains that characteristic that matches the short-stroke engine. Also nice: the emotionally deep seat and…. The freewheel function, which reduces the number of revolutions to idle level when the accelerator is released. The engine and gearbox are then disconnected, and the car can roll out for a long time. That function, which dates back to the SAAB two-stroke era, can also be switched off, so that the clutch and gearbox (steering gear) can also be operated in the regular way, a problem-free exercise.

Final years: Extra cosmetic attention

SAAB 96s from the last years of construction were built in Uusikaupunki, Finland. The anniversary version belongs to that series. In the cosmetic sense, late SAAB 96 specimens have extra points of attention. They are generally more sensitive to rust than specimens from earlier years. The causes: a constructive talent for collecting moisture, the coating used and the sealants used make the body require extra attention. On the other hand: we do have cars that have been around for four decades or more. This fully Scandinavian car is also excellent for everyday use. Yet we say: preserve and cherish. Because this anniversary copy of the SAAB 96 is so unique that it deserves to be used for pleasure rides or a beautiful summer holiday. Despite its origin, we would no longer expose the SAAB to winter or autumnal elements. As we incidentally would not do with any classic.

007 stays in the Netherlands

That choice is of course up to the happy new owner, who was there like the chickens to take over the multiple jubilee of Gerard Kramer Klassiekers. Kramer told us that jubilee copy number 007 almost to Germany. The current Dutch owner wanted to do business immediately, and seized a unique SAAB. Count on it that we are happy that this car has remained in the Netherlands, it is simply a jewel of a car that, thanks to its striking design and unique specifications, tells a beautiful story: about a SAAB from grandfather's time, which is still whistling today can run its mileage in traffic. We cannot hear that story often enough and pass it on to you. Because it is certain that we will once again focus on the SAAB 96 in an AMK report. And maybe we do that with the copy that adorns this article.

Thanks to Gerard Kramer Klassiekers, Wolvega




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