Guest BJM

SAAB's Collectability Future

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Guest BJM

I just noticed a large number of SAAB's on Craigs List, cars with higher miles but well maintained. Many are convertibles and turbos and while I don't care too much for the old SAAB's styling, I understand they have a cult following. I was wondering what members thought of the collectability of the approximately 1995 to 2005 period SAAB cars. Do any members own one and are you considering maintaining it and keeping it as an occasional driver?

Since SAAB's demise, and given they are considered a modern car more or less, this may not be a good audience to ask. However, they seem to be plentiful now and as we know, some cars go the way of dinosaurs pretty quickly.

What had me thinking about scanning Craigs List was a recent trip to my local U Pull It yard where I saw a perfectly fine SAAB 4 door with a turbo. I mean the interior was like new, the body was fine and no collision damage so I figured the turbo went south and the owner was told it had no value. Just my thinking, may be wrong.

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Just 2 examples. Again, not eligible NOW but wondering if they will even be around in 10-15 years.

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

I think that, while all Saabs are interesting and even great cars, even the best of them are somewhat undervalued today relative to their rarity/quality/importance/etc. They were the near equivalent of the best of Germany at the time, and few if any approach the collectibility of similar BMWs and Mercedes.

The GM-era Saabs have an added challenge to them, as they reek of the same kind of "stigma" as the 1950s "Packardbakers" and "Hashs" had. Those cars were held back in value and collectibility because they was neither fish nor fowl, and all of the recent Saabs suffer similar image issues. The 9-2 and the 9-7 are the most obvious examples, but all new Saabs became compromised with GM parts/drivetrains/etc. as time went.

They may be quite valuable someday, even the equal of competing makes (not many people shun "Packardbakers"and "Hashs" to the same degree today as what used to be the case 20 and 30 years ago), but that day will be further away for Saab than for the others.

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really good answer. The 9-2 will have the collectability of its Subaru twin. The 9-7 I think will be a dog - just a tarted up Chevy truck. The GM Saabs are indeed Hash and Packardbakers, and while these have improved , they are not as appreciated as the "purebred" antecedents. I think if you consider the Volvo P1800 you get a decent projection for "real" Saabs.

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I always relate a Saab to my earlier days pumping gas at my brother gas station in the early sixties. Mixing oil with gas. They smoked all the way out the driveway. I know they improved but I can't get that out of my head. Never liked them.

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I don't see much collectability in Saabs but when you see Chrysler PT Cruisers listed as being one of the best auto designs and go to shows and see a row of them there, you have to believe nothing is impossible.

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Lots of Saabs will find their way to the junkyard in the next year or two. Currently, parts availability is almost nil. As an insurance claims adjuster, I've been sending them to the salvage auction almost every time...can't get headlights, fenders, bumpers, etc unless used and the parts vendors know it and charge accordingly. They are the Daewoo of the modern age.

I spent 6 years behind the parts counter of a Saab dealership back in the late 80s-early 90s when the were still making 'proper' 900s. They were well built, unique cars that had their quirks but the owners loved them. They'd drop money fixing them like nothing else I've seen. However, when Saab went mainstream with the new 900 (later changing to the idiotic 9-2, etc nomenclature) they lost a lot of their core buyers. Then GM sucked the life out of them, diluted the brand, and ultimately led to their demise. The last of the breed were very nice upscale cars but not particularly different from any number of alternatives, many costing far less.

What is amazing is that so many people have no clue that Saab has gone the way of the dodo. They are driving them around in ignorant bliss, unaware they have a car that will soon (if not already) drop in value so far they will have trouble getting rid of it. A sad end to a once great brand.

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Lots of Saabs will find their way to the junkyard in the next year or two. Currently, parts availability is almost nil. As an insurance claims adjuster, I've been sending them to the salvage auction almost every time...can't get headlights, fenders, bumpers, etc unless used and the parts vendors know it and charge accordingly. They are the Daewoo of the modern age.

As of last month there is now an official source for Saab parts, such as they may be. Saab USA Parts ( Saab USA Parts.com ) has acquired "official" status from what's left of Saab Cars North America, and is distributing parts online from their remaining inventory as well as Saab USA's own stocks.

Service, on the other hand, is a concern. It seems that there is no online presence of the former Saab any more, meaning no manuals/procedures/uplinks/etc. for working on the cars. GM is handling service and warranty work for all cars purchased before Feb. 2010, but anything newer than that (or pre-GM) is on it's own.:(

I think if you bought a 2011 Saab 9-4X it might be more a collector item than a car already.:(

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Lots of Saabs will find their way to the junkyard in the next year or two. Currently, parts availability is almost nil. As an insurance claims adjuster, I've been sending them to the salvage auction almost every time...can't get headlights, fenders, bumpers, etc unless used and the parts vendors know it and charge accordingly. They are the Daewoo of the modern age.

I spent 6 years behind the parts counter of a Saab dealership back in the late 80s-early 90s when the were still making 'proper' 900s. They were well built, unique cars that had their quirks but the owners loved them. They'd drop money fixing them like nothing else I've seen. However, when Saab went mainstream with the new 900 (later changing to the idiotic 9-2, etc nomenclature) they lost a lot of their core buyers. Then GM sucked the life out of them, diluted the brand, and ultimately led to their demise. The last of the breed were very nice upscale cars but not particularly different from any number of alternatives, many costing far less.

What is amazing is that so many people have no clue that Saab has gone the way of the dodo. They are driving them around in ignorant bliss, unaware they have a car that will soon (if not already) drop in value so far they will have trouble getting rid of it. A sad end to a once great brand.

Just curious - maybe one of you folks can chime in and explain this: Ford bought Volvo and GM bought Saab in roughly the same time frame. One Swedish car maker continues (under new ownership), while the other has passed into history. Why then did Ford have the (apparent) wisdom to leave Volvo largely alone, retaining much of its Swedish identity, while GM worked hard to destroy same?

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GM has usually had a worse case of bean counter playing engineer-itis. Make Olds, Pontiac, and Buick the same, then figure out that since they're the same you can eliminate 2 of 3.

Give Ford credit for telling Volvo that "styling sucks" is not really a sales feature.

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Guest BJM
GM has usually had a worse case of bean counter playing engineer-itis. Make Olds, Pontiac, and Buick the same, then figure out that since they're the same you can eliminate 2 of 3.

Give Ford credit for telling Volvo that "styling sucks" is not really a sales feature.

I am NOT a fan of the modern GM and will never buy another one. I think their culture is permanently flawed. So, modern Ford just had a culture where they purchased companies to increase their footprint and help develop world cars (There are a couple of Volvos that had Ford engines, etc) whereas GM just saw it as an opportunity to put a badge on. Groan, those Saab Trailblazers are the worst.

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Guest BJM

OK. read the posts and am confused. What is the recent geneology of the Saab's? One has mentioned that the 900's were the last true Saabs. But I am NOT a fan of the old Saab styling. I LIKE the styling of the Saab's I have in the above photos. Are those not true Saab's?

Is the 2.0L Turbo really the Subaru turbo? It's confusing. I wouldn't mind getting a fairly low mileage late model (by late model I mean 1996 to 2005) Saab convertible with the styling noted above, but do not want a Saabaru.

Where is the demarcation line?

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OK. read the posts and am confused. What is the recent geneology of the Saab's? One has mentioned that the 900's were the last true Saabs. But I am NOT a fan of the old Saab styling. I LIKE the styling of the Saab's I have in the above photos. Are those not true Saab's?

Is the 2.0L Turbo really the Subaru turbo? It's confusing. I wouldn't mind getting a fairly low mileage late model (by late model I mean 1996 to 2005) Saab convertible with the styling noted above, but do not want a Saabaru.

Where is the demarcation line?

It's a long, strange trip.

Here's a really good timeline os Saab history up to 2009: Saab: An historical timeline - 1 - *Automotive Resources - Autos - MSN CA

The beginning of the end came in 1990 when GM bought 50% of Saab. The big downhill came in 2000 when they bought the other 50%. By 2009 the brand wasn't worth spit any more, having been diluted by GM cars & an SUV and even the 9-2x made by Subaru (and barely any different from the Imprezza).

In January 2010, literally days from GM dropping Saab as a brand, the Dutch supercar company Spyker bought the division from GM and attmpted to run it on it's own merits. They did manage to even introduce a new model (the 9-4x mid-size4 crossover, based on GM's Theta platform) in 2011. However the whole enterprise collapsed in late 2011. The Wikipedia page on Spyker N.V. ( Spyker N.V. - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ) gives a good timeline on how that dissolved.

The 9-2x was available with the Imprezza WRX's 2.0L turbo engine, However that's not in any way related to the Saab 1979-1994 2.0L turbo in the 99 and 900 Turbos, a pre-GM engine (that BTW was originally designed by Triumph and is essentially a modified TR7 engine, only don't te4ll any Saabophiles that!:D).

The most meaningful demarcation line is Feb. 15, 2010, the day the sale to Spyker became final. If you bought a Saab on Feb. 14 GM will cover that car's warranty (and hopefully be able to stock the parts somewhere to do so). If it was bought on the 15th or after (including all 457 9-4x's made), it's tough toenails for you!

Edited by Dave@Moon
added last line (see edit history)
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As stated, the 9-2 is an Impreza - look at it and that's obvious. And I'll take the 2.0 boxer over the TR7 engine any day. The 9-7 is the GM 900 platform truck/SUV - also obvious. I believe that the 9000 is the last Saab design. The 9-3's you're talking about are mostly Opel. So if you like them, go ahead. But that's their family tree.

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And I'll take the 2.0 boxer over the TR7 engine any day.

IMHO both engines are the best things ever made (that didn't fly) with Saab's name on them. They might be apples and oranges, but they were both excellent powerplants.

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A couple of things require a comment here. Ford used Volvo engines in a couple of models but I don't recall Volvo ever using Ford engines. Volvo was by far, a much healthier company when Ford took over than Saab was when GM bought it. Volvo Corporation looked ahead and could not see a healthy future for what was a very small producer. An unpopular (in Sweden) decision was made to sell, firstly to Renault, which was vetoed by shareholders and several other interested parties (even GM). I believe Ford was chosen as the best option because they would be less inclined to interfere with the brand. As mentioned above, SAAB was in real trouble before sold and I think GM saw badging as a solution to the problem. Also unmentioned so far was the use of Fiat based bodies in the 90's as they desperatley tried to hang on. Money from the sale of the Volvo car division was used to purchase Renault Trucks (they owned Mack as well) and Nissan UD trucks so it seems the money was well spent and Volvo are now the #2 heavy truckmaker by world production.

Al

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A couple of things require a comment here. Ford used Volvo engines in a couple of models but I don't recall Volvo ever using Ford engines. Volvo was by far, a much healthier company when Ford took over than Saab was when GM bought it. Volvo Corporation looked ahead and could not see a healthy future for what was a very small producer. An unpopular (in Sweden) decision was made to sell, firstly to Renault, which was vetoed by shareholders and several other interested parties (even GM). I believe Ford was chosen as the best option because they would be less inclined to interfere with the brand. As mentioned above, SAAB was in real trouble before sold and I think GM saw badging as a solution to the problem. Also unmentioned so far was the use of Fiat based bodies in the 90's as they desperatley tried to hang on. Money from the sale of the Volvo car division was used to purchase Renault Trucks (they owned Mack as well) and Nissan UD trucks so it seems the money was well spent and Volvo are now the #2 heavy truckmaker by world production.

Al

Regarding Volvo selling the car division: Volvo also sold 'Volvo Aero' to a British company, GKN this past summer. It appears they are focused on commercial vehicles (trucks, buses, construction machinery). Makes one wonder how long Volvo Penta, their marine power systems division which serves among others, the pleasure boat industry, will be part of the Volvo family. Here is a quote from the Volvo web site regarding the sale of Volvo Aero; '...a step in further streamlining the Volvo Group toward commercial vehicles'.

While it must be a loss of national pride having the ownership of Volvo Cars leave Sweden, something we are learning about here in the States with Chrysler, at least the marque survives and carries on much of the Scandinavian design philosophy and product differentiation.

Edited by DagoRed (see edit history)
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For what it's worth, GM has been involved with SAAB since the late 70s and the first 900s even used a GM steering rack and R4 A/C compressor.

The V-4 engines used in earlier pre-99 model designation SAABs were built in England by Ford Motor Company. Transmissions were Borg Warner and so on.

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Regarding Volvo selling the car division: Volvo also sold 'Volvo Aero' to a British company, GKN this past summer. It appears they are focused on commercial vehicles (trucks, buses, construction machinery). Makes one wonder how long Volvo Penta, their marine power systems division which serves among others, the pleasure boat industry, will be part of the Volvo family. Here is a quote from the Volvo web site regarding the sale of Volvo Aero; '...a step in further streamlining the Volvo Group toward commercial vehicles'..

Volvo Corporation had interests in food, packaging, oil, hydraulics, aero, ag tractors, robotics and many others. I think all of these companies have been sold as Volvo concentrates on it's core products. Volvo Trucks carried the company through many financial crises and has remained pretty much profitable since it was founded in 1927. They are also growing the constuction equipment divison as this is seen as a growing sector and one Volvo has been involved with since it aquired another Swedish machinery and tractor maker, Bolinder Munktell (BM) in 1950.

Al

Edited by Al Brass (see edit history)

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I think the earlier pure Saabs will be collectible to the same extent they always were and the GM and Subaru cars will fade out, mostly.

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My brother-in-law has a nice 9-2 convertible. It's a neat car, but finding parts can be a problem. If you want one, get one and also buy as many spare parts as you can. I think they will be collectable in the future so buy a nice low mileage one now and get ahead of the curve.

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Anyone have any experience with the Saab Sonnet? It was a two-seat sports car that was definitely built in the Saab mold. kinda quirky; it looked like a kit car. One of my old bosses had one - he thought it looked neat.

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Guest BJM
Anyone have any experience with the Saab Sonnet? It was a two-seat sports car that was definitely built in the Saab mold. kinda quirky; it looked like a kit car. One of my old bosses had one - he thought it looked neat.

Tried to buy a Sonnet last fall, project of course, for $500 and it was CL ad and the seller never got back to me. I then researched them and I suppose they are collectible because of their unique styling, somewhat sporty aspirations and low production. It was kind of a side project of a SAAB engineer if I recall and the 2nd drivetrain ? was better then the Series I.

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Thanks for all your comments.  I own a 1997 SaaB 900SE convertible which I bought new off showroom floor, maintained religiously > 15 years and was told by collector enthusiast back in 2008 that my car is a rare vehicle as one of only 7 Engineered in Germany and built in Sweden [or vice versa] that was sold in North America.  My car has Bosch parts, custom alloy rims, and still runs great, plus I replaced convertible top and conv top motor with original Saab Mercedes roof parts some years back.  Sadly, I got cancer and would like to sell it as we need  money but i haven't been able to find a collector site which properly recognizes my rare vehicle which I was told it's worth at least $65,000.  Any help you can provide will be most appreciated.   THANKS-John

 

P.S. My dog loved riding in Saab back seat (which I keep covered with blanket) with top down in the cool weather. 

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I am sorry to read about your medical condition.  The provenance is hard to prove, and few people would care.  I wouldn't hold my breath for the 65 grand.    

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