Erik Meijer‘s Saab 900i sedan may not have a turbo, but it has something better: a unique, bold design that stands out. Erik, a coach driver, is the proud owner of a rare Saab 900 sedan without a turbo, and despite its age, the car still looks and drives like new. In this article, we’ll explore Erik’s Saab 900i, its exciting interior, and its fascinating history, and all thanks to the story made by the Dutch magazine Auto Review, from which we only convey the most interesting details.
When you think of the classic Saab 900, you probably think of a black three-door Turbo or a luxurious Cabriolet. However, Erik’s favorite is a modest 900i sedan that he recently acquired. It may not have a turbo, but it has an exciting interior and a great story.
As soon as Erik opens the left rear door of his Saab, he points to the treasure in the back seat. He corrects the journalist interviewing him, who winks at him when he expresses his delight at the almost reddish interior. “Red? You mean Bokhara, Mr. Wegman!”
We see that Erik is correct when we look at the brochure in which the first owner in 1988 wrote down his exact desires. If you wanted fabric upholstery in your new Saab 900 35 years ago, Bokhara was one of the five possibilities. Not only was the seat upholstery that color, but the floor covering and door trim as well.
The color and name are inspired by the predominantly dark red hand-knotted Bokhara carpets from Pakistan – now you know. This interior color was only available in combination with two body colors, including Erik’s car’s pink-quartz. Yes, indeed, there is a subtle pink tint in the grayish metallic paint in certain light.
Besides the bold color combination, the only mischief the original buyer allowed himself was a manual factory sunroof. Power steering was standard, as was automatic seat heating. However, Saab asked a hefty premium for electrically operated side windows or mirrors, let alone central locking. Such luxury apparently seemed unnecessary to the first owner.
Not to mention alloy wheels – please stop, enough! The Saab 900’s polished stainless steel wheel covers were gorgeous, weren’t they? That was something else compared to those plastic hubcaps on ordinary brand cars, at that time. The dealer in Zeist had to transfer the Philips radio-cassette player from the traded-in Saab. In 1988, the first owner apparently wasn’t ready for such a modern CD player yet.
When Erik purchased the car, it had only 67,000 kilometers on the odometer, and apart from the brochure, the original dealer purchase form in Zeist, and all the car documentation, there was also a thick book with all the maintenance invoices included.
“The car went to the dealer for maintenance twice a year, even with such low mileage. When I saw that, I knew the first owner was just as meticulous as I am, and I was sold. And look, it’s as if the car just came out of the box. There is no second one like it,” Erik said.
The Saab 900 Classic sedan is a rare car, and this model is no exception. It’s not just because it was introduced two years after the hatchback-Combi-Coupé in antique Saab jargon. Saab fans preferred to buy the 900 Classic as a practical 3- or 5-door, and of course Turbo.
It’s interesting to note that despite the rarity of the Saab 900 sedan, it was actually the preferred choice for the Swedish police force during the 1980s and 1990s. The Saab 900 sedan was equipped with a powerful turbocharged engine and was known for its excellent handling, making it an ideal police car. The police version of the Saab 900 sedan was also equipped with special features such as reinforced suspension, upgraded brakes, and a strengthened chassis.
As a result, the high expectations of the sedan version, particularly from the American importer, were not met. The quirky Saab 900 didn’t attract many drivers of other brands either. For Dutch Saab buyers, a four-door 900 was unnecessary.
Erik’s Saab 900 sedan may have been meticulously maintained, but it’s the low mileage that really sets it apart. With only 67,000 miles on the clock, the car has been driven less than 2,000 kilometers per year on average. This is quite rare for a car of this age, as many classic cars have been driven extensively and may require significant restoration work. The low mileage and excellent condition make this Saab 900 sedan a true collector’s item.