My Saab

“Projekt 900” – Fictitious marketing campaign for a fictitious retro SAAB

Saab Projekt 900Saab Projekt 900

On Feb. 11 2011 he was deferred from donating blood at a local blood drive. Driven by dueling passions for photography and Saab cars, artist Dan Dowd, whose day job is that of security guard at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, has created a body of work that is part of Light, Motion, Sound 2012, a collaborative exhibition by the Maine Museum of Photographic Arts and the Ogunquit Museum of American Art.

Dowd’s photographic composition (Projekt 900) includes a catalog he produced based on a 1963 Saab brochure featuring a “new retro SAAB 900 Turbo offering” and the first opportunity for the public to see the vehicle in person.

Saab 900 part of a "projekt"
Saab 900 part of a “projekt”
Projekt 900 by Dan Dowd
Projekt 900 by Dan Dowd

After being deferred from donating blood, artist Dan Dowd decided to take action and create an art piece in response to his experience.  “I am an HIV-negative gay male in a 10-year monogamous relationship,” Dowd, an artist living in coastal Maine, explained. “Being an avid SAAB fan and a lover of vintage items, I created a fictitious marketing campaign for a fictitious retro SAAB (my modified 1988 SAAB 900 Turbo).

Projekt 900 photography
Projekt 900 photography

For this campaign (which includes printed brochures and postcards) Dan opted to photograph only heterosexual male models in domestic partnership and family situations.

He was interested to see how men would react to being asked, how they would respond while being photographed, and ultimately how they would respond to the photos when exhibited. Dan was interested to create something that would serve as an example of “normal” for the gay community.

Saab 900 - family car

Saab 900 - instrument panel
Saab 900 – instrument panel


  • Good idea in theory. But some of us would truly splash real money on a non-glary (orange….hmmmm) 900 with modern mod-com’s. In fact a lot of retro cars would make serious cash if re-tooled with say4-6 airbags, LDW, park sensors and steering wheel buttons.

    Ditch the Orange and design a non-bloated 900 many of us would buy new in 2017??? Who knows, maybe it can be done to a budget by VW for eg? A non-prestige but ‘different’ custom car for the masses!

    P.S. turbo a necessity. 0-60 in about 8 secs will do it for most.

  • You’re onto something. I’d pay real money for an ‘old-new 900.’ Add 4-6 airbags, steering wheel controls & reverse sensors plus a great stereo. Performance should be ‘fun’ -no need for ridiculously fast but sub 9sec 0-100kph sprint, mid-range torque and 40mpg would do it. The C900 has real charisma, add practicality so why not re-tool a retro Saab? Price is the key but somewhere in Skoda territory? Would this work?

    New is not always better, I’m struggling to find a more useful car for my family than our 9-5 Aero Estate. It has everything incl respectable economy in 2017. Maybe lane departure warning, but I am one who seriously questions the touch-screen fad, need for SatNav when we have good large mobiles, and a lot of electronics we don ‘t need!

    Yes maybe the C900 has a spot. Please build someone???!!!

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