Saab 900: A Classic Icon of Swedish Automotive Design and Durability

Saab 900 GL: A Timeless Classic Still Paving the Way in 2023

An Icon Revisited: The 1983 Saab 900 GL, Still Captivating Hearts in 2023

The Saab 900 is more than just a car; it’s a testament to the enduring legacy of Saab, a brand that faced bankruptcy more than a dozen years ago. Yet, in 2023, the spirit of Saab still thrives. AutoWeek recently had the opportunity to experience this enduring legacy by taking a 1983 Saab 900 GL for a spin, and what they discovered is a testament to the enduring appeal of this classic Swedish car.

In the past, it was possible to acquire a Saab 900 Classic from the dealer for as little as 500 euros. But that era has passed, and today, these beloved classics are becoming increasingly valuable, particularly the turbocharged versions. The Saab 900 GL, the basic version of the 900, is no exception. While it may be a base model, it exudes a certain charm with its chrome accents, tinted windows, and an inviting interior. The color combination is far from mundane, and it’s easy to see why these cars are garnering attention.

This particular 1983 Saab 900 GL still proudly displays its original Dutch license plate, a testament to its loyal ownership history. The dashboard of this Saab has been thoughtfully updated, including a modern tachometer – a popular accessory of its time. However, what truly stands out are the large, very clear VDO clocks with their bright orange hands, encompassing a clock, speedometer, and a combined instrument for monitoring fuel supply and coolant temperature.

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Saab 900 2.0 GL 3d 19-10-1983 KH-99-GS

Although this Saab 900 has covered 194,000 kilometers in its lifetime, it has gracefully transitioned to a new owner. The car’s design is not just about aesthetics but practicality as well. The interior climate control knobs are conveniently located at eye level between the front seats, with the radio operator slightly above. It’s these small details that make a Saab 900 a well-thought-out car.

One of the distinctive features of the Saab 900 is its panoramic windshield, offering an unparalleled view of the road. Additionally, Saab’s attention to detail is evident in the open door design, which includes a thoughtful gap in the sill to keep your clothes clean as you enter the car.

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Driving a Saab 900, even one from 1983, is a joy. The seats are comfortable, and the driving position encourages a sense of safety. Between the front seats, you’ll find the ignition switch, ingeniously placed to prevent knee injuries in case of an accident, along with the throttle lever.

While it lacks a fifth gear, the Saab 900 remains surprisingly quiet even at speeds of 120 km/h. This model was in production from 1978 to 1994, alongside the Saab 99 until 1984. Although subsequent generations of the Saab 900 are available, the price for these classics is rising, nearing €10,000. In fact, in 2021, this very 1983 Saab 900 GL was listed for sale at a price of €4,950.

In conclusion, the Saab 900, with its timeless design, attention to safety, and thoughtful details, stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of Saab automobiles. It’s a car that remains not just a classic, but a symbol of Swedish engineering and automotive ingenuity that continues to captivate enthusiasts around the world.

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Konstantin Jokić
an automotive journalist and dedicated Saab enthusiast hailing from Novi Sad, Serbia, is a valuable contributor to With a wealth of experience in the automotive industry and a strong affinity for Saab cars, Konstantin brings a unique perspective to the blog's content. His in-depth knowledge, engaging writing style, and passion for Saab automobiles enrich the platform, catering to both local and global Saab enthusiasts. Through his articles and insights, Konstantin strengthens the sense of community among Saab lovers and helps elevate as a trusted source for Saab-related information.


  • My first SAAB was a 1983 GLs in this colour, 5 door manual, fabric seats. Manchester to south of France, with comfort breaks only, 1026 miles in 26 hours. Total comfort. Now on my eighth…is that addiction?

  • May be 50 years ago. Netherlands was a good market for french, swedish and early japan car, because the older folks would never buy a german model. Knew the Nazis to good.

  • Having lived by a ssab dealer when I was young I’ve seen every the launch of the 99 combi. 99 turbo one of the first in the UK at Seabrook Saab as it wa.

  • I had an early 1980 900GL with single carburettor and also owned 2 900GLS twin carburettors over some years back in the day. Loved owning those cars very much , relatively easy to maintain and lovely to drive. 🙂👍

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