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Unveiling the Saab 900 GLi Polis: A Rare Piece of Law Enforcement History

Saab 900: From Aspen's Scenic Streets to Sweden's Law Enforcement Legacy

Saab 900 GLi Polis: A Timeless Icon of Law Enforcement Heritage

In the realm of automotive enthusiasts and collectors, an extraordinary find has surfaced that has the global Saab community buzzing with excitement. It’s not just any car; it’s a meticulously restored Saab 900 GLi Polis, a vehicle with a fascinating history that dates back to 1984. This exceptional Saab is currently available at auction, presenting an opportunity for collectors to own a piece of Swedish law enforcement heritage.

A Journey Back in Time: The Saab 900 GLi Polis

The Saab 900 GLi Polis is not your average classic car. It’s a time capsule that takes us back to the era when Swedish police patrolled the streets in distinctive white vehicles adorned with reflective stripes. These iconic cars were an integral part of the Swedish law enforcement landscape, and the Saab 900 was a stalwart in their fleet.

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This particular Saab 900 GLi was originally allocated to the Police School in Sörentorp in 1984. These vehicles were equipped in the same fashion as those used in districts, allowing police trainees to practice and become familiar with the equipment they would encounter in the field. The car faithfully served until 1992 when it was decommissioned and sold. At that time, it had covered just over 5,000 (swedish) miles.

Inside the Saab 900 GLi Polis: Discovering an Array of Police Equipment
Inside the Saab 900 GLi Polis: Discovering an Array of Police Equipment

In 2020, the current owner embarked on an extensive restoration project, aiming to return the Saab 900 GLi Polis to its original service condition. This meticulous process included sourcing period-correct NOS (New Old Stock) decals from the 1980s, including the iconic ‘hockey stick’ decal on the doors.

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A Treasure Trove of Police Equipment

One of the most remarkable aspects of this Saab 900 GLi Polis is the extensive array of police equipment that comes with it. The auction winner will not only acquire a classic car but also a fascinating collection of law enforcement artifacts. The equipment includes:

  • Stockholm North Road Atlas from 1984.
  • Carbon dioxide tester.
  • Small first aid kit (RPS).
  • Traffic flares (two boxes).
  • Two night-capes.
  • Vintage fire extinguisher.
  • Two sets of traffic handcuffs.
  • A pair of handcuffs (missing key).
  • The classic breathalyzer with ampoules and balloons.
  • An orange Trafyr signal lamp.
  • A blue Trafyr traffic light.
  • Two orange Trafyr traffic lamps.
  • A KLAS collapsible jump shovel.
  • A custom-made piassava broom.
  • A protective equipment case for serum hepatitis.
  • An RPS call signal directory.
  • A set of keys.

Technical Details and Vehicle History

The Saab 900 GLi Polis is a 1984 model and was first registered on November 5th, 1984. It boasts a modest 123,114 kilometers on the odometer. The vehicle runs on gasoline and is equipped with an automatic transmission. Inside, you’ll find plush upholstery, and the exterior is painted in a classic white color.

Enhanced Visibility: Retrofitted Mirrors for Comprehensive Surveillance in the Saab 900 GLi Polis
Enhanced Visibility: Retrofitted Mirrors for Comprehensive Surveillance in the Saab 900 GLi Polis

The vehicle’s condition is exemplary, given its age and history. While some minor wear and tear is present, it’s important to note that this car has survived remarkably well over the years. The restoration efforts have revitalized its appearance and functionality, making it a true collector’s gem.

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The Legacy of the Saab 900 Polis

The Saab 900 of the first generation holds a unique place in the history of Swedish police cars. Between its introduction in 1978 and its discontinuation in 1993, the National Police Board procured approximately 1,000 Saab 900s in various configurations, including radio cars and civilian models. The car’s reception among the police force was divided, with traffic police officers often favoring the vehicle, especially the turbocharged version.

Once Saab was the choice of the Aspen police, now they are turning to Tesla
Once Saab was the choice of the Aspen police, now they are turning to Tesla

Despite the significant number of Saab 900s used as police vehicles, very few have survived to this day. When these cars were first deployed in 1978, they were all painted black and white. In 1984, a new police car design was introduced, featuring an all-white exterior with reflective stripes—a cost-effective solution for the decommissioning process. This design became iconic and earned the nickname “Hockey Stick” due to the side stripes resembling a hockey stick laid horizontally over the rear wheel arch.

While many Saab 900 police cars were manufactured, very few remain today. In fact, there are only two known Saab 900 veteran police cars with the Hockey Stick design, both privately owned by collectors. Neither the Police Museum nor the Saab Car Museum in Trollhättan houses a 900 radio car with the Hockey Stick livery in their collections.

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Preserving a Piece of Law Enforcement Heritage

For the current owner, this Saab 900 GLi Polis is more than just a collector’s item; it’s a passion project aimed at preserving a crucial part of Sweden’s law enforcement history. The owner’s dedication to restoring this police vehicle to its original glory is a testament to their commitment to preserving the nation’s cultural and historical heritage.

Saab as A special police cars history in Aspen
Saab as A special police cars history in Aspen

The Saab 900 GLi Polis, with its immaculate restoration and extensive collection of vintage police equipment, offers collectors and enthusiasts a unique opportunity to own a tangible piece of Swedish policing history. As it heads to auction, the Saab community and car enthusiasts worldwide are sure to be captivated by this remarkable vehicle and its extraordinary journey through time. It’s not just a classic car; it’s a living relic of an era gone by—a true Saab treasure waiting to be discovered.

The Saab 900 in International Police Service

While the Saab 900 GLi Polis made its mark on Swedish law enforcement, it also found its way into police fleets in other parts of the world. Notably, the city of Aspen in the United States embraced the Saab 900 as a reliable and capable patrol vehicle.

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Aspen Police Department Saab 900
Aspen Police Department Saab 900

Aspen, Colorado, a picturesque city nestled in the Rocky Mountains, had unique requirements for its police vehicles. The Saab 900, with its sturdy construction and all-weather capabilities, was an ideal choice for the city’s challenging terrain and varying weather conditions. The local police department opted for Saab 900 models, appreciating their durability and versatility.

Much like their Swedish counterparts, the Aspen police Saab 900s sported distinctive livery, making them instantly recognizable on the city’s streets. These vehicles were equipped with the necessary law enforcement gear, enabling officers to respond effectively to calls and maintain safety in Aspen’s scenic but sometimes rugged landscape.

Goran Aničić
the authorGoran Aničić
For over 10 years, Goran Aničić has been passionately focused on Saab automobiles and everything related to them. His initial encounter with Saab cars took place back in 2003 when the first Saab 9-3 and sedan version were introduced. At that moment, he was captivated by the car's Scandinavian design logic and top-notch engineering, and everything that followed stemmed from that first encounter. Later on, through his work at the editorial team of the Serbian automotive magazines "Autostart" and later "AutoBild," he had the opportunity to engage more closely with Saab vehicles. In 2008, he tested the latest Saab cars of that time, such as the Saab 9-3 TTiD Aero and Saab 9-3 Turbo X. In 2010, as the sole blogger from the region, he participated in the Saab 9-5ng presentation in Trollhättan, Sweden. Alongside journalists from around the world, he got a firsthand experience of the pinnacle of technological offerings from Saab at that time. Currently, Goran owns two Saabs: a 2008 Saab 9-3 Vector Sportcombi with a manual transmission, and a Saab 9-3 Aero Griffin Sport Sedan from the last generation, which rolled off the production line in Trollhättan in December 2011.

9 Comments

  • The police officers in Aspen were probably very happy when they realized the big difference between a car made for icy and snowy roads and the sliding around american made police cars. 😊

  • Gorgeous; looks like a 1982/83 Saab 900. I had the same model bought new in Houston TX in 1982. Dark maroon red made it very distinctive. It was one of the best cars I’ve ever owned

  • did aspen police use saabs? i remember a 9000 model in dumb and dumber, and thought what the hell? extremely unusual that american police use foreign cars

    i like the police design, but the roof lights creates lots of turbulence which is bad for fuel economy😎

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