Around 1981 the chairman of Saab-Scania America, Robert J. ‘Bob’ Sinclair, saw the opportunity in the market for Saab to offer a high quality car with soft top. The main car manufacturers in the USA had waived the production of convertibles and the form of saab 900 led, by itself, to its transformation in an open one.
With less than US$30,000 and with only few months for the completion of the project, Bob Sinclair‘s team, who was created by a group of Swedes technicians under Gunnar Arwidsson (director of the prototypes dpt.) and the American Sunroof Company (ASC, now known as American Specialty Cars), worked for the transformation of Saab 900i Sedan to a convertible prototype for Saab Sweden. The form of the prototype based on drawings by Bjorn Envall. The pearl white ASC prototype was unveiled at the 1983 Frankfurt Auto Show and was promptly slated for production, which commenced in late 1985. ASC’s involvement was limited to the engineering of the top which was built at Valmet Automotive’s Uusikaupunki, Finland assembly plant. At the same time, Targa project of Saab 900 is not passed.
At the same moment, the expert in transformations, Swede Leif Mellberg from Nykoping, worked simultaneously in a prototype project Saab 900 Speedster, that based in Saab 900 CombiCoupe. The critics met in Pasadena of California in order to evaluate those two prototypes. With an automatic operation of the top in less than 30 secs and with only two hooks needed to secure to the windscreen frame, American Saab Convertible of ASC was easily the winner.
Few weeks later, Saab 900 Turbo Convertible sent to the Frankfurt International Motor Show (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung, IAA) in order to make its debute, in September 1983. The original model had enormous interest, not only from the international press, but also from the public of the show. Thus, in April 1984, Saab announced that it would put in production the Saab 900 Turbo Convertible in the Valmet factory in Uusikaupunki of Finland, working in full effort.