Brian Ransom, Automotive engineer from Milton, Pennsylvania, is gearing up for the big job of rebuilding an exceptional car he recently acquired. It is the 1971 Saab 96 in the sports Rally version. Unfortunately, the car is in a very poor, neglected condition, and it will take a lot of work and investment to bring the car to its former state. he found this car, abandoned in Wooster, OH in dry storage for years, and he bought the car from the first original owner. As Brian says this is a big project for him – a Saab project he has been looking for all his life.
his Saab story began very, very long ago. Brian’s father used to be Saab dealer in the mid 60’s. It all started there. His first Saab was a ’67 Saab 96 V4, then a couple Saab 99’s and a Saab 900. And now, Starting all over again…
As part of this project, he will work on restoring a 1971 factory Rally spec (not a Works car). This is the Rally edition where Saab strengthened the body and installed a better suspension and painted them all orange. To his knowledge, 1,000 built per F.I.A. requirements, about 100 exported to the US, and He understand 1 of 3 known to still exist in the States. The orange is the original color which she will be returned to. She looks way worse than she actually is. Actually very solid.
He Bought from the original owner who had it in storage for 35 years, a true barn find. Lots of parts, factory manuals, etc. Very solid car overall but need lots of attention. In the process of stripping it down to the bare chassis/body to clean up, repair and protect. Have the engine/trans pulled, most of the engine bay cleared, all fenders, all seats, driver’s door, fuel tank, etc.
If you are wondering – Does the engine run or need to be rebuild? Answer is – It ran when it was put in storage 20 some years back. The engine does spin freely but the fuel system needs cleaned up and the carb rebuilt. He is sure he will need to replace ignition parts and it is also stuck in gear or the flywheel or free wheeling assembly is hung up. Nevertheless, it will be necessary for him to pull the engine to find out.
We Can’t wait to see what he do with it. in Brian’s words, he’s not chasing perfection – He don’t think he is going to go for perfect since it was a true Rally car. Just straight as is reasonable, functional, solid and safe. Most focused on clearing up the surface rust and making sure it stays that way. Excited to see the final product, we know it will be well done.