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The Yellow Saab 900 Turbo: Hong Kong’s Drive My Car Star with a Cinematic Legacy

The story of Hong Kong's rare Monte Carlo Yellow Saab 900 Turbo, its cinematic roles, and its cherished place in automotive history

Miles stands proudly next to his rare Monte Carlo Yellow Saab 900 Turbo, a symbol of his passion for vintage cars and a star of Hong Kong's cinematic history.

In the realm of cinematic treasures, few cars hold a place as iconic as the Saab 900 Turbo. From the celebrated scenes of Haruki Murakami’s adaptation “Drive My Car” to the bustling streets of Hong Kong, the Saab 900 Turbo has transcended its status as a mere vehicle to become a symbol of storytelling and nostalgia. This article dives into the fascinating journey of a yellow Saab 900 Turbo, a car that not only mirrors the beloved vehicle from “Drive My Car” but also boasts its own illustrious history in Hong Kong cinema.

Drive My Car is a film adaptation of the short story of the same name by Haruki Murakami, published in the collection Men Without Women (2014).

A Cinematic Icon: The Saab 900 Turbo in “Drive My Car”

“Drive My Car,” directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, captivated audiences worldwide, culminating in its win for Best International Feature Film at the Oscars. The film’s protagonist, played by Hidetoshi Nishijima, drives a red Saab 900 Turbo, a car that becomes a vessel for deep, introspective conversations. The Saab 900 Turbo’s presence in the film is not just as a mode of transport but as a character in itself, representing the complexities of the protagonist’s journey through grief and self-discovery.

Christian André Strand has noted that the Saab 900 has a leading role in the Japanese cult film "Drive My Car" from 2021. The 900 has frequently featured in a number of international films and is a favorite among filmmakers.
Christian André Strand has noted that the Saab 900 has a leading role in the Japanese cult film “Drive My Car” from 2021. The 900 has frequently featured in a number of international films and is a favorite among filmmakers.

Hong Kong’s Yellow Saab 900 Turbo: A Rare Gem

In Hong Kong, a yellow Saab 900 Turbo captures the essence of Murakami’s description of the car in his short story “Men Without Women,” where it is specifically noted as a yellow special edition. This particular model, known as the “Monte Carlo Yellow,” was produced in 1992 in Sweden. Limited to just over 800 units globally, this edition quickly became a sought-after collectible. In Hong Kong, its price peaked at 500,000 HKD, making it a luxury item for the “yuppie” generation.

Today, fewer than six of these yellow Saab 900 Turbos remain in Hong Kong. The car’s unique color and limited availability have made it a rare sight, with occasional glimpses of other colored Saab 900s like red, light blue, and black.

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From Silver Screen to City Streets: The Car’s Role in Hong Kong Cinema

The yellow Saab 900 Turbo has had its moments of fame in Hong Kong cinema. One of its most memorable appearances was in the movie “Fight Back to School II,” starring Stephen Chow. In a classic scene, Chow’s character stops the car in a dramatic chase, highlighting the vehicle’s vibrant presence and dynamic performance. Additionally, the car featured in promotional materials for Leon Lai’s 1993 summer concert, further cementing its status as a cultural icon.

The Enthusiast Behind the Wheel: Miles and His Passion for Vintage Cars

Miles, the proud owner of this yellow Saab 900 Turbo, has been fascinated by cars since his childhood. His journey began in the local library, where he poured over back issues of car magazines, absorbing every detail about different models and brands. This early passion evolved into a lifelong love for vintage cars, culminating in his ownership of several classic vehicles.

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For Miles, driving the Saab 900 Turbo is more than just transportation; it’s an emotional experience. The absence of modern computer-assisted features means he feels a direct connection with the car. He describes the sensation of driving along his favorite coastal road, Castle Peak Road, as therapeutic, a way to leave behind the stresses and worries of everyday life.

The Legacy of the Saab 900 Turbo: A Car That Transcends Time

The Saab 900 Turbo, especially the Monte Carlo Yellow edition, continues to be celebrated for its unique design and performance. Its aerodynamic shape, turbocharged engine, and innovative features were ahead of their time, making it a beloved model among car enthusiasts and collectors.

The car’s cultural impact is evident not only in its cinematic appearances but also in its dedicated following. Saab enthusiasts often share stories and memories associated with their vehicles, underscoring the emotional connection many have with the brand. The yellow Saab 900 Turbo in Hong Kong is a testament to this legacy, a piece of automotive history that continues to inspire and captivate.

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Reflecting on the Journey: The Future of the Saab 900 Turbo

As we look to the future, the Saab 900 Turbo remains a symbol of resilience and passion. For owners like Miles, maintaining and driving these vintage cars is a way to preserve a piece of history and share it with future generations. The car’s role in films like “Drive My Car” and its real-life counterparts in cities like Hong Kong serve as reminders of the profound impact a vehicle can have on our lives.

In conclusion, the yellow Saab 900 Turbo’s journey from the streets of Hong Kong to the silver screen is a story of nostalgia, passion, and cultural significance. It stands as a bridge between the past and the present, connecting generations through its timeless design and enduring appeal. Whether on film or in reality, the Saab 900 Turbo continues to drive our imagination, reminding us of the powerful stories that can unfold within the confines of a car.

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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.

6 Comments

  • To Steve Heinig>
    when I purchased this car it is a non runner, sat for almost 6 years, nearly in scrapyard condition, trying my best to refresh it but trims and interior parts are very hard to come by..I even needed to scrap another 900 for that🥲

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