Did Saab really fall THAT FAR!?
My parents owned (later passed dwn to me) a '68 Saab Monte Carlo w/
the Ford designed V-4 engine. I've owned and driven a lot of GM iron
and have never seen anything even in the same parallel universe as
good as that old Saab. A brilliant car.
I have played. wrenched, hated and enjoyed a whole myriad of european
cars. When I lived in Toronto, I had a garage with a full-size pit.
(The next owner had to have it filled, residential bylaws and all that
shit) A lot of co-workers and friends used it to change their oil and
worked on brakes, mufflers etc. One such co-worker had a love affair
with Saab. He had restored a two-stroke, that thing was a riot. It
went like stink (I think that's where the phrase originated as it
smelled quite bit with castrol racing oil in the gas) He and his wife
drove new Saabs and I had the pleasure to drive those magnificent cars
on more than one occasion.
For the longest time, Saabs would give Audis, MiniCoopers and Volvo a
pretty good run on the Rallye circuit.
Great cars and a crying shame to see them go. A shame to see Saturn
get reduced to Opels and then dropped altogether. A shame to see
Pontiac get dropped as well...although not so much.
I have, for sale, a 1996 Saturn SC1 with 270,000 KM on it... all it
ever needed was 2 sets of tires and a brake job. Always starts, A/C
always cold, never a problem. Never. The interior.. well it is kinda
falling apart, seats are shot etc.
On Sat, 19 Dec 2009 09:38:46 -0800, Robatoy wrote:
Yeah, I can believe that. I've know quite a few folk with old Saabs, and
they were pretty reasonble cars.
Is there a direct comparison with models from the two? My father over in
England has a Vauxhall (essentially an Opel) Astra with a 6-speed manual
'box and whatever the largest engine is that they offer (I'd have to ask
I borrowed and drove it as my daily driver for a few months before I moved
to the US (I'd sold my own cars) and it handled itself pretty well on
twisty roads, the 6-speed was pretty smooth, and the turbo on it was
surprisingly good (I'd always been wary about vehicles with turbos, but I
guess they've got better over the years).
I know Saturn offered a model with exactly the same body style (although
I couldn't care less about that - I generally dislike modern car styling)
- but I've no idea if they offered the same drivetrain.
:-) I really did like the drivetrain and handling on my father's one - but
the styling (both exterior and interior) I could certainly live without,
and the inside had a horrible "cheapest possible" feel about it; I suspect
it won't age well at all.
I'm not sure where they got the 6-speed from, whether it was developed
in-house or bought in from somewhere else. It did good on mileage; my work
was about 50 miles away and a mixture of small twisty lanes (i.e. lots of
braking and acceleration) and then fast roads (used to keep it on 90-100)
and I could still average 40mpg out of it.
I think that's perhaps the one thing I do like about modern vehicles; they
do generally fare better in terms of fuel use...
Despite being in a couple sports car clubs, some as early as '58 (my
parents), I've never driven or seen a Saab 2-stroke up close (3 cyl,
no less!). The only time was in USAF boot camp in TX when we were
taking a 5 min ciggy break on the drill field. Slowly, in the
distance, we heard a gawdawful din slowly approaching. As it came
closer, still unseen, the volume and horrific noise steadily
increased. It sounded like a ...what? Army tank? Old diesel semi
hauling slop from the chow hall? Old Johnny Popper with bad cylinder.
Finally, the cacophony was so overwhelming, whole marching squads came
to a halt and every one of hundreds of heads and ears were turned in
the direction of the battlefield of thundering pops and bangs.
Slowly, an old rat Saab lumbered into view, about a hundred yards
away. Couldn't have been moving at more than 10 mph, but sounded like
an artillery barrage at its height. I think, for a second, I was the
only one who realized it was that 2 cycle Saab with no muffler
On Thu, 17 Dec 2009 18:10:14 -0800, David Nebenzahl wrote:
Question: did they ever sell the truck version in the US? (think bus
but with most of the roof chopped off and a load bed in the back).
Couple of my uncles had those as farm trucks in the early 70s (because
they were cheap, easy to fix and they never needed them to be fast or
go long distances, I suppose). There can't have been many manufacturers
offering rear-engined pickups. Not seen one on the road for years, though.
Yes! In fact, there's one for sale jes a few blocks from that VW
bus/pickup I mentioned. The guy has had it up for sale since I moved
here 2 yrs ago. I'm becoming more and more curious as to why it has
never sold, this being major jeep country (CO Rockies @ 8K ft!).
Price too high? Mech problems? I'd even consider buying it, it being
so downright funky and rare. I should call him one of these days. ;)
I suspected road speed might have been another factor in its not
selling. Kinda like the very nice '52 Chevy p/u I owned and finally
sold due to it's 5.16:1 rear end that made 55mph a stretch. The
F-head (Hurricane) no doubt makes it even more rare, the only time
I've even seen one of these bizarre hermaphrodite engines being in our
HS auto shop, back when I didn't know a valve stem from a king pin.
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