1977 Saab 99

Turbo 2dr Saloon 2 L

Vehicle values by condition

Condition 4
#4 cars are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped.
Condition 3
#3 cars could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 car, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior.
Condition 2
#2 cars could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 cars that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws.
Condition 1
#1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best car, unmodified, in the right colours, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours.
Insurance premium for a
1977 Saab 99 Turbo 2dr Saloon 1985
valued at £8,900
£143.10 / year*

History of the 1977 - 1980 Saab 99

1977 - 1980 Saab 99
1977 - 1980 Saab 99
Saab 99 Turbo (Saloon/Hatch), 1978-1981

The Saab 99 Turbo was in production from 1978 until 1981. Styled by Sixten Sason, it is a front-engine, front wheel drive saloon range seating five adults.

The 99 Turbo was Saab’s first foray into turbocharging, a move which would become the mainstay of the company for the next three decades. At its base was the 99 saloon – Saab’s executive contender for the 1970s, using an engine developed by Ricardo as a joint venture with Triumph. Saab had intended to follow Triumph and use a V8 for its more powerful variants, and 99s fitted with Stag derived engines were tested before Saab chose forced induction as a more effective means of bringing power to its range. The increase was considerable; a standard 99 2.0 developed 118bhp, but the Turbo developed 145 – the same as the 3.0 V8 Triumph was using without the extra weight penalty. With 10607 made in a four year production run, the car paved the way for future turbocharged Saabs such as the 900 Turbo – the 900 effectively a longer wheelbase development of the 99 itself. In this form, the same basic package would be produced well into the 1990s.

You sit upright in a 99, but that’s not to say that its velour seats are uncomfortable. On the contrary, Saab seats have always been well shapes, supportive and pleasant to be in. Ahead is a plasticky dashboard, with such delights as the EXTRA switch for accessories and an aftermarket-looking boost gauge; fitted before the factory integrated it into the display. There’s a big helping of lag from the turbo, but once it’s up and away the 99 pulls astoundingly well for a car of its era. And it’s there in all gears, wind the turbo up and acceleration even in top is impressive stuff. You need to be careful not to come on boost mid bend, and the gearbox is as notchy as all old Saab boxes, but it’s a composed car, with relatively little roll and high grip. The brakes are impressive too – but Saab always was safety conscious.

Corrosion can be an issue with the 99, as with the later 900 – check the sills, the jacking points, inner and outer arches, plus the lower extremities of the body panels for any signs of corrosion. The front valance can also attract stone chips and subsequently corrode. Oil can leak fron the timing cover and rocker cover, and water pumps can leak. Check that the timing chain has been replaced – typically the interval is around 125000 miles, but as these arenow old cars it’s worth checking. Blue smoke when revved or rattles can indicate a blown turbo, and a sticking wastegate can risk overboosting the engine – check carefully. Trim can be hard to source, especially RHD specific items, but the Saab Owners Club are always happy to help where they can.

The only real options are colour and body style. Most desirable are the two door saloons with their extra torsional strength, but the three door “Combi Coupe” hatchback is a practical car which can be used every day if chosen. A handful of five door models were built, these are extremely collectible but not worth any more than the two door. Bank on paying about 5% more than for a three door Combi Coupe. Red and black are popular colours, with red velour interiors. These will always sell well.

As 1970s turbos go there are few alternatives, and they’re more expensive – the BMW 2002 Turbo and the Porsche 924 Turbo are probably the most attainable, while the Porsche 911 Turbo is the most iconic. A Saab 900 Turbo offers a similar experience at a lower cost, while the most attainable Saab Turbos these days come in the form of the 1990s 9-3 and 9-5 models. For an executive car from the era with a bit of poke, it might be worth looking at the BMW E21 323i, but its smooth six delivers its power in a far less dramatic way than the blown Swede.

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