Two-stroke heaven; ex-Saab Museum; magazine featured; driven by
Swedish rally legend Erik Carlsson; driven 100+ miles to the sale; massive
This September 1961 ‘96’ was purchased by a very well-known Motoring Journalist in May 2001 from Ture Stam, a mechanic at the Saab Museum.
He collected it from Trollhattan via the Gothenburg to Newcastle ferry, then up to Seahouses in Northumberland to visit relatives. He then drove all the way down south and it made it home without incident – quite an introduction to his new car.
During his ownership, he has replaced the engine and gearbox with genuine factory recon items – the engine was the last one available in a batch kept by a former UK Saab dealer after he sold his Dealership. This fresh engine has done about 30,100km or 18,700 miles since it was fitted in 2008.
The bodywork was refreshed in 2013-14 by Porsche specialist Robin Dalwood, with new steel in the door bottoms, lower left rear side panel ahead of the wing and lower inner left front wing - exactly as per the original factory pressings. The structure otherwise was, and is, extremely sound with no sign of rust or past repairs in the usual 96 trouble spots.
The seat and door fabric was retrimmed some years ago in an authentic Saab pattern and the floor coverings replaced. The owner has in fact renewed many components over the years – wheel bearings, rear gearbox mount, brake shoes and hydraulics, driveshaft boots, tyres, headlights, wiper rubbers, fuel pump, the entire exhaust system, all the suspension bushes apart from those for the anti-roll bar – and the battery is almost new, as are the rear dampers. The radiator has been recored.
It came with a factory workshop manual, the original Swedish handbook in its original wallet and also an English-language handbook which the museum people gave him. There is also a book of service bulletins and a vital hub puller. Also every Swedish MOT from its first to the one current when he bought it, and a whole box of other history, invoices etc as well as a memory stick with near on 1,000 files…….
As a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, our vendor has enjoyed many overseas trips in the car, including several runs in France, Le Mans, Belgium, Wales and three tours of Ireland proving what a usable car it is.
It has been featured in numerous magazine articles, including Staff Car Sagas in Practical Classics and several Octane Cars in, er, Octane.
It represented the 96 breed in a PC ‘100 favourite classics’ and featured again in a fabulous Octane story with Erik Carlsson alongside his replica of his 1963 Monte Carlo winner. The vendor and Carlsson swapped and drove each other’s cars, Carlsson saying he’d forgotten how nice a standard 96 two-stroke is!. Later on, on the ‘Save Saab’ protest drive which took them past GM’s Luton UK HQ and on to Duxford, Carlsson signed the English handbook - Erik Carlsson ‘On The Roof’.
The vendor added that he has used a 30:1 petrol/two-stroke oil mix. With modern oils it certainly doesn’t need to be as oily as Saab’s original 25:1 recommendation.
Driven over 100 miles to the sale, it has proved a ready starter and has that lovely smooth two-stroke power delivery that has to be experienced to be believed.
This well-known and thoroughly sorted car is very reluctantly offered for sale due to lack of space and should make its new owner very happy….
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