Eighties Aero – 1988 Saab 900 Turbo

This is starting to feel like a Saab 900-specific place, but honestly, there seem to be a good batch of them out there right now. Surprisingly, there are even more than the featured cars, but the ones shown here seem to represent some of the best or most unique of the cars available. In terms of its performance models, Saab had the SPG cars starting in 1986, and the Aero cars starting in 1993, but this is neither of those. It’s a 900 turbo with a very 1980s aero package – whale tail rear spoiler, deep front spoiler, SPG-style side cladding and rear vent covers, and rear skirts. Is it possible this is an SPG and the seller is simply not aware? You can find this 1986 Saab 900 turbo maybe-SPG for $3488 in Fremont, CA.

1988 Saab 900 turbo left front

Either way, it’ll hold its own against the similarly enhanced Porsche 911 turbo, Mercedes 190E 2.3-16, Merkur XR4Ti, and BMW M3 in a spoiler show. The front end looks to have some road rash, which is understandable on a 212,000 mile car. The clearcoat also has some sun damage, as does the whale tail. If this is not an SPG, the seller was clearly inspired by it, using 3-spoke wheels from a late Saab 9000. There are better choices if you can find them, but in any case, three-spoke wheels work on very few cars, and this is one of them.

1988 Saab 900 turbo right rear

Clean and straight from the back too. The seller says the car runs well and is equipped with an air- and oil-cooled Garrett turbo, although it’s not clear whether this is any different from standard spec for the car. It would be interesting to get a peek at the engine to see if there are any visible modifications – unfortunately, the seller has not provided any underhood shots. Perhaps a call to a couple of local Saab shops might net you some information about the history.

1988 Saab 900 turbo interior

The interior looks reasonably well-kept, and has an unusual Saab steering wheel. The dash is covered by a dash mat, and was hopefully covered before the cracking started. The seats have been reupholstered, but not in the correct pattern, and it’s not clear whether the work was done in the original leather. What does it say about Saabs and their seats that you rarely see them with the Recaros that are so common in the German and Italian competition? Either way, this should tide you over for a while until Saab’s Chinese owners figure out their plans.

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4 Responses to “Eighties Aero – 1988 Saab 900 Turbo”

  1. jimmyrk3 Says:

    This looks like a great car… thanks for sharing….

  2. Matt Spencer Says:

    My 1988 900 base had that steering wheel and my friend’s 900s had a three spoke. I think turbos had three spoke wheels. Also those headlights were introduced in 1987. And this car appears not to say turbo on the tail, but only on the grille. Also, the seats look a little puffy and plain, like they may be recovered cloth seats. I’m thinking this is a 900 base with a mis-marked year that’s had a turbo added to it along with all the body kit and wheels. We’ll call it frankensaab!

  3. Matt Spencer Says:

    I take it back! It has a turbo gauge in the dashboard and no window cranks so must have had power windows. Just a confusing Saab!

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