PNW Special – Is This One Better? 1978 Saab 99 Turbo

After the 1980 Saab 99 GLi featured yesterday, we did another search and found the same seller (not by admission, but really, how many Saab 99 owners could there be in Bow, WA?) selling his 1978 Saab 99 Turbo. Now, if you think an oddball transitional model like the 1980 99 GLi or the 1979 900 GLE 5-door hatch gets us all wobbly in the knees, the 900 Turbo can make us fall flat on the floor. While these probably have a greater survival rate than the other models, the spoilers, turbo badges, and red interior add up to a combination of Swedish avant-garde and their interpretation of what the North American market would find appealing. You can find today’s 99 Turbo listed at $3800 in Bow, WA, about an hour’s drive north of Seattle.

1978 Saab 99 Turbo right front

Oh yeah – 900 bumpers, indicators, and those spoilers and turbo badges. Good thing there’s a chair nearby. There’s some oxidation of the hood paint, but this is to be expected on a west coast car. Unfortunately, the car was recently hit by a piece of flying tire debris. The grill, indicator, and hood’s leading edge were damaged, although the seller has repaired the former two items. Perhaps this and the light crease under the gas cap can be fixed by a paintless dent removal service, assuming you’d like to maintain the “aged” look of the car.

1978 Saab 99 Turbo engine

The engine looks reasonably clean, although shooting the valve cover with some new paint would tidy things up significantly with minimal effort. That clamshell hood is pretty sweet for access to everything, and much recent work has been done including transmission check, 12-cog water pump, performance exhaust with cat, and turbo adjustment (what do you adjust on a turbo? boost?). There are also a new clutch and rebuilt slave, new throwout bearing, resurfaced flywheel, rear main seal, and recently flushed radiator.

1978 Saab 99 Turbo interior

The interior is said to be good, including a new headliner and those funky rear headrests to support you when the adjusted turbo’s full boost kicks in. So are those seat covers hiding anything then? For a daily driver you’d probably want to protect the seats, but for an occasional driver the full glory of the 1970s suspenders-pattern (look them up, you’ll see it too!) needs to be shared with anyone who looks.

1978 Saab 99 Turbo left rear

Looking good here too. With the size of that hatch, you better hope the struts work very well. They certainly seem to in another photo of the trunk, which also reveals what might be rust (or dirt?) around the tail lights. The car does have a couple of rust spots the seller mentions, one on the sunroof and the other just south of the spoiler. Make sure to check elsewhere since one spot means there are likely more the seller hasn’t spotted. Either way, it sounds like this car is mechanically sorted and ready to go surprise some unsuspecting E21 320is or Alfetta on the back roads.

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