A Gift: 1995 Saab NG900 5-Speed Convertible – Sold?
October 22nd Update: We just confirmed the Craigslist ad for this car expired and with no replacement listing found, we’re assuming this car sold. This one may have got away, but if you have your heart set on something similar, email us the details of what you’re looking for or call Rudy directly at (908)295-7330
Few today would argue how Nissan’s decline as an innovative carmaker is the direct result of its acquisition by Renault. Similarly, in the 1990’s Swedish carmaker Saab was the poster child of how GM could ruin such an innovative brand through cost-cutting. The first example of the beginning of the end of this marriage from hell was the 900 NG replacement launched in 1994. This 1995 64K original mile convertible originally listed in September 2020 on Craigslist in Canandaigua, New York for $2,995 exemplifies that. While Hagerty Insurance does not provide values for these RADwood eligible cars just yet, the NADA Guides Classic Car Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller has their Saab priced between the “Low”, “Average”, and “High” retail value range of $1,575, $2,950, $3,900, respectively.
The second or ‘new’ generation Saab 900 (also referred to as the GM900 or NG900 among enthusiasts) was built on GM’s GM2900 platform as a replacement for the “classic” first-generation Saab 900. This all-new 900 was produced in 1994 through 1998 model years. Depending on the market, Saab made the NG900 available with a choice of 2.0 L or 2.3 L Saab 16-valve DOHC engines (Saab engine codes B204 and B234) in naturally aspirated or turbocharged form (2.0 L only), as well as a 2.5 L version of GM’s European 54° V6 engine.
In addition to the ignition switch located between the seats, another Saab innovation, inspired by the company’s roots in aeronautics, was the ‘Black Panel’ feature that extinguished most instrument panel lights, to eliminate distraction from dash lights during night driving. While active, the SID activated feature permitted darkened instruments to re-illuminate themselves when they required driver attention — if for example, the engine speed increased alarmingly or if the fuel level should drop below four gallons. Sadly, in GM’s infinite cost-cutting wisdom, future models of Saabs after the NG900 lost these features and that lost charm eventually sent the company to collapse.
Here’s a 1960s vintage US Commercial highlighting how durable and long-lasting Volvo’s 122S was compared to other cars of the period:
If the private seller can provide decent maintenance history of his Saab, then besides the items he honestly mentions below the only cosmetic thing really needing attention is to take the car to someone who specializes in leather restoration. As bad as the interior looks currently in this car, you’ll be amazed at the results that can be achieved. Good luck with the purchase!
Here’s the seller’s description:
“1995 Saab 900 with 63,565 original miles.
This is a handsome car and runs great!
-Normal, not extreme signs of driver, age, and storage wear including several peripheral issues that are easily resolvable but should be addressed, to wit,
-inside dash panel lights
-convertible top motor, (?)
Any issues of which I am aware will be duly disclosed.
This car was given to me as a gift-I love Saabs!
I am selling it for practical reasons.“
Do you have a Saab 900 Convertible story you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!
I’ve had a long and sordid love affair with Saabs. I’ve owned 5 (yes five) GM-era 1995-1999 Saab 900’s (yes, I’m not right in the head, and have papers to prove it). I lived through the conundrum of Saab quirkiness, personality, and charm married to GM cost-cutting and crappy quality with those cars. I kept buying them because I was hoping I’d finally hit on a good one, but it was not to be.
These cars are a major quandary. On one hand they still look like Saabs, and have much of the uniqueness, charm, and particular Saab ergonomics and driving feel that make people absolutely love them. They’re tremendous fun to drive, and feel special in a way that few other cars do. On the other hand, many of the underpinnings and mechanical bits are from the GM parts bin and the end result of the lowest cost bidder. All of the NG900 Saabs I had (all of which I bought new) were horribly unreliable from day 1, with one of them, a 1995 convertible duplicate of this car, ending up in a Lemon Law suit against GM. I desperately wanted one of them to work out, but they were all just too unreliable to use as daily drivers.
But that was then and this is now. A 1995 Saab would (or should) never be used as daily transportation today. Now it should be a nice-weather, weekend only garage kept toy for tooling around New England. If the plan is to only put a couple of thousand miles a year on this car, at $2,995 for a 64k mile Saab convertible, even one with some expected needs, it’s a total bargain. There is absolutely nothing else on the road that will put as big a smile on your face for anywhere near this price. Just be patient and willing to fettle and chase down parts, and deal with the niggling issues (like the seller talks about) and you could have a long and happy relationship with this car (but don’t expect everything in the car to always work when you want it to).
I think someone should run and buy this car before it’s snapped up.