After studying Swedish language for two months I figured I needed a new study project, my first old-timer. When working at Saab in Sweden it of course needed to be an old Saab. I found this 96 from 1972 and fell in love immediately. With the help of a lot of colleagues, friends and sometimes total strangers we fixed the car step by step. At the end of my stay in Sweden I took the car on a summer vacation through Sweden and finally I imported it into Holland. In the pictures underneath you can see the whole process:
This was the first testdrive with my Saab 96, before I bought it.
Actually you could see the road through the bottom of the car :)
So I borrowed a ‘Verkstadhandbok’ or Workshop manual and started to learn a lot of Swedish words for all the engine parts.
The parking space next to my house became a small garage.
Once you start, you can’t stop. Also the locks in the door needed some fixing.
The trunk of the car filled itself up with all kinds of supplies and spare parts.
And also the backseat came in handy to store more stuff I needed.
Dirty nails and bleeding knuckles were common.
Gladly I could take this beauty for a spin during reparations.
For instance to a colleague.
The most patient Francis was my mentor. Here he is helping patiently with the electronics. ‘Do you think this is complicated? Have you ever seen the electronics of an Airbus?’
The rust was removed and fresh metal was welded into the car.
The valves of the unique 1.5 V4 were adjusted.
As a designer you also should do some cosmetic surgery.
My wheelcaps were sand blasted by my colleague and wheel designer Andreas.
To fix the floor all seats needed to be taken out which gave this nice picutre.
Some primer and bitumen would keep the floor good for a while.
The interior could be placed back.
Then a ‘simple’ job, replace the covers of both drive shaft.
But as with all old cars, some parts were quit stuck. I think I was in the wheel box for days :)
But with a lot op patience, force, cursing and a help of my Swedish roommates the drive shafts came out.
And with a lot of force they came a part.
The ‘Saab’ bear was a lucky charm during the process.
With the dashboard nice and shiny, I was ready to travel to the Netherlands.
Here you see the 96 at the car import inspection in the Netherlands.
I heard that the green color, which I liked the most, was actually the cheapest color to buy, since Saab bought left over paint from the Swedish airforce!
No luxury and really close together; the 96 is a real no-nonsense car.
The unofficial Saab museum in Gouda, stored nice and dry.