Provkörning: Saab 900T 16 Cabriolet

Here is a nice new addition to the Fabulous Flatnose Library: a scan of a June 1986 article of Teknikens Värld:

One of the pages of the 1986 article

This Swedish technical oriented car magazine was founded in 1948 and still exist.

In 1996 Teknikens Värld hit the news when the all new Saab 9-5 (at the time only known as the successor of the 9000) was spotted, photographed and revealed in the magazine, being at an airport storage hall. Saab went crazy and GM threatened to sue Teknikens Värld. Journalist PeO Kjellström even went to jail for a few hours. Eventually, there were no charges and all ended well.


‘The new Saab – the images Saab tried to forbid’

Our thanks to Jonas Claar for sending in the article!

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Another Flatnose saved: the 026970

It was in May 2017, that I was searching the internet to find some interesting Saabs 900, a bargain maybe, or a unique car in pristine condition – who knows what you encounter when sitting behind your laptop, looking at the screen?

On Craigslist.org, a rather interesting advertisement came up on the ‘Saab 900’ search: a black 1989 900 SPG, located in Seattle. But is was not this car that drew my attention. Rather, the unicorn peeping behind it made this posting worth an extra look:

Unmistakably, there was something with a flat nose and a softtop behind the SPG. On behalf of the Fab Flat Reg, I grabbed some guts, wrote the seller an e-mail and awaited response – if any.

*PLING!* – An e-mail found my mobile device and demanded attention:

You are correct and have a good eye to notice. I was trying to keep the photo cropped enough so as not to show the convertible and am surprised that you were able to distinguish the difference from it. [Well, we’re not the Register for no reason..]

I no longer own the car, but I know the new owner wouldn’t mind if I share the information. The VIN starting at the G is G*028644. It currently has 231,216 miles on it and is in operating condition. It has a second used transmission installed, but I have rebuilt the original transmission and will be installing it over the next couple weeks when I have the time. I’ll most likely replace the timing chain and tensioners along with replacing all gaskets and seals on the engine before dropping it back in. At that point, it will be mechanically ready for another
200,000 miles. The best way to get the background on the car, or at least as much as I know personally, would be to go to this thread. I documented the car from purchase until its current state:

http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=178260

Well look at that! A true 1986 convertible was trying to hide behind his young black brother. This 028644 was already in the register, but since the serial number was not known, it was in the ‘unidentified’ section. So for one, we could luckily verify that this car is still existing and being well taken care of:

After writing back, we got into an e-mailing conversation in which the seller of the SPG, Mike, nostalgicly thought about his former flatnose and pointed out that he’d see one or two flatnoses around once in a while. One of them, he recalled, stood at a local workshop called Scanwest. Mike didn’t know anything about the car, nor who owned it.

As the conversation grew, Mike apparently fell in love again, because in the following e-mail he wrote:

After you contacted me, a [name censored] also contacted me in regards to the flatnose. I then got another inquiry from a local collector. I decided with all the interest that I should follow up on the others that I know of.

I contacted Scanwest Autosport where, as I relayed previously, one has been for a while now and asked if that ’86 convertible was a customer car or if they had purchased it. It turned out that it was a customer car and the customer had given up on it. […] SW relayed that the customer had donated it to a local charity but could not remember which one if he ever even knew. I don’t know if you have similar charity services over there [in Europe, that is], but here when a older car is donated, it pretty much always ends up being purchased for scrap and crushed.

As luck would have it, your inquiry […] had pushed me to check on it and not a moment too soon. The car was donated a week ago and was going to auction today!

If that isn’t coincidence! This story was growing into something nice…! This car, that was going up for auction, was actually added to the Fabulous Flatnose Register seven days ago! It was the 026790 ad it looked pretty decent:

With 174,000 miles on the clock, this car should be saved from the shredder, I mean: look at it! 

As I wondered about this ‘had to be’-history, I had a look at the other thusfar unidentified flatnoses, and for no specific reason I got to this car that was posted on Instagram in December 2015, and shortly after was saved on the register’s HDD:

I decided to do some search on ‘meestersam’ and came to find out that ‘meestersam’ is in fact a Scanwest-mechanic. This was the same car that Mike was after!

It is really nice to see what the register can do, both in uncovering a Fabulous Flatnose in an SPG-advertisment and, more importantly, in reviving one’s passion for this particular model, leading to an adoption right before the shredder likely came in. In addition, by means of this short history, two previously unidentified cars were suddenly identified:

 

Another e-mail from Mike came in:

I’ll be picking the car up today. […] Scanwest supplied me with a list of service records dating back to 2001 for the car and let me know that the only thing it needs is a starter to be operational.
They said there is minor damage to the rear passenger quarter panel, but I don’t yet know the extent. […] The extent of maintenance that has been performed on the car over the years makes me think it will be a very good car.

Let’s hope this car is worth the effort. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from both Mike and his new family member…! Take care, Mike! Enjoy this new baby.

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Colorado sighting

As the Fabulous Flatnose register steadily expands, more people become aware of the special status the 1986 Saab 900 convertbile has – both in history as in appearance. One of them is Cameron, who spotted a flatnose convertible in Boulder, Colorado, and was keen enough to take a picture of the car:

This car looks to be in very nice shape! And Cameron also took a picture of the VIN:

And the VIN proves the originality of this flatnose. Also, it is a new addition to the register, since the 030244 was thusfar unknown to the register.

Thank you Cameron for paying attention and sharing this sighting of yet another Fabulous Flatnose that is alive and kicking!

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The 027484 up for auction

The fate of some Fabulous Flatnoses is not at all enviable… 

The 027484, a manually shifted car, was once rescued from a barn in Washougal, where it had sat for several years with the top down. One can imagine what this does to the interior – let alone the top itself. The saver of this car repaired the top, put on a new exhaust and two tires and had the front seats reupholstered. Also, the bonnet was replaced with another one, off-color, yet in better condition.

In July 2014, the 027484 was offered on Craigslist and was sold to a new owner in Washington State, with 163,000 miles on the clock and still going strong, according to the advertisement. The asking price was $1,750 firm.

Recently, this Fabulous Flatnose turned up at Whitey’s Public Auto Auction in Pacific, Washington, where it will be auctioned. Apparently, stakes of selling are not too high, since there is hardly any detail given about the car, let alone a description of its current state. Perhaps, this is a ‘what you see is what you get’, so best to head off for Pacific to judge for yourself.

    

Let’s hope someone will save this nice flatnose. Again. Meanwhile, we’ll keep an eye on the bids…

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One of the former factory-owned cars: 018388

This is the Fabulous Flatnose with serial number 018388. It has register slot #059 and is a rather interesting car in the register.

‘Number 59’ is one of the first 10 production cars that came off the line, built in February 1986, in Finland. This car, however, did not go straight to the USA, but was transported to Sweden, where it became roadworthy later that year. Thus, it was one of the  29 cars that did not go to the United States.

The majority of the (although few) Fabulous Flatnoses that were actually registered in Sweden (like the 012839, 017384, 017973 and 018115 – all early production cars from January and February) have a 900 8-valve injection registration (AB25J-KP) instead of the 900 turbo 16-valve registration, although they do have the 160 BHP 16 valve turbo engine aboard. The same goes for the 018388, that remained Scandinavian all its life and is now owned by Jerry Bergmark from Sweden.

What makes this car even more remarkable is that, as you can see, it has the slant nose instead of the flatnose – which is the primary characteristic of the 1986 model. The explanation for that lies in its exceptional history.

History of the 018388
According to the door jamb sticker, this Fabulous Flatnose was built in February 1986, which is consistent with the serial number 018388 within the range of cars produced. This car was not pre-registered in Sweden until June 26th, 1986. So far, it has had eight owners:

First owner
This car was first owned by the Passenger Car division of SAAB A.B., who used this very car for promotional goals – unclear being which exactly. What is clear is that it was converted to the slantnose model by SAAB. This makes it credible that the aforementioned promotional goals involved not (only) the promotion of the 1986 model but (also) of the 1987 model of the SAAB 900 convertible. Perhaps it is the 018388 that poses for official press photos of the 1987 model 900 convertible (although one can’t help but notice the missing headlight wipers).

 

SAAB owned this car from June 27th, 1986, to December 29th, 1987.

Second owner
The second owner was Jan-Erik Larsson, president of the SAAB ANA dealership from 1981 to November 1988 and who subsequently became head of the SAAB Passenger Car division, as the successor of Rolf Sandberg (until 1990). So, being the president of ANA, he somehow had the opportunity to buy this production car from the 1986-series that had the looks of the 1987 model.

Third owner
The third owner was mister A. from Saltsjöbaden, who had the car from August 29th, 1988, to September 21st, 1989. He is the source for the claim that the car was used for advertising.

Fourth owner
Mister K. from Sollentuna had the car for almost twenty years, until July 1st, 2009!

Fifth owner
The fifth owner was mister R. from Karlskoga, from July 1st, 2009 until March 1st, 2010.

Sixth owner
The sixth owner was Atrab Autotrading AB from Stockholm, a car trading company that had the car from March 1st 2010 until March 11th that same year, so just over a week.

Seventh owner
This owner was mister A. from Pitea; he had the car for just more than two years: from March 11th 2010 until July 23d 2012.

Eighth owner (current)
Jerry is the eighth owner and bought the car, knowing that it was a 1986 car, but he thought at first that it was a late 1986 car, and thusly suspected a 1987 model range 900. For most people it would be a disappointment to find out the car was in fact of a more antiquated model year than the looks revealed, but in this case, Jerry turned out to have bought quite a rare car instead – with a special history!

Selling advertisement
Here is a pretty interesting selling advertisment, in which the car is offered as a 1987 model 900 convertible with a 1986 registration.

Condition
The 018388 is in normal condition considering age and mileage (little over 110,000). The canvas top works fine but is not too good looking.

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Another Holland-based original: #80!

Being the prowd owner of a 1986 model SAAB 900 turbo convertible (032342), Gert Jan Gijsbertsen is one of the members of the Fabulous Flatnose register. His car is getting some serious attention in the upcoming weeks, which one can see this article.

Recently, Gert Jan was in Den Bosch, the Netherlands, where his eye caught the silver paint of a SAAB convertible, which looked to be a flatnose. He grabbed his smartphone and took this remote picture of it, because there was a closed fence that locked the parking lot from the roadside. After that he contacted the register to exchange thoughts on the sighting.

It was a little hard to tell, but our first thought was actually a disqualification of this convertible, because at first glance it looked to be a 900 slantnose. But Gert Jans perserverance led to another visit later that week. And again, there was this silver SAAB in the parking lot. But this time, the fence was open and Gert Jan got to inspect the car a little closer…

…it actually turned out to be a slantnose convertible like we suspected:

Bummer for the Register.

Albeit… what about that typical band along the side? The Dutch license register was easily checked and told us that this car was registered in 1986. This could mean we were dealing with an early 1987 slantnose model, but just as well it could be a 1986 model flatnose-in-disguise. Only the VIN could provide undeniable evidence… And luckily Gert Jan was fully aware of that, so he took a picture of the VIN. And what about that:

The ‘G’ in the tenth position of the VIN proves that this in fact is truly and really a latent 1986 model Fabulous Flatnose, despite its slantnose looks!

Way to go Gert Jan!! What an instinct this man has…! No Fabulous Flatnose will ever escape the Holmes in Gijsbertsen, I’m sure.

So here we are, looking at the 031581, the newest Fabulous Flatnose Register addition. The ‘6’ in the VIN indicates that this car was originally equipped with an automatic gearbox, but nowadays, a 5-speed manual gearbox is responsible for its power transfer. All in all a great find, this surviving June 1986 flatnose, that will be part of the register and is in fact the eigthieth addition!

With help of Gert Jan we are trying to get in touch with the owner for some more details – or stories! To be continued…?

Thanks to Gert Jan!

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Gert Jan’s 032342: time for TLC

One of the strangers in our register’s midst is Gert Jan Gijsbertsen’s 032342: an original Fabulous Flatnose, indeed, but at some point in time this one was converted to a slantnose model and painted red.


For quite some time now, this has been a project car. But recently, Gert Jan decided to get it roadworthy again by this summer (in about five months). A lot of work has already been done:

  • The interior is redone, with new leather and rust protection
  • The body is mostly done, rust removed and bodywork repaired and protected
  • The chassis has new bushes and bearings, a revised steering rack and new shocks and springs


Bodywork in progress


Bodywork redone


New brakes

Work to be done in the upcoming months includes mounting a new Simons sport exhaust, re-installing the original engine (that may later be replaced by a revised engine) and getting the paintwork done – in silver #172 of course!

After that, the original bumpers and USA-style headlights will be mounted and the Fabulous Flatnose will be close to breaking free and driving around the country again.

It is really nice to see a red slantnose regaining its original looks and colour! Good luck and have fun, Gert Jan! We are looking forward to the photos of the risen 032342!

Here is some inspiration for you, to end with: Harry Melis’ 030201 after the repaint.

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The 031032 from Boonton, NJ

031032

After having posted the Grieco-article, the owner of Grieco Bros joined the Facebook register page and gave some more information about the car. This led to a nice new registration in the register:

Serial number: 031032
Production month: 06/86
Transmission: automatic
Mileage: 214,000

That makes 79.

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Reconstruction of a Silver Star

Since an ‘update’ back in 1991, Vincent van der Meulen’s Fabulous Flatnose looks like a Monte Carlo Special Edition, with Monte Carlo yellow paintwork and a firm Aero/SPG bodykit:

But with a G-VIN and serial number 027216, this truly is a Fabulous Flatnose, and Vincent is putting a lot of effort in to get it back to its original condition:

If you look closely, you can still see the silver body colour on the inner parts, which show some of its origin.

This may turn out to be a long term project, but every now and then, work is getting done. Depending on progress being made, decisions on the body color and nose style will be made, because Vincent’s first goal is to get the car on the road again. But eventually, it will regain the looks of the original Fabulous Flatnose…

Go for it, Vincent!

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The white commercial star

Johan Mäsak’s Fabulous Flatnose (021807) is one of only two white production cars in the register! This particular car was featured in a Saab convertible commercial, for which it was converted to a – at the time current – slant nose model:

But this was 1987… Nowadays, it has been rebuilt as a flatnose model, this time with an aero-kit added:

Doesn’t it look pretty? Well, I must admit that I’m a little jealous at Johan for owning this white commercial star

Thanks @Johan for the photo
Thanks @Mikael for finding Johan

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