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.

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


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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Grieco Bros.’ beautiful stock

A Fabulous Flatnose is a rare car just by the look of it. That old style grille with the USA sealed beam headlights, combined with the silver body and the black top truly marks the start of a new era for SAAB. So it’s always a pleasure to see a real Fabulous Flatnose  pass by – be it IRL or URL.

On Flickr, a nice flatnose convertible was posted by ‘R36 Coach’, photographed at Grieco Bros Automotive, a SAAB Specialist in Boonton, NJ:

It looks to be pretty well-survived, but the box on the dashboard might denounce some TLC to be dealt with. Let’s try and get the serial number of this pretty carriage.

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Flatnose Fantasy by Margo Toth

As one can abstract from the register documents, two pearl-colored prototypes were built – one of which was in fact more a design study than a prototype. Both cars bedeck the SAAB Museum in Trollhättan.

Being the Fabulous Flatnose register, what is much appreciated about the design of the SAAB convertible is of course the flat nose that characterizes the model of choice.

In 2010, Margo Toth captured both pearl prototypes abreast and shot this wonderful picture, that pretty much sums up the Flatnose Fantasy. Enjoy:

Flatnose Fantasy

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Fabulous Freshness: register restyle (and update)

After 28 months of flightly flatnosing around, here is a fundamental restyle and update of the Fabulous Flatnose register! A lot has changed for the better.

fabulous flatnose frontpage

New visions and new definitions
A new vision of this register on pre-production cars has grown and rooted over time, and will be used from now on. Instead of classifying i.e. ‘early and red cars’ or ‘cars with certain production flaws’ as pre-production cars, each category of Fabulous Flatnoses now has a stipulated definition to segregate different types of Fabulous Flatnoses. The categories are:

  • The prototypes
  • The pre-production cars
  • The crash-test cars
  • The production cars – existence recently confirmed
  • The production cars – scrapped
  • The production cars – existence unconfirmed
  • Unidentified cars
  • Non-original cars

Now each category has its own definition, each new addition will be judged on that.


For the pre-production cars, that mark an important transition from prototype to production, the definition reads ‘cars built in 1985 on the line (not by hand)’. Due to this new classification, only four (previously six) of originally seven pre-production cars are accounted for in the register now.

New category: Unidentified
A category of unidentified cars is added; cars of which it is unclear which one they are (mostly due to lack of a verified serial number) and if they are truly Fabulous Flatnoses. This category no longer counts as registered cars. The category is somewhat enigmatic marked out as ‘cars that may or may not be real Fabulous Flatnoses and may or may not already be in the register; the serial number is unknown’. Check the register-pdf in the Register tab for better understanding, if you wish.

The most famous car in this category is the MSL130 from multiple press photos:


If this license plate did truly belong to this car at the time or even if both depicted cars are in fact the same car after a facelift remains unclear.

Of course, the search for information on these cars will continue.

New additions
Five of the first 11 Fabulous Flatnoses turned out to be still around and were traced (with help from Roland Almborg) and added to the production car statistics. The interesting part is these five cars are all in Sweden and were registered as 900i, athough it were true T16 Fabulous Flatnoses. Apparently, most of the really early Fabulous Flatnose production cars weren’t sent to the USA – possibly because quality standards were not yet met.

Factsheet updated
The Fabulous Flatnose Factsheet in the Library is updated with the new definitions and classification.

Restyled register-pdf
The one and only register-pdf, in which the complete register can be found, got a pretty nice restyle and was expanded with some interesting information. It can be found in the Register tab.

Upgraded database
In the register-pdf, the database was upgraded. Alle the cars in the register are now in the database, that is sorted by category and serial number.

Register database

Updates galleries
The galleries, that can be found in the Register tab, have been updated according to the above changes and consummated due to overdue maintenance.

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Quick sale wanted for this ’trusty turbo’

On, this at first glance pretty original Fabulous Flatnose is looking for a quick sale.


The 027839 it might be a pretty purchase, although it needs some minor work:

Selling my “trusty turbo!” This is a classic car with only a steering fluid leak. We have had it for around 4 years and have slowly been restoring it. Transmission was replaced in 2013. Only selling because we upgraded to a “mommy car.” Looking to sell as soon as possible!

The May 1986 Fabulous Flatnose is equipped with period correct US Trubo wheels and still has the original Clarion equalizer mounted, although the accessory headunit has been replaced with an aftermarket unit.

027839 027839

Also, judging from the dashboard and paint, it looks like it has seen quite some sun.


Who will pick up this 100,000 mile rarity?

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