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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Ebay surprise: the 032407

The more Fabulous Flatnoses are joining to the register, the harder it gets to find new additions of yet unknown cars. Once in a while, someone applies for an insertion after having heard of the register, but most of the time it’s the register’s daily and deadly destiny to find ‘Fab Flats’ for sale on the net.

Today, the register was tipped off about a listing on ebay of a ‘rust free automatic’ 1986 convertible, that looked pretty fresh:


032407          032407

The car was described as follows:

The odometer shows 59k miles, but the odometer has stopped working. I am selling the vehicle as Miles Exempt and Unknown since I am not able to confirm the exact miles. The tachomter and speedometer do work and you are able to know what speed you are traveling at. The Turbo guage does not work.

The car is in very nice condition considering its age. The engine starts every time and it runs strong. The transmission shifts smooth. You can definitely hear and feel the Turbo engage. All the power windows go up and down smooth. The convertible top works great. The A/C blows warm air. It should be serviced. The exterior is in overall very good shape. It looks to be original paint and it has a good shine. There are a few smaller scratches and chips. the grille needs paint and there is a long ding/crease on the left quarter panel.

The interior is in good shape. The seats have less than normal wear and tear. It looks like the donor had the drivers seat reupholstered.

The convertible top is in nice shape. It works smoothly. The inside ceiling pad is in good shape. The covers that go on the convertible top are in good shape. The rear speaker covers are in the trunk. The material that covers them has deteriorated, they can be recovered and reinstalled.

The car appears to be rust free except for one area that I found. It looks like some battery acid caused some corrosion directly underneath the battery holder under the front bumper. There are signs of old oil leaks that have dried oil underneath.

This is a great Saab, soon to be a Classic. It runs and drives good and looks good. It is not new, and there are some issues to attend to, but overall you are looking at a clean rust Free Saab 900 Turbo convertible. New Jersey clean title.

The extensive photo series shows a clean Fabulous Flatnose automatic from June 1986, with some wear and tear and obviously some TLC needed:

032407 032407 032407 032407 032407 032407

It is with love that we adopt this Fabulous Flatnose in the register as #053. The PDF of the register can be found in the Register tab.

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