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.

022196

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:

MSL130

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

027839

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.

027839027839

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          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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Rising prices?

It looks like prices are rising for a Fabulous Flatnose in nice condition. Of course, from the first day on, they have been scarce. But it never really showed in second hand prices. But maybe things are changing…

On Reachoo, a yet unknown manual Fabulous Flatnose is offered for $ 12,500:

Reachoo 1 Reachoo 2 Reachoo 3

“A true collectors item. This is one of them-99k two family owner car. Stored winters, no snow. New exhaust, head gasket, brakes, cv joints, top motor. May need new top, no holes, just wear on trim. Comes with conv. hard boot and wind guard. Cruise and clock do not work.”

On the New London Craigslist, another Fabulous Flatnose (the 019877) is offered for $ 20,000:

019877

“A rare vehicle – 1986 Saab 900 Turbo Convertible … MFG date 2/1986; well cared for – garaged and kept in Florida, with 81,325 daily-drive miles – carefully restored: repaired and new paint by Xtreme Restorations in RI; new upholstery, top, new tires & rims; fun to drive, quick, fast, smooth and straight forward … asking $20,000”

Although the mileage of 81,325 is pretty low, the car has apparently been restored, and Jalopnik is wondering if this car has a reasonable price. Giving the car has been for sale for quite some time, one might indeed wonder about that…

Both cars have a five number price tag and a mileage below 100,000. But I would not be surprised (nor sad) if the rarity of the flatnose convertible is starting to drive prices up. What do you think?

 

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New addition: the 026481

From Germany, a guy contacted the register to enlist his May 1986 Fabulous Flatnose with serial number 026481. This car is undergoing reconstruction at the moment and will be on the road again in May 2016. This car was imported to Germany from the United States, where it once was owned by a man in Georgia.

To make things a little thrilling, picture lovers will have to hold their horses until this summer. The anxiousness starts here…!

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Two birds… one stone!

The search for the missing Fabulous Flatnoses continues… Sometimes, help comes unexcpectedly. Roland Almborg from Sweden killed two birds with one stone, when he came up with the Sweden registered 027036 and 032535!

The 027036 is a silver manual car, produced in May 1986 and imported to Sweden in 2013. The 032535 is a silver automatic car, produced in June or July 1986 and imported to Sweden in 2015. Both cars are alive and therefor can be added to the current population of Fabulous Flatnoses!

There are no pictures available, but of course the register was updated immediately…!

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The crash test car

Today, Valmet posted a very rare picture on it’s Facebook site: that of a Fabulous Flatnose crash test car, painted in regular crash test colours:

Fabulous Crash Tester

Actually, it is pretty grim to see the look in the headlights of this poor thing… For sure it will get quite a hit in the head to pave the way for its brothers and sisters to become roadworthy. I guess he did pretty well…!

According to Valmet 13 Flatnose crash test cars were used in the development.

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Another lucky flatnose

For quite some time, the 029277 stood for sale at a car trader in Berlicum, the Netherlands:

Car trader

For me, this is an Extra Fabulous Flatnose, because it is the very first Fabulous Flatnose I witnessed in the wild. It was around 2005, when I lived in Het Gooi, an area in the Netherlands. This car has the automatic gearbox and was consistently driven by a lady and maintained by the local SAAB dealership. I really loved the lines of this distinct model and once in a while I spotted the car in the area. At some point in time it suddenly was for sale in the south of the Netherlands, in Berlicum. Although it got interest from Sweden even, it sadly remained unsold for about a year or two.

In May 2014, the 029277 was spotted – also in Berlicum – by a spotter on Flickr:

Spotted

But apart from that, everything remained silent around this wonderful flatnose…

Until January 15th 2016, when I got an e-mail from Max Rens from Vianen, announcing his new purchase: the 029277! Although the car doesn’t look feeble at all, this lucky flatnose is now getting a full restoration. So if anyone sees an ‘as new’ Fab Flat this summer, it may surely be my first flatnose crush…

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