Digestible Collectible: 1988 Saab 900 SPG
The contrast was so stark, it was breathtaking.
Dad was driving his company car, some sort of GM A-Body, as we pulled into the parking lot of a golf course north of Columbus. Golf, of course, is another hobby my dad introduced me to that is as sure as car collecting to drive me into debilitating debt. Anyhow, we were meeting a friend of his for a weekend round, and we parked next to his new Saab.
I was blown away. Of course, I read all of the car magazines, so I knew what a Saab was, but dad’s buddy had a 900 SPG — the high-performance, limited edition hot Swede. Black, with grey three-spoke wheels just like the car shown above. The buff book photos did not do the car justice. It’s such a vivid memory of a not-that-exotic car that is so overwhelming.
This 1988 Saab 900 SPG is being sold by the original owner, and it looks to be nearly perfect. There are a few bubbles on the glovebox door, and the cloth covering the moonroof is sagging a bit, but considering how clean the rest of the car is, these are minor complaints.
The black paint gleams like the new car I recall. The lower-body cladding doesn’t appear to have faded or cracked, like so many Pontiacs. The grey leather interior looks sumptuous, and barely creased, considering 143,000 miles on the odometer. It’s $7,000 asking price seems like a bargain.
I haven’t yet had the pleasure of driving an SPG. It’s probably another situation where one should never meet their heroes, as 175 horsepower in a nose-heavy, torque-steering beast is likely not as entertaining as it sounds. But I can’t help but dream of flying into Seattle and driving this pristine car home cross-country. And it looks like there’s even plenty of room in the hatch for a few sets of clubs.
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