Another addition to my "Saab Stories" [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: Another addition to my "Saab Stories"

26th November 2003, 11:46 AM
My 1972 96 V4 project.
I found this 96 by word of mouth, turns out that my Father in Law’s girlfriend’s Daughter in Law’s father (mouthful) started a restoration project in 1988. He purchased the car in 1987 for $1500.00 and tinkered around with it for a year before deciding to take the car apart (mostly sheet metal) and go through the car. The engine had been removed and rebuilt before he bought it and the actual miles on the motor (Est.) is between 7,000 & 10,000….
The transmission was also freshened up while the engine was being rebuilt.
During the “rebuild” the guy I bought it from purchased many parts for it while they were still available. The car has new tires, shocks and brakes but all these items may need attention because the project was stopped and the car was put into storage about six months after it was started.
When the project was stopped or put on hold in late 1988 the owner bought a car cover and parked it in a portable garage until he decided what to do next. He purchased a set of rust free doors from a 1973 which are the same as the 72 except for the added safety feature of a crash bar which Saab began installing in 1973 I guess. All the fenders were removed and any rust was repaired in 1988 but fenders were never reinstalled. The outside trim was removed and 75% of the body has had some body work done although upon my inspection there didn’t appear to be much body work required because the actual mileage on the car is only 48,000. During 1988 -1989 the owner began buying pieces and parts for the car in the hopes that he may return to the project sometime down the road, during this time he purchased trim pieces, body seals, moldings and what ever he felt the car might need at that time. When I finally found out about the car in 2002 I met the guy and looked at the car, I could not see much other then the front sheet metal was not installed and the driver’s door was off…. The hood couldn’t be opened because of all the boxes of parts that were stacked on it and when I looked at the car it wasn’t really important because I wasn’t 100% interested and was only looking at it to be considered as a possible project undertaking of my own. The owner went through the “list” of what had been done to the car before he decided not to finish it he told me what it might need and what he had gathered so far. We talked briefly about his “dreams of restoring” and then went on our separate ways…. During the next few months I tossed around the idea of buying the car and what I might want to do to the car if I did actually end up buying it, the owner and I never talked price and I had never seen the passenger side nor the rear of the car because of the way it was parked in the portable garage and the fact that the car cover was tied to parts of the car making it almost impossible to actually see the whole car anyway.
After a couple months went by I bumped into the owner during a family outing at which time he asked if I had given the car anymore thought… I told him it was hard to say because of the amount of work and all the projects I still had of my own… He said that I could take a closer look at the car anytime if that might help and even talked more about some of the parts he had purchased while he was working on putting the car back together. We never talked about the asking price and although the car was apart everything was there and then some… A few more weeks passed and I decided to take another look at the car, this time I brought a flashlight and my digital camera to try and get a better idea of what the car would require to get it back together, the car was pretty buried in that portable garage and had all sorts of things crammed in there as well so I could only get a look at parts of it. I never looked at all the spare parts or any of the panels that were off the car only because it was imposable to even get to most of them.
I was able to take one picture during this time because the portable garage had no light and holding a flashlight and trying to take pictures was not going to happen.
It was almost five months since the first time I looked at the car and still it had not peaked my interest to the point that I would even consider asking what the asking price was. It wasn’t until the following year that the owner and I met again at another family gathering and I finally asked the “asking price” of the car…. Again he went through what he did, what it needed and why he decided to not finish it… Apparently he had lost interest in it and had other things he wanted to do which did not include the 96. He finally agreed to an asking price of $500 which really wasn’t that much considering the work and the parts that came with the car, I still wasn’t 100% sold on taking on another project but figured I would make a counter offer anyway…. My offer was $300 and I would “think about it” He reluctantly agreed to the $300 and he and I again went about our ways….
Again I returned to the portable garage and took another look at the car, this time at least I could look at it with a dollar figure in my head…I considered the amount of work it would require, what was included and whether or not it would even be something I would drive. It wasn’t until a Saab gathering that I had a chance to sit in and drive a 1972 96 V4 with all the little “quirks” that went along with a car like that, (thanks to Chris Mills) but he too was selling his car (the reason for the test drive in the first place) So I asked myself should (if I really wanted a 96) I buy one that was running and driving or should I once again look at the “project 96” in the portable garage.
By now it was spring 2003 and after sharing idea’s and what not with friends that it was agreed I should purchase the 1972 that was apart only because knowing my addiction to tweeking and personalizing everything I own. So I called the owner and told him I would purchase the 96 from him… Again the whole purchasing process took time, his schedule, my schedule, my driveway filled with other Saabs and everything else he and I had going on in our separate lives. Again I returned to the portable garage, this time looking at the car from an owner’s perspective, this time feeling it was “ok” to remove boxes from the hood and for the first time being able to see the motor. After finally being able to open the hood I was surprised to see a V4 which although had surface rust on things like the valve covers and airfilter housing it looked as if it had been removed and either repainted or rebuilt (non of which the seller and I even talked about) Not thinking to much about it I paid him is $300 and began making plans to move it to my garage. It wasn’t until late summer that I even came close to having a place for it at my house and it wasn’t until this fall I was able to return to the portable garage and finally “unbury” the car and remove it from it’s 14 year resting place…..The 96 wasn’t located at the owners house but in a field a buddy of his owned and even his buddy and I became good friends over the period of time that I had returned to look at the car, maybe because he felt that the car was finally getting sold? Maybe because after talking to him a few times it turns out the portable garage was actually his and maybe, just maybe he’d finally get to used it after 14 years for his own stuff.
The seller met up with me the day after we pulled it out and he asked me if I was able to find all the parts that were piled in, on and behind the car… we talked about how the car was rather difficult to get off the blocks it was stored on and then I finally asked him about the motor… He told me the motor was just rebuilt by the guy he bought it from and that it had some “goodies” installed like unleaded valves and a hotter cam…. He also brought along with him some parts that had been in his garage at home which also he forgot to tell me about during this whole endeavor…. Some of which included four soccer ball wheels that had been stripped and trued but never repainted, or the new set of door seals still in the Saab parts bags….
It is now late fall…. Snow’s on it’s way and I hope to be bringing the car home this week….0ne and a half years after it all began.

“To be continued”

26th November 2003, 09:57 PM
looks like a great project, be sure to get more pics when you finally get it home 8)

28th November 2003, 02:27 PM
I'll take the troybuilt. :P

28th November 2003, 02:29 PM
I'll take the troybuilt. :P

2nd December 2003, 08:39 PM
interesting story... I really want a 96 now. :D

4th December 2003, 06:14 PM

8th December 2003, 12:49 AM
Added some pictures I took of the 1972 96 V4 the day we pulled it outside for the first time....
It's all there and then some.... only 48,000 miles.

Started doing the brake restoration this week.