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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings all,

In the market for my first Saab. A local place has a 1984 Saab 900 8v (no turbo) for sale, 5spd manual. The vehicle has a clean carfax with 206,000 miles on it. Little-to-no rust. Appears to be well maintained, don't have specific info at this time about component replacements such as the gearbox or clutch. Seller is looking for $6,900. Seems a little high, but again it seems to be in good shape.

Looking for a daily(ish) driver...I dont drive more than 30-50 miles per week. Don't mind doing maintenance on the vehicle but don't have time for anything major.

Any thoughts/comments for this newbie would be appreciated. Thank you!
 

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That car looks mint.

I wouldn't pay that kind of money for a 8v non-turbo, but that's personal preference not a judgment of the car.

Daily driving a near 40 year old car is a commitment. If you're thinking it's just like a Corolla but cute, you are probably going to be disappointed. If you think it's gonna be like driving Corona, you're closer to the mark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That car looks mint.

I wouldn't pay that kind of money for a 8v non-turbo, but that's personal preference not a judgment of the car.

Daily driving a near 40 year old car is a commitment. If you're thinking it's just like a Corolla but cute, you are probably going to be disappointed. If you think it's gonna be like driving Corona, you're closer to the mark.
Appreciate your reply, thank you. I am mechanically inclined and enjoy working on things and don't have a lifestyle that is dependent on having a car at the moment. So, if its down for a few days because I need to work on it, that's fine. At the same time, I'd like to be able to drive without worrying too much about if I'll make it to the destination. So, realistically I'm expecting doing maintenance, but also expecting decent reliability provided a disciplined approach to maintenance. Is that realistic from your experience?
 

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For a car in that nice of shape, yeah. The issues come up when people don't pause for maintenance or end up with a car that has a bunch deferred maintenance. I drive my '85 everywhere. I'd drive it cross country tomorrow if I had a reason to.

My caution would really be that expertise in CIS and Saab 900s is dwindling. If you're not prepared to really dig in when the need arises, you could end up with a problem. Just a couple threads down is someone who needs an engine replaced and can't find anyone to do it. No matter the brand, finding people who will work on old stuff is difficult... I spent months trying to find someone to do suspension work on my '67 Cadillac as I did not feel comfortable being underneath a 5500lb car and couldn't find anyone who would touch it. I ended up doing it myself anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Appreciate the input. 200k miles gives me some hesitancy though...I can keep up with preventative maintenance but don’t have time for a project right now. Not being too familiar with these cars and engines, I appreciate all advice.
 

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I would never buy a garage queen. That said, it is in amazing shape and they are getting quite rare. If you want a unique SAAB, buy it. I can think of several other autos I would prefer to spend 7 large on though. Get a newer 900 model IMHO if you want a driveway gem.
 

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I don't think you could get a 16vT in that shape for that money anymore. Prices are quite high... $7k would get you a nicely sorted car, but nothing that nice. If that were a 16vT it would be $10k+.
 

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You might as well take it for a test drive. It should include some higher-speed sections to get a feel for how it accelerates (which won't be that quickly). Make sure you start it from cold and see if there are any issues in running.

After trying it out, you may love the car or you may hate it. Since you have apparently not driven a Saab of this vintage, you need to get some seat time to even tell if this (kind of) car is for you.
 

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Drive it, why not?
At 60 mph in 5th, listen for a distictive 'singing' from the transmission (around middle C) that disappears when you let off bthe gas; the dreaded Pinion Bearing noise.
It's slow. Fine on the highway, but not Fun power. It probably rides hard from the 200k.
It's way too much money.
 

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Dude, how I am going to have a good retirement if you keep telling people Saabs are too expensive? I need these things to be in the $25k range, okay?
 

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That's like, what, $20k USD? Based on what I've seen, that's slightly high for the US... but I bet he could get $15k any day for that. I think c900Ts are even more unusual in Australia... not sure what that means for the market!
 

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That's like, what, $20k USD? Based on what I've seen, that's slightly high for the US... but I bet he could get $15k any day for that. I think c900Ts are even more unusual in Australia... not sure what that means for the market!
Its not that uncommon here to start seeing them around 20 plus ... It is becoming a very niche market it seems
 

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Seems to be... and growing. I've been driving c900s for nearly 30 years now (which seems bonkers) and I've had more people approach me about the SPG in the last 1-2 years than in the 20-some-odd preceding. All manner of people with varying types of interest, but all positive. When I got my first Saab all I got were jeers from friends telling me it was a dumb move, now it's nothing but love... and sometimes cash offers. :)

The c900 hits that sweet spot of strong '80s vibe without being obvious. It makes sense it would resonate today. It's not entirely unlikely the 911 - which for a long time was overshadowed by Italians, but now it's almost the opposite. The Saab/BMW story has a lot of parallels IMO.

I hope in no small way that increased prices incentivizes people to make parts. Nobody would start making tail lights for a handful of $500 hoopties, but if you're protecting a $20k icon it's a different story. If LMR and OPGI and Hawks can make restoration parts for vintage American iron, maybe there's hope for the c900.
 

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The pluses for this car, as I see it are:

It is local - you will save quite a lot of money not having to ship a car across the country. So factor that in the price.

These base models are quite rare in this condition. I don't think more than 10-20% of new SAABs were this model. They were fairly reliable because there was a lot less to go wrong and there is less stress on the transmission.

As has been said, it is a great highway cruiser, gets good mileage, is very comfortable and can hold all your vacation stuff.

It is the easiest of the C900s to work on with everything quite accessible, especially without air conditioning or a turbo system in the way.

I like the color combination. I especially like SAAB's single stage, solid colors. They are durable and can be polished out to look new.

Would be a nice car to take to a Cars and Coffee. Not something that is seen much at these and will get attention.

The minuses:

No A/C. Could be added. Would be harder to sell without A/C, depending on the market.

Agree that it is slower than the Turbo, but maybe it will be just fine for your purpose.

If I were considering this car, I would try to have a PPI done by someone who knows SAABs. Lacking that, I would want a quiet transmission, a good compression test, all-original paint, an un-cracked dash, service records, a full tool-kit and all the books, including the owner's manual, service book and the Dedicated-Delivery folder that they came in.

If you do buy it you will need to learn about K-Jetronic, as you will be the one to service it. You would also want to find parts sources for that system, also. Shouldn't be impossible, as it was used by Porsche from 1973 1/2 to 1983 on the 911s and even later on the Turbos. It was also used on Mercedes, VW, Volvo, Ferrari etc.

You would also need a source for the valve shims if you ever needed to adjust the valves.

I don't think the price is unreasonable, This is sort of a seller's market right now. I think if you looked on Bring a Trailer, you would be surprised what cars are going for. Remember, in fourteen years, we may not be able to by any new gas-powered cars.

So, I think this is a great car - and is unlikely to lose value if you take care of it and keep it out of the salt.
 

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To piggy back on what a lot of you have said, there is definitely growing interest in c900’s so with higher demand the price goes up. I last had one in 2005, it was very clean and In good order but I let it go for next to nothing-guess they were throw aways at the time. fwiw I sold my old volvo 242 turbo to get my 91 c900 turbo last fall. My friends said don’t do it but I’m more than happy. It’s a superior car, but again parts availability is a real problem. A cottage industry is emerging though. Jordan @ MCS out of CT is making more and more cool stuff for these cars.
 

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Giving Jordan money is a good idea. He seems the guy who could spearhead a relationship with a low-volume injection molding company. The price per part would be high, but being able to get certain plastic pieces again would be great. :)
 
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