1987 Saab 9000 Talladega #3 SCUSA Heritage, Michigan

Posted on 14. May, 2007 by in 2000-2009, 9000, United States

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Photo Credit: Saab Automobile USA

1987 SAAB 9000 TURBO “TALLADEGA – THE LONG RUN”

Saab surprised the world in mid-1984 with the all-new 9000. Initially available only as a 5-door hatchback with the powerful turbo 16-valve engine, it was the most luxurious and roomiest Saab ever built.

Given the shortage of funding for such an ambitious engineering project, Saab joined forces with the Fiat group of Italy for the joint development of a range of luxury vehicles, which also included the Lancia Thema, Fiat Croma and Alfa Romeo 164. saab_9000_talladega_1986_inside.jpg

Overall, the worldwide launch of the Saab 9000 Turbo resulted in a mountain of novelty for a small manufacturer that had a reputation for far-reaching, yet careful moves on the automotive scene. Though the 9000 immediately captured the attention of the press and public, there were also questions about the long-term reliability and durability of the new car.

Saab’s answer was called “The Long Run.” In the fall of 1986, three Saab 9000 Turbo vehicles were randomly chosen at the assembly line in Sweden by the Federation Internationale de L’Automobile, the world’s sanctioning body for record runs. The cars were sent to a famous American race track, Talladega Motor Speedway in Alabama, to show the world how fast and how long a standard Saab 9000 Turbo could go.

With members of the automotive press participating in the driving, Saab set 12 international or world speed records at Talladega. One 9000 Turbo averaged more than 132 mph (210 km/h) while rolling up 100,000 kilometers (60,000 miles) – roughly the equivalent of three trips around the world. With all three cars finishing in fine running condition, the 9000 demonstrated the stamina and staying power of a true Saab.

Following the successful conclusion of The Long Run, car No. 3 was retained by Saab USA for its Heritage Collection. One of its siblings stayed in Talladega at the Motor Speedway Museum, while the other went back home to the Saab AB Museum in Trollhättan.

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4 Responses to “1987 Saab 9000 Talladega #3 SCUSA Heritage, Michigan”

  1. LennT

    18. Aug, 2008

    yes i have one SAAB 9000 turbo 16 Valve Hes Super Car i Like Him Very Much

    Reply to this comment
  2. RootsManFh

    05. Oct, 2010

    yes i have one SAAB 9000 CSE, Super Car i Like Her Very Much

    Reply to this comment
  3. Tim Winker

    09. Mar, 2012

    I don’t believe any journalists participated in The Long Run, only Saab factory drivers. Journalists from around the world did participate in the 900 Talladega Challenge in 1996.

    The 9000 Turbo at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame Museum is black and was not one of the cars used for the record runs, but rather was the camera car and test car for The Long Run in 1986.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Tim Winker

    10. Mar, 2012

    Tom Donney of Fort Dodge, Iowa, bought this car and several others when the Saab Cars of North America offce was liquidated.

    Reply to this comment

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