The SAAB 96 : 1960 – 1980

Posted on 26. Nov, 2008 by in 1960-1969, 1970-1979, 1980-1989, 96


Photo Credit: Saab Automobile AB

The SAAB 96 debuted in 1960 as a successor to the 93F.

The 96 was made famous by notable legendary Saab Rally Champions Erik “On The Roof” Carlsson as well as his wife, Pat Moss.

The 96 was built in the Trollhättan, Sweden factory due to capacity in and the V4 models began production in Uusikaupunki, Finland factory.

This model had the longest run of any Saab in history at 20 years, where it went until 1966 when it was converted into model equipped with a V4 engine in 1967 that carried it all the way until 1980.

On the 8th of January, 1980 the last Saab 96V4 rolled off the production line in Finland. The last 96V4 off the production line was driven by rally legend Erik Carlsson from Finland direct to the Saab Museum at Trollhättan where it is on display today.

This new model for SAAB and came equipped with the following specifications.

Exterior: Saloon, two doors, five seats, 813kg/1,792 lbs.

1962 MY City grey and arctic ocean blue colors
1963 MY SAAB Emblem changed to Saab name and logo airplane on grille & midnight blue, brown-beight and black were included, green was eliminated,
1964 MY New Colors of Glacier Blue and Savannah Brown
1965 MY Straight Nose, eliminating bullnose & New Headlights and directionals. New Colors were Olive Green, Torreador Red, Polar White, Midnight Blue, Savannah Brown and Glacier Blue.
1966 MY New Hubcaps, stainless steel trim strips, new headlamp flasher, new external rear view mirrors, disc brakes, designated as “96 Special” with new colors such as dark grey and yellow, savannah brown and olive green eliminated.
1967 MY Hussar Blue and Silversand added as colors
1968 MY V4 De Lux with trim strips and rear windows that could be opened, windscreen had an electric pump powered washer and 7cm deeper.
1969 MY Rectangular Headlamps, chrome grille, indicators moved to front wings, US still had round headlampsm, Sea Green and Black colors added.
1970 MY Medium Blue color added and headlamps wired via ignition so lights could not be left on
1971 MY Headlight Washers Added, with electrodipping to improve rust prevention, new colors silver mink and tyrolene green replaced sea green
1972 MY New Bumpers, Wheels with air holes. Amber Yellow and Verona Green added to colors.
1973 MY All markets now had rectangular headlights except for U.S. and carolina blue and brilliant yellow replaced medium blue and tyrolene green.
1974 MY Two piece plastic grille replaced 6 piece chrome grill. Radial tires and reel-style seatbelts, all standard. Sunset Orange, Sienna Brown and Lion Yellow were new colors.
1975 MY 1975 MY Black Windscreen wipers and window surrounds, New Colors Emerald Green, Coral White and Solar Red replaced Verona Green, Polar White and Toreador Red and alloy wheels. A Special “Silver Jubilee Model” with silver metallic presented in spring.
1976 MY Energy Absorbing Bumpers now standard. These would withstand a collision of up to 8kph (5mph) and resume their original shape. New Daytime Running Lights (DRLs), topaz yellow and opal green new colors.
1977 MY Black wing mirrors now with increased glass area. Astral Blue and Antelope Brown added to colors.
1978 MY Enlarged sidelight/indicator light clusters on the front wings. Enlarged rear light clusters with reversing lights. New Rubber Trunk handle and spoiler. Emblem denoting 68hp engine. Jade Green and Laguna Blue substituted Opal Green and Astral Blue colors.
1979 MY Black Window Surrounds, colors added included Alabaster Yellow, Chamotte Brown, Midnight Blue, Solar Red and Marble White. All production moved to Finland this year.
1980 MY Final Year, finished in aquamarine blue metallic, upgraded equipment such as alloy wheels.


1961 MY Woolen Cloth Interior
1962 MY Standard Seat Belts
1963 MY Horn Ring on Steering Wheel, Larger Rear View Mirror, Raised Seats and Better HVAC
1964 MY New Instrument Panel with round cluster & darker interior color
1966 MY New Instrumentation including tachometer
1967 MY New 3-Point Seat Belts
1968 MY Brake circuit indicated, V4 De Lux with rear windows that could be opened, dash in dark grey, controls in black to suppresss reflection, rear view mirror moved from dash to top of windscreen, horn ring replaced with control on steering column.
1969 MY telescopic steering column, attachments for head restraints
1970 MY An all new interior, a new instrument panel with all meters and lamps contained within two recessed dials, a new steering wheel and new buttons for heating and lighting, rear seat belts standard and V4 delux phased out.
1971 MY New Handbrake and warm air duct to rear seats
1972 MY Electronically Heated Seats
1973 MY All Instruments modified with yellow pointers and sunvisors had black backs.
1974 MY Rear seatbelt reminder lamp
1975 MY Reel-Type seat belts standard in rear, New Tachometer & leather steering wheel for 1975B Special Model
1976 MY The Saab 96 was now designated 96L due to a new floorpan redesign which gave 5cm of legroom to rear seat passengers and, on the 95V4.. Rear Bench Seat Was removed to the relocation of a spare wheel.
1977 MY Front Seats had 99 style, including head restraints, heated rear screen.
1980 MY plush upholestery


Internal steel body shell, independent front suspension, coil springs and wishbones with anti-roll bars, beam axle, coil rear springs, telescopic shock absorbers, hydraulic drum brakes, single circuit braking, rack and pinion steering, 39.78 litre fuel tank, 5.00/5.20×15 tyres, 4″ rim.

1962 MY “Saab Sport Chassis”, 1962 MY Interference suppression,vacuum conrolled ignition setting
1963 MY “Saab Sport Chassis”
1964 MY “Saab Sport Chassis”, Diagonal split brakes
1965 MY “Saab Sport Chassis”
1969 MY Servo assisted brakes


Engine Three-cylinder longitudinally mounted, 70x73mm, 841cc, compr: 7.3:1, 38hp @ 4,250 rpm, 79Nm @ 3,000 rpm, Two-stroke, aluminium cylinder head, cast iron block, 4-bearing crankshaft, downdraught Solex 4UAI or BI carburettor, fan, thermostat and pump.

1960 MY 841cc, 38hp.
1961 MY Key Activated Starter Motor
1965 MY Redesigned HVAC system & Engine Compression increased to 8.1:1 with hp to 44hp. New Hydraulic Clutch, fuel pump, exhaust system and top mounted foot pedals for clutch.
1966 MY Triple-Carburretor with higher output and fuel consumption as well, Monte Carlo 850
1967 MY New V4- Engine (1967-1978) Four cylinder in V configuration, four stroke 1498cc 65 hp, new alternator, new battery and starter, Monte Carlo 850
1969 MY Autolite carburettor, airfilter, new radiator and expansion tank.
1971 MY 1.7 Liter engine with 65hp
1975 MY Special Model fitted with 1700 V4 Engine known as 1975B
1977 MY Twin-Choke Carburettor raised horsepower to 68 hp with the designation to the model as 1977B.


Front-wheel drive, three-speed gearbox, hypoid bevel final drive, 5.43:1. Four-speed gearbox, Saxomat.


Wheelbase 248.9cm/98″
Front Track 122cm/48″
Rear Track 122cm/48″
Ground Clearance 17.8cm/7″
Turning Circle (L) 10.29m/33.75′, (R) 10.74m/35’25”
Length 402.6cm/158.5″
Width 157.5cm/62″
Height 147cm/58″
Performance Max Speed 75.3 mph/120.88 kph
Acceleration 0-60 mph 25.6 secs
Standing Mile 23.6 secs
Average Fuel Consumption 32.3mpg (test)

Global Production:

Model Year – Units

1960 (2 Stroke) – ?
1961 (2 Stroke) – ?
1962 (2 Stroke) – ?
1963 (2 Stroke) – ?
1964 (2 Stroke) – ?
1965 (2 Stroke) – ?
1966 (2 Stroke) – ?
1967 (2 Stroke / V4) – ?
1968 (V4) – ?
1969 (V4)- ?
1970 (V4)- ?
1971 (V4) – ?
1972 (V4) – ?
1973 (V4) – ?
1974 (V4) – ?
1975 (V4) – ?
1976 (V4) – ?
1977 (V4) – ?
1978 (V4) – ?
1979 (V4) – ?
1980 (V4) – ?

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2 Responses to “The SAAB 96 : 1960 – 1980”

  1. Ryan

    29. Jan, 2009


    Thank you! What kind of projects are you thinking about?

    Here are two projects some Saab Enthusiasts have restored, one in Maine, another in Colorado both ironically the same colored 1970 SAAB 96 V4!

    Reply to this comment
  2. alexander

    06. Jun, 2010

    hello, can you tell where i can find front and rear windowscreens for saab 850gt?
    i am from greece and i just bought this car.

    Reply to this comment

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