The Saab 99 : 1969 – 1984

Posted on 28. Nov, 2008 by in 1960-1969, 1970-1979, 1980-1989, 99


Photo Credit: Saab Automobile AB

The Saab 99 debuted at the New York Auto Show in April of 1969 as the successor to the 96. The 99 was initially designed as a larger 96, however over the time this model became the initial signature design and inspiration for future Saab designs of today.

The 99 was final vehicle that the first Saab designer, Sixten Sason’s designed. However, this design was collaborated with Bjorn Enväll and was produced in both Trollhättan, Sweden as well as Uusikaupunki, Finland.

The production of this model began as a 1969 model year and continued until 1984.

This model for SAAB came equipped with the following specifications:


Saloon, two doors, five seats, 955kg/2,105.4 lbs.

1969 MY 99 Colors included red, white, blue, green black and beige.
1970 MY 99 Four Door Launched, Colors included Polar White, Silver sand, Toreador Red, Savannah Beige, Sea Green, Black and Medium Blue.
1971 MY 99 Headlight washer/wiper system, new double rectangular grille.
1972 MY 99, 99 EMS Impact Absorbing Bumpers Added, larger indicator/parking lights, round headlamps for U.S. eliminating wash/wipe for this market. EMS Model available in copper coral metallic, alloy wheels
1973 MY 99, 99L, 99 EMS Side Impact Protection, matt black grilles and halogen headlights, again except U.S. with round headlights, plain wheels,
1974 MY 99, 99L, 99 EMS, 99 Combi Coupé which was a hatchback and known as the Wagonback in the U.S.
1974 MY 99, 99L, 99 EMS, 99 Combi Coupé
1976 MY 99, 99L, 99GL, 99 GLE, 99EMS, 99 Combi Coup̩ Р99 GLE added with 118hp, auto and power steering, double headlamps.
1977 MY 99, 99L, 99GL, 99 GLE, 99 EMS, 99 Combi Coupé all had larger headlamps with side reverse lights. Sedans had larger rear lights and larger glass areas. All models were pre-wired for radios and speakers.
1978 MY 99, 99L, 99GL, 99GLE, 99 EMS 2-door and 3-door, 99 Combi Coupé, 99 Turbo introduced in pearl white with inca wheels, front and rear spoilers.
1979 MY 99GL, 99GLE and 99 Turbo, other 99 models were eliminated with the new 900, 2-door 99 turbo available in marble white and acacia green metallic sold to Swedish, German, Swiss and Dutch markets.
1980 MY 99GLS, 99 GLi, 99GL, 99 Turbo Low side mouldings added
1981 MY 99 had wing mirrors adjustable from inside.
1982 MY New Grille, side mouldings and wheels.
1983 MY New Bumpers from 900, larger mouldings, new grille same as 900, new fog lights, asbestos free brakes and sunroof option for 5-speeds.
1984 MY Final Year.


1968 MY 99 Ignition Between The Seats
1970 MY 99 Improved lighting with clock, lighter and ashtrays, three point seatbelts.
1971 MY 99 Rear View Mirror Added anti-glare attachment, dash instruments updated.
1972 MY 99, 99 EMS Heated Seats, EMS had leather steering wheel, tach
1974 MY New Front seats with integrated head restraights, new HVAC, new door skins, EMS included center armrest.
1976 MY Electrically heated rear window and adjustable rear view mirrrors and tinted windows.
1980 MY 99 had same seats as 900
1981 MY 99 had both front and rear seats from 900, new steering wheel, 99GL had electrically adjustable mirrors and tinted windows.
1983 MY New Center Console
1984 MY Breakerless ignition system, more headroom, and automatic electric heating.


Unitary steel body/ chassis with tubuar reinforcement to pillars, independent front suspension, coil springs and wishbones, rear tubular dead beam axle located by twin longitudinal arms and panhard rod, coil rear springs, telescopic shock absorbers, ATE Disc brakes, twin diagonal circuit braking, rack and pinion steering, 46.8 litre fuel tank, 155×15 tyres, 4.5″ rim.

1974 MY Braking system improvements, reinforced chassis.


Four-cylinder longitudinally mounted, 83.5x78mm, 1,709, compr: 9.0:1, 80hp @ 5,200 rpm, 131.42Nm @ 3,000 rpm, Overhead valves, two valves per cylinder, ohc valve gear, overhead camshaft, chain camshaft drive, two-stroke, aluminium cylinder head, cast iron block, 5-bearing crankshaft, Stromberg CD type 175 carburettor, water cooling with thermostat controlled fan.

1970 Aluminum exhaust
1971 MY 99 1,854cc engine delivered 86hp,or 95hp with electronic fuel injection (99E)
1972 MY 99, 99 EMS 88hp 1.85 engine or 97hp fuel injected engine, with auto or standard, no more freewheel, EMS had new 1985cc engine with Jetronic electronic fuel injection.
1973 MY 99L had a 1.85 litre engine, 99 EMS had a 1,985cc engine, V4 engine available for Scandinavian markets.
1974 MY Had a new 1,985cc 100hp engine with increased fuel tank, 99 EMS had Bosch Continuous injection system capable of 118hp.
1978 MY 99 Turbo Engine
1979 MY Larger Fuel tank made of polyetheylene, stronger rear axle, upgraded front suspension, semi metallic brakes, same bumpers as 900 models.
1980 MY 99GL had 100hp engine, 99 GLS had 108 twin-carb engine, GLi auto had 110hp and 99 Turbo had 145hp.
1981 MY 99GL had single carburettor, with special eddition of 1,600 with 118hp. GLi had a special options for Scandinavian markets.


Front-wheel drive, four-speed gearbox, spiral bevel final drive, 4.22:1, automatic option (1970)
1971 MY 99 Manual transmission for 1.7 liter engine and auto for 1.85 engine.


Wheelbase 247.65cm/97.5″
Front Track 139.7cm/55″
Rear Track 140.35cm/55.25″
Ground Clearance 16.5cm/6.5″
Turning Circle (L) 9.6m/31.5′, (R) 9.45m/31′
Length 434.4cm/171″
Width 167.5cm/66″
Height 142.9cm/56.25″
Performance Max Speed 90 mph/145 kph
17.7 mph/28.4 kph @ 1,000 rpm
Acceleration 0-60 mph 15.2 secs
Standing Mile 20.2 secs
Average Fuel Consumption 26.6mpg (test)

Global Production:

Model Year – Units

1969 MY – ?
1970 MY – ?
1971 MY – ?
1972 MY – ?
1973 MY – ?
1974 MY – ?
1975 MY – ?
1976 MY – ?
1977 MY – ?
1978 MY – ?
1979 MY – ?
1980 MY – ?
1981 MY – ?
1982 MY – ?
1983 MY – ?
1984 MY – ?

588,643 units were produced during this time.

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5 Responses to “The Saab 99 : 1969 – 1984”

  1. peter

    28. Nov, 2008

    Also worth saying that some of the early 99’s were produced in Mechelen, Belgium.


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  2. Darryl

    28. Nov, 2008

    yes, those are the 1977 models that rusted out because they forgot a metal prep stage..

    New Salem Saab

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  3. peter

    28. Nov, 2008

    There was a rust problem.

    I talked to a guy who came down from Trollhattan to sort this warranty problem. He told me the acid bath was full of scrap which meant that the acid and primer treatments didn’t stick too well.

    There was also an in house rumour that various exchange deals had been done during the communist years and the steel used in Belgium was recycled from Polish steel which was of inferior quality. Eventually the factory was closed.

    From a sales point of view, Saab sales in Mechelen were below Belgian average penetration 20 yrs later as a result of bad publicity.


    Reply to this comment
  4. Ryan

    29. Nov, 2008

    Peter & Darryl,

    Good to hear! We can’t forget Mechelen Belgium. What were the production years for this factory? Secondly, besides the 99, what other Saab models if any were built there?

    I should add it the places on the site as well, but not without any information and photos!



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  5. Ingolf

    20. Jun, 2010

    Ang. rustproblemer på Saab 99 77 og 78 årsmodeller skyldes endringer i grunning og lakk. I et forsøk på å gjøre de nevnte mer miljøvennlig ble noe stoffer i de erstattet med stoffer som skulle være mer helse og miljøvennlig. Rustproblem oppsto og på 79 årsmodeller va det gamle grunning og lakk tilbake på bilen. Hadde selv en 99 GL 78 Årsmodell, bygd i Trollhættan. De biler som Chassi nr begynte på 1000 var produsert i Sverige. De biler som hadde Chassi nr som begynte på 3000 var produsert hos Valmet i Finnland.

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