Saab Sighting Of the Week "Saab Enthusiast Buys 1990 Saab 900 Friction Tester In Washington, D.C."

Posted on 12. Jan, 2010 by in 2010-2019, Saab Sightings


Photo Credit: Arte Levy

The Saab Sighting of the week this week goes to Arte Levy who just purchased the 1990 Saab 900 Friction Tester from Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. recently.

You may recall that back in August of last year, the airport was selling it. Well, it finally ended up in this Saab enthusiast’s hands and he is very excited about it!

Thanks Arte for another one saved, here’s what he had to say about it!

I have an update on that Saab Friction Tester from Dulles…

Dulles never resold it…and they ultimately asked me if I would be interested in buying the SFT.

So I did!

I picked it up a couple of weeks ago. It’s pretty neat. Totally functional and came complete with everything including the calibration tools.

I’ll cull together some pictures of it once I clean it up this spring and send them to you.

Here’s what I know about it….

The SFT is a 1990 Saab 900 Turbo. It was built by the Saab factory as a friction tester before GM sold off the surface testing equipment business in the early 90’s to what became ASFT. The SFT serial number is 244.

The car was sold by Saab as a friction tester to Chicago Midway Airport in the US. Around 2004/2005 the car was sent to ASFT in Sweden as a trade in and complete overhaul and computer upgrading to the current Mark IV friction testing system. It was then resold to Dulles Airport in Washington DC. When it was sent back to the US, it sat on a ship, delayed several weeks thanks to some customs issues. After the paperwork was taken care of, the airport took possession and they ran it all year round. When it wasn’t being used during a snow event, it was used to check for rubber buildup on the runways during the summer.

Dulles designated the SFT as “OPS 10.” The current cost for this car after a major mechanical and computer refurbishment to this standard is approximately $85K. This vehicle would run over $200,000 when new.

Attached is a quick snapshot of the 1990 Saab Friction Tester I purchased from Washington Dulles International Airport on the day I picked it up.
I needed to rent an auto-transport trailer for the long tow back along I-95 to Upstate New York.

The photograph was taken just outside the high-security checkpoint that allows non-passenger access to the airport.

The SFT is complete with all equipment, drop-down wheel, Mk IV computer, manuals, calibration gear, etc. … it even has leather seats and Saab floor mats!

Once I learn more about it, I’ll let you know!



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One Response to “Saab Sighting Of the Week "Saab Enthusiast Buys 1990 Saab 900 Friction Tester In Washington, D.C."”

  1. KoGa

    13. Jan, 2010

    I believe there’s one of these cars in use at Ferihegy International Airport in Budapest, Hungary (BUD) still.

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