Tag Archives: Saab 96

Mark Kandutsch's 1972 Electric Saab 96 Project

Posted on 17. Mar, 2010 by .



Photo Credit: M Kandutsch

Saab History has recently had the great opportunity to speak with Mark Kandutsch of Bar Harbor, Maine, who has recently completed a 1972 Saab 96 Electric Vehicle Project.

This project itself, was triggered by the Doctor’s interest in creating an EV project after reading an inspiring article in a do-it-yourself magazine a few years ago where Electric Vehicle’s (EV) were featured. The project looked easy enough on paper, so the brainstorming began.

Choosing The Vehicle

Mark had previously owned Saab 99’s and 900’s over the years. His previous experience, coupled with specific needs for a vehicle that was streamlined, had no power steering and was lightweight, and without knowing about other Saab 96 EV projects like Brandon’s or Christen’s 96, he chose a 1972 Saab 96 that was for sale in the local classifieds.

Restoring & Converting The Saab 96

The 1972 Saab 96 that was chosen needed a lot of body work, so Mark spent most of his time and energy restoring the body of the vehicle complete with a new paint job and fitting “lightening bolt” on the rear trunk symbolizing the electrical energy driving this vehicle. The project began in September of 2008 and was completed in March of 2009. Mark indicates that at least four to five out of the seven months were devoted towards the body work where 2 to 3 were spent on the actual EV conversion process. He believes that if he were doing another project, he’d be able to do the conversion in about half that time being 1.5 months.

Daily Operation Of The Saab 96 EV

Since the restoration was completed in March, Mark has used the vehicle as his daily driver to and from work which is 10 miles round-trip. He does not drive the vehicle in the winter as the salt roads cause serious rust and he was not interested in reversing the restoration of his beautiful Saab 96 EV. In a given week, he can go up to 40 miles on a single charge with his current battery setup. Mark admits that he feels more comfortable charging the vehicle daily or every few days just in case he needs to make the unexpected errands going either to or from work.

Charging of the Saab 96 EV

The current charging device used to power all batteries at the same time, is powered 100% by the grid. While Mark does have solar panels on his house, they are not the latest in Photovoltaic technology and therefore aren’t capable of providing the necessary electricity needed for the charge. A typical daily charge would be about 2 hours after work, and if the batteries are fully discharged it would be about 3.5 hours max.

Another Saab EV Success Story In The Making

Today, Mark has driven the vehicle approximately 5,000 miles and has never had to walk home due his use of electrical power guages that he’s currently upgrading which will soon include the ability to monitor miles per kWh.

For more details on Mark’s 1972 Saab 96 EV project, please check out more photos and details on EV Maine.

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SAAB 96 Electric Vehicle Owner Contacts Saab History

Posted on 05. Aug, 2009 by .


Saab Enthusiast, Brandon Hollinger of Pennsylvania that I wrote about back in June, has contacted Saab History and provided us a nice little video and information about his SAAB 96 EV project as well as what inspired him!

It’s great to see a Saab Enthusiast like Brandon launch this project by seeing another person’s EV project here on Saab History! I am very happy to see another SAAB 96 saved by their owner, not ending up in a scrap heap, and now quite possibly getting better energy efficiency than many modern Saabs to this day! It’s this kind of ingenuity that inspires us to follow Saab Automobile’s vehicles. It’s almost like with all of the engineering that went into them at a given time, we feel that we can’t let that go to waste, and some of us even take it a step further and improve and modernize it themselves!

I just saw my story on saab history. you have a great great site! i’ve visited it many times over the past year to gain knowledge about all the various saab models – especially christen johansen’s. i’ve been in touch with him often and he’s shared some of his experience with me. i pursued that connection because of your website! i actually had already decided to convert the saab 96 and then i actually saw his. really odd coincidence. in terms of saabs, i only know of the 4 conversions you have listed on your site and one other 900 on youtube. oh and there’s a sonett EV in oregon but i don’t know where he got it.

thanks for providing a great website,


1970 saab 96 EV (daily driver)
1989 saab 900 turbo
1984 saab 900 turbo – deceased

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SAAB 96 Television Ad “The Wheel” – 1960

Posted on 09. Jul, 2009 by .


Saab Automobile AB, is now officially following Saab History, or should I say Saabvideos original vision back in 2005, to promote Saab’s great history through video.

This television ad features the SAAB 96, titled “the wheel” using the basis of SAAB’s legendary front-wheel drive focus with this new model that went on to have the longest production lifetime ever of 20 years. A great ad and a first for many of who have never seen this before, myself included.

I have added this video to the Saab History video archive, now at 479 videos!

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A Rare Vintage SAAB 96 Television Ad – 1960

Posted on 28. Jun, 2009 by .


Saab History has recently received yet another incredible television ad. This ad, produced by SAAB-ANA, features the first year for the SAAB 96 in 1960.

This video is included in the permanent collection of the Saab History video archive, now totalling 477!

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The 1967 Saabo – Saab USA Heritage Collection

Posted on 29. Apr, 2009 by .



Photo Credit: Saab USA Heritage Collection

The 1967 Saabo Camping trailer has been recently added to the Saab USA Heritage Collection.

Here are the details received from the current curators of the Saabo at the collection.

• The SAABO was a caravan produced from 1964 to 1968, by Saab.

· The SAABO caravan (camper/trailer) was manufactured in, outside Norrkoping, Sweden. The project was started by the Ljunga plant and at SAAB in Linkoping. Officially they were working on a project called MEFAN that was supposed to produce hovercrafts for the military. Unofficially they made a camper caravan.

· The idea was to get a product to even out the workload at the helicopter department, that at the time mainly assembled helicopters manufactured in France. After making a model in 1:10 scale they received the OK for production. A first prototype was made at Fisksatra boatyard and the pre-production prototypes at Marieholms Bruk.

The first prototypes were made without brakes, but these were soon added. It was important to keep the weight down as the caravan would be used with automobiles with as little as 25 hp (19kW), like the 38 hp (28 kW) two stroke SAAB 96. And the Swedish regulation at the time allowed unrestricted speed with a caravan if the weigh
was low enough.

• Despite the small size the SAABO was designed to accommodate a family of four (five with an extra bunk). The interior consisted of two a dining table, galley and two wardrobes. Liquified petroleum gas was used for cooking, heating and lighting. The design was made with two half shells of glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) enclosing an insulation of folded cardboard. The SAABO had large, low set front and rear windows so the driver of the towing vehicle could look right through it in the rear view mirror. At least 438 SAABOs were made.

— Total length: 3.60 metres (141.7 in)
— Width: 1.84 metres (72.4 in)
— Height: 2.10 metres (82.7 in)
– lnner height: 1.80 metres (70.9 in)
– Weight: 230 kg (507 Ib)
– Cost at launch: 4950

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Saab 9-3 Erik Carlsson Edition Launched In Germany

Posted on 17. Apr, 2009 by .



Photo Credit: Saab History

Saab Automobile Germany is offering a special “Erik Carlsson” Edition of the Saab 9-3. This model is a truly to the rally legend’s recent 80th birthday.

Here is the press release loosely translated by Google:

Saab 9-3 Erik Carlsson

* Special model for the 80th Birthday of the rally legend
* Modern technology and all-wheel turbo engine with 240 hp

Rüsselsheim. Two victories in the Saab 96 in the legendary Monte Carlo Rally and a hat trick in the RAC Rally in England, the Swede Erik Carlsson and rally legend made. Also known as “Carlsson on the Roof” the Saab ambassador celebrated his 80th Birthday in March. For the Swedish premium brand, it was reason enough with the special model Saab 9-3 Erik Carlsson rally as a tribute to remember their traditions and rally successes. The Saab 9-3 Erik Carlsson Saab presents itself as a typical combination of sportiness and safety – with a powerful 240 hp engine and the ultra-modern four-wheel drive XWD (Cross Wheel Drive) and electronic differential lock ELSD.

Sport-feeling – outside and inside

ecarlsson_version.jpgA doppelflutige exhaust system, a subtle, silver-colored front spoiler, a diffuser on the rear and standard 18-inch wheels give the Erik Carlsson Saab 9-3 a sporty appearance. Optional is a sports exhaust system, a sports suspension and 19-inch alloy wheels.

The interior consists of sporty-elegant impression continued: door, cockpit and center console in Carbon Fairings optics contribute to the sporty character of the tactile quality of leather dashboard, hand brake and shifting.

Saab Drive – Power with Responsibility

eclogo.jpgThe heart of the new Saab 9-3 Erik Carlsson is the partner with Saab Hirsch Performance engine and developed the modern four-wheel Saab XWD technology. The two-liter turbo engine makes 240 hp and a torque of 350 Newton meters. That makes a sprint from stand to 100 in just 7.3 seconds, top speed is 245 km / h. Despite the impressive performance of the fuel consumption is only 8.2 liters per 100 kilometers.

The modern Saab XWD all-wheel system distributes the torque of the motor depending on the needs continuously between the front and rear axle and ensures optimal grip and stability in all situations.

An important part of the system is an electronically controlled torque distribution (TTD – Torque Transfer Device), the force is distributed between the axles. A valve increases or decreases the hydraulic pressure on the Nasskupplung inside the TTD is activated or deactivated, and so gradually the rear axle. The degree of slip is, how much the rear wheels are driven. The force distribution between the two axes can, in extreme cases by almost 100 percent vary. The electronic locking differential (ELSD) – also standard part of the special model – works on the same principle: It distributes the engine driving the rear axle in practice, also with close to 100 percent of the wheel, which has more grip.

The Saab 9-3 is Erik Carlsson as a sports sedan from 42,350 euros, the Sport Combi will cost 43,950 euros.

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John Libbos Has Left Saab Automobile USA

Posted on 30. Dec, 2008 by .



John Libbos who has been head of product development for the Saab 9-3 and 9-5, has apparently left Saab Automobile USA according to the recent Jan/Feb issue of Nines Magazine.

Libbos, who I first met a number of years ago, has fought the good fight where he was the last original employee literally since his tenure began back at Saab-Scania in Orange, Connecticut in the 1980’s, Saab USA at Norcross, Georgia in the 1990’s, with a 2-year stint at Saab Automobile AB in Sweden doing aftersales for the 9-5 (1996-1998), and finally at Saab Automobile USA at Detroit, Michigan in the 2000s.

Libbos has presented at the last few Saab Owners Conventions, both 2007 as well as 2008 and I have reluctantly found out about his departure through reading an article today. This is the first I have heard of his departure which must have taken place sometime between August and December, 2008.

The last time I had any real close one on one with John, was at the departure terminal at the Detroit International Airport returning to my former home in Washington, D.C. to attend the Saab 9-3 XWD Drive event, following the 2007 SOC. At the airport terminal waiting area, John showed up and sat down next to me, pulled out an old print ad from the 1960’s of a Saab 96, and then we began talking about it then proceeded to talk about Saab’s past, present and future. In talking with him as we both waited for our flight, I told him that I was soo impressed by his tenure over the years and wondered what would happen if left. Our dialog continued the following day after he and Jan-Willem Vester of Saab Automobile USA (Communications) arrived with me in the same plane at D.C.’s National Airport. I wished it had been a SAAB 340, but it was not. That evening the Saab 9-3 XWD event began at the House of Sweden, where I got to talk with Libbos again, overlooking the Potomac river. This time, he told me about how he had the opportunity to live in Sweden for a few years and his Swedish proved it! He said that he had a nice career with Saab and also that he never ever really thought about being the last employee of Saab USA that worked in Orange, CT “by default”.

At this time, I am not sure why he left and under what circumstances, but I won’t speculate. John, if you are reading this, thank you for all of your time and committment to the Saab brand here in the United States. I enjoyed meeting you and although I wished that I got to see what may have been your final presentation at this year’s Saab Convention, I wish you well in your future endeavors and hope that you can stay in touch with us!

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Saab Club Netherlands Creates Per Eklund Trophy

Posted on 25. Nov, 2008 by .



Photo Credit: Saab Club Netherlands Pictured L-to-R (Esther Smith, Per Eklund and Caroline de Greeff

The Saab Club of the Netherlands has created the “Per Eklund Trophy” this year, which was given to the best Saab Rally Driver in four events this past year.

According to Mike Jager’s website, this club’s historic rally team has added this trophy to their annual rally which has been given to Henri Dommerholt and Jens HÃ¥kansson, with a Saab 96 TT Monte Carlo from 1965.


Results Per Eklund trophy 2008 :

1. Henri Dommerholt and Jens HÃ¥kansson, Saab 96 tt, 34 points
2. Kjel Postema and Nittert Postema, 28 points
3. Michiel Klinge and Jurryt Jannink, 22 points
René Hut and Cobi ten Wolde, 22 points

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Production Concept