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Saab 99

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

99
Vehicle Model

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Wikipedia: Saab 99

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A car produced by Saab from 1968-1984.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Saab 99 page on 5 June 2017, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

On 2 April 1964, Gudmund's day in Sweden, after several years of planning, the Saab board started Project Gudmund. This was a project to develop a new and larger car to take the manufacturer beyond the market for the smaller Saab 96. This new car became the Saab 99, designed by Sixten Sason and unveiled in Stockholm on November 22, 1967.

The first prototypes of the 99 were built by cutting a Saab 96 lengthwise and widening it by 20 centimetres (7.9 in); this created the so-called Paddan (The toad), which was a disguise for the new project. After that phase, also as a disguise, the first 99 body shell was badged "daihatsu" as that name could be made up out of the badging available for the Saab Sport.

The 99 was not only built in Saab's own Trollhättan Assembly - some variants were built by the Finnish Valmet Automotive in Uusikaupunki from 1969 onwards; the last five years of this production (1979-1984) was alongside the Finnish built version of the Talbot Horizon, which shared a similar high quality velour upholstery to the 99.

Although Saab engineers liked the company's existing two-stroke engine, it was decided that a four-stroke engine was necessary, and the choice was a 1.7 L (later 1.85 L) engine from Triumph. This was the same Triumph Slant-4 engine used in the Triumph Dolomite, but the Saab version was fitted with a Zenith-Stromberg CD carburetor developed specially for Saab. A run of 48 Saab 99s were equipped with a Triumph Stag V8, but the V8 was later dropped in favour of a turbocharged unit which later powered the 99 Turbo.

A three-door estate version was planned from the start, but never made it into production. In 1971 (with thoughts about a combi coupé) the work on an estate was restarted, this time as a five-door.

Models

E —Introduced for 1970 (available by order, not from the dealer floor), the 99E (Electronic [fuel injection], four-speed manual) was originally only available in a two-door version. The 99 E had the 1709 cc displacement Triumph engine giving 87 PS (64 kW) from Bosch Type-L Jetronic fuel injection instead of the Zenith-Stromberg carburetors. The original carbureted engine produced 80 PS (59 kW). Fuel consumption was 7.8 L/100 km (33 mpg) at 105–110 km/h (65-70 mph).
EMS—Introduced in 1972, the EMS (Electronic [fuel injection] Manual [transmission] Special) was a sportier model that was originally only available in a two-door version; but became available in the three-door 'wagonback' body from 1974 (1978 in the USA). It had a stiffer suspension and was sold in yellow or a copper coral metallic paint in '73, Sterling Silver or Sunset orange in '74, black or Sterling silver in '75 and '76, black, Sterling silver, or Cardinal red in 1977, and Sterling silver or Cardinal red in '78. The new Swedish-built engine had 1985cc displacement giving 110 PS (81 kW; 108 hp) and a top speed of 170 km/h (106 mph). The grille badge differed from the more basic models in '73 and '74 only. Other features through the years - quicker steering, luxury interior, soccerball wheels, carpeted trunk, and front air dam
SSE—Sold in the US to satisfy demand while the EMS was not yet available there. The SSE had a black or burled walnut vinyl roof cover, a BorgWarner automatic transmission and a 1.85 L Triumph engine.
X7—Introduced in 1973. A very basic model only sold in Sweden and Denmark. The car had no self-repairing bumpers and it also had the same seats as the V4 Saabs, although these did not include electric heating elements. A simpler heating and ventilation system was also installed. The clock, cigarette lighter, glove compartment and the rear window defogger were also dropped.
L—Luxe. A budget model introduced in 1973 that came with the 1.85 L engine.
LE—Equipped with the same fuel-injected engine as the EMS; unknown what years it was produced (at least from 1974).
GL—Grand Luxe.
GLE—Grand Luxe Exeutive/Elegant/Extra, introduced in 1976. The top model, equipped with fuel injection, power steering (in some markets) and automatic transmission.
GLs—Grand Luxe Super. It was the same as a GL but with two carburetors instead of one. It had 108 PS (79 kW; 107 hp) compared to the 100 PS (74 kW; 99 hp) in the single-carburetor version.
Turbo—Introduced in 1978. It was fitted with a turbocharged version of the 2-litre engine. The body was originally a 3-door combi coupé version but later in 1979-80 the company produced a two-door model, which was a limited homologation exercise to enable the production of a rally car. It was available in Cardinal red, Sterling silver, Anthracite grey, and Black; the two-door was available in silver, cardinal red and metallic green. The Turbo S was a special model with factory-mounted water injection, giving an extra 15–20 PS. In 1978 there was a very limited edition of a little over 100 five-door 99 Turbos. They were only available in Cardinal red.
Finlandia—A limousine version of the Saab 99 GLE combi-coupé with a 25 centimetres (9.8 in) longer wheelbase was introduced in 1977 by Valmet in Uusikaupunki (Nystad), Finland and was called the "Finlandia". It was only sold in Finland. The first year had a short extension piece between the front and rear doors. In 1978 the wheelbase was only 20 centimetres (7.9 in) longer than in the standard model and all doors were stretched by 10 centimetres (3.9 in). Three late 99 Finlandias were fitted with turbocharged engines and manual transmissions at the factory. The tradition continued with the Saab 900 Finlandia in 1979.
Petro-Multifuel engine designed to run on either gasoline or kerosene. Produced 1979–1981 in Uusikaupunki and only sold in Finland.


Photographs

1978 Saab 99L 1978 99L
Photo ©2017 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night: 5 June 2017
View photo of 1978 Saab 99L - 3.2MB
1978 Saab 99L 1978 99L
Photo ©2017 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night: 5 June 2017
View photo of 1978 Saab 99L - 2.9MB
1978 Saab 99L 1978 99L
Photo ©2017 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night: 5 June 2017
View photo of 1978 Saab 99L - 3.1MB
1978 Saab 99L 1978 99L
Photo ©2017 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night: 5 June 2017
View photo of 1978 Saab 99L - 3.0MB
1978 Saab 99L 1978 99L
Photo ©2017 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night: 5 June 2017
View photo of 1978 Saab 99L - 3.0MB
1978 Saab 99L 1978 99L
Photo ©2017 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night: 5 June 2017
View photo of 1978 Saab 99L - 3.1MB
1978 Saab 99L 1978 99L
Photo ©2017 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night: 5 June 2017
View photo of 1978 Saab 99L - 3.1MB
1978 Saab 99L 1978 99L
Photo ©2017 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night: 5 June 2017
View photo of 1978 Saab 99L - 3.1MB
1978 Saab 99L 1978 99L
Photo ©2017 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night: 5 June 2017
View photo of 1978 Saab 99L - 3.1MB
1978 Saab 99L 1978 99L
Photo ©2017 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night: 5 June 2017
View photo of 1978 Saab 99L - 3.1MB
1978 Saab 99L 1978 99L
Photo ©2017 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night: 5 June 2017
View photo of 1978 Saab 99L - 3.2MB
1978 Saab 99L 1978 99L
Photo ©2017 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night: 5 June 2017
View photo of 1978 Saab 99L - 3.3MB




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