1953 Saab 92b

Highlights


・Rally pack fitted from factory (includes more lights and stronger shocks)
・Sympathetic restoration in Sweden keeping some original parts 
・Runs and drives perfectly smoothly
・Really Rare, only 4 known in the UK and possibly only 50 worldwide


The Background 


Following the end of hostilities of WW2, Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget (SAAB) realised that if it was to survive they needed to diversify. Getting Swedish population mobile was top priority for the government at the time, which presented Saab with a perfect opportunity to turn to car market.

Unfortunately none of the company management had any experience in automotive engineering or manufacturing and neither had any of it's workforce ever employed in the industry. Except for one exception - a brilliant young engineer Gunnar Ljungstrom who together with an initial team of 15 set out to design a perfect people's car for Sweden. Only two of the team had drivers licenses!

The exterior design was given to a titan of Swedish design - Sixten Sason who was already a legend at the time. He produced a sleek aviation inspired design, straight out of his space age vision of the future which was to become Saab 92.001 or more commonly known as "UrSaab" an icon of automotive design.

The car was to be light, reliable, affordable and extremely durable. Two cylinder, two stroke engine was chosen with front wheel drive. After many challenges finally rolling out of production in 1950 (after a handful of hand built cars in 1949) the car did not look as radical as UrSaab but proved an immediate success with public and shown it's mettle in competition immediately winning plethora of rallies.

Most notably at the hands of Greta Molander who won "Coupes Des Dames" in 1952 Monte Carlo Rally finishing with Tulip Rally in 1955 as well as being driven to victory by upcoming legend - Erik Carlsson in a very tough frozen Rikspokalen rally. This has cemented Saab's place in rally history forever.

The History 


Saab 92 was effectively produced in three iterations or "marks". Early cars without a boot opening (Mk1), 92 B - Middle of production with opening boot and other revisions (Mk2) , Late production cars which were very close to their next upcoming (3 Cylinder model) - 93, greatly simplified design and cost savings (Mk3)

This car is a Mk2 version being a 1953 model which retains early features such as split bumpers, trafficators, glass aviation rear lights, ornate door and window handles, early steering wheel and other unique features. It also features a period extra "Rally Pack" which was introduced in 1953 to celebrate and take advantage of international rally success. This consisted of tougher suspension and additional lights, including a prominent rooftop light just like 1952 Greta Molander's rally winning car.

Most of its life this particular car has spent in Sweden and Norway, having been registered in both countries with last residency in Sweden before current ownership. Swedish documents indicate 3 previous owners. Current Saab enthusiast owner who has an extensive collection of all Saab models has enjoyed using the car and improved it over time.

The Paperwork 


With this being an older car you can imagine that not every single receipt/invoice has been kept since day one. So, with the car comes a current V5, a few receipts and invoices. And also a few old registrations from both Sweden and Norway pointing to the fact the car has now resided in 3 countries! It is a well-travelled little car.

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The Interior 


The interior of this little Saab is extremely original with addition of small later comfort door handles/elbow rests. The front seats show some signs of wear, but this is not to detract from the interior at all; they are still a comfortable place to sit and soak in the driving experience. The lovely blue/grey exterior paint is carried through into the panels on the interior and compliments the seats beautifully. The original wool headlining that would’ve been on the car from the factory has sadly perished beyond repair, however the current owner has been able to obtain the exact same material from none other than the Saab Museum and will replace this before the new owner collects the car.

Original early delicately rimmed steering wheel takes pride of place in front of the dash. The three-speed gearbox is controlled smoothly through a leaver on the steering column and there is a little rear view mirror perched on the dashboard between the split windscreen. The unusual rectangular VDO instrumented dash emphasising futuristic look of the 50s. The all important and frequently missing or broken VDO 7 day clock is present and working perfectly. 

The spot roof light is controlled through a beautifully machined bakelite handled lever just above the split screen windscreen. One worthy and unusual feature to mention which was heavily promoted by Saab in period is that the entire interior can turn into a comfortable double bed for camping! 

The Exterior 


Penned by legendary Sixten Sason and designed with aid of wind tunnel this truly unique car managed to achieved drag coefficient of 0.30 which to this day stands as one of the most aerodynamic cars ever.

The exterior is in remarkable condition with a few little marks and dings here and there, but this is to be expected from an older restoration that is used fairly regularly. It is finished in an original shade of lovely bluey-grey that seems to shift its colour, in certain lights it may look like a very dark grey but in other lighting conditions it’ll look like a lovely light blue.

The special "Rally Pack" lights are clearly visible and take pride of place on the bodywork they are fully original and not replacement items. Headlights are "Robolight" originals which or course stands for Robert Bosch later to be branded by Bosch. Robo branded lights are a collector's items in their own right.

The rear lights were famously taken from Saab's aviation parts bin and are glass wingtip lights from period aircraft models. The door handles have a delicate Art Deco design and trafficators still hanker back to previous era.

All the rubber window seals have been replaced during restoration and glass is in good condition all round.

The Mechanics 


From day one this Saab was designed with toughness in mind and thus it is a true mechanical masterpiece. The two-cylinder two stroke transversely mounted engine providing power to the front wheels will continue to run in some of the toughest environments in the world and the car only weighs at 880kg! Good enough to keep up with modern traffic.

The car was designed with rack and pinion steering from the start which gives it a very modern feel unlike other 50s contemporaries.
Hydraulic Lockheed dual circuit drums (also borrowed from aircraft) have a huge braking area for the size of the car and stop supremely well.

Unlike later cars with conventional spring and shocks suspension, 92s have theirs - torsion bar based, which saved space and and proved itself in Porsches well into the 90s! 

Gearbox is 3 Speed column shift with the famous Freewheel device. Which was used both for fuel saving (lifting off accelerator let's the car coast, there is no engine braking) as well as essential two stroke feature as lubrication comes with petrol/oil premix from the fuel tank and of course not using accelerator would starve the engine of lubricating oil. Freewheel also means that downshifts could be performed without use of the clutch and with some practice same can be done for upshifts.

Owner informs us that all major components of the car have been overhauled from ground up with engine and gearbox receiving particular close attention and have had  trouble free few thousand miles since.

The Appeal 


This is one special car from an automotive mark that is sadly no longer with us. This extremely original Saab 92B, with the "Rally Pack" fitted, is a truly rare car that you will possibly never see again in your lifetime. There are apparently only 4-5 known in the UK and 30 odd worldwide, the current owner owns two of the UK cars. Other cars have not been seen on the road for a long time so, in purchasing this car you may be buying the only road worthy version in the UK which is an accolade that even most Ferraris and other supercars don’t have.

With the current road worthiness, originality, coupled with Saabs brilliant bullet proof engineering and proven rally pedigree this should be a trouble-free car that you can use any day for any task. It is a truly lovable character too, it’ll always put a smile on your face whether you’re driving it or just admiring it in the garage.


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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1953
  • Make Saab
  • Model 92B
  • Colour Grey
  • Engine size 764
  • Location Buckinghamshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
13 bids from 7 bidders
  • ra•••• £14,750 24/10/21
  • co•••• £14,500 24/10/21
  • ab•••• £14,100 22/10/21
  • CJ•••• £13,600 22/10/21
  • le•••• £13,350 22/10/21
  • la•••• £13,100 20/10/21
  • ra•••• £12,250 19/10/21
  • ab•••• £12,000 19/10/21
  • ra•••• £11,250 19/10/21
  • le•••• £11,000 19/10/21

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