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  1. #1
    Frank
    Saab Enthusiast nordwulf's Avatar
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    Saab 900 convertible purchase advice

    I am often looking on craigslist for any Saabs that need to be saved. This one has been advertised for awhile and I sent a message asking for some more information. Is buying a Saab for $1000 or less ever a good idea? It sure looks nice in the pictures but don't they always? One good thing is the body is in very good condition (or so they say).

    190000 miles body in excellent condition southern car....Needs some TLC needs water pump and front end work....Car runs motor and Trans in good shape. Would not be getting rid of it but dont have the money to restore her back to her original glory....1000 o.b.o..

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    I asked this question on SC before and Woywitka provided a lot of good purchase advice. The problem... I can't find that thread anymore.

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  2. #2
    Sam Carlson
    Tutorial Bot euromobile900's Avatar
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    '90 900 LPT with a flat-nose conversion
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    With the c900, at least I find that it needs to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. A good c900 driver/mechanic could probably tell you in fifteen minutes whether that car was worth the money, but it's really hard to tell without driving the car and actually getting under it, opening the hood, and evaluating. If you're not confident in your own judgement, bring it to someone who has not only worked on these cars, but (if you can) someone who owns and works on these cars, or has been in business a long time.

    With that said, here is the best c900 buyers guide on the interwebs. In addition, I would like to stress the importance of drive-tunnel rust (rust in the "floor" of the hole that the front axle goes through on each side) as a dealbreaker in any c900 purchase (unless you like welding).

    With the Vert, you need to make sure it doesn't have a cracked windshield. If it does, get a firm quote from an auto-glass place before buying. I've heard of these costing as much as $600 due to their bonded-in design, but some windshield guys do them for a lot less, particularly in the midwest USA.

    More to come!

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  3. #3
    Andy Graham
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    Tip: Lift the little rubber trim piece around the windscreen and check for rust spots.

    I wonder what "front end work" means? Don't you hate vague ads...

    Try and start/drive it from cold. If they have 'warmed it up' for you, be suspicious.

    Then again if you pick it up for $750 there's not a whole lot of down side.

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  4. #4
    Sam Carlson
    Tutorial Bot euromobile900's Avatar
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    '90 900 LPT with a flat-nose conversion
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpecialTool View Post
    Try and start/drive it from cold. If they have 'warmed it up' for you, be suspicious.
    That happened to me, and I _still_ have wonky cold-idle issues now, 6 years later
    On the other hand, it exposed the timing chain tensioner fault that caused rattle at warm idle. I firmly believe the guy who sold me my c900 got the "you need a new timing chain, front brakes, clutch, ECU, and AMM" spiel from the dealer, and did not expect it to last another 3000 miles--yet here I am six years later with a car that still functions, because of a few smarts.

    It goes to show you that if you pick and choose the c900 you want to save, you can get one with easily-solved mechanical troubles and make a killing!

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  5. #5
    Jeffrey
    Master SaabTech/Moderator Burnsside42's Avatar
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    $1000 OBO is never a bad price for a solid c900 Vert! I have not been able to sell mine for almost a year and I'm practically trying to give it away. It is an auto, which seems to hinder it's potential sale to another Saab enthusiast, but I can't sell it to the general public either! Book value on my 1990 in the "Fair" condition is up to $4000 and I can't get $1500 for a solid runner!

    White verts are nice btw - got to watch those control arms and remove those floor rusters!

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  6. #6
    Frank
    Saab Enthusiast nordwulf's Avatar
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    I looked at this 900 in September of 2008. This is from a thread on SC.

    It's a 1989 Turbo automatic with 34,000 miles. The top had a few smaller tears but it looked like it could be repaired. The paint was a bit flat/dull but looked original. There was no rust to be seen anywhere (checked around the wheel wells and lower body) and the body looked straight. There was a small dent on the fender near the headlight but it is difficult to see. The headlights looked a bit milky white and it appeared it was on the inside.

    The sign said it was stored winters and the sticker on the back is from a dealer in southern Michigan. The leather on the drivers seat was coming apart (maybe 10 inches) but both seats appeared in good shape. It has the original Saab radio and there was also something in the lower center console which appeared to be part of the audio system. Not sure what it was. I always see cracked dashboards on these 900s but this one was not and looked like it was in very nice shape.

    It is not really a good time for me to buy a second car (just bought a 2006 9-5) but it is in such a nice, original shape and it is only 10 miles from my home. Asking price is $4,000 or best offer.
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    Fast forward 2 1/2 years to today and the car is still for sale. Asking price is at $3,900. The odometer didn't work when I looked at it 2 1/2 years ago and now the car has 135,000 miles. Hmmmm....

    There also is a black 900 convertible in the background which is for sale as well. I think it has about 90K miles (well, if the odometer works..) and is a manual. But I think he was asking about $7-8K last fall.

    It's a shame it's sitting outside in this harsh weather. Poor convertibles.

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  7. #7
    Sam Carlson
    Tutorial Bot euromobile900's Avatar
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    '90 900 LPT with a flat-nose conversion
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wulf View Post
    Fast forward 2 1/2 years to today and the car is still for sale. Asking price is at $3,900. The odometer didn't work when I looked at it 2 1/2 years ago and now the car has 135,000 miles. Hmmmm....
    That's fishy, about the mileage. Were you looking through the window to see this, or is this what is reported in his ad? He could've changed speedometers, I guess. And that is too much money for an automatic c900 of that mileage, no matter what condition it's in.

    There also is a black 900 convertible in the background which is for sale as well. I think it has about 90K miles (well, if the odometer works..) and is a manual. But I think he was asking about $7-8K last fall.
    That is REALLY too much! It is no wonder they don't sell.

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  8. #8
    Frank
    Saab Enthusiast nordwulf's Avatar
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    Snow is mostly gone and I took another look at the black one. Asking price is $5000, it has 66K miles and is a '92 Turbo with 5-speed manual. Seats were in excellent condition and the driver's seat wasn't flat like all the others I have seen. The buttons were not worn off and the clutch pedal felt good. Dash had some cracks starting from the center but not all the way through. Car is originally from Wasau, Wisconsin.

    No rust as far as I could tell from a quick lookover. There were many maintenance receipts with the car manuals, as well as the original window sticker. I think MSRP was about $33K. It appears the miles are genuine judging from the overall condition and receipts. It sure could use a good cleaning and TLC.

    I haven't driven it and perhaps I shouldn't..

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  9. #9
    Frank
    Saab Enthusiast nordwulf's Avatar
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    I found the other thread with purchase advice on SC:
    Purchase advice on '89 900 Turbo Convertible - SaabCentral Forums

    And I forgot about this video.
    http://video.google.ca/videoplay?doc...34376747010282

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  10. #10
    Sam Carlson
    Tutorial Bot euromobile900's Avatar
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    '90 900 LPT with a flat-nose conversion
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    Makes you want that red Vert, doesn't it? That video is so funny! The saxophone accompaniment is nothing short of awesome. I love the downshift shot. It does actually take that long to properly downshift without double clutching And why is the 2cv spewing steam? Those were air-cooled, so it must be an oil fire

    I'm sure you can get a red Vert for a lot less money than what that guy wants. My friend Ian (Drwatson32 on here) is always finding things on there to tempt me.

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