Pearl White 1984 Saab 900 SPG prototype at former Saab dealer in California

Article originally published on SaabWorld in May 2011
This Saab is currently offered for sale in the SaabWorld Marketplace: 1985 Saab 900 Aero

Saab 900 at former Saab dealer in Lompoc, CA member Boef_Arjen was traveling on business northwest of Los Angeles. He was driving near Vandenberg AFB in the town of Lompoc and spotted a big Saab sign on a building. Some older Saabs were parked outside so the place wasn’t something really special just by itself. What caught his attention was a Pearl White Saab 900 in the small showroom.

This Saab 900 is owned by Tom Gustafsson of Tor’s Foreign Car Service in Lompoc, CA. He emigrated with his parents from Sweden to California in the 1950s. His parents used to have a Saab dealership which he took over. This dealership was in business until 2006 when he decided he wasn’t happy with the way GM was running Saab. The dealership was closed and he continued with a service and repair business.

This particular Saab 900 was ordered from the factory with all optional equipment available. The Pearl White color is pretty rare and there are not many in this like-new condition. The car is completely stock, except for Koni shocks and a lowered suspension. It was mostly used for photo shoots and promotional events for the Saab dealership. This pearl white Saab has only been driven 21021 miles and the interior appears to be in very good condition.

After 27 years ownership of the car, the owner mentioned he was thinking of selling the car because of personal circumstances. Such a car doesn’t come cheap though as he briefly mentioned price would be close to US$ 30,000 if he decides to sell. And the new owner should be a true Saab enthusiast. I think this will be out of reach for many Saab enthusiasts and it would be great to see this unique and pristine Saab end up in a museum or other private or public collection.

Please find the forum thread in Dutch and more pictures here:

Information about the Saab 900 SPG prototype

From an article on SaabHistory: The Saab 900 SPG Prototype – 1984

The Saab 900 Turbo 16 Aero or SPG Prototype arrived with a unique “Mother of Pearl” exterior paint job on the body and skirts and a Colorado red leather interior and same colored steering wheel and dash and A-pillars, body colored steer. In addition, the notable aerodynamic styling was first introduced in this vehicle known as an aerodynamic skirt kit, rear whale-tail spoiler, vent covers all also painted in “Mother of Pearl” paint, combined with unique three-pronged wheels that continued throughout all SPG models up until 1991.

Comment on the article on SaabHistory:

I wish to clarify that the Prototype Aero/SPG was not produced with a whale tail or vent covers. These are accessory items that were added by owners of the few prototype vehicles after they were sold to the public. The SPG Prototype vehicle only had a standard rear spoiler attached as shown in official Saab photos and automotive review articles from the period.

Of the four prototypes that were produced, one was manufactured with US-SPEC/DOT compliant headlamps, etc. (VIN 060). VIN 060 was also used by Saab Scania as a test bed for US magazine reviews and to determine if the Mother of Pearl paint could be color-matched in the field.

Gustafsson and Saab

Tom Gustafsson looks under the hood of a 1967 Saab 96 that used to belong to his father, which he keeps at his shop. Gustafsson is the former owner of Tor’s Saab in Lompoc. Picture:

Excerpt from an article published by on January 5, 2010:

With the fate of auto maker Saab up in the air, Tom Gustafsson of Lompoc worries for his fellow Swedish countrymen and stateside dealers of the quirky car with the ignition key switch on the floor between the front seats. Through Swedish newspapers on the Internet, he has been following the Saab story of whether the brand will be sold by owner General Motors Co. or die off.

Saab and the Gustafsson name have been a fixture in Lompoc since the late 1950s. Tor’s Saab, founded by Tom’s father Tor Gustafsson in 1959, has been on North H Street since 1962 and sold Saabs from September 1967 to June 2006. The small shop at 414 North H St. continues to service, repair, and sell used Saabs and Volvos, another Swedish car brand.

Born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden, Tom Gustafsson came to the U.S. at 11 years old. As a Lompoc High School student in the early 1960s, he parked his first car, a 1959 Saab 93 with a two-stroke engine, next to American cars with powerful V8 engines. He has owned most Saab models, by his account, and will continue to drive them. “I love the product,” he said. “The cars are wonderful.”

Disappointed by GM, Tom Gustafsson terminated his Saab franchise agreement three years ago. GM doesn’t understand “niche marketing” and the Saab brand has not been a priority for the Detroit-based company, he said. At the time, the dealership was one of the oldest west of Mississippi selling Saabs, and was in the top 5 nationwide in sales, service and customer satisfaction, he said.

Find the full article here: Ex-Saab dealer worries about fate

Tor’s Foreign Car Services in Lompoc, California – image from Google Street View


  1. Beautiful car. Always loved the SPG body kit on C900s. Don’t care for red interior, but that’s personal preference. Where do they find these obscure cars. At $30k, it’s a bit over what I can afford, but what a gem.

  2. I was a faithful (and proud!) customer of Tor’s Saab for many years, it was indeed a very special family-run dealership. This 1985 900 Turbo SPG was a fixture in the showroom, and later an annoyance to the GM corporate suits who showed up to whip Tom into shape. They also didn’t like him wearing the blue shop coat, after all how would a prospective customer know he was the salesman? I guess they could just ask, right?

  3. Very fond memories of this place. I grew up there. Mowed the lawn out front when I was a kid and tuned up my Saab as a teen. Will never ever be a place like it again for me. Thanks Tom.

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