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  Saab 96 Saloon  

The Saab 96 was made from 1960 to January 1980, replacing the Saab 93. The 96 featured aerodynamic two-door bodywork, four-passenger seating and at first a two-stroke, three-cylinder engine, later a four-stroke V4.

The car had a longitudinally mounted engine layout. As first designed, it had an 841 cc, 38 PS three-cylinder Saab two-stroke engine. By 1965 this was increased to 40 PS. An optional 52 PS version of the engine, with triple carburettors and oil injection, was used in the Sport and Monte Carlo models. The additional power was obtained from a modified cylinder head and filled crankshaft counterweights offering higher overall compression ratio.

In 1967, Saab introduced the 96 V4, with the Ford Taunus V4 engine, a four-stroke 1498 cc V4 engine, originally developed for the 1962 Ford Taunus 15M. Saab's project to source a four-stroke engine was dubbed 'Operation Kajsa'. The two-stroke option was offered until 1968. Four-stroke engines had been tested before, between 1962 and 1964 Kjell Knutsson and Ingvar Andersson under Rolf Mellde tested three different engines: a 45 PS Lloyd Arabella of 897 cc; a 33 hp BMC A-Series 848-cc engine and a Lancia Appia engine of 1089cc and 48 hp. However Rolf Mellde's view that Saab needed to switch to a four-stroke engine was stopped higher up by CEO Tryggve Holm. Mellde then went behind the back of Holm and made contact with Marc Wallenberg, son of Marcus Wallenberg, Saab's major stockholder. The coup succeeded and testing could begin. The tested engines were Volvo B18, Ford V4, Triumph 1300, Lancia V4 engine, Opel, Volkswagen and Hillman Imp.

The Saab 96 was driven most famously by Erik Carlsson, in many international rallies. His most famous successes were first in the 1960, 1961 and 1962 RAC Rallies and first in the 1962 and 1963 Monte Carlo Rallies. It was these successive, top-level victories that put the Saab 96 on the map and established its reputation for reliability and toughness. Carlsson also competed in the East African Safari Rally. Famous rallying names such as Simo Lampinen, Per Eklund, Pat Moss-Carlsson, Tom Trana, Stig Blomqvist and Carl Orrenius have all been connected with the Saab 96.

Vanguards VA07700; Saab 96 Saloon; Savannah Beige Vanguards VA07701; Saab 96 Saloon; White, W1, Red Interior
Vanguards VA07700; Saab 96 Saloon; Savannah Beige Vanguards VA07701; Saab 96 Saloon; White, W1, Red Interior

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Last Edit: 04/12/2022   Page Added 04/12/2022