An obscure and interesting a part of Saab’s history is in search of a brand new home. The one-off 1997 900 EX was in-built Norway to rejoice the corporate’s fiftieth birthday, and while it was not approved for production it shows what a sporty, 900-derived coupe could have looked like.
British auction house Bonhams explains that Per Ekstrøm, an auto body expert and enthusiast according to The Drive, worked closely with Saab and Norwegian road authorities to create the 900 EX. His goal wasn’t merely to create an attention grabbing coupe that is pretty to take a look at but unimaginable to drive; he wanted the model to be street-legal and drive like a regular-production automobile. The auction description notes that the 900 EX was built by experienced professionals with Saab’s blessing and that the method required between 3,000 and 4,000 hours of labor.
The tip result’s stunning. While the headlights and the grille create a powerful visual link between the EX and the second-generation 900, which enthusiasts often seek advice from because the GM900, the roof line has been lowered by nearly three inches and the body has been considerably widened thanks partially to 9000 CS-sourced front and rear wheel arches. We’re told that the rear window comes from a 900 Cabriolet’s soft top and that the hatch is a modified panel sourced from a regular 900, though pictures of the back end have not been released as of writing.
Bonhams describes the construct quality as “exceptional” and says that the panel gaps are higher than those seen on many modern cars. It adds that the red and grey paint (which is a tribute to the mix often seen on the 900 SPG) is original and “in near perfect condition.”
The inside is basically standard 900 fare. There’s wood trim, leather upholstery, a three-spoke steering wheel, and the large knobs and buttons that characterised Saab models for a long time. The brand designed the switchgear in order that it may very well be easily operated by someone wearing gloves. The odometer displays about 141,600 kilometers, which represents roughly 88,000 miles, though Bonhams pegs the engine’s mileage at around 154,000 kilometers (roughly 95,600 miles). Many of the miles were reportedly added before engine ended up within the EX.
Speaking of the engine, power comes from a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder sourced from Saab’s regular-production parts bin and tuned to send 220 horsepower to the front wheels. It’s bolted to a five-speed manual transmission. Using off-the-shelf parts should make this automobile relatively easy to maintain on the road, which is unusual for a prototype, and the auction description notes that drivetrain runs “excellently.”
Registered as a 1987 Saab 9000, the 1997 900 EX prototype will cross the auction block in Belgium on October 8, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. European time, which is 7:00 a.m. in Recent York and 4:00 a.m. in California. There isn’t any reserve, so the best bidder will take home a really cool automobile, but don’t expect to attain a bargain: Bonhams expects this Saab to sell for anywhere between €60,000 and €90,000 (about $64,000 and $96,000). The winner can even receive a thick stack of documentation and sketches detailing how the automobile was developed and built.
This Article First Appeared At www.autoblog.com