It feels like a brave move to admit that I’ve always been in love with the SAAB 900. If it were legal to marry a car, this is the beast I’d drag down the aisle. Produced in Sweden by Svenska Aeroplan AB from 1978 to 1998, the first generation 900 sedan divided opinion. Like anchovies, they were an acquired taste—those oversized bumpers and idiosyncratic body shape weren’t for everyone. I’d been a fan since my first ride aboard a midnight blue J-reg Turbo in 1993. It had felt just like a lottery win, with plush leather seats, three-spoke alloys and cruise control. Razzing down coastal roads with a cassette tape of Pink Floyd’s ‘Meddle’ at full blast, you could tell it was built to handle almost any terrain, taking those deep, dark Swedish winters in its stride like a total badass.

Saab 900 - Adsum
The Saab 900 often appealed to the person looking for something a little different than the rest.

Designed to heighten driver visibility, the huge curved windscreen bore testament to 60 years of SAAB’s distinguished history in the domestic aircraft industry. For the non-believers who scoffed at the eccentricity of the 900’s angles, it was always worth noting (and pompously explaining) how SAAB used cutting-edge wind technology to test the vehicle's aerodynamic properties. Volvo drivers like my dad always moaned about how they were just ‘rust buckets’ that were ‘bloody expensive to run’, but to me, they represented sexy Scandinavian sophistication. The 900’s dashboard dials and switches had been positioned according to their anticipated frequency of use, and with finely tuned double wishbone suspension, it could make even a jaunt to the supermarket feel more like a winning lap on the Nürburgring race circuit. In short, it felt like flying.

Words: Leanne Cloudsdale is a writer, lecturer and creative consultant.