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Classic Review: Saab 92

Saab recently started a new chapter in its existence under the ownership of Dutch boutique supercar manufacturer Spyker, so it’s an opportune time to cast an eye back to one of the very first cars produced by the Swedish firm when it decided to diversify from its wartime business of aircraft production into four-wheeled transport for the masses – the Saab 92.


Production of the 92 began in December 1949. For the first year of manufacture, the bulbous little car was available only in one shade of drab green – some say this was because Saab had a surplus of this colour paint left over from aircraft manufacturing and the budget was too tight to buy in any more! But Saab did not cut corners with the 92 – it was a very elegant piece of engineering. Its light weight, advanced suspension and slippery, aerodynamic shape made it a sprightly performer. A contemporary reviewer wrote in Autocar magazine: “As a medium for putting in fantastic average speeds over rough, twisty roads, it has few rivals in its class... I was abetted to corner at speeds that would have propelled a more conventional car over the hills and far away.”


The 92 was powered by two-cylinder, two-stroke, 764cc, thermo siphon, water-cooled engine that produced 25bhp. Unsurprisingly, it was an ideal vehicle for the conditions prevalent in its native Sweden, as its front-wheel-drive layout provided excellent traction on snow and ice. What’s more, this humble car has a better drag coefficient than a Ferrari F40. Saab wasted no time in establishing some proper motorsport heritage for the 92 – the company’s chief engineer, Rolf Mellde, entered one in the Swedish Rally just two weeks after the model went on sale, and finished second in his class. In 1952, a Saab 92 driven by Greta Molander won the women’s class on the punishing Monte Carlo rally.


Saab introduced an improved model of the 92, known as the 92B, in 1953. It featured a greatly enlarged rear window to improve rearward visibility, and the boot was also increased in size. In addition, the boot could now be accessed from the outside (on early models it could only be reached through the back seat). Other innovations included the ability to easily convert the boot and back seats into a double-bed or a van-sized load area, as well as (gasp) a choice of colours: grey, blue-grey, black and, of course, green. In 1955, the 92/92B was officially superseded by the new 93, although production of the older model continued until early 1957. According to Saab, a total of 20,128 examples of the car rolled out of its factory during the production run, and until GM took over in the early ’90s, almost every other Saab produced carried on the company traits of innovation and individual character that the 92 first established.


Original Specifications – Saab 92



764cc 2-cyl


25hp @ 3,800rpm


3-sp manual, FWD


0–80km/h in 26.6 seconds

Top Speed






Boot Capacity


Price When New

STG£400 (UK)

Value Now

About €9,000 for a good, original example

Production Run







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