Recently, I was talking with my Saab friends Toine and Harry about Saab, as we often do. We were wondering how many Saab 900’s are still around these days. The 900 classic was delivered from 1978 up until 1994 with the last convertibles. In total, 908.817 Saab 900’s were made covering all body types, including 48.888 convertibles.
It’s interesting to wonder how many of those close to a million Saab 900’s are still around. I find it so interesting, that I decided to start a little research project, trying to figure out how many Saab 900’s are still driving around these days. I remembered I recently read a very interesting article in the magazine saabberichten (the magazine of the Dutch Saab Club) by Bert Ewalds about the known numbers of Saabs registered in the Netherlands (36.858 in total in April 2022), including specified numbers per model (3.625 for the 900 classic) and per body type such as the 900 convertible (1.518), 9-3 NG convertible (5.514) etc. This article was based on official numbers by the RDW. So I knew, parts of the answers are known. After searching the internet and asking around in Saab 900 groups on Facebook, I discovered that a worldwide total figure isn’t really known yet.
A motivating example at Porsche Classic
And that triggers me, as it seems there’s a gap of information about Saab that could be filled. For example, that total number is known when we talk about Porsche. Porsche itself states on its website that ‘around two-thirds of all sports cars ever built by Porsche still exists today. Porsche Classic ensures that around150.000 vehicles of the 911 model range alone are still being driven today.” I love how Porsche (that other brand with a strong connection with the number 9) cares for its classic cars, and offers service for them through its official dealer network with Porsche Classic Centers, of which the Dutch Porsche Classic Center Gelderland was the world’s first standalone Porsche Classic Center. It recognizes the value of all its models, new and older, for the brand. And lets every owner of a Porsche be welcome at its own dealer network, keeping everyone potentially involved with the company and simultaneously maintaining an influence on the quality and preservation of older Porsches. I’ve heard someone in the Netherlands, a well-known authority when it comes to Saab, had a plan to introduce Classic Centers at Dutch Saab dealerships as well, but at that time, that unfortunately didn’t come to fruition.
A central overview, generated step by step
As for the moment there’s no factory actively producing Saabs which could carry out a global research, in honor of this amazing brand, I want to take upon the task of trying to find out how many Saab 900’s are still around and facilitate a central overview of these numbers here on this website. To figure out the worldwide number, which is of course an ambitious goal, we’ll have to break down this big challenge into multiple smaller steps, working towards a growing total sum of numbers by finding out how many Saab 900’s are still around per country. And I’m pretty confident that we can create quite an overview, as the Saab community is a great international community of people sharing the love for Saab, helping each other and together, keeping the Saab spirit very much alive.
First numbers available
In response to my questions on Saab 900 groups on Facebook, I received some very nice and helpful reactions. Some of which already with very concrete numbers per country, such as the recent numbers of Saab 900’s registered in Germany, provided to me very kindly by Jan Rühmke of Trollhattan Classics on Instagram (be sure to check out his account with amazing pictures of his beautiful Ruby Red 900 and other magnificent Saabs). Together with the Dutch numbers, these figures are the base for and humble beginnings of the central overview I’m facilitating here at House of Swedish Cars, with the great help of fellow enthusiasts providing me with figures, which you can check out here.
First interesting findings
With these very first numbers we have available, we can already analyze them and discover some interesting first findings. When we look at the numbers of The Netherlands and Germany, we can see that the Netherlands have 3.625 Saab 900 Classics driving on the Dutch roads and Germany has 4.945 examples of this iconic Scandinavian car driving around. With 17.5 million people living in the Netherlands compared to 83.2 million people living in Germany, these numbers already exemplify the relatively big connection between Saab and the Netherlands. This as the amount of Saab 900’s in this much smaller country isn’t that much lower compared to the much bigger country Germany. Another interesting finding is that these two countries combined have 4.566 convertibles, more than half of their combined total of Saab 900’s. Extra interesting is that from the 908.817 Saab 900’s being produced in total, only a relatively smaller number of 48.888 of them were convertibles. The Netherlands and Germany together almost have 10% of the total amount of Saab 900 classic convertibles ever made, which already indicates that probably a relatively much larger percentage of convertibles as compared to other body styles is still around.
Know about the number of Saab 900’s registered in your country? Please let me know!
Building on these first numbers, I invite everyone to get involved and together, create a growing insight into the subject of how many Saab 900’s are still driving around the world. As Saab enthusiasts, represented in different countries on different continents, we can put pieces of the puzzle together. So if you know how to find out how many Saab 900 classics (from 1978 until 1994, all body types, possibly also divided into subcategories like convertible, turbo etc) are registered in your country, please feel free to get in touch and let me know. Then I will gladly add those numbers of your country to the grand total.
Driving around, sitting around, being registered
I know it’s difficult to define what is ‘Saab 900’s still driving around’ when searching for an exact number. Multiple people have pointed out rightly so that there will be Saab 900’s still driveable but not registered, and so not being known to official authorities registering the number of all certain types of cars in a country. But, when starting with the numbers we can find out, such as the numbers of Saab 900’s that are registered per country, I think we have a great start in getting a general idea of how many Saab 900’s are still around.
Important for the future of the 900
And getting a better understanding and more information about that number is not only very interesting in general but also very valuable for all of us. It gives knowledge about how many of these iconic cars are still driving around, which can be potentially interesting to know for companies and specialists working with Saab and producing parts for Saabs. When companies know about the potential market a certain part or product aimed at the 900 represents, it gives them insight, a better understanding and an extra layer to base their plans on. And of course, it gives an idea of the possible reach of our Saab 900 Club 😉 Information and its potential effects that could be very important and helpful for the future of our beloved 900’s.