Last Sunday the Larz Anderson Museum of Transportation in Brookline, MA held its annual Swedish Car Day. I was dealing with my own Swedish car issue that day and as such I was unable to make it to Larz Anderson’s. However my friend, Gary Hamilton, was able to attend and Gary sent me some of his photographs.
The car that caught my eye in Gary’s photos was a Saab Monte Carlo 850.
The Two Chrome Strips Along The Rocker Panels Distinguish The Monte Carlo 850 From The Standard Saab 96
The Saab Monte Carlo 850 was a three-year model, 1964, 1965, 1966 and may have trickled into 1967, that had a special two-stroke, three-cylinder, three carburetor 841 cc engine that produced 60 horsepower.
All Of Sweden Celebrated Saab’s Monte Carlo Victory In 1963
The Saab Monte Carlo 850 was a rather expensive Saab. For example, in 1964 a standard Saab 96 with the standard 750cc engine cost $1,895 while the Monte Carlo 850 cost $2,790. That is almost 50% more!
The Red Color Of The Monte Carlo 850 Is The Classic Saab Color
While the outside lines of the early Saabs are not appreciated by everyone, the interior design would surely be considered excellent by everyone.
This Car Has Been Restored Inside and Out
The origin of the Saab Monte Carlo 850 goes back to the Saab GT750 that was introduced in 1958. This was considered a performance car in the Saab line-up.
Saab GT750 Advertisement
The GT750 car was introduced primarily for the American market in 1958. I believe that this model was a result of Saab’s success in the Great American Mountain Rally. The Saab GT750 had increased horsepower from the standard 93B’s 38 horsepower to 50 horsepower and there was a modified version of the GT750 that produced 57 horsepower.
An interesting feature of the Saab GT750 was that it included a Halda Speedpilot as standard equipment. This left no doubt that Saab was focusing on rallying for the GT750. By the early to mid 1960s when the Monte Carlo 850 had evolved from the GT750, the Halda Speedpilot was no longer standard equipment, but it could be ordered as an option.
The Saab Monte Carlo 850 Dash Is Among The Best There Is
If you look carefully at the glove box door on the Saab Monte Carlo 850 dash you can see what appears to be a “knock out” plate where the optional Halda Speedpilot could be mounted.
Special Badging On The Fenders
The Saab Monte Carlo 850 was an interesting car in the Saab line up. Given the price premium for the Monte Carlo 850 at $2,750 in 1966 compared to a 1275cc Austin Mini Cooper “S” at $2,349, I would think that it was a car that appealed to a narrow market.