A Well-Bought Saab 93F

I recently got an email from Larry Lewis of Toronto, Canada about a 1960 Saab 93F that he had just bought.  At first glance, it looks like Larry got a good solid car and he got it at a very good price.


Larry Lewis’ 1960 Saab 93F

The Saab 93F was the last version of the Saab 93 car and was available in only 1960.  The earlier Saab 93B was probably the most well-known of the Saab 93 cars.

Saab 93

Cutaway View Of A Saab 93

The cutaway view of the Saab 93 shows that the engines in these cars are located longitudinally in front of the front axle.


The Front Doors Of The Saab 93F Are Hinged At The Front

The prime distinguishing feature with the Saab 93F as compared to the other Saab 93 models is that the front doors are hinged from the front, where as the older Saab 93 models had “suicide” or rear-hinged front doors.


Saabs Had A Streamlined Design As Saab Started As An Aircraft Company

This particular car came from South Africa which might help explain why the car is in such good shape.  Apparently the car was brought to Canada sometime in the 1980s.  Larry noted that he had just taken the tires off the rims for sandblasting and powdercoating and he noted that all of the Dunlop tires were made in South Africa.


The Car’s Body Appears To be In Good Shape

The Saab 93F was only available in 1960.  These cars sold for a price of about $1,895.  For comparison purposes, the 1960 Volkswagen 1200 Beetle sold for $1,595 with their similar 36 horsepower engines.


The Dust On This Car Is Indicative Of Its Lack Of Use In Recent Years

The hood of the Saab 93 is hinged at the front.  When the hood is opened there is great access to the engine bay.


The Front Mounted Engine Of The Saab 93F

The Saab 93F was powered by a two-stroke, three cylinder 748cc engine that produced 38 horsepower at 5,000 rpm.  One reason for this engine size was that Saab wanted an engine that was less than 750cc in order to race in the under 750cc class.


It Is Interesting That the Radiator Is Located In Back Of  The Engine

The radiator is located behind and a little above the engine.  This must have increased the engine cooling issues, as the air flowing through the radiator to cool the engine would be at a higher temperature than a conventional radiator that is located just behind the grille.


This South African Car Was Converted From Right-Hand to Left-Hand Drive

The Saab 93F is fitted with a column mounted three-speed transmission.  These cars were not high performance cars.  The top speed of the Saab 93F cars was only 78 to 80 miles per hour.  In 1960 Saab also produced a GT750 Saab which had a 50 horsepower version of this engine, plus there was a twin carburetor version of this engine that produced 57 horsepower.  I understand that these engines could be easily tuned for more horsepower and that the Saab 93 rally cars had about 75 horsepower.

I have never driven these cars, but I understand that it was important to keep the engines revved up, as that was were the power was.  It is this engine characteristic that made Erik Carlsson such a great driver.  He had to keep the engine running at near maximum rpms, so he had to develop driving techniques that suited driving the car with his right foot firmly planted on the floor.


Larry’s Documents Include The Signature Of The Master

In summary, it looks like Larry Lewis made a very good purchase with this car and it will be even better when Larry gets through with it.

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One Response to A Well-Bought Saab 93F

  1. Mike Mazoway says:

    Having learned to drive in a two stroke SAAB I have a real soft spot for them. The fan was attached to a bracket that was bolted to the head. We referred to the engines in the rear radiator cars as having a single overhead fan. One other unique thing was that the water pump was part of the generator. Two experienced people could have the engine and transmission out of the car in about a half an hour.

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