Second Time’s a Charm
The idea of a Saab 96 Convertible was not a creation by Saab nor was it an original idea itself. There have been a number of prior convertible builds done, but this is an extraordinary example owned by a Saab enthusiast named Jeff Bouvard (here’s his blog here’s his photostream) and built by a designer named Anders from Sweden with dreams of creating something Saab could’ve/should’ve made themselves.
This is actually his second attempt. Anders began the first build in 1992 with no welding knowledge and no garage so the result was more of a nightmare than a dream. The car died in just 60 miles on a test drive and the project was never completed.
In 1996 Anders bought a 1972 Saab 96 to begin project 96 cabriolet round 2. He now rented a shop to work in and had more metal work knowledge so he was off to a better start already.
He sourced an engine, gearbox, steering column, and rear fenders from a 1979 Saab 96 Deluxe model and the rear bumper from a 1970 base model. A shorter windshield and an entire interior came from a 1965 Saab 96 two-stroke.
The entire body and frame were reinforced to make the chassis strong enough for everyday driving conditions and safe enough to drive. The rear end is a mixture of all sorts of materials including sheet metal and plastic and is designed to keep the vintage look of the 96, something that other 96 convertible builders have not done as successfully.
The dream was finished (or should I say started) in 2001 and Anders apparently was quoted saying, “Some people actually asked if the car was an original convertible, and that surely made it worth all the effort.”
Sometime after 2001 the car ended up in Paris, France and was bought by the current owner in May 2008. I think it ended up in the right enthusiast hands because he had no information on the car when he bought it but somehow he fished up everything known about the car today.
You can see [the legend of] Anders standing behind his creation in the last image of the set.
Thanks to Jeff Bouvard for photos and information on the build and of course Anders for learning from his failures to create success!
130 Notes/ Hide
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