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Saab 92-1950

Saab 92-1950

Founded in 1937, Saab AB, "Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget" (Swedish for "Swedish Aeroplane Corporation"), made aircraft for Sweden’s air force during World War II, as the country defended its neutrality. As hostilities wound down, the company shifted its focus from fighter planes to designing an automobile. Founded in 1937, Saab AB, "Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget" (Swedish for "Swedish Aeroplane Corporation"), made aircraft for Sweden’s air force during World War II, as the country defended its neutrality. As hostilities wound down, the company shifted its focus from fighter planes to designing an automobile. With minimal changes from the prototype Ursaab (simply, “original Saab”), the Saab 92 (earlier model designations belonged to Saab aircraft) began production in December of 1949. The 92 featured an aerodynamic body and a 764cc transverse-mounted, water-cooled two-cylinder two-stroke engine, originally designed by German car company DKW. The bodyshell was engineered with reinforced structural members for added safety, years before any kind of crash protection was mandated. Front-wheel drive, uncommon at the time, provided good traction in the heavy snowfalls of Scandinavia, as well as a versatile, roomy interior. The rear seat was detachable, and a kit was available to convert the cabin into a useful double bed. To keep production costs low (only 17% of imported parts made it into the 92), Saab took a page from Henry Ford’s playbook: early 92s only came in the green color you see here. It was suggested that Saab chose this color because of surplus paint left over from wartime aircraft production.

The 92 laid the groundwork for Saab’s future, known as an innovative and at times quirky car company.

 

Specifications:Manufacturer:  Saab Automobiles AB
Country of Origin:  Sweden
Drivetrain Configuration:  Front-engine, front-wheel drive
Engine: 764cc, water-cooled, two-cylinder, two-stroke, 25 hp
Transmission:  3-speed manual
Top Speed:  65 mph
Years of Production: 1949-56 
Number Produced:  20,000
Original Cost: $965 USD

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