Classic Saab 93 returns to Jay Leno's Garage
If you're a big Jay Leno fan you might recognise this classic Saab 93. Said to be one of his favourites, this was actually one fo the fist cars to feature on his show
Throughout automotive history manufacturers have come and gone, but a loss still fresh in our memory is of Swedish brand Saab. With designs that were far from conventional, high quality manufacturing, and contributing plenty of iconic classics throughout its 67-year history, it was a sad day in 2012 when the doors shut for good. Car-nut Jay Leno is a big fan of Saab too with a 1958 93 taking pride of place in his extensive collection.
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If you’ve followed the Jay Leno’s Garage series from the beginning, this little grey car might be familiar to you. It was actually one of the very first cars Jay featured some 13 or so years ago, back when the video feature was just starting out. He still ranks it as one of his favourites in his garage — high praise indeed considering its stablemates include rare turbine machines and exotic supercars.
Saab has its background in aeronautics and used its knowledge of low-drag aerodynamics to shape the 93. Its sophisticated looks made it appear very modern for its 1955 launch date. Traits such a suicide doors and whitewall tyres further promoted a sense of premium motoring. The 93 came with several ingenious features including a shutter for the front grille to warm the engine faster on winter days.
Powered by a 750cc three-cylinder two-stroke engine, this classic sounds like ‘a hive of bees coming at you’ as Jay describes it. It pops and buzzes thanks to its little engine burning a combination of fuel and oil of which you have to mix yourself. Its 33hp output wasn’t bad for its day and was actually enough for Erik Carlsson to win Rally Finland in 1957.
Taking the Saab 93 for a spin, Jay remarks upon how low maintenance this classic is and just how unusual its crackling engine note remains. His team of mechanics modified this 93 with a four-speed transmission to replace the original three-speed in order to make it more drivable everyday.
Check out the video for some golden Swedish motoring.
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