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Spotted in Reykjavik: Saab 96


Sometimes when traveling you run into an old acquaintance, and sometimes it's a car. In this case, a bright orange nicely-preserved Saab 96 parked down the street from our vacation rental in Reykjavik's Vesturbaer neighborhood.


It's not a car I drove or rode in often, but in the 1970s several friends owned them and swore by them as comfortable, safe and relatively cheap for a car that wasn't meant to be 'down-market.' Of course, none of them were orange!


Saab made the model from 1960 to 1980 (and it was really just an update of the Saab 93 from 1949 to 1960). This one is probably, based on the grille design from the late 60s or early 70s. It was the first Saab to gain wide sales outside Sweden.


One reason so few are still on the road is modern emission rules. The 96 had a three-cylinder two-stroke engine that required oil mixed with the gas; by the late 1970s there were two choices: switch to another type, or limit power to keep the emissions low.



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The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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