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  • One of the earliest examples with a two-stroke engine - the power unit that enabled Saab to achieve immense success in rallies in the early 1960s
  • Restored in 2018-19, has covered less than 200 km since then
  • Equipped with several discreet and respectful modifications, including the addition of a tachometer, a 12v cigarette lighter socket and a Luisi steering wheel
  • Registered with the Automotoclub Storico Italiano (ASI)

The Attractions

Made famous by Erik 'on the roof' Carlson's counter-steering stunts, the Saab 96 became a highly successful rally car in the early 1960s. Carlson adapted his driving style to extract the maximum from the 96's unusual two-stroke, three-cylinder engine, constantly keeping engine revs high to allow the engine to always operate within its most efficient power band. Saab switched to Ford-derived V4 engines in 1966, making these early two-strokes increasingly difficult to find.

This 1965 example was previously used in historic rallies, although it was later the subject of a complete restoration completed in 2019. Since then, it has covered only 200 kilometres, making it an ideal car for anyone wanting a ready-to-run two-stroke Saab.

History and documentation

  • Purchased from the seller in 2018 in the Netherlands
  • Previously used for historic rallies
  • Restored for over a year from 2018 to 2019
  • Always carefully stored in a dry place by the current owner
  • Approx. 200 kilometres driven after restoration
  • 64,596 kilometres on the odometer
  • Now registered and located in Italy
  • Photo documentation of restoration work
  • Registered with ASI
  • Overhaul valid until 20 April 2024


  • The bodywork required numerous repairs, which were carried out to a very high standard
  • Professionally repainted by experienced coachbuilders
  • Fitted with light alloy wheels
  • Equipped with auxiliary lights
  • Solid, healthy bodywork with good panel alignment
  • New headlights and seals
  • Underbody looks very good
  • Upholstery renewed with fabric from a Swedish specialist
  • Rev counter, 12v cigarette lighter socket and Luisi steering wheel have been added
  • No significant signs of wear on upholstery or controls
Having been restored to a very high standard, this Saab presents itself beautifully and the fact that it has covered so few kilometres means that there are no significant signs of wear to report. We have been informed that the bodywork required several carefully executed repairs prior to the professional application of the brilliant new red paint.

Homages to Saab's sporty tradition include auxiliary headlights, alloy wheels and inside, the installation of a Luisi tachometer and steering wheel.

The mechanics

  • Three-cylinder two-stroke engine of 841 cc
  • Four-speed manual gearbox
  • An overhauled replacement engine was installed during the restoration
  • New expansion muffler
With a lightweight three-cylinder two-stroke engine under the bonnet, the 96 boasted impressive performance and was perfect for rallying.

We are told that having fitted a replacement engine, this example is in excellent condition and drives very well. The seller points out that it has a very pleasant sound thanks to the new expansion exhaust and is really fast for a car of this era.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1965
  • Make Saab
  • Model 96
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 64,596 Kilometres
  • Engine size 841
Listing Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location International
  • Country Italy

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