1960 Saab 96 sketch. (source: GM)
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The Saab 96 was introduced in 1960 and was produced until January 1980, a run of 20 years. Like the 93 it replaced, the 96 was a development from the old Saab 92 chassis and, on account of its improvements and modernisation, it opened new markets for the company. It was the car for which the marque Saab became internationally known, not least because of its safety innovations and its motor sport successes. It was the first Saab model officially imported to the UK.
The bodywork differed little from that of the Saab 93, but the rear had undergone improvements in 1960, providing more trunk space, a larger trunk opening, and a much larger rear window with better visibility. The original 'bull-nose' front section of the 96 was lengthened for 1965 models, in preparation for a new engine, and the radiator was placed ahead of the engine, rather than above and behind. Both front and rear windows were again enlarged slightly for 1968 models.
As first designed, the 96 had a 750 cc, 38 hp (28 kW) three-cylinder Saab two-stroke engine. By 1963 this was increased to 841 cc, 40 hp (30 kW). An optional 57 hp (43 kW) version of the engine, with triple carburetors and oil injection, was used in the Sport and Monte Carlo models.
The SAAB 96 of 1964 was tweaked to 42 hp (31 kW). For 1966 models, the standard 96 841 cc, 46 hp (34 kW) engine, using pre-mix oil, appeared with a three throat Solex carburetor in which the center carburetor handled start, idle, and low speed functions.
The last production date for the Saab 96 was January 11, 1980.
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