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Vintage SAAB 0-to-60 Comparison
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Zero-to-60 MPH Comparison

   VSAAB subscriber (and consummate vintage SAAB restoration expert) Bruce "Gas Cap" Turk came up with the idea that collectively, we as vintage SAAB owners really don't know the most effective ways to improve the performance of our cars.  Oh, we've all done our required reading and bench-racing.  We've experimented with different methods of improving the breathing of our little three and four-thumpers and some of us have found extraordinary ways to put even the most reluctant horses in there to work.  But Bruce reasons that without real-world data, all the advice and experimentation in the world isn't worth much to the average vintage SAAB enthusiast.

   The question then becomes, "How are vintage SAAB owners modifying their cars and what is the net effect of those modifications on acceleration?"  Herein are the results of an ongoing survey of SAABisti who have braved the open road and thrashed their trusty steeds in an effort to eke out the best zero-to-sixty MPH time.  To contribute your results, fill-out the form below.

   Thanks, once again, go out to Bruce Turk for the idea, for gathering the initial data and for revving us up to submit our best times!

SAAB 92 (two cylinder, two-stroke)

0-60 MPH Vehicle Notes Owner
43.7 seconds 1955 92  Stock except for 155*15 tires should be 145*15.  Ambient temperature of 20°C with some moisture. Martin Bergstrand

Standard 750cc

0-60 MPH Vehicle Notes Owner
28 seconds 1958 93B (#38732)  100% stock everything
3-speed transmission
Bruce Turk
?? seconds 19?? 93F Mint, spare tire & parts in boot.

Only could achieve 0-55 at 47 seconds.  Weather-related problems caused a rescheduling of the run.

Leo O'Hagan

GT 750

0-60 MPH Vehicle Notes Owner
16 seconds 1958 93B (#38732)  GT750 motor installed,
3-speed transmission,
5.00 x 15 tires,
complete interior, spare tire, tools, spare parts in trunk, etc.  Test was 14.5 seconds with all that removed.
Bruce Turk

Standard 850 - 95/96  (1960-1964)

0-60 MPH Vehicle Notes Owner
12.5 seconds with Huer stopwatch, dry, 8°C 1963 96 850cc, standard pistons, Group 2 port tuning and compression.  Twin dellorto downdraught (DHLA40), SSR exhaust system 2 inch.T  otally locked out distributor,  20 degree timing.  BR8EVX NGK spark plugs.  Standard ignition system.  3-speed trans, 155x15 Gislaved tyres (radial).  Body standard with spare tyre and tools. GT750 dash and interior. David Barrow
14.2 seconds 1963 96 Tuned twin barrel exhaust system, homemade front silencer, no back silencer (very nice sound, police don't like it), mod. air filter and Solex PII carb, higher compression (10,0), mod. outlet. Sven Persson
20 seconds 1961 96 (#129955)  3-speed transmission, 165 x 15 tires.  Four second drop in elapsed time when I added a Monte Carlo front muffler with modified (no baffles) Monte Carlo rear muffler. Bruce Turk
24.11 seconds 1963 96 4-speed transmission, all stock Scott Reeson
25 seconds 1963 96 3-speed transmission, 165R15 tires, completely stock car.  Tested 4 times on a sunny, cool day, flat paved surface. Mike St. Pierre
34 seconds 1963 95 (#9417) 4-speed transmission, 560 x 15 tires. Bruce Turk

GT850/Sport - 95/96  (1960-1964)

0-60 MPH Vehicle Notes Owner
18 seconds 1964 GT850  Completely stock engine, 155R15 Michelin X tires.

Gary Stottler

Standard 850 - 95/96  (1965-1968)

0-60 MPH Vehicle Notes Owner
6.9 seconds 1966 96 Rallycross No interior, plastic windows & fenders, 915 cc stage 2+, PIII 44 Solex carburetor triple
throat, similar to GT750 but triple (the Swedes call it a Lancia carb), tuned exhaust (lots of good noise), no fan, no alternator, capacitor discharge ignition, special 1 gearset, 6:35 final drive, 175/60-13 tires
David Nameri
20 seconds 1966 96 Stock, including a NOS factory-rebuilt triple carb motor with less than 1000 miles, Pirelli 155/15 tires Ed Lorenz
21 seconds 1966 95 'Sport' Monte Carlo twin pipe exhaust, capacitor discharge ignition, 155/15 tires the rest is stock David Nameri

Monte Carlo / Special 850cc - 95/96  (1965-1968)

0-60 MPH Vehicle Notes Owner
19 seconds 1966 96 M/C 850 (#396559) Completely stock Leo Hagan

Sonett II

0-60 MPH Vehicle Notes Owner
10.2 seconds
25° C, 77 F, sea level (extrapolated from accelerating in 3rd gear)
1967 Sonett II (#111) 915 cc (73mm forged piston), stage 2 porting, special big end bearings in the crank shaft, UK16 plugs with CDI, standard Sonett exhaust (XP system from Sweden might be the next step), shaved soccer ball rims with 185/65x15, air condition, I will do the 0-60 with the AC- guess +2 sec. David Nameri
14.5 seconds 1967 Sonett II (#171) Level, dry, warm, no traffic.

Topped-out at 5500 RPM in 3rd gear - I have a balky 2-3 shifter.
  Car is totally stock, GT850 motor with 3 sidedraft Solex carbs, double Bendix fuel pumps, racing gas, unlocked distributor, 155x15 tires.
Bob McNary
14.1 seconds, 
average 14.55
1966 Sonett II  Flat road, 70 degrees, humid

No rear muffler, 1-over pistons (Bud Clark's Venolia), racing fuel, tires 155x15, gear ratio 4.87, speedo check.

Tom Donney

Sonett V4

0-60 MPH Vehicle Notes Owner
7.6 seconds by radar 1968 Sonett V4 autocross & hillclimb racer 1490 pounds, running 4.88:1 gears and 215/50x15 Yokohama A008 RS2 autocross tires on the front. H/P estimated at 147. Jack Ashcraft
9.9 seconds 1968 Sonett V4 (#403) 1500cc motor, Stage II tuning, Weber progressive carb, bronco valves, little bit of porting, bigger exhaust, bigger cam.  1700 cc top-decked for increased compression. Lou Lechner
10.4 seconds 1968 Sonett V4 Spyder (no roof) 2 bbl Weber 40 DFI carb on 2 bbl ported and polished intake, ported and polished heads with BIG valves, lightened rockers, stiffer valve springs, hot cam, electric fan, MSS exhaust, 95 wagon 4-speed, lightened flywheel, Front tires: 225-50-15 Yokohama 008RS II, Rear tires: 205-50-15 Yokohama 008RS II Stefan 
9.48 seconds by G-Tech 1969 Sonett V4 *Updated 10/2003*

Run at 45F early fall evening, high humidity.
Two bbl Holley w/K&N, balanced crank rods and pistons, hardened seats and oversized valves, breakerless ignition.  Performance cam (uncertain of which duration / lift, but not stock).  Removal of engine fan and pulley, addition of electric fan (switched off), shorter belt for water pump and alternator, 185-65-14 tires on Audi 4000 alloy wheels using custom spacers / adaptors.  Removed stock exhaust pipes., replaced with 1.5 inch i.d. pipes from heads back to gutted muffler.  Dynamometer tested two weeks previous, 65 lb*ft flat line from 2,000 to 5,200. 61 hp flat line from 5,500 to 6,200 rpm.  Freewheel locked out and engine rpm run up to 6500 for the acceleration runs.

Jonathan Bartlett
13.8 seconds 1968 Sonett V4 (#732) Stock 1500 cc engine with Weber 34ICH carb, MSS exhaust and 165 X 15 tires Bruce Turk
16 seconds 1968 Sonett V4 (#458) Stock 1500cc engine with single barrel Weber carb and MSS exhaust. 165 X 15 tires Seth Bengelsdorf
14.2 seconds 1969 Sonett V4
All stock, 1700cc engine, 165x15 tires Scott Reeson
?? seconds 1969 Sonett V4 No interior, no exhaust, doesn't run Don Price (who gets extra points for team spirit)

Sonett III

0-60 MPH Vehicle Notes Owner
6.0 seconds 1973 Sonett III 1976 Ford 2.8 liter V-6. Heads: ported and, SAAB 2 liter valves w/dual springs, light weight retainers, pushrods, and lifters. Schneider cam, homemade 3 into 1 extraction style tuned headers, modified Mazda RX-7 four barrel carb on an Offenhauser "dual port intake". Modified Ford 4 cylinder pistons, compression approx. 13:1, M.S.S. lightened V-4 flywheel and modified VW diaphram pressure plate, locally built 4 puck racing disc, standard '73 Sonett transaxel w/5.43:1 ring and pinion (3 cyl.), SAAB 95/96 front sway bar, Pirelli 195 SR 15 tires on Sonett aluminum wheels.  Best of 6 runs at sea level, 65F via radar gun & stopwatch. Rik VanDell
7.0 seconds 1973 Sonett III Turbocharged and fuel injected V4.  Bruce Turk says "fastest vintage SAAB I have ever driven, incredible."  Tested with 2 people in the car. Dave Hosmer
7.1 seconds 1971 Sonett III Yellow Thunder: 1620 Lbs, 130 Lb driver (not me), 14:1 compression, Big Valves, Ported Heads/Intake, Solex 40 PII Carb, Dual Port Exhaust, 4:1 Extractor Exhaust w/39 inch primary, MSD-7AL2 Ignition, Superlight Valve Components (some Titanium), MSS Race Cam, Electric Fan, Alternator Cut Out, Limited Slip Differential, Special II Gearset, 4.67 Final, 205/50-15 BFG-R1.  Conditions were sunny, low 70s (F), on dry airport runway - with radar. Chris Moberg
11.8 seconds 1974 Sonett III (#97745001279) 100% stock 1700 cc motor, standard exhaust, 165x15 tires and a real smooth transmission. G. Roller
12 seconds 1974 Sonett III (#97745001554) 100% stock 1700cc motor, MSS exhaust, 155x15 tires. Transmission might be out of a 96. Bruce Turk
13 seconds 1972 Sonett III
All stock, 165x15 tires Scott Reeson
20 seconds 1974 Sonett III MSS exhaust, MSS hotter cam, Pirelli 155/15 tires, last tuned about 1992 and in need again.  Would like to cure a lot of ills with
a new and improved carb. 
Ed Lorenz
24 seconds (going slightly uphill) 1972 Sonett III 1700cc, stock as far as I know, 165x15 Vredestein Sprint, two persons in car, gas tank half full; 400 m (=1/4 mile) from standstill in 20 sec on level road.  This means average acceleration is 2 m/sec2 = 1/5 g, speedo indicates ca 55 miles/h accelerating from 0 at 2 m/sec2 for 24 sec should bring a speed of 48m/sec (=173 km/h = 108 M/h, but I already knew that my speedo indicates too slow, have the speeding tickets to show) Martin Hilvers (who gets extra points for physics!)
45.5 seconds 1973 Sonett III (#97735001207) Hardened valves and seats, 6-roller freewheel, a bunch of aluminum pop-riveted in to repair floor rust, Pinto fuel pump, a wad of aluminum foil for an oil filler cap.  MSS single-muffler exhaust.  Timing was done with a stopwatch, however, my speedometer cable is broken, so 60 mph was determined by when the tach needle was pointing straight up.  First time the car had been started in about four months, and I really think there's something wrong with the ignition timing. Or maybe the carb. Or both. JJ Cote

95/96 V4

0-60 MPH Vehicle Notes Owner
8.9 seconds 1971 96 1700cc bored .032" with MSS pistons (9.0:1), blueprinted block, light flywheel and semi-comp clutch (self-modified using three MSS "red" springs) MSS high-flow heads, hard valves (42mm intake, 35mm exhaust) 1 3/4" exhaust ports. Polished & liberally ported by Jack Lawrence. MSS "street" cam (3/4 race) MSS part #175110.  Ported & polished aluminum 2-bbl manifold, progressive 2-bbl Weber 32/36 DGEV carb, open K&N filter, Jacobs OmniMag computerized ignition, 1969 distributor, 1 3/4" MSS 51" primary to collector exhaust w/single glasspack.  Electric fan, 78A AC/Delco alternator,  std 1967 96 rib-case four speed. Suspension lowered 2 inches, Michelin XZX radials. Charlie 
"The Saab Freak" 
9.9 seconds, 10.3 w/AC on! 1969 96 1730 cc rally kit & ported
heads, lightened flywheel, electric fan, 185/65-15 tires
David Nameri
11.5 seconds 1967 9? Rally prepared 1967 V4 std 1700 cc engine with 28/36 DCD carb on SAH manifold, Jetex sports exhaust system Standard worn gearbox and standard final drive. 4 inch steels with Michelin X radials 155 x 15. John Gadsby
12 seconds 1972 95 Holley 43 mm, Isky F4, MSS exhaust, Pertronix, Bosch platinums,165x15's, Sonett trans (I'm pretty sure, but haven't checked definitively, though the Sonett speedo calibrated with that in my dad's Honda at 60), Sonett wheels Bill Trench
12.5 seconds 1970 96 1700cc V4 freshly rebuilt.  Slightly ported and polished heads, stock valve sizes.  Older smooth case trans, worn, but good.  Stock FoMoCo carb with 40 main jet, stock exhaust, muffler. Open air cleaner (top cut off a stock filter unit, bolted on top stock round filter element and base) Vredestien Snow+ radial tires up front, Michelin XZX radials in rear. Stock everything else!  65 degrees F, dry tarmac, shaded street. Charlie 
"The Saab Freak" 
13.8 seconds
18°C, dry
1970 96 Std 1500cc engine with Weber 40 DFi carb - 2-bbl intake - K&N open air filter - electric fuel pump and Simons 2" exhaust system Jean Pierre Vandenborre
14 seconds 1972 96 Weber 2-bbl carb and intake manifold, oversized intake and exhaust valves, massively ported shaved heads, F-8 grind cam, MSS exhaust, stock trans, 195-65/15 tires. Marty Adams
16 seconds, -5°C, dry 1980 96 1815cc, 2" exhaust, no vacuum advance, Solex 32/32, stock valves, stock cam, stock transmission.  Test run with 165-15 Michelin winter tyres.  To save some spikes, I crawled on idle and then floored it. Sami Vehviläinen
18.2, dry 55°F 1972 95 Bone stock. Floor mats in, hubcaps on, MoFoCo :).  Factory roof rack (big steel), and spare in place. Tires pumped to 35psi. Lots of dead head stickers, 8 track STEREO loud. 126,000 mi. Russ McKissick
18.7 seconds, dry 55°F 1973 96 Weber single carburator. Heavy new imron paint. New coil, cap rotor plugs. Factory roof rack. 320,000 miles. Russ McKissick
19 seconds 1975b 96 V4 Stock engine, rusty overall, some holes in exhaust.  No air filter at that time. Kim Törmänen
20 seconds 1977 96 cabriolet Original motor, 100000Km, bad clutch Jonas Fredriksson
21 seconds 1969 96 New Weber carb, running great, probably could do 18 if I had to!! Mike Rutkaus
23 seconds 1978 95 Electronic ignition, otherwise stock -- that is, with two stage Solex carb Martin Hilvers
23 seconds, 34°F; humidity 81%; 29.15 Inches mercury; wind calm (North) 1968 95 Method:  Four runs.  North/South road, mild grades up/down.  Cooking timer (no tenths) and speedo.  Two runs each direction, average time 26 seconds. Best time achieved by not shifting to fourth. First three (and slowest) included shift to fourth.  Stock as far as I know.  Purchased car from junkyard two months ago. Have changed gearbox and engine oil, nothing more.  Test weight included 323 pounds of passengers (two!) and 85 pounds of tools/jack.  Half tank of gas. Clutch slips in fourth like mad; third some and first and second not at all. Jason Campbell
(failed to get there, died at about 40) 1973 96 Recovery method was a tow truck, recuperation involved beer.  My much loved baby expired during this test.  Lots of black smoke, funny noises.  The car was vandalized when i returned to collect it a few days later.  The car has now gone to car heaven, alias cooper bridge scrap yard in Hudersfield, England. Paolo Bianchi

99 2.0L

0-60 MPH Vehicle Notes Owner
12 seconds,
1975 99LE Original engine with 270500 km (169000 miles) since rebuild.  The car totals 371500 km (232200 miles).  5-speed box from 900 type GM 45706, transfer rate 32:25, final drive 9:33.  Tyres: Michelin Premacy 165/65*15 V rated with 17000 km (10625 miles), mounted on original Saab "Minilites". Oren Kipnis

99 2.0L Turbo

0-60 MPH Vehicle Notes Owner
7.9 seconds,
cool & damp,
4 run average with
1978 99 Turbo Turbo from 9000, intercooler from 1985 900, BigFatInterCoolerPipe from 1992 900, 8.5 1mm-over pistons, cam from normally-aspirated 2.0L, APC retrofit, 5-speed from 92 900. John Wirt
10.4 seconds, 65°F, dry, 2 runs each direction with stopwatch 1978 99 Turbo Completely stock except wastegate limited to 6 PSI max boost (original US was 8 PSI, euro was 10 PSI - how often do ya wanna replace valve seats?) Gary Stottler


VSAAB 0-60 Comparison Submittal Form

Here are the conditions of submittal:

a) Please submit times for vintage SAABs that match one of the categories above.

b) As interesting as it might be, I will not be adding the time for your 1978 Oldsmobile to this table.

c) Please don't put yourself or anyone else at risk for this exercise.  Think first.

d) Choose a straight, level stretch of road -- preferably one with no traffic and no cross streets.

e) Use a push-button stopwatch if possible.

Name: Year/Model:
E-Mail: Conditions:
Best time:

Timing method:



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Last modified: March 09, 2023