The seller of today’s Nice Price or No Dice Saab 9-3 Viggen says that, in their opinion, it’s the best in the country. Let’s see what such a premier pedestal placement should realistically be worth.
Owing to its small size, you might not think it, but the 1987 Mercedes-Benz 190D 2.5 we looked at yesterday was packed with innovative engineering. Much of that made its way to the company’s other lines, thus making the 190 an iconic root model. One element of our car that few of you found funky fresh was its $8,750 price tag. With nearly 400K on the clock, that was seen as an overreach, ending the day with an 85 percent No Dice loss.
There’s lots more history in the Saab story, some of it good and a good bit that’s frustratingly sad. We won’t go into all that in the confines of today’s discussion but will go so far as to acknowledge that the 2001 Saab 9-3 Viggen (Thunderbolt) we are considering is a special high-performance edition named after the Saab 37 single-seat fighter jet, giving it even more props toward the model’s aircraft ancestry.
According to the ad, this Viggen is one of just 2,932 built between 1999 and 2002. Per SaabWorld specs, this is further one of just 207 Steel Gray convertibles sold in the U.S. in 2001. The metallic paint is paired with a black canvas top featuring a glass rear window and a charcoal interior with leather seating surfaces and Viggen logos embossed on the backrests of all four seats. Those back seats can be rendered inaccessible by the placement of the factory wind-blocker over the space, thus turning the car into a two-seat sportster with a large screened-in porch for extra luggage.
From the factory, the Viggen managed a healthy 230 horsepower from its 2.3-liter 16-valve four. A fat Mitsubishi turbocharger feeding an intercooled intake builds that corral. This car might have some additional afterburner built in as the seller claims a number of “tasteful upgrades” have been made. Those include a Stage 3 ECU tune, a larger-capacity intercooler, and a fatter downpipe, all for getting more of the good stuff in the cylinders and packing a bigger punch. The work is said to have been done professionally and within just the last 5,000 miles.
Helping keep the 9-3 dancing and not doing the Swedish Swerve is what is described as a Viggen “Rescue Kit” comprising strut and underbody stabilizers and embiggened anti-sway bars. The ad says the car runs on fresh Continental meats and has had proper maintenance its entire life. The convertible top works, as evidenced by the pictures, and has new hydraulics to ensure it keeps doing so. It also comes with a clean title and the boast of it being a “literal rocket ship” when called upon. And yes, the ignition key is between the seats, making it a proper Saab, even if there’s a lot of Opel under the skirts.
The seller says this Viggen is one of the best in the country and claims to be in no hurry to be rid of it. We’ll have to judge if an $18,900 price tag is part of that reluctance. What do you say? Is this supposedly best Viggen worth that kind of cash? Or does that price make this one Thunderbolt that’s shockingly expensive?
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