1958-1967 Saab 750GT/850GT

The 1958-1967 Saab 750GT/850GT was the early Saab sedan in its hottest form. Introduced in 1958 with a more powerful (45 vs. 38 bhp) version of the 746cc two-stroke, the 750/GT/850GT featured a three-cylinder engine from the then-current 93 model. Styling was marked by the aerodynamic "humpback" look introduced with the original Saab 92 of the late 1940’s.

Construction on the 1958-1967 Saab was unitized, and the very strong body/chassis had unusually good corrosion resistance. Front-wheel drive was a novelty for the day. When Saab replaced the 93 with the 96 in the early 1960’s, engine size went up to 841cc, and the GT version continued, again with more horsepower (57 vs. 48).

Through 1960 a rather clumsy three-speed steering column gearshift was fitted, but later models had a four-speed floorshift transmission. Features on both the 750 and 850 GT (or Granturismo) were more complete instrumentation, including tachometer, plus fog lamps and special seats.

It was quite quick, all things considered, with the engine emitting the distinctive "popcorn popper" sounds at idle characteristic of two-stroke units. Like other Saabs of the day, it was quite roomy for its size. The 850-model (known as the Sport outside the USA) was briefly marketed under the Monte Carlo name (1965-1968) in recognition of the car's rally successes at the hands of driver Erik Carlsson.

The GT was discontinued once Saab adopted the German Ford V-4 engine for the 1995/1996 models in the late 1960’s.

Pluses of the 1958-1967 Saab 750GT/850GT:

  • Affordable
  • Comparatively rare now
  • Durability
  • Front-drive handling/roadholding
  • Good accommodation

Minuses of the 1958-1967 Saab 750GT/850GT:

  • Noisy, smoky two-stroke engine
  • Parts now hard to come by
  • Styling sure to inspire argument

Production of the 1958-1967 Saab 750GT/850GT:

  • GT750: 600 (546 U.S. models)
  • GT850: NA

Specifications of the 1958-1967 Saab 750GT/850GT:
Wheelbase, inches: 98.0
Length, inches: 159.0

Weight, pounds: 1,800-1,900
Price, new
: approximately $2,800 (U.S.) for 850GT in 1964

Engines for the 1958-1967 Saab 750GT/850GT:

ohv 2-stroke 3 748 cc (46 cid)
ohv 2-stroke 3 841 cc (51.3 cid)

Want more information about classic cars? See: