After steadily developing their family sedans successfully through the Fifties – Saab entered into the Sixties with the launch of a new model that was rapidly regarded as the pinnacle of that particular design- the 96.

To increase the drama, the new Saab 96 was revealed at an especially convened press conference held in Stockholm, with coverage reaching out across the rest of Europe.

The reasons behind Saab’s unusual extrospective behaviour was their realisation that with the 96 they had reached a peak and could earn valuable export income for the company.

Their feelings were reinforced in 1960 when the 96 became the first Saab to be officially exported from Sweden to the United Kingdom.

The reason for their optimism was that the three-cylinder two-stroke engined, Saab had been performing brilliantly on the rally circuit in the early Sixties, winning the RAC Rally three years running (1960-1962) and the prestigious Monte Carlo Rally twice in succession (1962 and 1963).

All these victories came thanks to the excellent skills of Swedish ace rally driver Erik Carlsson, driving a modified version of the 96, known as the Saab Sport.

Nevertheless, the message soon sunk home among the European public that despite its modest appearance, the Saab 96 was a car to be reckoned with.

Initially, the 96’s two-stroke engine displaced a mere 750 cc, but Saab soon increased that to a more reasonable 841cc.

Described as a "happy reconciliation of safety with beauty," the 96’s featured a front end that gently curved with no sharp projections and a restyled rear end with larger wraparound back window.

The 96’s overall appearance was very similar to its predecessors, with the same fastback profile, although a bigger wraparound windshield was used, and the side windows were both larger and reshaped.

Externally the enlarged trunk lid now held the license plate, beneath a chrome handle.

Larger taillamps were mounted on the trailing edge of rear fenders.

The revised back end displayed a softer 'S' curve of the rear fender panel, with slimmer corner posts.

Rear sections of both bodies could be made into a double bed.

Saab's many safety features included heavily padded sun visors and dashboard. Steel replaced plywood as the material for the car's firewall.

An all-new fascia was painted to match the body colour: red, beige, blue or green.

Dark grey safety padding was installed, and the instrument panel was finished in a dark grey aluminium casting.

A few months after first models became available, both road wheels and fascia switched to a light grey colour.

Standard 96 equipment included twin padded sun visors, windshield washers, self-cancelling turn signals, heater/defroster, and seven-position seatbacks.

A styled instrument panel contained a large round speedometer to replace the former strip-type unit, while a charge indicator light replaced the ammeter gauge.

Every willing to increase safety standards, from the mid- Sixties, all Saabs came with three-point seatbelts installed.

For reasons best known to themselves, Saab never launched a 96 station, instead continuing with the 95 title.

The Saab 95 Station wagon was a two-door , and could sit up to seven peoples (as long as they were very close friends). It was a better cargo carrier than people carrier as it could carry an amizingly large cubic footage in relation to its outer dimensions.

Initially based on the Saab 93 sedan, the 95 Station wagon’s development through the Sixties onwards was in tandem, with that of the Saab 96, both models remaining in production till the late Seventies.

By that time, close to 550,000 Saab 96s had been produced.

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