Realising that they had a proven winner with the 96, in the mid-Sixties Saab began, in their familiar pedantic style, to develop a model that would supplement their very limited choice of vehicles.

By that time the management team at Saab had come to grips with the fact that it was not going to be their Sonett coupe which had failed to break any records since its launch in 1965.

In the spring of the same year, the Saab board finally gave the green light to develop this long overdue a new model- on the basis that it would be a larger, more prestigious and certainly more powerful two-door sedan.

Saab placed the considerable responsibility of developing their new model in the capable hands of staff designer Sixten Sason.

The management team were well aware that they would have to be patient as it took two years for the fruits of Sason’s creativity to ripen.

When they did the results were waiting for.

Only the second new model Saab sedan to be launched in close to a quarter of a century, the 99, was shown for the first time at a press conference specially held in Stockholm in November 1967 to a positive response.

Initially, Sason and his engineering team were seriously considering powering the 99 with a two-stroke engine, although it was eventually decided that the 99 was just too heavy a car to enjoy any benefit from an engine with so few cylinders.

Instead, a 1500 cc four-cylinder engine was chosen, but it was seen to be underpowered and rapidly replaced by a 1709cc unit supplied by Triumph Motors in the UK.

Considerable auxiliary power was provided by a specially developed Zenith-Stromberg CD carburettor.

The 99’s interior trim displayed a significant step forward in Saab thinking when compared to previous models, in terms of passenger safety and comfort.

The Saab 99 was initially only available as a four-door sedan, although the company gradually unveiled a five-door hatchback, two-door coupe and a uniquely appealing convertible.

With the 99, Saab finally came out of the shadows and on the international stage.

The model was well received throughout Western Europe, the United Kingdom, and even the United States, where demand improved steadily throughout the Seventies.

Saab truly got a grip on the US market when the 1900cc engined version of the 99 became available, and even more so with the Turbo version, introduced in 1978 and powered by a turbocharged 2-litre engine.

In 1984 Saab 99 discontinued the 99, replacing it with a more modern version of the same car, labelled the 9000.

During its sixteen-year production run, just less than six hundred thousand Saab 99s were produced.