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11/12/2003 13:24:12   Bonzo   I am seriously considering acquiring a 96 V4, but I have one main concern - if Number One Son and his child-seat can't be accommodated (safely), the deal is off!. How safe / robust is a 96 - particularly in terms of modern cars? The 96 may have been safer than other cars of its era but as I presently have a '74 Escort I'd say it was safer to stand in the road than trust the Ford.

Anyone using 96's to transport their kids ( and not as form of punishment)?

P.S. Hugely interesting website - keep it up.  
11/12/2003 14:14:08   James Ayres   A Saab 96 is better than some modern cars in terms of safety and interior space - although it is narrow, the interior is very accommodating. It is a good family car and if well maintained will give perfectly good everyday service - mine never ceases to put a smile on my face!  
11/12/2003 15:08:02   ian   built in roll cage says it all  
11/12/2003 15:40:22   jonny   I use my 96 and 95 to shift the kids around they are straightforward for fitting seat belts and baby seats but can be a bit of a squeeze, as long as your 96 is structurally solid and well looked after, it must be a lot safer than a lot of modern smaller cars.  
11/12/2003 16:03:53   Nick   Mine has never let me down except when I've employed the services of cowboy mechanics. I feel alot safer in my 96 than my modern company and even had someone drive into the back of me at some traffic lights. There was no damage whatsoever to my 96 but alot of damage to the modern car who thought he could take me on. My car used to belong to my godmother and I remember trips in it as a young child......didn't do me any harm and the memories converted me to a classic car lover as an adult therefore helping to keep such a lovely car on the road. When I have children I will not hesitate to use the fact...I'm quite looking forward to it! (don't tell my fiancee this last bit!)  
11/12/2003 18:35:36   Alec   Many years ago when I used to frequent the scrap yards on a daily basis.... The guy who ran the place used to have a little trouble when a 96 came in. To crush the cars in those days he had a 1 ton weight on a crane and used to drop it from house height onto them.

Trouble was it would bounce off the roof of the 96, particularly at the front.

He used to just crush the front and rear and then give up!
12/12/2003 08:03:48   Richard   I have first hand crash a Saab 96 in competition and once on the road doing a bit of testing. In all cases the cmain structure of the shell was left intacked. This in cludes a 500 yard spin on ice at 70mph and hitting a solid (at 30-40mph) wall with soil behined it with the rear end. The resulting damage was the rear boot was crushed back on to the rear wheels, no glass was broken, the door opened, the engine started first time and once the bumper was pulled from the rear wheel via a tow rope I drove the car home. Latter the shell was measured and the damage was found to be only to the rear boot area and had not effected the main structure/wheel base of the car, I suffered no aches or pains. I still use this car on the road now.  
12/12/2003 08:24:40   Alec   Yes, check the crash page in the gallery. I was doing 60mph and someone did a u turn in front of me. The 96 I was driving was bought for 50 from a scrap yard and had no bumpers.

We travelled for 100yards or so before coming to a rest. the metro van was bent round the front of the 96. I hit the passenger side of the car (no one in that set luckily), the driver had broken ribs and cuts and bruises and the 6 month old metro was written off. I opened my door and got out with not a mark or bruise. I pulled the front panel forward slightly and restarted the car and it was still driveable. It was written off because of it value only.  
12/12/2003 09:16:05   ian   some of these saab owners need some protection by the sound of it...why were you doing 70 on ice richard? testing again....the number of people i have known over the years who were killed "testing"....although non were in SAAB'S  
12/12/2003 10:46:27   Richard   Slap dandys for that one have not done it since. I could not afford to compete for a long time so all I could do was drive the back lanes on the moors etc in the middle of the night (not a good idea I may add, but it did work to give me a better than average start.
Now I leave it for the rallying or what ever competition I enter. Did a club road rally the other day in the fog and this was far too damgerous for the public that could have been about and driving cars with inappropriate safety equipment too.
12/12/2003 11:07:49   Alistair   My first 96 was an economic write off after a 4 year old Granada chose to demolish itself on my rear bumper. It bent my tow bar into the metal strip on the (rubber) bumper and that's about it. Took the cash from the insurance company (no salvage fee), removed the towbar and sold it a few months later for the same amount again!

96s are as hard as nails, they may not have the level of "crumple zone" safety of modern cars but there's not much that'll come off worse.  
12/12/2003 12:14:00   Nick   Hard as nails eh!...Did anyone see Jeremy Clarkson try to destroy a Toyota pick-up on TV? Maybe a 96 should put up against it to see just how tough it really is?  
12/12/2003 12:23:52   James Ayres   I don't think even the mighty 96 would survive that!  
12/12/2003 12:30:16   Richard   There are quite a few vehicals that could stand up to that. Alot of the tests were calculated (ie tower block) most basic cars would still run after being in water (note take the plugs out and turn engine over to clear water), the tree bit was at low speed etc and there is not much to bend on a pick up.  
12/12/2003 12:36:20   Richard   Oh the rally team and Saab did test the cars like that ie Saab jumped a 92(?) off a ski jump, I believe with the test driver in it the car rolled several times, they put it on its wheels and the car drove off with no structural damage. I think a car 'safety body' was after the footage a couple of years back to evaluate it for todays vehicals.
(correct me if I have the model details wrong)  
12/12/2003 19:13:46   Simon   Fantastic!
Richard's ski jump (further credits the logo) and Alec's concrete block, if only we could see them here on this site?
Did you have chance to take a Super-8 camera with you at any time Alec?  
12/12/2003 20:50:53   ian   was the test driver a volunteer? you only get one take on that one.....brave man/woman  
12/12/2003 20:50:58   ian   was the test driver a volunteer? you only get one take on that one.....brave man/woman  

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