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 '77 95 V4 van conversion

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mellePosted - 10 Mar 2012 : 23:25:27
As requested by some of you, here we go with a project thread on my 95 V4 van conversion. Yes indeed, I'm a bit van-mad: You might have seen some of the pics before elsewhere on the forum.

I got this '77 95 V4 for free couple years ago. The car was partially dismantled and the owner had to get rid of it because he couldn't afford the space any more he'd rented for its restoration. I had the car transported from the South of the Netherlands to my workshop in the North with the intention of breaking it.

Interior and bumpers weren't included:

It came with some spares as a bonus though:

The car was on very good tyres on powder coated rims, so these went straight onto another 95 I had back then. On further inspection I found it was fitted with a VeGe engine (1500 HC) and a reconditioned gearbox. These went in my 96. I had the car on the lift the day before I planned to break it and found it to be pretty solid over all. This made me decide not to break it, but convert it into a panel van instead. I've always wanted to have one of those, but as they're pretty rare and I'm a poor fella the real deal has never been an option for me.

I decided to stay true to the style of the original vans (1969/ '70) and fit it with chrome bumpers. But since for the rest of it it's not original anyway, I thought I'd make it exactly as I want it: with a heightened roof and MK I/ II Ford Escort van rear doors.

Conversion sketches:

Mock fit heightened roof:

For practical reasons (mostly lack of time) I finally decided against heightening the roof, so I'm only closing off 3 out of 4 side windows and converting the interior.

Most of the structural welding (mostly floor) is done and the inside is starting to take shape:

I have an overhauled V4 for it and a gearbox with only 17k kilometres. Couple weeks ago I found a set original van-seats in Finland (hope to find a way to get them southward). Progress on this project has always been slow and will also be slow in the future, since I used to live in Amsterdam, Aberdeen and now in Aarhus, Denmark and my workshop in in Groningen (NL).

More to follow!

1970 96V4 "The Devil's Own V4"
1977 95V4 van conversion project
1988 900i 8V
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
mellePosted - 03 Apr 2017 : 23:17:34
Yes, I still have it and it's going nowhere fast. I was going to continue on it last summer, but the 96 needed a fair bit of work quite unexpectedly ( My workshop time is very limited and I am, amongst other projects, also restoring a lathe and building a K-Jet V4, an engine test bench and an air compressor. All those projects I can work on in between work stuff and visiting friends and family when I'm in NL; for bodywork I really need a week or two in a stretch to gain momentum. I'm in no hurry though, I don't have time to drive it anyway! I might redo the off-side inner front wing by the way, never been 100% happy with it and I was given a reasonable condition engine bay/ front section last year by a chap who's building a 95 trailer.
ZagatoPosted - 03 Apr 2017 : 21:02:44
What happened to the project Melle, have you still got her? Incredible chopping/welding work you have put into her.

mellePosted - 22 Sep 2014 : 20:20:00
It's in my workshop in the Netherlands and it won't come to Ireland in the foreseeable future I'm afraid. Gives me good reason to pop over to NL every now and then (don't tell my family and friends ).

1970 96V4 "The Devil's Own V4"
1977 95V4 van conversion project
1988 900i 8V
Peter96Posted - 21 Sep 2014 : 15:56:13
Hi Melle just been through this thread the van conversion looks brilliant. Take it you haven't brought it to Ireland with you.
mellePosted - 12 Apr 2014 : 20:45:56
@Simon: where did you find those pics? Is the car being advertised again?

1970 96V4 "The Devil's Own V4"
1977 95V4 van conversion project
1988 900i 8V
mellePosted - 12 Apr 2014 : 12:29:57
This one is RHD and it went from the UK to Germany about 10 years ago, so could be the one. I know Nick Senecal had a 95 van, but iirc that was a '69 and this one is '70. See my original van topic for more pics:

1970 96V4 "The Devil's Own V4"
1977 95V4 van conversion project
1988 900i 8V
DirtbikerPosted - 12 Apr 2014 : 11:36:38
Might this be the one I saw at Beaulieu in about 1991? Not sure if I've rambled on about this before but there was a blue one at Beaulieu belonging to a SAAB specialist whose name I can't remember...
mellePosted - 10 Apr 2014 : 15:12:33
He once emailed me "I have a 7000 euro offer here..and It dont make me warm..." Draw your own conclusions. The photos you posted are old, I've seen some of them before. I also have interior pics where you can see that a lot of bodgy welding has been done to it and that it needs a lot more to make it a solid car.

Having said that, I want that van!

1970 96V4 "The Devil's Own V4"
1977 95V4 van conversion project
1988 900i 8V
UK_SubPosted - 10 Apr 2014 : 15:02:59
How much does he want for it then?

I've asked him to put together a feature for the Saab Enthusiast.

mellePosted - 10 Apr 2014 : 14:39:16
Cool, thanks! I know that car and its owner; it is for sale but considering the price I think he doesn't really want to part with it yet.

1970 96V4 "The Devil's Own V4"
1977 95V4 van conversion project
1988 900i 8V
UK_SubPosted - 10 Apr 2014 : 14:01:17
Just came across these photos and thought you might like to see them...

mellePosted - 18 Feb 2014 : 17:21:42
I work in the sunny North of the Netherlands (between the showers that is). Denmark is not much colder at the moment, winter lasted exactly one week this year.

1970 96V4 "The Devil's Own V4"
1977 95V4 van conversion project
1988 900i 8V
LupoPosted - 17 Feb 2014 : 19:44:15
Hi Melle, it seems that spinal disc hernia is a privilege of saab restorers. Is it already so warm in Denmark that you can work with garage doors opened (your photo)?
mellePosted - 16 Feb 2014 : 21:19:07
Cheers. Bit jealous of where you are with your project, nice work.

Got some new wheels for the 95, Continental 5.90 and Michelin 6.40 cross ply tyres.

No worries, I have plenty better rims. Suspension will be raised a bit, see I have 900 rear springs that I'm going to try as front springs and original 95 rear springs from Finland.

And some inspiration:

1970 96V4 "The Devil's Own V4"
1977 95V4 van conversion project
1988 900i 8V
DirtbikerPosted - 16 Feb 2014 : 18:15:48
That's brave! I like it. Really good to see how that bit can be removed, and definitely the way to go to repair that area properly.

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