If you're new to the car world and want a hands-on approached to learning how cars actually work, the best–or possibly worst–thing to do is to buy an old car and live with it. Inevitably, things will break, and you'll be forced to fix it, giving you real experience and the satisfaction of repairing something broken. This old 1970 Saab 99 seems like the perfect candidate, and . You should buy it.
Welcome to You Must Buy, our daily look at the cars you really should be buying instead of that boring commuter sedan.
The 99 was the predecessor to the much more popular Saab 900, and it shows. It has similar body lines, a similar fascia, and that same iconic notched rear section. Power gets to the front wheels via a 1.7-liter inline-four going through a manual transmission. The 99 was produced in limited numbers, so running examples rarely pop up for sale.
This one looks a bit rough on the outside, but judging by the seller's description, seems mechanically sound. It has a rebuilt engine with new gaskets, pistons, valves, valve guides, seats, a timing chain, chain guides, and rebuilt injectors, among other things. The original fuel tank became clogged, so they installed an aftermarket aluminum unit. You might recognize the wheels—they're from a Datsun 240Z. The original steel wheels will come with the car, if originality is your thing. The car also comes with a spare engine assembly, a spare transmission, a spare alternator, and a collection of other rare 99-specific pieces.
The body is structurally sound, and save for some small, isolated rust spots, is in great condition. It's never been crashed, so there isn't any bondo or fiberglass repair material present. It's with 132,000 miles on the clock. If you're just getting into cars, this is a great way to dive in head-first.