History and development of the Saab 99 and Saab 90
The Saab 99
The Saab 99 is one of the most selling models in Saabs history, and was the last car designed by Sixten Sason. It was supposed to be a larger alternative to the already excisting Saab 96, and it was also the first Saab with an inline four-stroke engine.
During development, the project went by the name Project Gudmund. This name was chosen because it was Gudmunds day in Sweden when the project started in 1965.
The first prototypes of the Saab 99 were disguised by making them look like a new and wider edition of the Saab 96. This was achieved by cutting and widening a Saab 96 shell, and putting this on the new car. This prototype is called "Paddan", which is swedish for "the toad".
Later prototypes got the actual 99 body, but was disguised by labelling it as "daihatsu". Nobody had seen a Dahiatsu at that time, therefore nobody started questioning it. Also this was a sucessful disguise.
The Saab 99 was unveiled in Stockholm late in 1967. It was available from 1968 to 1984.
The Saab 90
The Saab 90 was a Saab 99 with the rear end of a Saab 900 sedan. In 1984 the Saab 99 had been around for a long time, and Saab needed come up with something new. By revising the 99, it was possible to keep the model a little while longer. Since the Saab 9000 was to produced starting 1985, changing the 99's name to 90 made it fit better into the model range together with the 900 and the 9000. The Saab 90 was only available from 1985 to 1987.