The Saab 92 production began in December of 1949 and based on the prototype Saab 92001 introduced a few years earlier. Production of the Saab 92 would last until 1956. The compact two-door coupe was powered by a transversely mounted, water cooled two-cylinder, two-stroke engine offering 25 horsepower. The engine was based on a DKW design and was mated to a three-speed gearbox. The two-stroke engine had light alloy heads and hemispherical combustion chambers. There was no need for a water pump, as a thermo-syphon cooling and a radiator were used. This system did not work as well as intended, and a water pump was introduced in the mid-1950s, in the Model 93.
The streamlined design of the body was courtesy of chief designer Gunnar Ljungstrom. It was a thoroughly modern automobile with a low center of gravity and plenty of interior room for the passengers. The car had a unibody construction and a front-wheel drive system - making it one of the few companies to utilizing the front-wheel drive setup during this era. The doors were hinged at the rear and there was no trunk lid. Instead of the trunk lid, a gas filler cap was placed below the back window.
A Deluxe version of the car was available, and included a clock and temperature gauge, plus an additional horn and a rear center armrest for the rear occupants.
All early Saab 92 models were available only in green.
The back window was small and provided poor visibility. In 1953, Saab addressed this issue, along with the complaints about no luggage access, by introducing the Saab 92B. Saab moved the gas tank to the inside of the rear left fender and moved the battery to the front, under the hood. This allowed the space required for a proper trunk area, and for the redesign of the rear window. Additional trunk space could be acquired by removing the rear seats.
For the first time, the Saab 92 was available in colors other than green, beginning in 1953. The choice of colors now included light grey, blue grey, maroon, tan light green, and black.
By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2010