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Author Topic: A Saab 600 / Lancia Delta in the UK in 1980s - could this be true ?  (Read 6313 times)
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Permanent resident
Posts: 2715

« on: 07 May, 2020, 06:43:26 AM »

Hi All,
I've been sent this story from a non-member who wonders if it is true - any thoughts ?

For reference, here's a couple of links to the Saab-600 from the 2018 Saab stand at the NEC : - Rear - Front


The story I'd like to put out there, concerns a Lancia Delta (or was it ?!) that I owned in 1984 (though it was 'used' - a 'V' reg).  I bought from a mechanic who worked at Colmore Depot in Birmingham - the Lancia (and main Fiat & Saab dealers for the city then).  Colmore Depot used to get a lot of used cars from the Lancia Concessionairres (in Alperton ?) - their company cars, road test cars etc.  One car that into CD from Lancia in the Autumn of 1979 was a 'Delta' 1.5 (I think they only had the one model when it was launched in the UK, that year ?).  The only was, it didn't have a Lancia Delta badge - but a Saab Lancia badge on the nearside rear and a 600 GLS badge on the offside rear.
The mechanic bought it from his employers in late 1979 and kept it for 5 years, before selling it to me in the Summer of 1984.  I can't remember the Reg, just that it was 'V'.  The guy I bought it off said he never knew it was a Lancia that someone (at the dealership or at the Concessionairres) had simply put Saab 600 GLS badges on, or actually came from Italy with them.  It did however have a Lancia badge on the bonnet.
Now I know Lancia supplied the Delta as a Saab to (LHD) Scandinavian markets - pretty much unaltered from the standard spec - with just Saab badges.  My research has found that Swedish (and Norwegian & Finnish) cars had a Saab badge on the centre of the bonnet in place of the Lancia (so it obviously wasn't a Saab made for that market), but there were some Danish market cars which had the Saab Lancia and model badges on the rear, but still had the Lancia badge on the front - so it could have been made in Italy to the Danish spec.  However, of course, the big thing is, it was Right Hand Drive !
Now, my mechanic friend always thought that someone in the UK had simply put some rear Saab badges on - perhaps they managed to get them from Scandinavian parts suppliers.  He never had the logbook (CD couldn't find it when he bought it - I managed to get the car cheap, but could never renew road tax, so I only had it a year and sold it to someone who wasn't concerned about such niceities !), so never knew who was the registered manufacturer or what the model was listed as.  He wasn't bothered - he was a Saab fan (though he said he never did it !), but the possibility remains that it COULD have been an RHD Saab 600 made in Italy - perhaps as a test model to sell in the UK, or other RHD markets, as a Saab ?!
The question I was going to pose on the LMC Forum, is whether anyone knows if the RHD Saab option was a possibility - or people feel (as I do), that someone, for whatever reason, simply put Saab badges on.  Intriguing though ?!
Although it is a 35 year old 'story', I'd be really interested to get others views - and perhaps find out if I had a 'one off' car !  I'd be really grateful if you could post this.

**** END

Steve Pilgrim
Rebel Poster
Posts: 898

« Reply #1 on: 07 May, 2020, 07:40:03 AM »


No idea re RHD, but from reading one of the Delta books it mentions some mods to the heating which the Saab version had to cope with the climate. Not sure if they were modded in Sweden or Italy.

« Last Edit: 07 May, 2020, 09:41:28 PM by peteracs » Logged

Beta Spyder S2 pre F/L 1600
Beta HPE S2 pre F/L 1600
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Posts: 1243

« Reply #2 on: 07 May, 2020, 08:00:02 AM »

Suspect this was a re badge of a UK Delta done by Saab UK for promotional purposes. Fairly sure the 600 was never sold here.

1979 1300 Beta Coupe, 2014 Ypsilon 1.2 S Series Momo
Posts: 356

« Reply #3 on: 07 May, 2020, 04:36:36 PM »

If the car came in to the UK in 1979 then it wasn't a Saab 600; they were not introduced until mid-1980.

1953 Lancia Appia Series 1
1931 Austin Seven deluxe saloon
1914 Saxon Model A roadster

(previously owned Lancias: 1958 Appia Pininfarina coupe, 1987 Delta LX, 1986 Delta cabriolet, 1991 Dedra 1.8, 1993 Dedra 1.6)
Senior Member
Posts: 126

« Reply #4 on: 08 May, 2020, 09:41:51 AM »

Bit more about 600 here
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