Saab Convertible Concept by Leif Mellberg

Earlier, we looked at the Saab Convertible Concept built by the American Sunroof Company – the concept that was chosen to form the basis for the production Saab Convertible.

Today, in our continuing celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Saab Convertible, we’re going to take a closer look at the car that didn’t get selected – the convertible concept built by Leif Mellberg, a coachbuilder from Nyköping.

The ASC convertible was built using a 2-door Saab 900 coupe as a basis. The Mellberg Convertible – whether by request from Saab or by choice is unknown to me – was based on a 3-door Combi Coupe.

That’s the Mellberg convertible on the right, with the ASC concept on the left.

And the Mellberg concept from the rear 3/4 view…..

A side profile. Have you noticed anything funny about the Mellberg concept yet? (hint: go back and take a look at photo #1, and then at this one again)

If you guessed the different wheels, you’re part of the way there, but it’s actually more than that. One side of the Mellberg concept was done up with an ‘Aero’ body kit and wheels. The other side was done with a more traditional, conservative look.

The next two photos compare the back of the Mellberg concept with the back of the ASC concept. You can see that with the hood up, the Mellberg concept retained quite a lot of it’s combi-coupe looks.

A peek inside the cabin of the Mellberg concept. The first thing that struck me was the thickness of the beam running across the floor. I didn’t do a comparison with the ASC one, but it seems quite prominent here. Structural rigidity has always been the downside to convertibles.

Unlike the ASC model, there are no switches in the lower part of the center console….

However, there are four window switches across the dashboard…..

The Mellberg concept used a targa top over the front seats and a traditional canvas drop top over the rear seats. The top does fold down, however it’s left up now due to concerns about the fragility of the canvas and the mechanism operating it.

Here you can just see the metal mechanism tucked in behind the roof…..

And a look from the top….

The targa bar features a “900TC” motif pressed into the plastic cover – 900 Turbo Convertible seems a valid explanation for that….

Another look at the rear of the convertible and how Mellberg crafted the rear spoiler into the body. Very elegant.

And for those who like a sneaky peek into closed places, here’s a look inside the trunk – it’s actually quite deep and as you can see here, it’s storing the other two Aero wheels!

A last little tidbit for your car club’s next Saab trivia quiz – how many kilometers has the Mellberg concept travelled?

And if you’re wondering about the mileage on the ASC car, it’s almost an old warhorse by comparison with 1,830kms on the clock.

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  1. The right side and left side are different – correct?  SPG prototype style on one side, “stock” c900 style on the other.  

  2. Interesting. Does anyone know why some Saabs such as my GM-900 convertible have odd numbers on the speedo (10,30,50,70,90) while others have convertional numbering (20,40,60,80)

  3. Very fun feature, Swade… for those of us yet to make Trollhattan, keep ’em coming!

  4. To be honest, I don’t like the Targa style from the aesthetic point of view…
    but it might be the better choice for those days that are too chilly to drive with the top “fully” down.

  5. I wonder what ever happened to that 9-x Air and its new type of roof mechanism?

  6. Swade, this was a great article, and your photos are excellent.  In fact, these are the best shots I’ve seen of the inside of the Saab Museum, which doesn’t feature much photography on its webpage.  Is there any chance you’d be able to capture more images and stories from inside the museum in future posts?

    1. I definitely want to do more from the Saab Museum.  It’s got such a wealth of history inside and there are plenty of good stories to be told.