Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars
Illustration for article titled Thorsday on the Thames: The Turn of the Millennium

The Vauxhall Cavalier and the Saab 9000. Two red, ‘90s saloons that couldn’t be more different. One is a dowdy British family sedan with German roots that came with a parts-bin four cylinder, and the other is Sweden’s sauciest hatchback on an Italian platform with some of the mightiest turbo-fours ever.

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Illustration for article titled Thorsday on the Thames: The Turn of the Millennium

Rectangular as they may be, the Saab undeniably has a bit more flair in its crisped and crimped lines as opposed to the bathtub corners on the Vauxhall.

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Illustration for article titled Thorsday on the Thames: The Turn of the Millennium

Round the back it seems that Matchbox took a different approach to assembling the Vectra with a large black plastic tab as the rear fascia unlike the nib as the license plate of the Saab.

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Illustration for article titled Thorsday on the Thames: The Turn of the Millennium
Illustration for article titled Thorsday on the Thames: The Turn of the Millennium
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So of these two great (?) sedans of England (?) and Sweden, which do you think had a greater overall impact on the future of Saab given the technological powerhouse that the 9000 was?

Illustration for article titled Thorsday on the Thames: The Turn of the Millennium
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Why, the Vauxhall/Opel of course! The 9000 was great at many things but the thing it did best was bankrupt Saab; thus, all subsequent cars were built off of the Vectra’s GM2900 Platform!

Illustration for article titled Thorsday on the Thames: The Turn of the Millennium
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That’s a story that’s been told, though, so for today let’s just appreciate how this quintessentially British nameplate became linked to Sweden’s sports brand through a very unlikely GM deal. Thanks for looking, and thank goodness tomorrow’s Friday!

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