Seventeen-year-old Aidan O’Callaghan ended his note to us with, “I may just have the coolest, and certainly oldest, car at college.” A 1972 Saab 96 isn’t the typical pick of a teenager, however, but there’s a bit of method in the madness for O’Callaghan.
Born into an enthusiast-led family—his father is on his sixth Saab—O’Callaghan has always loved the styling of the 96, especially with rally lights on the front to remind him of a childhood toy: a Saab 96 rally car.
“I’ve always been interested in cars,” O’Callaghan writes, “and this is my first one. It’s in rather good condition for its age, with a few typical problems—it’s not a Concours car but a wonderful driver.”
He bought the car from a Morgan Dealer in Watford, U.K., at the back of the Harry Potter Studios—certainly an interesting location to be hiding some Swedish metal. Now studying agriculture in college, it’s the perfect time machine to indoctrinate nonbelievers into the Saab family.
“What I love about the car is how underrated it is, and how many people want to stop and talk about it,” O’Callaghan says. “When I first bought the car, a few people turned their noses up at it but after seeing it and going for a ride, the car really changes their opinion of the Saab brand.”
With good music on the radio, O’Callaghan says back country roads are where the car shines—and if you’re ever near Bedford, England, they’re where you’ll probably find this teenager in his classic Saab 96.
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