The 1991 Saturn SC coupe was more than a relatively affordable car when it debuted. It was the first model year of a line of cars that was less about transportation and more of an automotive experiment. Although it was very much a General Motors brand, Saturn was something different from the beginning. It aimed for affordability and low running costs, along with a friendly dealer network that promised more than an adversarial buying experience, it was almost enjoyable.
That’s the world this 678-mile 1991 Saturn SC was born into. The coupe is now up for sale in Santa Ana, California, for $12,950 and its history is just as intriguing as its future. Although it’s a base coupe fitted with little more than a tilt steering wheel and all the air inside the cabin, it’s unclear why its previous owners insisted on preserving a base coupe—an automatic, no less—for so long. For the record, we reached out to the dealer selling the car multiple times and were either disconnected or sent to a voicemail system that didn’t accept messages. The scant information we could ascertain was that it’s been at the dealer for “about a month and a half,” although it’s unclear if it came from a trade, an estate sale, or the heavens.
Also, it’s worth pointing out that the sticker price on the coupe likely was around $11,750 when it was new, and it’s possible the buyer didn’t pay a cent over that price—Saturn kinda introduced the idea of “no-haggle pricing” when it came out more than three decades ago. An 85-horsepower, 1.9-liter four-cylinder was the standard mill, and while a five-speed manual was available it’s not how this SC rolled off the line—it’s mated to a four-speed automatic with a taller first gear than the model years that followed. That means acceleration with a tall first gear and 85 hp was leisurely at best.
But speed isn’t what Saturn was about and it’s clear this owner never really tapped into this beast beyond its break-in miles. We may not know where it came from, but we hope it has a brighter—and more active—future. Other GM brands are on their way back, after all. Why not Saturn? Why not you? Here's your chance.
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