Saab vs. Saab

SvsS_Super Saab

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For those of you that follow the blog, you’ll know how much time, effort and money has gone in to my 9-3 HOT Aero convertible, but the time has come to pass it on to another Saab guardian and move on to another Saab project.

I’m still not entirely sure I’m being logical about this, but it feels right and there’s little more I can do on this one. It’s super fast and yet understated, it’s comfortable, reliable and puts a huge grin on my face every time I drive it, especially with the roof down, any season.

I’ve set an extremely sensible reserve sub £5k in the hope that another enthusiast will grab it and enjoy it as much as I have done, but without breaking the bank. I still ask myself, what other car could provide this much individuality for that price?

Although I’ve listed everything on eBay, here are the highlights :

Bilstein B8 shocks
MapTun springs
Bridgestone Potenza Adrenalin tyres
9000 Aero 2.3 B234 bottom end
New Turbo
New clutch
New gaskets
Water pump
Chain set
Jetex stainless Steel exhaust
APH ‘Albert’ Performance stainless steel downpipe
DO88 intercooler / MapTun hoses
BSR Induction kit
Upgraded fuel pump
Bespoke Noob Tune 300hp (Stage 4+)
9-5 Aero 308mm upgraded discs and callipers
Steering rack clamp
Bulkhead brace
Saab Wind Deflector
Upper mesh grille
Upgraded headlight bulbs

Without putting it in for a Dyno test, the 300hp, Stage 4 is a conservative estimate by the lovely folks at Malcolm Miles who’ve worked on this since I bought it back in 2014.

You’ll find loads of posts on it’s progression within these pages, and I’ve very possibly missed out half the things I’ve done to it over the years. Feel free to ask questions. Please god let it go to someone who loves Saabs and will appreciate it.

Here’s the eBay listing

Topless Swedish Ice Fishing

Topless Ice Fishing

The headline may have grabbed your attention, but this image did it for me a few years ago. This one image had me longing for a 9-3 HOT Aero Convertible and it had to be in this sensational colour.

It could also be one of the reasons I look forward to popping the roof down in Winter – wrap up warm, go low behind the wind deflector, turn the heat up to max and enjoy some extreme Winter driving.

The power of advertising.

Saab 9000 Form & Function

Saab 9000 Form & FunctionSaab 9000 On the RoadSaab RoadholdingSaab 9000 Instrument ClusterSaab 9000 Interior

My love affair with the iconic 9000 continues, I have plans afoot to find an Aero in need of a bit of TLC and a touch of uniqueness. For the time being though I have to console myself with other people’s cars, great images and the odd jewel I discover – like an immaculate 1989 brochure for instance.

I found this wonderful 95 page brochure dedicated to the pure Form & Function of the Saab 9000, I love the fact that it contains literally hundreds of beautifully crafted technical illustrations – how the many Saab innovations work, comfort, safety, it’s all in here. Just look at the rear seats in supple tan leather (I can almost smell the Saabness) and that instrument cluster, stunning.

Such an iconic car, and to me, one of the finest Saabs ever built.

A Special Car. A Special Feeling

SvsS_A Special Car A Special FeelingSvsS_E2013 SideSvsS_2013 InteriorpsdSvsS_2013 Badge

It’s been an unnerving yet exciting past few years for Saab fans worldwide, we’ve seen the Saab factory close, we’ve seen NEVS take ownership and pride in the Saab brand, we’ve seen the factory re-open, and this week we’ve seen the first few refreshed Saabs come off the production line, how fantastic is that?

I felt extremely proud to see a beautifully photographed, brand new 9-3 Aero on the Saab Cars website (the new leather seats look stunning) and even prouder to hear that they sold at least 15 of them on the first day. We all know it’s getting older, but I have to admit, it looks bloody sexy to me, and I’d still buy it over most other marques even today.

It gives me great hope for the future of Saab, and after experiencing the BMW i3 for a day, I really can’t wait to see what a silent Saab will be like, even in the i3, the acceleration was faster than an M3 0-30, just imagine what a Saab will be like.

Congratulations to NEVS for believing in Saab and for getting this far, I’m right here waiting to put my order in for one next year (if they come to the UK of course).


SvsS_Saab 9-5 Aero SportCombi Ad 2002

A Saab friend kindly donated a whole pile of Saab magazines and old brochures to me a while back and this morning I received even more.

There’s so much I could post, but one ad published back in 2002 grabbed my attention and reminded me why I love the 9-5 Aero Sportwagon so much, it’s just such a stunning car, i love these original Aero alloys too.

I’ve had three 9-5 Aero saloons, but never a Sportwagon unfortunately.

One day maybe.

Made in Trollhattan. A book about Saab

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I only heard about this book a few years ago, it was produced as a special promotion around the launch of the new Saab 9-3 back in 2001 – after months of searching I found a copy.

It’s nicely designed and very Saab, so much so, I went out and exchanged a BMW 5 series for a stunning 9-3 HOT Aero after leafing through its beautifully produced pages. It feels unashamedly Saab, selling the exclusivity and innovation we all associate with owning a Saab.

“How come a car from a small factory, in a small city, in a small country far away can attract people all over the world? Perhaps it is the comfort and the driving characteristics that do it? Or the turbo engine and the performance. Perhaps it is because it is so safe. Maybe it is the design that is the attraction. Perhaps all of it. We believe that people who choose a Saab do so because of its personality. We have 0.3% of the world market and it will probably remain in that neighbourhood. Our goal is not to build lots of good cars, but to build fewer great cars. To own a Saab is to belong to a small group of people, all with their own reasons for choosing a Saab. The common denominator is that you have chosen a car that stands out from the crowd. Welcome to a small but exclusive club. We hope you will remain a member for life”.

Part of my love for Saab has always been its Swedish heritage, and this book captures a little part of that. If you get a chance to buy a copy sometime, grab it, it’s a great thing to have.

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A priceless gift for a Saabist and collector of nice things

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Earlier this week, a friend said he had something for me; a box full of old Saab Club magazines going right back to the late 80’s. I was a very happy man.

And, as if this wasn’t already enough to make me smile, I discovered a collection of Saab brochures going right back to the late 80’s, I even found a Saab Carlsson Performance Range brochure.

Needless to say, I’ll be doing my very best to scan them all in and share them with everyone over the coming weeks, but one in-particular caught my eye from 1997, the Saab 9000 Anniversary Edition.

It features a stunning black 9000 with a two tone, sand beige leather interior with alpaca inlays, and has a rare aircraft monogram on the backrest cushions of the front and rear seats. I also love the special edition wood and leather steering wheel too.

I can just image how good this Saab must have felt for the lucky few who picked one up, brand spanking new from their Saab showroom.

Enjoy : Saab_9000 Anniversary Edition_Brochure 1997

There was a time when the Germans feared the Swedes.

svss_New 9-3 Ad from 2003

Flicking through an old magazine from 2003, I spotted this ad for the ‘all new’ second generation Saab 9-3. 10 years on, and I’d still choose it over a number of current executive saloons, the front may not be as sharp as the latest generation 9-3, but it still makes me stare.

‘The vikings gave the whole of Europe a hard time, especially their close neighbours across the Baltic. Now it’s happened again with the launch of the new Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon. With a revolutionary new chassis and refined turbocharged engine, it gives both breathtaking performance and remarkable handling. In fact, it has already caused quite a stir amongst the motoring press. It seems our German competitors have every reason the be worried. And you have every reason to book a test drive’.

Looking forward to seeing some more Saab advertising in the future.

Looking for something unconventional, eccentric? A Saab 9-3 Viggen review from 2002

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I happened across this short review of the enigmatic 9-3 Viggen, and being a Saab I’d love to own one day, I thought I’d share it with everyone. I must admit, after reading it, it made me want one even more.

Highs Traditional quirky, offbeat turbo front-drive charm from Saab.
Lows Traditional quirky, offbeat turbo front-drive charm from Saab.

“Looking for something unconventional, eccentric? Here’s a machine that hides its ignition switch in the cup holder. Here’s a machine with a teeny four-cylinder engine hooked up to a turbocharger the size of a Shop-Vac. Here’s a little five-door hatchback that looks like no other car on the road. Here’s the Saab 9-3 Viggen.

We are dealing with the last of the throwbacks–the last mass-produced passenger vehicle on earth that stays the course, refusing to yield to bourgeois fashion and show-off technology. The 9-3 Viggen is the latest hot-rod version of the Saab 900 first introduced in 1994, and it now offers an impressive 230 horsepower from its 140-cubic-inch turbocharged four-banger that has been a part of the Saab inventory since Eric the Red left for Greenland.

Face it, Saabs are an acquired taste, like single-malt Scotch and reggae. Although five-door hatchbacks and front-drivers are not exactly out there, the Saab is one last cry of protest in an increasingly androgynous world.

Slip behind the wheel of a Viggen, and find a chairlike leather seat, a chin-high instrument panel and windowsill, and a shifter and ignition switch located in a pit below your right hip.

Sniff the distinctive odor of buttery-soft Saab leather, and you can be in only one place on the planet.

It goes not exactly like its Swedish-fighter-plane namesake, but it’s plenty quick enough to get it into the high-six-second range from 0 to 60 mph and to tie for first in this group from 0 to 100 mph and to be the winner from 0 to 120 mph (where the wonderful Whoopee Cushion turbo shows its muscle).

Once the rubbery shifter is mastered and the flexy chassis is understood, one can fairly fly in a Viggen. Imprudent throttle punches in slow corners can produce nasty lunges of torque steer, but once straightened out and with the turbocharger in full play, the Viggen is definitely a hoot to drive.

It’s cool that Saab has refused to accede to so-called contemporary styling and such nuances as four-wheel drive, naturally aspirated V-6s, or a swoopier, more aerodynamic body style. In a world of automobiles that only small boys and hard-core automotive writers can tell from one another–think Japanese cars–the Saab steadfastly clings to its roots.

For the unrepentant Saabistas and for those who have not forgotten George McGovern and the plight of the snail darter, this is a source of pride and comfort. For others, it is quaintness that is rapidly descending into obsolescence”.

Amazing picture of the Viggen found here.