More SaabStance loveliness

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I’ve raved about the beautiful photography featured on SaabStance before, but this recent post has done it again, I know it’s another 9-3, but couldn’t resist sharing them with you all. Great job.

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A real Aero Trieste

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I must confess, I’ve had this absolutely stunning Saab HOT Aero sitting in my inbox for a rather long time, as have a number of other exceptional global Saabs that need sharing with everyone, only me to blame, life has a tendency to get in the way sometimes.

I must also confess my location envy, owned, enjoyed and immaculately maintained by Pino, this Aero resides next to the coast in Trieste, Italy. It’s a 2001 Saab with Hirsch mods in a abundance – 5 spoke alloys, aluminium pedals, interior panels and an amazing sculptured sports steering wheel helping to handle the 265hp and 385Nm it’s currently producing.

It’s just taken up it’s rightful place as a member of the High Mile Club with 112,500 on the clock.

And if i’d have been closer when we visited Puglia last year, I’d have taken up the offer of meeting for a beer and admiring this great Aero (thanks Pino), I’ll take a rain check for sure though.

Bridgestone over trouble water

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A few would tell me new tyres on the 9-3 have been a long time coming, too long, in fact I might have got into trouble if I hadn’t changed them!

The 9-3 Aero has been in need of new tyres pretty much since I purchased it 2 years ago, not that they were illegal, more the combination of Summer and Winter tyres and varying degrees of wear.

Concentrating more on the fun things – 2.3 block, new turbo, exhaust, lowered suspension, springs (the list goes on), but obviously each and every upgrade puts more emphasis on the tyres to perform well, so it was time, new tyres.

This might be painful for some Saab folk to hear, but both my Lexus (sorry) and Porsche (sorry) run on Bridgestone, both perform amazingly well, so the Saab had to have Bridgestone too. After a bit of research, I found a wonderfully gorgeous type called the Potanza Adrenalin. Reviews gave them seriously high ratings with great grip in wet and dry conditions, a more connected drive, low road noise and excellent longevity.

A very reasonable £320 and a few hours later, the Saab is now proudly sitting on brand new rubber, and from a short drive, it already feels so, so much better. I’m looking forward to a proper, spirited drive home later to see how they really enhance the Saab.

‘Saab, because you’re worth it ‘.

It’s what’s on the inside that counts

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For a while now, I’ve been focusing my attention on the outside of my 9-3 Aero – engine mods, tuning, exhaust, suspension, brakes… I suddenly realised I hadn’t taken the time to appreciate just how special the inside feels in these Saabs too.

This weekend brought some gorgeous weather and a bit of spare time to give it a clean up and moisturise the leather, dust off the wind deflector and generally prep it for plenty of topless road trips.

When you clean, you start to appreciate the quality and shear attention to detail. Although 15 years old, nothing appears worn or broken, buttons and dials are all near on perfect with no rattles, everything just works beautifully. I can’t put the comfort of these Aero seats into words easily, shaped better than virtually any other car I’ve ever driven, head rests in just the right position and blessed with heating for cold days, what a great place to be.

I still find it unbelievable that you can pick one of these Saabs up from sub £1k. When I’m in it, I can’t help feeling a bit like I’m in an exclusive club, not everyone knows just how amazing these cars are, and to be quite selfish, I’m glad they don’t either.

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Black Heart

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Just as I was walking out of the office today, this completely black Saab 9-3 convertible drove by and parked outside our local magistrate’s court, I couldn’t resist asking the owner if I could grab a few photos to share.

When I say all black, I mean quite literally black – lights, wheels, trim and Saab badges have all been sprayed in matt black, the windows have even been dark tinted, it’s black. The only colour comes from the red callipers and red seatbelt shoulder pads, nothing else.

I’m always interested in Saabs like this, love it or loathe it, it’s another Saab being maintained and kept on the road (although it showed signs of neglect), and very possibly reflects the owner’s personality exceptionally well!

The High Mile Club’s Newest Member

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Our 2011 9-3X TTiD has just joined the ranks of the esteemed High Mile Club and is now proudly showing 100,000 miles.

Compared to some other club members its barely run in of course, and has a long way to go to catch our previous SportCombi with 185,000 miles (and still going strong).

We’ve loved it for the past two years, but the time has come for it to make way for another Saab project, alas, the High Mile Club’s newest member is for sale over on Ebay.

Those of you who read the blog will have read plenty about this Saab, but for those who know less, I’ll repeat the Ebay listing below.

Sad to see it go and hope it’ll find a home with another Saabist, it’s a very special Saab and will make someone else exceptionally proud.

In 2009 Saab launched the 9-3X – a Crossover AWD version of the SportCombi with a few rugged styling enhancements. Sturdy wheel arches and side skirts designed to protect the car from mud and gravel, an enlarged front grille, detailed skid plates front & rear, chunky twin exhaust, aluminium roof bars and an extra 35mm added to the ride height.

Although launched as an AWD, Saab couldn’t afford to connect their exceptionally capable TTiD4 engine with the necessary running gear, so the 9-3X TTiD was only ever available with 2 wheel drive.

Result, gorgeous rugged styling, but hugely efficient – currently returning between 45 – 50mpg.

As standard, this is 180bhp but has benefitted from a Hirsch upgrade taking it to a capable 200bhp.

This also has the very rare full leather sports interior and Sat Nav, both really nice touches.

It’s just covered 100,000 miles (low mileage for a Saab, we sold our last at 180,000 and that one’s still driving around the neighbourhood), has had a new timing belt, water pump and full service by one of the best Saab specialists I know of – Malcolm Miles.

Overview:

2011 9-3X TTiD
3 previous owners
100,500 Miles
MOT until November 2016
Solid Black
Heated seats
Roof Bars
Full sport Leather
Sat Nav
Boot Tray
Recent discs and pads
Full Service History

Some points to note:

Tyres good but will need changing within the next year or so
Sat Nav works intermittently (regular 9-3 issue, could be fixed with an updated disc)
Slight scuff on front bumper from a careless garage (being removed at present)
Private plate will not be with the car

Ebay listing here

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Dutch Sonett

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I’m not normally a huge fan of the Saab Sonett, but I stumbled across this fantastic film short over on CineCars, featuring an immaculate red Sonett II and had to share it.

The film is in Dutch, but has subtitles with some great statements about the Saab.

“People sometimes describe the Sonett as a Ferrari that shrunk in the washing machine” and “It’s a real Saab, a Saab 96 with a shortened wheelbase and a faster engine”

Well worth a watch: