Upgrade your Saab
The reunited Saabs
The cars were built at the same time in 2007 on the same assembly line in the Trollhättan factory. Now they have found each other once more – along with a new, pimped up life in Nyköping.
Gustav's head start
Gustav Larsson had already found his red 9-3 Wagon in Gothenburg after looking for the right car for a year, so he had a slight head start in what they had long talked about as a shared project. Anton Bäcksholm was on his way to look at a white 9-3 in Mjölby, but stopped off in Norrköping and took a quick look at Blocket, the Swedish classified ads site, to see if anything new had come in.
That was when I spotted a black 9-3 Wagon which was even better than the one I'd meant to buy, because it was black and it had a sunroof so I decided to go and look at that car instead. When Anton messaged Gustav the registration number, he noticed that it was almost the same as that of his own car. They later discovered that the factory numbers were consecutive. Further research revealed that the Saabs had been manufactured on 26 November 2007. The cars have now been reunited in Nyköping, where Anton and Gustav work on operations and maintenance at Orio.
"Orio has ready-made upgrade kits, which we've installed"
”We spur each other on”
Both guys have always rebuilt and fixed up their cars individually. When they started working together four years ago, they discovered a shared interest in pimping out their cars. Just six months after the purchase, they have replaced more or less everything possible on the outside, and the cars now resemble the latest deluxe model which was manufactured in 2012.
Orio has ready-made upgrade kits, which we installed, says Gustav. We then repainted details on the car to make them truly unique.
It's turned into a bit of a competition between us: who can pimp out their car the best, adds Anton. But we push each other, too, and bat around ideas about what we could do.
If we were to add an insignia to the cars now it would be really long, Anton says with a laugh.
Saab is almost iconic today, says Gustav. If you're going to buy a car from the same model year, Saab is absolutely the best value on the market.
After the guys posted their project cars on Facebook, lots of people got in touch asking for advice and tips on upgrading their Saabs.
People have realised that even though Saabs are no longer manufactured, they're really good cars to own because spare parts are still produced, says Gustav. It's even better for enthusiasts like us, because there are so many upgrade kits that allow you to build a truly deluxe model.
Both Gustav and Anton have now upgraded most of the bodywork that can be replaced. Now the work starts on the inside. The latest "pimp" is a comfort light: a green LED light for the front legroom, which makes evening drives more comfortable. After that it will be the panel, rims, upholstery, and…
It'll have a completely different finish and feel, says Gustav. Every part can be replaced with something better, and now we have maybe half of the parts left to replace.
They haven't calculated exactly how much they have spent on Saab parts – or perhaps they'd rather not say. The fun part is standing out a bit and putting your own mark on the car, says Anton. Obviously it costs a bit to do that. But you have to take it a little at a time.
Join the club.
Exclusive special offers and discounts every month. Join the Saab Service Club.