I Bought a $6,000 Saab 9-3 With 112,000 Miles and A Bunch of Mods
Steve Jobs once said, “Stay hungry, stay foolish.” It was about 7PM on a Tuesday night, and I was feeling especially foolish. Not to mention I hadn’t eaten dinner. I was staring down what was going to be my next ‘new’ car. I had $6,200 in my pocket, and the naivety of a college freshman on his first day of school. I was buying a Saab. Not just any Saab, a 112,000-mile, heavily modified Saab from some guy I had just met like five minutes earlier. What could possibly go wrong? RELATED: See Photos of the 2005 Saab 9-3 Sedan
Actually, nothing had gone wrong (yet). It ran fine, it drove fine, and everything seemed as in order as one could get with an 11-year-old Saab. Now, that very same Saab is sitting in my driveway. Merry belated Christmas to me.
So what lead me to this obviously questionable purchase? One might contribute hard liquor and late-night internet browsing. But a more real answer is just how unique of a car it actually is—and how absolutely clean it's been modified.
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It’s a 2004 Saab 9-3 Aero, and if you haven’t already noticed, it’s pretty darn good-looking. Of course, some of those good looks don’t come from the factory. The wheels were ripped off a Vauxhall—probably an Astra GTC—new springs drop the ride, but keep it high enough to where it’s not stupid, and under the hood is something wonderful, nay, magical.
The standard 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine has been given an upgrade. A very healthy upgrade. A new DO88 intercooler was added, a BSR intake, GS downpipe, BSR exhaust, Brembo brakes up front, and the aforementioned lowering springs.
When it’s all said and done, total output has been upped from 210 to 270. Again, what could go wrong?
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It’s been about two weeks now since I can legally drive it on the road, and so far it’s an absolute gem. The engine is noisy and quick, the interior electronics shockingly still work as if they were new, and the modifications were done with care, and really improve on the original platform.
I’ve got a big year planned for this new toy...stay tuned.
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