How did you end up buying your first Saab, Sapan?

Another first Saab purchase story, sent in by Sapan, a Saab owner from the US…..


I want to start out my story with the following:

I have been thinking about the word passion. Automotive passion that is; how so many people do not go after their passion on a daily basis? I am not sure if there is someone out there who feels the same way I do when I look at my car every morning as I am about to leave for work. It makes me smile, it physically makes me happy every time I hit the gas pedal, every time I downshift and hear my exhaust note echo off other cars that I am passing. Do you feel the same way when you are driving your car? Does it make you smile? If you are a true car buff then it should do all of the above and more. You should feel the same exact way you felt when you got the car on Day 1 of your ownership. If you do not, then maybe your path should lead to another vehicle or maybe you are not a car buff and cannot share this experience.

So here is my story it’s a pretty simple one but it is my story to tell. In 2009 I had my Scion tC that I used as my track car as well as daily driver (This is pretty much impossible!). Over time the abuse and wear and tear of the track took its toll on my Scion and it was time for me to get rid of the car. My main issue was, I like to work on cars when I can and I always have a itch for modifying a car no matter how it looks the first day I get my hands on it.

So when it came time to look for a new car I decided I didn’t want to mod the car and said I will get a car that has very little aftermarket support. A good friend suggested a TurboX due to its rareness and its specs which met my requirements (Manual with AWD). So I began shopping around and in Feb 09 I finally settled on the TurboX on my birthday (Best gift ever). I thought to myself, this car is great it’s a Saab so no one will have aftermarket parts for it and it looks spectacular! This will be my daily driver even though I commute thru downtown DC on a daily basis, I’ll drive a real manual until my knee won’t take it.

Fast forward three months I am enjoying my car driving it to my hearts content and then a raccoon decides it wants to inspect my FMIC.

So while in the shop being repaired, I decided I wanted the parts to be that Satin Black color like the GTR, I thought that it looked great and that’s where it all began. After that I looked into some other parts such as brake lines and getting Bluetooth working on the car etc. During this time also got to know International Saab my local dealership ( hooked me up with a Hirsch Dash before Hirsch was even available in the US!

So now we are at different trim paint, stainless steel brake lines, and a Hirsch Dash. So much for finding a car that didn’t have any parts I could modify! After that I thought I needed to tinker with the exhaust to make it a bit louder so I decided to have a 3″ turbo back made at my local tuning shop. The result did yield a significant gain and the sound of the exhaust was a bit loud but superb. This past winter after a heavy snowstorm in the D.C. area I decided I want a dedicated winter set of wheels (TurboX wheels) and a dedicated high performance summer set (Something lightweight, but still stylish and could take a beating on the streets of D.C. as well as the occasional Autocross) so I went with some Forgestar F14 wheels after seeing them around on the internet.

While waiting for my wheels to be made I had gotten rear ended and decided it was time for some more upgrades. Tried to go the Hirsch route but unfortunately they were not available in the states yet so I went the MapTun route. Contacted Fredrik and ordered my carbon fiber diffuser as well as the front splitter/grille combo to replace my torn off one from the winter snow storm. Coupled with the wheels, my StopTech brake setup (Slotted 345mm) and 255/35/19 BFGoodrich KDW2’s my car is now ready again to have some fun over the summer!

I also did forget to mention that while I was shopping around for my TurboX in early 2009 I had a few other choices as well:

  • BMW M3 (E92)
  • Audi RS4
  • Mercedes C63 AMG

The issues with those were as listed below:

  • I wanted a proper gearbox (quoting Mr. Clarkson); some of the cars didn’t have them available at the time (or in general in the Mercedes case).
  • Did not want to take out 2 Jobs just to pay for the car.
  • Decided I wanted more All Wheel Drive instead of RWD.
  • Lastly, the most important factor: I have seen at least 5 of each car on a daily basis when you go to the posh parts of the D.C Area.

I love the Saab because it does represent individuality and stepping away from the norm. On a weekly basis I have about 5 people asking me about or just staring at my car to see if it’s still available for sale. I would love to say that I am a driving billboard because sooner or later the people who ask me about my car will work their way over to a dealership and go the Saab route.

This was my first Saab but certainly won’t be my last Saab (hopefully). Looking forward to meeting everyone in the community at one event or another!

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  1. Maybe I’ll get to see your sweet ride over at International Saab some day!  In the 7 years that I’ve had my 9-5 Wagon, I’ve mainly been to that dealership for oil changes and not much else.  My Saab is built like a tank—-so far, no serious issues so not many dealer visits!  I do love their free flavored coffees and the two big dogs that are often in the showroom.

    1. Yea I go there on occasion as well mainly to talk to the folks about my car or any new cars they got in as well as get some service items done that I cannot do my self. Hope to see you around!

  2. Sapan’s TurboX was a big hit at Swedish Car Day in Boston this year and was a decided winner in the 9-3 SS People’s Choice ballotting. We hope to see you again in 2012!

  3. So agree with your first paragraph about ‘passion’…  Nice ride, that Turbo-X ! Like what you did with it !

    1. I know he is working with a TurboX and making a coolant stb shifter mods etc! Trolltuner is his website. I do have his subframe brace and its great.

  4. Awesome car, a really mean machine 🙂 I would love to have one of those in a couple of years, but they were never sold here…
    Why aren’t available performance upgrades for this engine (that I know of) ?
    It’s just that the original 280hp for a 2.8 engine gives a relation of “just” 100hp per liter.
    On the 2.0T there are software only upgrades to 240hp (120hp/liter) and on the 2.3 liter fitted on the old 9-5 this engine could output 270hp ! 

  5. Sapan, those are very tasteful upgrades you’ve made to your TurboX.  I’ve been thinking about blacking out the grille on my ’99 9-3 SE and, seeing those pictures, I’m convinced I should do it.